TEAM SUZUKI RACING news 11 2017 MX Special Edition “That is a difficult question as I worked well with so many riders but I will say a few names for some different reasons. One was Michele Rinaldi, who raced with me for only one year, but he did so at the same time and in the same class as my brother. Michele was the perfect example of a team rider, completely organised, completely fair and never complaining. Harry Everts was another one who was easy to work with. He had 100% confidence in me, for all that I did with him and he ended up winning three titles. Lastly Greg Albertyn was another rider who was only with me for one year, but he was still able to win the title. Greg was highly motivated, helping all the team members and even his fellow team mate. He left us as we assured him of a ride with Suzuki and Roger Decoster in the USA.” What rider would you have loved to have had riding for you? “Antonio Cairoli. When Yamaha decided to stop working with the De Carli team, we tried to hire Antonio but his loyalty to De Carli was too strong. Obviously his decision has since proved a wise one.” What were your best moments as manager? “Each world title was different but it brought great excitement and glory, however the titles for Harry Everts, Donny Schmidt and my brother Eric stand out for special reasons. With Harry, I operated as his manager and his mechanic at the same time. With Donny, we travelled together and lived together from race to race, hotel to hotel and from restaurant to restaurant. And then Eric is my brother so those reasons are obvious. “Beside those world titles, there have been plenty of great memorable events, including the victory with Steve Ramon at the Le Touquet enduro race. It was something we did after a request by Steve, and he made it a unique victory for Suzuki.” Which do you think was Suzuki’s best bike during your reign? “Suzuki supplied us with very competitive machinery every year but nevertheless, the RM-250 WS in 2002 and 2003, (which were the final two strokes) dominated the field in performance and quality.” What was your best year, in terms of racing just enjoying your job and being part of motocross? “I very much enjoyed each year. Motocross was my passion and with Suzuki was a great pleasure, as each rider and staff member made me wiser in one way or another. Only age stopped me from continuing, but I’m already missing it.” How proud are you of what you achieved in your reign as manager? “I never really worked for statistics, as I just tried to serve Suzuki, my riders and the mechanics in the best way possible. I wanted to make sure that the machinery was prepared for each rider, so that they were ready to be competitive at every race. I also wanted my mechanics to be able to do their job under the best conditions possible and the fact that Suzuki were satisfied with all my efforts makes me extremely proud.” How difficult was it for you to step away from Suzuki in 2016, but how much did you enjoy the time that you had? “Unfortunately, age was the determining factor in order to allow Suzuki to function at the level it needed to be at. I wish I was only 40 years old again, but that is only wishful thinking. However, I know I am extremely privileged to have worked with all the different partners and people around the world and to have made the exceptionally large number of friends that we made. Most importantly though is the fact that my wife and myself are still in good shape and we continue to enjoy life with all those friends because at the end, I prefer quality over quantity.” “I am extremely privileged to have worked with all the different partners and people around the world and to have made the exceptionally large number of friends that we made.” Sylvain with daughter Anne (left) and granddaughter Yoline in 2016. Sylvain (right) with his brother Eric (left) have always enjoyed a strong relationship, which carried through from their riding days, into the management positions. The great man himself: Sylvain pictured on his way to third place in the World 250 Championship aboard his RH Suzuki. Geboers finished the series in second place in 1970 behind Joel Robert and scored third overall the following two seasons, all behind championship winner Robert. 1991 and Sylvain’s reigning World 125 Champion Donny Schmidt (right) lines up alongside Stefan Everts, who went on to clinch the first of his 10 World Championships that year.