Team Suzuki Press Office – September 1.

Harry Everts has a long history in the MX world and also with Suzuki. Together with his son Stefan Everts, Harry has followed him from team to team and brand to brand. Now that Stefan has come full circle with Suzuki, Harry is again by his side to help and assist him in his biggest project yet.

I have been in the GRP workshop so many times before and I would never have thought that I would sit here one day and my son would be running the show. When I was working with KTM, I often came by to eat my sandwich and spend some time with Sylvain (Geboers). We have a really long and good relationship. So I came to visit him here. In the past, I’ve ridden with Suzuki and Sylvain was always there with me. Then I went to other brands and we lost contact a little. But then Stefan started riding and I went to Sylvain and Suzuki. And again we were talking MX like always and having a good laugh.

Stefan was World Champion with Suzuki in 1991. After that he moved from team to team and I always followed him. You do it automatically, it’s your son. Then Liam came and Stefan was at the end of his racing days. Things change but the motocross always stayed the same. Like it has always been. But maybe not completely the same. Stefan started to work with KTM so I followed him. I’ve worked there as a trainer. Always brought good guys into the team. I was there for a very long time, so it was weird to change to Suzuki again.

But I have always been good with Suzuki. When I heard that Stefan had the chance to take over the team, I actually could not believe it. And now I have been working here eight months and it has started to sink in a little bit. And it is a big change, also for myself. I’m here from early morning till late in the evening, also because it is from the kids so that’s just what you do. And I don’t mind. I’m not so young anymore but also not old. I feel the difference from 10 years ago but I just keep going.

95% of the time I’m with the team on training, when it rains, when it’s hot, when it’s cold. But I do it with pleasure and I will always do it. Still I’m happy that the season is almost over. We have come so far with the young guys in the team. There have been some good results and they have all worked hard. Also the team, I cannot say anything bad about them. They are all dedicated and I know not everyone can do the same or sometimes a mistake is made but that’s everywhere. And this workshop is in tip top shape. Sylvain did a great job designing and building it. But I did not expect anything else. I knew from when he was my mechanic. I have learned so much from him.

So I’m happy that it’s all working out. Also with the riders. They put in a lot of effort and we had a good winter training. Bas (Vaessen) made a big step forward. He has had some great results already. In the position he is now, he just needs to work on some small things. I’m sure that if he keeps it up and maintains this through the winter he will again make a small step in the good direction. It will always be in small steps, but that’s good. And he is in a very good environment, has a good trainer and has been guided very well.

Also Jeremy (Seewer’s) dedication on training is great. He has made good progress; he’s always been a good rider. Also this season he always did well. Being consistent in his results. Of course sometimes it’s not all good. When it’s not working, it does not work. But I think he will do well in the US. And if we do a good winter training, he will be stronger than ever and it will be a good next year.

With Kevin (Strijbos) it has been a special year. He had a great winter training. He was riding so well and he was feeling so good on the bike. Than the first race was not going as expected and we started to change things. I don’t really understand how it could change so drastically. I again saw good improvement towards the MXGP in Lommel. And there he had a good race. The Kevin from training. He is so good on the training sessions. I don’t know how to get that also at the races.

Ben (Townley) came to us in the winter and we asked him if he could train with the team here in the winter. But he wanted to stay in New Zealand and prepare for the season there. He did well. Sending us videos and they really looked promising. But he was always riding alone and if you ride alone you are always the best. When he came to Belgium he was a little behind on the guys and worked very hard to catch up. He may have forced it a little bit. In Qatar the results were a little less than expected but then he won the qualifying race in Thailand and finished second in the second race. It was a great result. But maybe it came too soon. Then he crashed and some small problems arose, all very unlucky. I was actually very happy for him that he is healthy and good go back home a healthy person. It was great having him here with the team. I’ve known him from a very young age, when he was riding against Stefan. And I know that, that boy can ride.

So Arminas (Jasikonis) came in as a replacement for Ben. During the winter I saw him a lot, always training. And he was smart, he followed our guys for a good 10 to 15 minutes in training. I saw he had good potential. And then by accident it happened that we needed someone. And we chose a young guy. Arminas has already proven that he can handle it, showing some good results. Sometimes he has a bad start but he can always make his way back. I’m sure that he will do good if he keeps training.

I like this new thing with Suzuki, but it has been busy lately. A very busy life for the moment. But there is so much good cooperation. There are always things you could change but everyone is doing their very best in this team.

Words: Yoline Cogghe

Photos: JP Acevedo & Ray Archer

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