Stefan Everts interview – Still the Benchmark
Interview Monday 13th September 2010 By Geoff Meyer
When he was racing Stefan Everts was just that, the benchmark of what to expect. Be it racing for his team or country Everts often came out on top against his opposition and as team manager of the Red Bull KTM Factory team he has once again placed himself in the spotlight.
I did this interview a little over a week ago just before KTM sent out the press release about Roger De Coster joining the team and obviously before Ken Roczen was signed up.
I’ve known Stefan for maybe 15 years and despite what has been a really enjoyable working relationship he still wouldn’t spill the beans on the De Coster signing or the Roczen signing, even after I turned the tape recorder off.
That leaves me wondering if his answers to my Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed or Christophe Pourcel questions were answers with honesty or was he again being shifty and keeping his cards under the table. Still the total professional Mr. Everts wasn’t letting anything out of the bag.
Here is the interview.
MXlarge: Can you give me any information what is happening in America, are the rumors about Roger De Coster true? I mean you and Roger hold a lot of respect in the sport with your on track results, but also your off-track results.
Everts: I think Dungey he go the championship in the pro-class, haha. No for the moment, what is happening in America. Not much has happened yet for KTM. That would be a great team yes, but there isn’t more I can say.
MXlarge: I talked to Pit a few weeks ago and he mentioned that KTM are not looking at the top riders in America, because it’s out of the question money wise. Can you give me some information on that?
Everts: The budget we have for the US is not very big and the money the riders ask, well we asked a lot of riders, and it’s too much for KTM to pay. We need to get a top rider like a Dungey, but he is hooked up with Suzuki, or maybe Reed, or Pourcel, he is over the budget. We are working on getting more cash from sponsors, but there is nothing official yet.
MXlarge: Ken Roczen, what about him?
Everts: That is another rumor in the paddock; I don’t know what is happening with that….
MXlarge: It’s been a dream season for sure, has it pretty much been the dream you and Pit had four years ago?
Everts: That was our aim, to one day win MX1 and MX2 and the 350cc dream came in-between, that wasn’t something we had calculated. It was just a bonus, but to step in with the 350 and Antonio winning in the first year. I am top of the World at the moment to see my bike winning out there with the best rider. It has been hard work to get a rider like Antonio in the team, to get his confidence in the team, of course we needed to bike and the back-up and that is what we worked hard on in the last three years. We didn’t have any DNF’s with the bike. Winning both classes is really impressive.
Also the Herlings story for us has been great. After Roczen we didn’t believe another guy would come around like Roczen, but a year later we have Herlings, they both are doing great things. Herlings form has helped Holland a lot.
MXlarge: Motocross of Nations, it seems like the Grand Prix guys are at a very competitive level with the AMA guys, what is your opinion on that? I mean after Budds Creek in 2007 we all had our heads in the sand.
Everts: Yes, that is true, but you know what, you can’t just focus on one Motocross of Nations race, it’s just one race and everyone has different motivation. Some guys are on different bikes. What was for me a good test was Desalle in Unadilla, he finished seconds and was battling with Dungey that showed that the speed in the World Motocross Championship is the same and that proves more to me than the MXdN.
MXlarge: Before you came to KTM it wasn’t a bike everyone wanted to ride, how is that now, when you talk to riders?
Everts: I think in Europe it’s not a problem, most of the guys are open to talk about riding out bikes. In US it’s a different story and that is why we need to gain a lot of confidence on the people and the riders and that is our next aim. To try and do this in the next three years. With the bikes we have now we have the base to prove that. It’s just a matter of bringing up the results and get the confidence from the people.