A quick chat with: Stefan Everts
MX Vice managed to grab a couple of minutes with the greatest Grand Prix rider of all time, Stefan Everts.
Everts was being quickly rushed off to do some more PR for the Bercy organisers but was kind enough to still give us his time for a couple of questions regarding KTM, Jeffrey Herlings and his son, Liam Everts.
Stefan graced the Bercy stadium as a rider in the early 90s. He raced against the likes of JMB, Damon Bradshaw and Jeff Stanton with considerable success. Over 20 years on Everts is here to pass on his experience to KTM’s Jordi Tixier and also complete a parade lap with fellow legend JMB.
MX Vice: It was another great season for KTM but where can you go from here, is it hard to keep repeating the success?
Everts: Of course it is again every year a new challenge to do the same that we have done the year before. It’s racing and things can go wrong very quickly. I think inside the team we need to stay focussed and keep the pressure on. You can get relaxed because you have been winning so many years in a row. But we have a good team and good people, we try to keep everyone motivated.
As far as the riders go they can get injured – look at Jeffrey. He got lucky because it was after he won the title but that can also happen next year. We will try to be their again with the bikes, make them 100% and then it is up to the riders to do the rest.
MX Vice: How do you compare Jeffrey to other riders? He is a two time world championship and even though MX2 is U23 his talent is phenomenal. Obviously you had a lot of talent at that age and likes of Ken Roczen and Tony Cairoli so how do you compare Herlings talent and speed?
I think for his age he is very high. He is one of the best at his age that I have ever seen. Roczen is also very talented but he rides with a different style, more feeling than Jeffrey. But the whole package from Jeffrey is there, he has been doing it for the last two years and I am sure he will do it for many more years. When he moves up to the MX1 class he will be the guy to watch again.
MX Vice: Is it going to be hard to keep him motivated again in MX2 again next season?
Everts: Well, he is the one who pushed for it, so he the one who has to find the motivation to do it and I think he will.
MX Vice: Just a quick question on Liam, your dad was world champion, you were world champion, is it exciting as a father to see your son race?
Everts: It’s for sure exciting at the beginning you stay calm with it and see how it turns out but it looks more and more that he has the qualities to become a good rider and racer. He is very passionate, he really wants to win and he loves it. It is also in a way funny to be the father and start again from the bottom, waiting in line for the license and all that. But it good to see him doing well and like I said he is talented, he has a good feeling on the bike, when I watch him he knows what he is doing, he is in control and isn’t doing any stupid things. It’s cool and I am very proud!
Article and Photo by Jonathan McCready