A stalwart by Marc Marquez’s side, Hernandez first began working with the Spanish MotoGP great in 2011 when he made his Moto2 World Championship debut.
Together they have won seven world championships, six in the premier class in the prestigious Repsol Honda Team colours, Hernandez as the head of a tight-knit group of workers.
But the Barcelona native does not see himself as the true leader of the team: “For me, the leader inside of the team is Marc. When the good or the bad things happen, he always stays there. For me, this is like a leader. I am not the leader, I mean I am part of the project but who makes the difference is Marc because at the end, when he’s on the bike, it’s him. Alone.”
The 2013 season was not the 47-year old’s first success with the Repsol Honda Team, in 1999 he worked with Alex Criville as his suspension engineer on his way to the championship. “At the time when I worked with Alex (Crivillé) or with Valentino (Rossi) it was exclusively to try to help with the suspension setup,” Hernandez reflects.
“My role is much more complete. Above all, the aim is to help the rider with what the suspension engineer tells you, what the tyre engineer tells you, what Honda HRC, engine and chassis engineers tell you. Organise everything with the mechanics.”
The newest chapter in the Behind the Dream series also dives into how and why ‘Santi’ came to work in MotoGP after a childhood spent adoring football.
“When I was little, I liked football. But in my house, my father has been a mechanic all his life. When I was 12 years old, he gave me a motorcycle. I started to like them, and I started to ride a scooter,” he recalls.
Hernandez now stands as one of the most successful ‘crew chiefs’ in MotoGP and attributes much of his success to his parents, “I would like to be 50% of my father.
A person who, without studies, without having the opportunities that I have had, did it out of passion and enjoyed it and achieved what he has achieved… For me that is the advice that I take from my father and my mother, both of them.”
Photo courtesy MotoGP
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here