WSBK »

Wilko Kleine - Q&A (Jonathan Rea’s race engineer)

Now I do so much during the race like holding out the pit board and so forth that I don't really have time to appreciate the action. With the races I normally tape them and watch them at home if I know it was an exciting one. If we crash out I don't watch them though.

Crash.net:
What kind of working hours do you have?

Wilko Kleine:
Normally we start at 8.30 or 9am and if there's nothing exceptional then you may stop at about 7pm. If something needs doing though then you have to work longer; 10pm, 11pm, 12am, - whatever it takes.

Thank God all-nighters don't happen so often but sometimes you've got to do them. The bike has to be ready for the next day, there can't be any excuses. Working 'til 10pm is pretty normal.

The longest I've worked is probably to about 3am rebuilding a bike for Aoyama last year. It was at a test at Assen and at 6pm he crashed and totally destroyed the bike.

Sunday is normally very busy between race one and two. You do the warm up and have to check the clutch because of any practice starts which have been done. The clutch is a vital component that we check often. It's crucial for starts but isn't really used during the race. You have to wear gloves for any work you do on the engine because it's so hot.

Crash.net:
When there's a crash do you feel for the bike or the rider first?

Wilko Kleine:
Of course it's important that the rider's OK, you can fix the bike even if it takes 'til 3am. When you look at Johnny right now unfortunately he's taking a lot longer to fix!

You're always hoping that the damage isn't too bad so you won't be up too late, but the rider comes first.

Crash.net:
Do you feel that Ten Kate is a special place to work?

Wilko Kleine:
When other teams go to hotels we all stay at the race track.

If you're staying in a hotel you go back and close the door but we usually stay in the trailers and it means it's more social. During the evening if we're working late we usually have a good laugh together, the atmosphere is pretty good.

In a long day I usually see me colleagues more than I see my girlfriend or daughter so you have to have a good relationship.

Crash.net:
Do you socialise mainly with other mechanics?

Wilko Kleine:
Not really, sometimes you speak with other mechanics but only at a superficial level, we don't go into the technical stuff. We keep ourselves to ourselves, though sometimes after a race you may look at other bikes to see how they do things. I mainly socialise within the team.

Crash.net:
How is your relationship with the rider?

Wilko Kleine:
At a certain level you do make jokes and you do have a laugh at the racetrack but it's not as if you go round for coffee or anything. It's a more professional relationship.

At the moment I'm working on Fabrizio's bike but I would have to say that there really isn't any difference in what I do with his bike and Johnny's.

Crash.net:
What would you prefer a fast rider who crashes a lot or a steady one who brings the bike home?

Wilko Kleine:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jonathan Rea`s race engineer Wilko Kleine (pic: Pata Honda)
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.