Rasmus Jorgensen interview - Lockup
Posted on March 25, 2020
The sport is on hold, and for many teams this means desperate time, with budgets, sponsors, team members, and of course how to prepare for when we do come back. Rasmus Jorgensen, the team manager of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna MX2 effort talks to us about how they are doing.
MXlarge: Tell me, I spoke to Steve Dixon this week and he mentioned because he doesn’t have big overheads, it isn’t a big deal for him at the moment. Now, you are a factory team with big budgets, how is it for you guys at the moment?
Jorgensen: Obviously the whole situation is difficult for everyone, I mean nobody is working. We could be riding, but we are not, and I see some riders are riding in private tracks. I just don’t think it is the right thing to do at the moment, to be riding our dirt bikes, because there is risk of having an accident and there is enough pressure on the hospitals, so we just need to stay safe. I am still in the office, but I am doing a little bit, and not so many e-mails coming in. Not so much planning, the mechanics are here, some are at home. We are all independent people and we need to work and be ready for when we start again, but it isn’t easy.
MXlarge: Infront have us going back in June for Russia and Latvia and as much as that is what we all want, that might even be a little too positive. Do you have an opinion when you think we will be back?
Jorgensen: Sure, I think everyone does and I personally I can see the first one being France (June28), if everything goes well, but I have no idea. I think Russia might be difficult with the whole country, but it is difficult to know what will happen. You see the new rules the governments are making for each country. It changes every day.
MXlarge: I think you are a bit like me, and a pretty positive guy, and I am looking at the sky in Holland and thinking, WOW, I have never seen it so blue, obviously because nobody is driving their cars, business is shut down and not many planes around. I think we are also learning a little bit about going back to basics and not relying on things we don’t really need.
Jorgensen: Yes, I agree. I actually said to the mechanics this morning, when this shit storm is over, people will realize some things. Even for myself, we have been working so hard in the winter, and we had the first two rounds and I have to say, when this changed, I was almost depressed. We were in full race mode and I didn’t know what to do with myself, but now, I have spent some time at home, sometimes with my girlfriend, I did some stuff I usually don’t have time for, in the house and around the house. I think this situation will change everyone’s ideas how we did things and I think that is also positive. It depends if it takes a year, I might be a little bit upset.
MXLarge: Well, I am hoping with the lockouts that things recover quickly. I mean we won’t see much of a change for a week or so, but already the numbers are slowing in cases and deaths and most of the countries only have lock-out for a week or so, so that is positive. It might still take a couple of months before anything is ready to do. I think the sport shouldn’t be damaged too much if we can start up in July or August.
Jorgensen: I am not an investor or sponsor in the sport, but if the World economy is stopping, then the first thing you do in a successful business is pull back on sponsoring budgets and this sport lives on passionate people with successful business and we can’t run without these people. That is a little bit my worry. We are in a lucky position that we have the support from Austria as a factory team and some bigger sponsors, but for privateer teams, it can be a tough one to go through.
MXlarge: Are you guys all full-time, or you have people you have put off in this period?
Jorgensen: No, all our people are full time, and obviously we have a nice lady in the workshop who cleans and at the races she cooks. We are more flexible with her time and when she can work, but for the rest, we are all full time. I don’t think any team says 8 to 5 and everyone is passionate. What many people are doing now is getting the mechanics to take their holidays now, because if we go until February next year, there won’t be a chance to take holidays in the winter. So, they take their holidays and keep going in the winter.
MXlarge: On a lighter note, how many times do you think Antti has washed his hands in this period, because as we all know, he likes everything to be really clean in normal conditions?
Jorgensen: Yes, I don’t know. I know he is back in Finland and I was surprised by that. When we were still riding, we talked a lot about where we can ride and when we can ride and then suddenly, he told me he was in Finland.
MXlarge: Obviously you don’t know when you guy can ride again, because we don’t know when the series gets up and running again?
Jorgensen: No, we don’t know. It is just wait. Before we get a plan, it makes no sense, it is pretty much re-set. The guys are doing cycling, but you can imagine for the riders how difficult this is.
MXLarge: I mean these guys are addicted to their sport; it isn’t like a normal job. I can imagine these guys are having serious issues with not being able to ride.
Jorgensen: Sure, it is horrible. They worked from November until December on your physical, then December, January, February you are testing and riding and digging deep to be as fit as possible, and then we don’t know what we are going to do. We might end up with more time than we usually have in the off-season, so these guys don’t know what the short-term future is. It is very difficult to stay sharp for the whole season. So, it is about making smart decisions and not even think about motocross at the moment.
MXlarge: Just enjoy life as a normal person?