MX Special Edition

THE BIG INTERVIEW At the beginning of the 2016 season, a change was made in the Suzuki World team with Stefan Everts taking over the General Manager position from Sylvain Geboers. After 40-plus years in charge, it was a big decision for Geboers, but with Everts stepping-in, the status quo remained the same as Suzuki continued to challenge for wins in both classes. Having won the first of his 10 world championships on a Suzuki RM125WS in 1991, it was an opportunity that Everts couldn’t turn down, so we caught up with him to talk about his two years in charge and just what it was like. Overall how would you sum up how well the team and the riders performed in your two years in charge? “I was quite happy in the direction that everything was going. I think on the MX2 side Jeremy (Seewer) did a fantastic job. Last year he did a lot of podiums. Couldn’t take the overall win, but this year he took a couple of GP wins and he got second again. I was really hoping to go for the title, but it was quite early on in the championship that Paul Jonas showed really good form. Mentally he was very strong all year. He won a lot on the starts. Jeremy was many times in many GP’s the fastest rider, but he had to come back through the pack and it was too late to take the win in the points, but I’m very happy with the overall podiums that we had over the past two years. I think it’s been a long time since Suzuki was on the podium as much as we were in the past two years. Also, this year we had Hunter stepping in and really showing some good speed. Everyone was super- surprised. I think it was a good move to bring him on board. I think the whole setup that we had with the riders’ program and also with Zachary Pichon and Bas Vaessen, we had a good setup. Behind that, we had Liam (Everts) and Jett Lawrence. I was really looking ahead with long term plans and build-up. I think that was going in a good direction. The image of the team we tried to work on. I think that improved. I invested in the setup and the trailer and also social media and working hard with the press. I pushed hard to really do a lot around that. It’s important these days. Then on the MXGP side I think with AJ (Arminas Jasikonis) coming in this year and bringing in one podium only, it was again a good move. A young rider, good future ahead of him, good potential. It was looking good. With Kevin (Strijbos), he got injured unfortunately, but my plan anyway was to continue with young riders in the future and 2017 MX Special Edition TEAM SUZUKI RACING news 27 stefan EVERTS