Kawasaki faces up to the virus – how KRT & DRT handles season pause
At no time since the introduction of the FIM Motocross Championships in 1952 has sport faced such a dramatic scenario with the cancellation or postponement of so many events due to the Covid-19 virus.
In common with all of the teams involved in the FIM Motocross World Championships, Kawasaki teams have had to adapt their strategy to this challenge and for the moment all of the mechanics are still busy in the workshops based in The Netherlands and the UK, two countries where confinement is not enforced at the moment.
“Our mechanics are all still working at the workshop,” explained Nathalie Fase, the manager of the F&H Racing Team.
“Of course we take precautionary measures – we keep our distance from each other, we don’t shake hands, we don’t have lunch in large groups, everything is thoroughly cleaned every day and the hands are washed a million times with water, soap and alcohol gel. Fortunately everyone has their own work-space at a good distance from each other and we try to keep occupied as much as possible, using our time usefully to test new things and work forward.”
The situation is similar for KRT and DRT as there’s still a lot of work to do in order to be prepared in anticipation of the sport resuming again.
“The mechanics are still in our shop working to get everything ready for the season-restart and, as announced by the FIM, we should now start again on the 6th/7th of June in Russia. We need to keep everyone safe, and as racing will then continue non-stop until the end of November we know that the usual winter break could be non-existent as we will have to prepare the 2021 season straight after the final GP,” confirmed François Lemariey, the Monster Energy KRT manager.
“We are all at work and busy catching up and preparing for the return to racing – as we are only two mechanics and myself we can always do with the extra time,“ is how DRT owner Steve Dixon summed up the situation.
“We’re trying to concentrate on one task each day to develop a work-pattern which will save time and make us even more efficient when racing resumes – we’re doing stuff we rarely had time for in the past so for us this is an opportunity to catch up and look forward to the rest of the year and also 2021 as there will be a short off-season judging by the updated calendar.”
The situation is of course not ideal for the riders who are restricted to physical activities as most of the training tracks are closed in Europe, but for Romain Febvre, Roan van de Moosdijk and Todd Wilson, who each faced injuries, this pause in racing is an opportunity to recover without the pressure of racing.
Both Romain and Roan continue their rehabilitation, while Todd just had further surgery to his hand after he broke some fingers in the Netherlands. In common with all participants in the FIM MXGP and MX2 World Championships Kawasaki teams and staff have been impressed by the non-stop efforts of the FIM and series promotor Infront Moto Racing to confront the unique situation and preserve optimism for a full worldwide calendar once the current crisis is over.
For all Kawasaki teams and riders – whether at the forefront of MXGP and MX2 or in National and Club racing these are difficult times and we must all adhere to Government guidelines and the changing environment. Our sport is part of our lives and we all hope to conquer the current situation and be back racing as soon as it’s safe to do so.
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