photo credit: Plons
Stefan Everts talks about the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team for the 2008 MX Season.
Ahead of this year’s MX World Championship season we see a new face in MX1 and a threeman team for MX2. How are things shaping up for the start of the season?
Yes, this year we have German rider Max Nagl in MX1 and in MX2 we have three riders with Portuguese rider Rui Goncalves joining Tyla Rattray and Tommy Searle. So far I am quite satisfied with the preparations and I am very happy with the new bike, the engine and with modifications to the frame.
What do you expect in MX1 for Max Nagl?
Max had some injury problems during the first half of the 2007 season but he finished strongly. He is fit and ready for 2008 and he is aiming for more podiums, which I think he can achieve. He did not spend too much time on the bike during the first part of the winter break because I wanted him to be hungry for it when he did start riding. This season I would like him to mature and to benefit from the experience in MX1. We did tests in November and December and I was very happy with the results. Now he is preparing for the season in Spain and we are making some tests and adjustments to the suspension.
Turning to MX2, Tyla Rattray had to have knee reconstruction surgery at the end of last
season. Is he going to be 100% fit for 2008?
Yes. This time Tyla stayed longer at home in South Africa over the winter break. It gave him the opportunity to take advantage of the good weather and to get in some riding practice after his operation. I have spoken to him and he tells me that he is very positive and he will be fighting for the title. I believe he has a big chance to achieve that. In the meantime, Tyla has also been working hard on his physical fitness so he will be in excellent shape for the start of the season.
We have just learnt that Tommy Searle will be racing for KTM in the USA for the 2009-
2010 seasons, how will this affect his 2008 season in Europe?
I think it will make him even more focused. He will want to win the world championship title and take it with him to the USA. I think it is a shame that he is going, but that is his dream and we have to respect that. But he will still be riding for KTM in the US so we can’t say we have lost him. Tommy decided to do his pre-season preparation in the US, which is quite understandable, given the fact that this is where he will be racing in 2009 and 2010. I expect him to be even better this season than last year and I think both he and Tyla will be MX2 title contenders in 2008.
And we have a new face in MX2 with Rui Goncalves. What is your opinion of him?
Rui is a nice guy and what I like about him is that he is a very hard worker. He struggled with injuries up to the middle of 2007 and I started to coach him in the second half of the season. I told him he would get podiums and he did. Rui is a very good starter and this is in his favour. It has a big influence on your results if you can get away well at the start.