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Mark Hardisty and Alan Taffs

Alan Taffs and Mark Hardisty (also known as Hottub) are responsible for Öhlins Racing AB’s MotoGP parts, logistics and transport. Find out a bit more about Öhlins’ dynamic duo and their experience in MotoGP.


Q: Was working for Öhlins Racing AB your first job within the motorsport industry?

Mark:
No, I actually worked in MotoX for 12 years before I got my job with Öhlins.
Alan: It wasn’t for me either. I worked for the Yamaha MotoGP team with Carlos Checa before I came here.



Q: How did you begin working for Öhlins?

Mark:
I knew someone who worked for the company and they recommended me.
Alan: Mats Larsson knew me when I worked for Yamaha and he thought I was the perfect guy.



Q: When you arrive at the track, is that job done for you until the Monday morning or do you have other duties to do as well?

Mark:
The driving is just the start of the job. When we get there we set up and then we’re responsible for the parts inventory and invoicing during the races and tests.
Alan: I’m also the entertainment officer...



Q: Which track takes the longest to drive to?

Both:
From the base in Stockholm, it takes 5 days to reach the first European race in Jerez.


Q: Describe a day in your life at a race weekend in three words.

Mark:
Expect the unexpected
Alan: Tense, exciting, tiring



Q: Who is the most fascinating person you’ve met related to your job?

Mark:
We had a technician called Paul Trevathan who has left to be a crew chief now but he was and still is the most fascinating person I’ve met.
Alan: There are many different characters within the paddock, but I would say that Jeremy Burgess was a great, interesting person to chat with.



Q: When the paddock do the flyaways at the beginning and end of the season, what do you do and where does the truck go?

Mark:
I try to follow my interest in MotoX which I’m unable to do during the season. The trucks normally stay at the previous European race destination.
Alan: I am renovating my house at the moment so I am spending all my spare time doing that.



Q: How do you spend the off-season?

Mark:
We don’t finish until mid-December and we’re back at the factory in Sweden in mid-January.
Alan: We just try and spend the time with our family and friends and attempting to relax during the four week break.