“The key thing with choosing a rider can be summed up as ‘Performance’. That sounds simple but means either an established reputation or the potential to perform if the rider is not already in the class we are racing in. At the same time, as the official team, it’s our responsibility to ensure the rider fits with the brand image – even though Ryan Villopoto had his season cut short in 2015 he was still a great brand ambassador so that fit is important also.
The team and many in the Kawasaki family are Monster supported but we don’t feel under so much additional pressure. Monster really understand the sport and that results have to be delivered. As an effective sponsor partner they help us to be more competitive off-track where presentation and professionalism is important. Riders are increasing in popularity so a partner like Monster helps us make riders available to the fans.
These days riders are very aware of their fitness and health and they mostly look after their own day-to-day routines. They have doctors that understand what they are asking from their bodies and we trust them to offer the best advice. If there are injuries or sudden health issues we get a medical report and work as a team on a route back to 100% fitness.
I don’t get to ride motocross myself so much now, only a few times a year now, more to remember what the thrill is than anything else. Running KRT is pretty much 24/7 so what little free time I get is minimal. Riding at any level certainly makes you appreciate the level our athletes are at and the commitment needed to be a professional sports person.”