Courtesy of Sharon Cox
MXLink Live invited guest Dirk Gruebel KTM Factory Racing Manager to share his thoughts on what his role actually involves, what challenges occur and how Dirk along with KTM Team find solutions to sustain forward movement on and off the track.
And, Dirk’s role within the Brands Motocross department is not for the faint hearted. Management of MXGP and MX2 riders can test diplomatic skills to ease tensions on race-days while at the same time forging bonds of trust and reliability between riders-mechanics-Team crew and management which lasts years.
Equally important is developing future KTM Champions through the feeder tiers of racing Junior World Championships through to GP premier classes. 2020 MXGP/MX2 season is no exception, with Dirk bringing in Rene Hofer to race MX2 along-side Tom Vialle. Both riders out-performed expectations at MXGP Round One at Matterley Basin and then played repeat at Valkenswaard. Vialle leads MX2 points table- heading into rest of season.
Speaking on riders, Dirk notes there is plenty to celebrate. Jeffrey Herlings 4x World MX Champion, Antonio Cairoli 9x World MX Champion, then include Jorge Prado 2x World MX Champion- all that totals one impressive number of Champions under KTM’s tents.
If you think Dirk should ooze prestige and accolades on having achieved such rare success with KTM riders- think again. Far from it. Dirk is so grounded, so centred on staying focused on what goals need to be reached- whether they are immediate concerns of when racing will resume, or cracking his brain on where to find that bit extra in bike power- or making sure newly recruited Rene Hofer has enough room and freedom to develop as a rider.
Fine attributes indeed- one which makes Dirk relaxed speaking about his Team. It is obvious the admiration he has for Jeffrey stating ‘of course he is addicted to breaking records’, his composed working relations with Tony’s Manager Claudio de Carli, his excitement at near future of watching Prado and Herlings battle up front on track, and his reserved approach for supporting young talents emerge amidst KTM Brand.
And Dirk’s thoughts on KTM’s mantra ‘Ready to Race’? It is uppermost in Dirk’s mind that KTM R @ D have enabled the production of bikes which are so good to put a rider on ready to compete at National Championship level. Dirk makes clear, the work, skills and technical prowess applied by KTM to invest in production and manufacture of bikes gives riders a ‘fertile ground to flourish’.
That is Dirk Gruebel- passionate about his job, honouring the position he holds while remaining grateful to the Brand for the opportunity to perform within such great Team of people.
Film edited of MXLink Live broadcast with Dirk Gruebel below: