A Weekend With LCR Honda's Davide Pollini and Simone Bonenti

A Weekend in the LCR Honda MotoGP Hospitality with Davide Pollini and Simone Bonenti.

By: Kristi Emmons

LCR MotoGP hospitality



Behind every pit-lane wall at any given MotoGP race, lies a paddock full of racing wonders to behold. The European rounds of MotoGP in particular, boast an entire village of buildings, trucks, and offices needed in order for a championship to run smoothly. 


With the large structures in the paddock, you will notice one and even two story temporary, modular buildings, all in a row, behind two or three more rows of semi trucks used to house all of the equipment and personnel that are an integral part of the MotoGP world championship. These large structures are covered in colorful logos of race teams, factories, and their sponsors, and hold a very important function; hospitality. 


At “fly-away” races, where only limited supplies are brought over for the series, teams and the supporting structure of the championship have to make due with alternative means to a normal set-up, or make due without. Whereas, at the European rounds, teams, and some sponsors, have everything they need to make the race weekend as comfortable (and one could say glamourous) as possible. 


Built out of two trucks (one truck for smaller teams), like transformers, these hospitalities turn into entire buildings to hold the crew of each race team, the team’s guests, and the team’s sponsors. These structures hold everything from offices, to large dining spaces and chef’s kitchens. 



Moto3 hospitalities
A Moto3 hospitality, fully built

Having trekked out to Valencia, Spain for the final round of MotoGP for the 2023 season, Cycle Vision Network takes you on a journey with two of Lucio Cecchinello Racing (LCR) Honda MotoGP race team’s hospitality staff. We give you a glimpse of what it’s like to gain access to the hospitality of such a coveted space at a MotoGP race. 

We had the privilege of sitting down with Davide Pollini and Simone Bonenti from LCR, as well as getting to follow them around to get an idea of what a typical race weekend is like in a MotoGP hospitality.

When asking Davide and Simone what their official title is at LCR Honda, they described themselves as a form of “jockeys”. Going on to describe their job duties, their week normally starts with travel, arriving at every round about a week before race day.  

Simone went on to tell us, “On Monday, we start to build, to park, to find the place for everything. So, two trucks: they are linked by the roof, and then we build everything. You see? Everything”. Simone then gives me a chance to admire the scale of the hospitality we were sitting in, from the second floor of what they had built, describing it as starting from “zero”. 

LCR Hospitality Mezzanine View
A view of the LCR MotoGP hospitality from the mezzanine level

Being that Simone and Davide started from two semi-trucks to a whole building, I had asked them then if they also drive the trucks. They informed me that someone else drives the semi-trucks. 



Getting to know Davide and Simone a little bit better, I learned that not only are they colleagues, but they are cousins from the same small town in Italy, they are each other’s neighbors, and they grew up together. The co-working cousins come from a village with a population of around three hundred people. Davide, full of cheerful laughs, took the opportunity to joke that the village is a “small town that looks like my phone”. 


The cousins’ town may be tiny, but it is located next to a famous ski resort that has a bit of importance in the motorsports world; Madonna di Campiglio.



“It’s famous because of Ducati and Ferrari,” replied one of the cousins. Madonna di Campilio just happens to be where the Ducati MotoGP Factory holds their annual winter presentation, with each Desmosedici sporting ice spikes on the tires for the snow. 



When continuing on to ask about Davide and Simone’s relationship with motorcycles, Davide used the opportunity to share his current “love-hate” relationship with them. Davide was in a bad motorcycle accident two months prior to our meeting in Valencia, and joked that he hates motorcycles “for the moment”, but in actuality, “it is love”. 


I asked Davide if he would ride again. His response after letting out some more laughter, was a positive yes, and that he planned to start again next year. 



After moving on to how Davide and Simone actually landed a job in MotoGP, they said it was a long story. However, to make it short, Davide recounted being in school at nineteen years old and the goalkeeper there who was also a truck driver, needed some help for a one-time event. The cousins agreed to give it a try, and that, thirteen years ago, they describe as what “started the adventure”. 



Finally, two years later, the same situation presented itself, which eventually led to their job at LCR Honda. However, due to limitations with fly-away rounds, Davide and Simone only work at the European races.



I then took the opportunity to ask if they had any advice for anyone looking to do the same job as them. Their response was to have “a passion for what you do, and attention”. When asking to elaborate on what they meant by “attention” Simone  went on to tell me,



“Yeah, because everybody more or less here, they think it’s just a weekend job. Okay, so is like a town party. It’s not [a] town party. You can have injuries, you can get accidents when you run out, structures are very big…heavy. You work always with trucks, with heavy things, so it’s not a game, like a host. For truth, if you want something like that, with less work, and everybody is inside enjoying, and you say, ‘Okay guys, good job, good job’- We are more or less the only team who has the same people since over 10 years. The only one.”



Davide added, “Exactly. Now we are a group. It’s more family, you know? Because we stay together 24 hours”.


“Exactly. Now we are a group. It’s more family, you know? Because we stay together 24 hours”

After describing the family aspect of the team and their longstanding loyalty to LCR Honda, I asked if there were any other specific duties that they were in charge of, other than the setup and breakdown of the hospitality structure itself. Davide replied, “Ah, we don’t have a specific crew. We do everything”. 


Another very essential part and main function of the hospitality was food. Feeding everyone from the sponsors and team guests, to the crew and riders, they said that the amount of meals served depends round by round, but that it got pretty busy during the race. After asking who cooks the meals, Davide cheekily replied, “the cookers,” with some more laughter. Simone gave a more serious answer and went to tell us that the LCR team has three cooks, in all. 


