Interview with Michael de Bidaph (Gearlink Kawasaki)

We signed Nicole [McAleer - Superstock 600] as a development year. She hasn't been in the BSB paddock for over a year and with her we are almost starting from scratch, I do feel that we'll make good progress over the season though. We're not going to push her, her competitive spirit will do that, with Nicole it will be more gradual.

The fact that she is willing to get stuck in, in a class as competitive as Stock 600s, is admirable on its own. Her enthusiasm and determination is fantastic and for a team like us, it's very rewarding to see a rider progress rather than signing an established performer. She also fits in with the family atmosphere at Gearlink.

With regards to Ben and Alastair, I think the results speak for themselves.
How do Alastair and Ben get on?

Michael de Bidaph:
I wouldn't say that they're particularly friendly to each other, their relationship is more professional. They don't ignore each other but they aren't making conversation in the garage either. There's a great respect between the two.
Would you impose team orders if need be at the end of the season?

Michael de Bidaph:
I can't really answer that as I would need to see the situation. It's just great seeing the close racing between the two and that's the way we want to see the season out.
As a team manager, how do you deal with rider injury?

Michael de Bidaph:
We've had to deal with the worst that any team has to deal with when we lost Guy Sanders at Mondello Park. Norma and I got to a point then where we were asking ourselves whether we could carry on racing. We were both close to Guy right from the R6 days and it hit us really hard.

The way we took it was that Guy would certainly not have wanted us to give up and we felt the need to pick ourselves up from it and continue. You have to switch off to the fact that it can happen, the same as riders do.

I don't think that as a team boss I should be thinking in terms of injury all the time. We have to approach things professionally and say that if you are too preoccupied with the possibility of tragedy then you really shouldn't be racing. The whole paddock knows and accepts the risks.
What kind of budget does a team like Gearlink operate on?

Michael de Bidaph:
This year it's going to be close to £200k. Kawasaki are very supportive and help us as much as they can and the general manager of Kawasaki UK comes to some races, but we have to find the financial budget ourselves.

We are getting sponsorship from Tim Todd Surfacing this season though and that's a great help. Ben has also brought sponsorship from Vale Livestock Ltd into the team which is hugely welcome.

We also get a good amount of product sponsors such as exhaust systems, brake discs and NGK spark plugs.

When people criticize teams for accepting paying riders or riders that bring finance with them, they really don't understand the way team finances work and the financial commitment you have to put in. Without that there might not be a grid.
What are the future plans for Gearlink?

Michael de Bidaph:

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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