Moto Media

with ... Stefan Everts

Red Bull Teka KTM Factory team manager Stefan Everts was excited entering the Grand Prix of Bulgaria. Having watched his riders work hard throughout the winter, he was delighted with the boys preparation and motivation for the 2011 season.

With the Championship favorites in both MX1 and MX2 (Antonio Cairoli and Ken Roczen), in the KTM team there will always be pressure and expectations. We talked to Stefan about his riders and what he expects from them.

Geoff Meyer:  Stefan, watching Ken Roczen racing in America looked really excited, but it was also at times wild. It must have been nice to have him back in Europe?

Stefan Everts: This year I don't have much stress, everything went good with the guys, I mean, the MX2 guys. I was happy that Ken came back from US in one piece and he put in some training in Lommel for two weeks. I also advised him to do that and he did that.

How about Jeffrey Herlings, how has his preparation been?

Jeffrey’s shoulder came good and he was on it from December. He has put in a lot of hours on the bike and he is in good shape. He is ready for it, he wants to race for the Title. We all know, and he knows that Ken is the favorite, but he is going to try and beat him of course.

And Jeremy Van Horebeek is back in orange. How has it been working with him?

The third guy is Jeremy, he had a good ending of last season and my ambition is that he gets to his full potential. He didn't train as much as he should have in the past, but this winter he has really worked hard and he had full confidence in me helping him with his riding and training. He stepped it up and did some good pre-season races and I expect some good results this season.

Jeremy seems like a fun guy, always smiling and playing around?

He is a bit of a joker, it's good to have fun, but at some point you need to stop the joking and get serious and we are working on that. Jeffrey also has his thing, everyone does. I was relaxed and excited to come into this season and it was the first year I felt that (as team manager). I see how well everyone is doing and the good shape they are all in.

How is the first race of the season for you, as a team manager, but also when you raced?

It is always special, the first race of the season and for sure the first Grand Prix. At the end I was more relaxed, but still it would give some extra butterflies in the stomach and for sure these guys have that also.

Did you ever have a start to a season that you were not happy with, where you felt unprepared?

I remember in 1995 when I came back after losing the Title from Greg (Albertyn) in 1994. I was so disappointed and nearly quit racing at one point in that winter. I stepped into the season with not so much motivation and it was a year I don't easily forget and the bad stuff that kept happening to me. I cut my knee at my home track in Belgium, also my car got stolen, some races didn’t go well and in Switzerland I did a bad moto and got passed on the last corner. Things were not that great in that season. Other seasons I was looking forward to going out and racing.

Photo courtesy of Geoff Meyer.