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Michael Bartholemy (Marc VDS) - Q&A

From there I moved to World Supersport, first in an importer supported team and then to the factory Honda supported team. In the end we were getting great results with riders like Broc Parkes and Kevin Curtain.

At the end of 2003 I got the offer to go to Kawasaki as principal of their MotoGP team. People often seem to ask me when their teams are struggling: Honda got me into their Supersport team when they were struggling and we left them successful and when I joined Kawasaki they were in their third year and were 22nd and 23rd in the championship. The first year I was there we finished tenth with Nakano.

I stayed there from mid-2003 to mid-2009. On the 25th of December 2008 Kawasaki called me to say they had decided to stop the program. It was a bit of a mess because we had so many contracts outstanding with employees and Dorna, but we put the single bike Hayate team into place with Marco Melandri.

They basically said it was going to be a black bike, no hospitality and we don't give a sh*t where it finishes, it just has to be on the grid. For that reason, I didn't feel welcome anymore and stayed at home for the rest of 2009 until I met Marc van der Straten.
Did you end on good terms with Kawasaki?

Michael Bartholemy:
I think I gave them some of the best results they have had so if something ends so abruptly it's never a nice end. An employee might sometimes get a watch when they leave, so when I'd worked so hard and got those results it felt a bit like a kick in the a*se when you can't even go back to the factory to talk to people.
So what crew have you got in your current team?

Michael Bartholemy:
Basically in the Moto2 team, everybody is from MotoGP with about 30% of people having been with me for some time. I have some people who have been working with me for 16 or 17 years.
What do you enjoy more, MotoGP or Moto2

Michael Bartholemy:
I was in MotoGP for so many years but I'm enjoying Moto2 more now because we are getting the results. When I travel to a Moto2 race I feel that we can win or get a podium whereas at Kawasaki we were trying for the top ten. When you're away from your family for 280 or 290 days a year and you give so much it makes life very different, I have so much more enthusiasm and motivation.

If you offered me factory Yamaha or Repsol Honda, for sure I would like to go back but until then I'd prefer to be in a top team in Moto2. When I arrive home people clap me on the back and say 'well done', we are high in the championship, you feel satisfied when you do that.
Who is Marc van der Straten?

Michael Bartholemy:
He's a count and made his money from beer. His grandfather was the founder of Stella Artois, they have now bought several other breweries since and they are one of the biggest brewing companies in the world. The money for the team doesn't come from there though, it's funded from Marc's private money, there are no beer brands on the bike.
What is the balance in the team between cars and bikes?

Michael Bartholemy:
Marc's father started the car team in 1964 and we've still got a successful car team now. The motorcycle activity started in 2010. Both teams operate from a large base in an airport in Belgium where we have 4000 sq meters with our own paint, machining and carbon facilities etc used by both teams. The facilities are very good.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bartholemy and Redding, Italian MotoGP 2013
Redding and Kallio, Moto2 race, French MotoGP 2013
Redding, Moto2 race, Italian MotoGP 2013
Aegerter dash
Morbidelli, Bagnaia, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Alex Marquez crash, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Bagnaia, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Navarro, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Manzi, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Corsi, Bagnaia, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Corsi, Bagnaia, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Schrotter, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Cortese, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Cortese, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017
Luthi, Moto2 race, German MotoGP 2017

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June 05, 2013 12:07 PM

Interesting interview which needs to be read from beginning to end before commenting - future posters note... @sokuko - I think the headline will create a lot of argument, based on stats. MM 125 - 46 starts, 10 wins, 14 podiums SR 125 - 33 starts, 1 win, 2 podiums MM M2 - 32 starts, 16 wins, 25 podiums SR M2 - 56 starts, 2 wins, 10 podiums I think a fairer comparison is with Stefan Bradl (not such a bad thing) and the biggest change in Scott this year is in attitude. He's now riding like a seasoned pro and the results are coming and hopefully, will continue to come. As for MotoGP, the biggest problem is likely to be finding a decent ride on a prototype unless someone retires, and that then narrows the field to Ducati. The greatest disadvantage maybe is that Scott doesnt have the marketing potential that Marquez or Espargaro has to attract big money sponsors and nowadays that is often more important to a team than riding skill. Sad but true.


June 05, 2013 12:44 PM

A lot is said about Scott's weight- in this interview it says 25kg more than Marquez but where is this coming from? Sources suggest Scott weighs 74kg and Marquez weighed 57kg- 17kg difference. With the new minimum weight limit I think he's 12kg over? Of course it doesn't help but if you listen to Eurosport they make it sound like he's carrying an iron bathtub on the back of the bike. As far as top speed goes weight has far less to do with it than drag, anyway.

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