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Interview with Michael de Bidaph (Gearlink Kawasaki)

It takes us 2 or 3 hours to get packed up after the race and then, if we're not staying over, we drive home and I'm back at work first thing Monday morning.

Crash.net:
Are there any riders in Gearlink's history that have stood out?

Michael de Bidaph:
It has been great working with all our riders, but one thing I can tell you is that Ben Wilson is a very genuine, down-to-earth person that I clicked with from day one and it's a real pleasure working with him.

Crash.net:
What do you look for when signing a rider?

Michael de Bidaph:
When we are thinking of signing a rider and you test them, it's not necessarily the quickest lap that is important. You have to look at their style and how they interact with the bike. Also that they work progressively rather than trying to go too fast too quickly.

Obviously their CV is important, having said that though, It's the overall feeling you get when working with them which counts.

Most riders that we have worked with have come from the BSB paddock anyway so we tend to already know them.

When we tested Ben, he had just come off the 1000cc bikes and needed to find speed on the 600s. It would have been unfair to judge him on lap times. Rather it was how he conducted himself that got him the ride.

In terms of style, once a rider comes to us they are usually pretty experienced so we only comment on their styles if they are doing something, which in our eyes, is obviously wrong. It's a different matter with young Superstock riders though, there we try to give guidance.

Crash.net:
Was it a conscious decision to recreate the incredible 2011 season within your team?

Michael de Bidaph:
I didn't set out to sign Alastair by any means, Alastair contacted me before the end of the season and we had our first meeting at Assen. We were also talking to a number of other top riders such as Christian Iddon at the time though so signing Alastair was not part of a long-term strategy.

Signing Alastair has given Ben that little competitive push and it means that we've got two strong riders pushing each other. Ben didn't have the season he wanted in 2012 and has shown huge determination in training and working over the winter and seems really psyched up for the season.

It is a good feeling knowing that top experienced riders now consider Gearlink to be a team to be contacted for a front running ride and we feel proud of that achievement. We may be a victim of our own success though because we are perceived to be a large team well-funded by Kawasaki and that couldn't be further from the truth.

We get a small budget from Kawasaki, but the rest of it we have to make up and even this year we're struggling.

Crash.net:
What's your assessment of your four riders?

Michael de Bidaph:
Luke [Hedger - Superstock 600] is coming on really well, for someone who's never raced a 600, he jumped on it and is qualifying excellently. Though I do think that he needs to maybe toughen up a bit in the race because the Stock 600 is such an aggressive class. At Thruxton he got bashed around a bit and lost a couple of places and he needs to give as good as he gets.



Tagged as: Kawasaki , Suzuki , Assen , Thruxton

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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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