Interview with Michael de Bidaph (Gearlink Kawasaki)

"I wouldn't say [Seeley and Wilson] are particularly friendly to each other, their relationship is more professional. There's a great respect between the two" - Michael de Bidaph.
By Christian Tiburtius

An exclusive interview with Gearlink Kawasaki team manager Michael de Bidaph, who is running Ben Wilson and Alastair Seeley in this year's British Supersport Championship.

New signing Seeley leads the series, with Wilson - a former title runner-up to Seeley - also making a strong start with three podiums out of the four races…
What is 'Gearlink'?

Michael de Bidaph:
We are car and van manual gearbox specialists, hence the name 'Gearlink'. We do repair some bike gearboxes, but that's not our mainstream. I work full-time in the business when I'm not racing.
Is the name 'de Bidaph' French?

Michael de Bidaph:
Yes it is, it goes back to my grandfather. We don't have a lot of information about it though, because he left my grandmother when my dad was only 3 so the name had to be resurrected.
How did you start in racing, what's the motivation to put the hours in for your race team on top of a full-time job?

Michael de Bidaph:
I've always been in the motor trade and my father was a mechanic before me and taught me everything I know. I started my own business in 1976 specialising in re-conditioned gearboxes then moved from South Bucks. to the New Forest, in 1992 when I set up Gearlink and it became a very successful business. It's quite an unusual and stressful part of motor mechanics and I employ four to five people as well as myself, I am a “hands on person”, I don't like sitting in an office.

I used to be heavily into cars but in the late 90s I bought a Suzuki 750 'Teapot', after that I got more into the sports bike side of things and did a lot of track days with a mate who was a club racer, I just really got the bug. I loved it.

I wanted to become a racer when I got back into bikes but I knew I was too old. I've always watched BSB and particularly enjoyed the R6 cup, that was great racing.

In 2004, by chance, I bought a local paper, one which I had never bought before, and on the back page it said 'R6 rider looking for local sponsorship'. That was probably the most expensive paper I ever bought! It was that paper that got me involved in racing and in turn caused me to invest heavily into the sport.

The rider concerned was James Hillier, he had a couple of sponsors who couldn't see the year through, so we picked it up for him when they couldn't continue. We got to the end of the year and James was having difficulty getting a ride, we reckoned him as a rider, so I said to James that I loved the racing and wanted to be a part of the paddock so we would see how much it would cost to run our own team.

Tagged as: Kawasaki , Suzuki , Assen , Thruxton

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Seeley and Wilson (Pic: Gearlink Kawasaki)
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Danny Buchan (GBR), Be Wiser Kawasaki, [Credit:]

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Norma de Bidaph - Unregistered

April 28, 2013 12:20 PM

Thank you all for your kind messages. I love our team, I love my husband, I love all our riders, past and present. I love racing :-) Long may we continue to give you the entertainment. ((hugs))

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