After sitting down with Davide and Simone, I took a little tour of the hospitality to get an idea of what it is like day to day for them working in the structure, and to also experience the hospitality myself, as a guest. 


The LCR team does a great job at being able to have its involvement in the championship. They are able to do so, with the amount of sponsors that they are so excellent at obtaining. A large amount of the time spent in their hospitality, they explained, was for business. In that, part of their job is keeping sponsors happy, so that the money can flow into the team, to make it what it is, on the world stage. 


When considering choosing a MotoGP hospitality experience to share, the LCR team was the clear choice, because not only are they great with the style in which to make sponsorship work out well for them, but when it comes to team guests, they are considered one of the most open and hospitable teams in the entire premier class of the MotoGP paddock. They regularly cultivate an inviting environment for their fans, by having them involved in joining them through regular interaction and contests. They have been known to host fun events and parties, as well; the LCR Honda MotoGP team really does a great job at making dreams come true for your average racing fan. 


Now that I was following Davide and Simone around a little bit, I had them give me a tour. Being an Italian team, the setup that they had for preparing the dining experience was no joke! From the size of the dining area of the hospitality, to the kitchen, the prep area, and everything else related to it, their setup was like a full fledged restaurant, complete with a bar, even! Nudged in the far corner of the second truck of the hospitality, was a small office, where other people on the team spent some time getting some work done from their laptops.


LCR kitchen dish
Davide and Simone begin the tour of the "back side" of the hospitality structure, beginning with one of three areas where meals are prepared
food prep
It takes a lot to feed an entire hospitality full of people during your typical MotoGP race weekend. Here, LCR prepares the freshest of food, for the team and guests to enjoy.
LCR kitchen
Davide and Simone show off the kitchen of the LCR Hospitality
LCR Office
A typical day in the office for the LCR team

The hospitality itself, in addition to mostly dining tables, hosted multiple couches for lounging, and large screen TV’s throughout, for viewing all of the live racing action. On the coffee tables in front of the couches, were LCR’s own archives and books that one could enjoy sifting through.  There were even chargers for phones, next to the couches, and an area for some fun gaming. 


Davide and Simone then jumped into their “everything hospitality” role, and made sure that I received the full experience while in their space. I had a busy weekend while at the circuit, but they made sure to invite me back in whenever I needed. 


LCR coffee table books
Coffee table books that any racing fan can enjoy
LCR gaming area
Gaming area in the LCR hospitality

As far as the experience itself, guests are greeted at the LCR Honda hospitality by a large two-story building, with electronic entrance and exit doors. Atmospheric tunes of the hospitality ranged anywhere from rock, to funk, and then jazz. Prosecco and “birre” were flowing freely for the guests to enjoy their time there. In what Davide and Simone described as a paddock that was growing ever more serious (in what they guessed was maybe a move to be more like Formula 1), the LCR Honda hospitality remained a happy place. 

In between mealtimes, the bar was always open, whether you fancied an authentic cappuccino or some Italian wine, and there were plenty of snacks to tie you over with, either on the bar, or in the main buffet area. 

In smaller hospitalities, like Alpinestars, space is very limited and orders are taken for food, so it can get a little bit chaotic. However, in the LCR Honda hospitality, the mealtimes were set-up in a gourmet style buffet. If you ever want to have one of the most delectable, authentic Italian meals you’ll ever have without stepping foot inside of Italy, the LCR Honda hospitality is the place to experience it.

Prosecco LCR
No weekend is complete in the LCR hospitality without a glass of Prosecco
LCR beer
Fridges stocked with the official beer of LCR team 2023; Estrella Galicia
LCR Snack Spread
This is only the snack spread between meals, at LCR Honda

Throughout the weekend, I took up Davide and Simone’s invitation to come back and visit the hospitality. With all of the excitement of the weekend, this proved to be a great spot to tuck in from the beautiful chaos of the races, and take a sweet breather. 


Simone and Davide were even so gracious as to give me the honors to dine with them at their table each day for lunch. All of the hospitality workers waited until the guests had finished serving themselves from the buffet, before digging in. Each of the staff went Italian style, making this the most hearty meal of the day. On Sunday, race day, it was suspenseful. While LCR was not in contention, the title still rode on this very last race to be decided. It was a beautiful feeling to be sharing a meal with others so passionate about the sport, despite it not being their own team that would take the rider’s championship; the joy of watching ensued anyway. 


I enjoyed watching the race with the team until a major crash, in which duty then called me to go out and investigate any behind the scenes of. I would however be able to come back to the LCR hospitality one more time, and that would be on Tuesday during testing. I may have not arrived at the beginning of the week to see the giant setup of everything, but I was able to swing by the shadow of what was a bustling paddock just two days prior. I got see the teardown in action and chat a little bit, before bidding farewell for the season to my new friends Davide Pollini and Simone Bonenti. 

LCR hospitality teardown
Teardown of the LCR Hospitality
LCR hospitality teardown
That's a wrap for the LCR hospitality for the 2023 season
Simone Bonenti
Simone Bonenti- LCR Hona
Davide Pollini
Davide Pollini- LCR Honda
Buffet LCR hospitality
1st floor LCR hospitality
View from the first floor of the LCR hospitality
LCR hospitality sweets
No shortage of sweets here
Italian snacks LCR hospitality
Very Italian snacks at the bar
Mezzanine level LCR Hospitality
Mezzanine level of the LCR Hospitality
2nd floor LCR Hospitality
2nd floor of the LCR hospitality
LCR coffee table books
LCR hospitality TV screens
LCR hospitality full
A full LCR hospitality