With only one week to go before the 2010 World motocross championship kicks off in Bulgaria. We managed to grab a few distinguished words from the little Belgium maestro and Teka Suzuki team boss Eric Geboers.
Eric, a new rider and a new sponsor…the team seems to be moving from strength-to-strength despite these difficult times…
EG: Clement was confirmed late in the summer so the integration went smoothly over the winter time. The sponsor was only decided in February. Of course we were working on it behind the scenes for a while but the workload to integrate Rockstar in the team was immense. With Japan eight hours ahead and PST nine hours behind, Sylvain (Geboers’ brother and Team Principal) and I were making long shifts. We are really happy though with the operation we now have in place and that has been because of some excellent support.
What are your feelings about Clement Desalle? He seems a special rider in terms of speed and style. Is there still more to come from him both as a racer and representative of the team?
EG: Clement has a lot of potential to be a great motocross rider. If we can get him to adopt the knowledge we have in-house, he will be even stronger in the future.
Has the team changed its set-up for 2010? Any new technical partners or priorities for development on the RM-Z450?
EG: No major changes and we are pleased about that because we have very good partners.
What about the bike itself? In what ways has it changed for 2010 and what improvements did you want compared to 2009?
EG: As you know delivering good power with less noise has been the main focus and I am happy that we have improved in both directions.
Steve Ramon will have a new mechanic this year. Do you think this will bring out a different side to his riding?
EG: It was not an unexpected change and we knew already two years ago that Frank would stop to perform that role at the end of 2009. Bo is no stranger to Steve because they have worked together before and that will help both of them I’m sure.
Steve missed most of 2009 in what was his first serious injury problem. Do you think there is a bit more fire in the belly for 2010 as a result?
EG: Yes, I am sure he has set himself a big challenge this year.
With Ramon and Desalle, you have two quite different riders on the track. Is this a mix that was made on purpose and do you enjoy seeing this contrast?
EG: The choice was not made on purpose but it does bring us more information on the technical side because the difference is noticeable in all aspects of what they do.
The team won the GP of Limburg last year, which was one of the highlights of the season. Obviously it will be special to win at Lommel again, but are there any other events in which you think victory is a little sweeter than normal?
EG: No, not really, the championship is not decided at one GP so all 15 have the same importance!
How do you feel about the evolution of the world championship and the modern-day circuits?
EG: On the marketing side it is getting more professional every year. The circuits are leaning more towards outdoor Supercross which is good for TV but motocross in the ‘traditional’ sense is no longer present.
There is now a closer bond with the MX2 team and for the first timeeee Suzuki coulddd win championships in both classes. Are these exciting times?
EG: Very exciting and we all know that we are very happy and lucky to have a talent like Roczen. But yes, I am happy because in 2008 we announced a ‘return to dominance’ and we are on our way…