Courtesy of Infront Moto Racing
Building a Grand Prix team isn’t something that easy. To become a success, you need to have the right people and have the correct work ethic. Belgian businessman Hans Corvers has proven that with his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team as the challenge the toughest MX2 team in the World, the Red Bull KTM Factory squad, who have won 11 of the last 12 MX2 championships.
It isn’t about being in the spotlight for Corvers, but producing a winning combination, and with his two riders Jago Geerts and Ben Watson, he has a great chance of giving Yamaha their first success in the MX2 class since 2007, when Antonio Cairoli won the MX2 championship for the De Carli Yamaha effort. For Corvers it started at a very young age that he fell in love with the sport and he even raced at Grand Prix level.
“I was racing amateurs in 1979 until 1980 and then in 1981 I went to the Belgian federation, and I did 1981 junior 125cc, then 1982 and 1983 National 125cc, then in 1984 I did International 125cc in Belgium, and also the first Grand Prix’s in 125cc. I was riding with guys like Dave Strijbos, John Van Den Berg and many others. In 1985, 86, 87 I raced GPs and then only 125cc, then I started my company and went back to racing in the amateurs. I did a few years in the European amateurs.”
Corvers remembers a lot of the reasons he fell in love with motocross, as a child riding, an adult racing at the highest level, or watching the legends of the sport as a fan. The passion that comes from the Belgian team owner isn’t something you can buy, it is bred.
“It is in your blood. I was seven years old when I started riding an Italjet. Also, where I grew up, it was the foot of the mountain in Paal, in fact Marnicq Bervoets (team manager for the team) lived on the other side of the mountain. On that mountain in the 1970s there was a really nice track. All the best riders rode there, Joel Robert, Heikki Mikkola, and Sylvain Geboers. As soon as we heard the motorcycles riding there, we took our bicycles and rode there to watch. I always rode Suzuki, and after my last two seasons racing in 1997, Yamaha wanted me on a 125 and they wanted to make a team around me. I started the team, and gave it the name, Kemea, which in Dutch is Kom er maar achter mij aan (come and try and catch me).”
One thing that Corvers believes in, is giving his riders everything possible to get the job done, and as team owner, he knows that giving them that confidence in the team, will only build confidence in the rider.
“If they are just a few months with us, what all of us do, the whole team, what we are doing for these guys and they get a different mindset and they grow from it. They have to know it, they are doing it themselves, but every day everyone is working hard within the team. The riders also need to work the same as the other team members.”
Now, with Geerts right in the heat of battle for the MX2 championship, Corvers knows that to beat the best, you need to be the best and having been handed the roll of the official Yamaha factory team in 2020, that goal of bringing home a world motocross championship has only grown within the team.
Photo Copyright: Yamaha Racing Author: Geoff Meyer