I don't really think that the rule reduces costs and could actually make things a bit more dangerous because we have to rush the construction and we're all humans and mistakes can be made. There are so many bolts on a bike and if a single one is missed it can be dangerous in a race context.
Do all teams in WSBK have the level of spares back up sufficient to build whole bikes?
Yeah, I know it for sure. You have all the major components like the frame, swingarm and wiring loom and to basically construct a bike you just attach the swingarm to the frame, lay over the wiring loom and put in the engine.
Before the one bike rule you had enough time to really know that the spare bike was ready and it was a lot easier.
Do you think the current bike complexity is good for racing?
I think it makes it fascinating. We're in a world championship and not doing it at a hobby level so it has to be complex. I feel that it makes it interesting at a technical level.
I think the Dorna rules are intended to make WSBK bikes slower than MotoGP bikes but when you look at a Superstock bike it's not that much slower than a Superbike - just a few seconds.
I feel the complexity and electronics and so forth make it interesting. The technical level gives challenge. Maybe we could lose a bit of the traction control and launch control to get back the amazing slides, but we don't want a monkey to be able to race the bike!
Are you permanently employed by Ten Kate?
I'm on a permanent contract from Ten Kate from my time working in the normal workshop, there are some new guys who are employed on a year's contract though. Race mechanics get a little bit more than the workshop mechanics but I wouldn't compare the wage with a Doctors.
A lot of what we do comes from enthusiasm and we're able to support our families, it's not the highest paid job but that's not what I do it for.
I've just had a daughter, she's eleven months now, and being away means that I miss her all the time so the traveling lifestyle has its pros and cons. I enjoy the lifestyle but I don't think I'll be doing it for ten years or so. I've taken this chance because I don't think I'll ever get another chance like this in my life.
My girlfriend also said that I'd be stupid if I didn't go for it. If my family didn't support me I wouldn't be able to do this, they mean more to me than my job. I kind of wish that it had happened when I was younger, I'm 31 now, but I'm glad that it did.
What do you do out of the racing season?
Then we go to the testing season. We already have some tests planned in November and for after the test ban. Otherwise we work in the race bike workshop and I'm currently taking the race bike apart to clean it.