WSBK » 15 October 2013
Wilko Kleine - Q&A (Jonathan Rea’s race engineer)
Brings it home in P10? Then I'd rather take the fast rider, I want to go for the wins and the championship. If you've got a rider who crashes a lot though you're always on the edge. A rider who doesn't crash can either be that good or maybe they're not really trying.
You don't really care how much work you have to do, you just want to win, that's why we do it. If you ask anybody in the paddock, mechanics, principals, mechanics, we all want to be world champion. It's the team.
I think the mechanics maybe feel the same as the rider when we get a win, we put in a lot of hours and then you get something back. It's such a good feeling when you win.
If I destroy a bike completely, can you get another bike together for me to use?
Yeah, we'd have to work full throttle but yeah we'd have to, we can't afford to lose the race in that way. When Johnny crashed in race one at Nurburgring we knew the bike was pretty destroyed from the television pictures, so we'd already got lots of parts out of the trailer ready for when he came in based on what we'd seen broken. We needed to see the bike before we knew whether we'd need a spare frame and so forth though.
So when you see the crash on television you're already preparing spare parts according to the damage you've seen done?
Yeah, we try to be ready and get everything into the pit box as soon as possible. It's only when the bike rolls in that we can fully assess the situation and get on with it.
Do you carry enough spare parts to construct a complete bike?
Yeah for sure, we've got enough spare parts to construct a few bikes. Some major components like throttle bodies we don't have that many of but most parts we've got quite a few.
To build a complete bike might take us about 1.5 to 2 hours, but that would be with a number of mechanics pitching in, so if Leon hadn't had a crash then his mechanics might also help. It's at times like that that you really become one team.
How about major problems with the engine?
If we have a problem with an important part in the engine such as the crankshaft then we'd just change the whole engine and that would take just over half an hour.
This year is pretty easy because we don't have the engine rule yet and we can just change the whole motor and we can use as many as we like. If we had a limited number of engines it would be more difficult and we'd have to look at the problem and see if it could be fixed.
So the one bike isn't really reducing costs because you basically have others in the form of spares?
Yeah. We have them in parts but it just takes a lot more time to put them together and we often have to rush to put them together again.
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