MotoGP paddock passes: a frequent misunderstanding.
Where can a MotoGP paddock pass be purchased?
MotoGP paddock passes are the subject of quite a frequent misunderstanding, especially among non MotoGP experts. How can access be gained to the MotoGP paddock? How can MotoGP passes be obtained? Where can a MotoGP pass be purchased? Who should be addressed to have one? How can one be found? These are some of the numerous questions we are asked by fans and lovers of the World Motorcycle Racing Championship who are eager to see their champions from a close distance. (For additional information read MotoGP Vip Village: find out what it is)
As the MotoGP 2019 season is about to kick off, we feel it appropriate to point out how paddock passes can be used and for which purposes. As this tool is basically conceived for sector operators – not for fans -, it has limitations, rules and prerogatives (read more about our MotoGP Hospitality packages).
What is a MotoGP paddock pass?
First of all, paddock passes are one of many types of passes released by the Organiser of the World Motor Championship (Dorna) in order to give operators, technicians, the media and experts in general access to restricted areas. Pass types include press passes, grid passes, road service passes, etc. Paddock passes – rigid plastic badges, approx. 5.5 by 7.5 cm in size, worn on the neck with the help of a fabric cord – give access to the paddock, which is normally located behind the box area and is provided with gates that are used for entrance and exit. As with all other pass types, paddock passes too can be permanent (i.e. valid throughout the season) or for one single Grand Prix.
(Two examples of paddock passes for the MotoGP 2017 season: a permanent pass on the left and the paddock pass for the Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit on the right. Two ways to access the MotoGP paddock.)
What is the function of the paddock pass?
This question is the first crucial node of the above-mentioned misunderstanding. Paddock passes, excepting permanent passes, are beneficial work tools to team sponsors. They give their holders the opportunity to stroll in the truck area leaning over the boxes, the hospitality facilities and the service trucks, and to meet (or come across, to be more precise) some of the riders while they are moving from their motor homes to the garages on their scooters. Be, however, prepared to be greatly disappointed, if your expectation from the paddock pass is to access all MotoGP hospitality buildings to sip coffee or to watch the race from a privileged position: the race is not visible at all from the MotoGP paddock (unless you have a dedicated sticker for the Viewing Area stand). Additionally, no access is granted to the team facilities unless you have the necessary identification “tag” on the cord of the pass.
(Two examples of tags required for access to the Team hospitality area: the tag for the Honda HRC Team and the LCR Honda Team.)
Where to (not) buy paddock passes and costs
The second crucial issue to point out relates to where paddock passes are purchased. Let’s now bring this never-ending story to a conclusion: paddock passes are not for sale and they do not have a cost as they are work tools given free of charge to those who need one, i.e. teams, journalists and photographers (who have media passes), operators, agencies, technicians and so on.
There is plenty of self-styled sellers on the Internet pretending they can sell paddock passes for the Grand Prix races of Misano or Mugello at very high costs. The same applies to ever untamed touts outside the gates of the racing circuits who buy and sell paddock passes for sound money. Needless to say, our suggestion is that you keep away from this type of transactions.
How to use the paddock pass
One of the existing risks is to purchase passes (through the above-mentioned back doors) that have already been “scanned” and would therefore fail the gate check. All pass holders, of any type whatsoever, are compelled to scan the pass whenever they go in and out of the MotoGP paddock using the supplied scanners that are operated by racing track staff. In doing so, the central system designed to manage accesses “knows” which passes (and individuals) are either in or out of the paddock. Anyone trying to enter the paddock with a pass that is still recorded as “in” in the system would be immediately stopped by security staff and the pass would be cancelled for the entire duration of the Grand Prix.
How is access gained to the paddock?
The question now is: how can you experience the emotions and charm of a Grand Prix at least one time in life? In response to the above both the Organisation and agencies like RTR Sports organise MotoGP Hospitality packages, such as the MotoGP VIP Village, which give access to the paddock via passes (ABcs of MotoGP Hospitality for more information). Companies selecting these programmes can, on the one side, experience firsthand the charm behind the scenes, and, on the other, they can enjoy all the ancillary services that are indispensable to live the racing weekend at best, including exclusive seats in private stands, an excellent selection of food and wine and very high quality services.
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