When you approach the back of the garage, going by the two trailers with Aprilia graphics, it is not uncommon to hear a constant buzz. Following it there is a good probability that it is a pneumatic grinder, and it is just as probable that the person using it in an almost artistic way is a true Tuscan, a thin man. Not for long though, because while you are still thinking about what to ask him, he has already dashed off. In the garage, among wrenches and bolts, testing the piece that he has just built. Or looking for the calliper to check a measurement. That's the way "Tocco" is: we don't have a piece? No problem, we'll make it. A mount needs to be modified? 5 minutes and it's ready.
An essential presence on a team that works for months at a time far from the racing department, with a good supply of tools but obviously without any machinery that is too bulky to be transported to the various circuits. And, even in the computer and ECU age, a bike is still a mechanical vehicle. That requires constant maintenance and, why not? A good dose of craftsmanship.
"When I began, in 1990, the official Aprilia team in the 125 category was made up of four mechanics and the rider - confirms Carlo Toccafondi, born in 1976, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini mechanic in Stefan Bradl's garage.
"There were less than 20 people working in the Aprilia Racing Department that supported us, and they were already protagonists in both the 125 and 250 categories. I worked with Alessandro Gramigni, a fellow Tuscan, and in 125 you had to work to earn every single point. Just imagine that we measured the connecting rod bearing rollers one by one in order to gain a percentage of horsepower. Which, when summed with other little things, could make the difference."