Story / 01/11/2020
2020 - A different racing year for Suzuki Sweden
Robert Reijers, the team manager behind Suzuki Sweden, sums up the competition year 2020 as a very different year, where the pandemic has had a great impact. It has been a tough year for many in the sport, not least when the opportunities for pre-season training deteriorated sharply.
“2020 was a tough year for many in the sport, not least when the opportunities for pre-season training deteriorated sharply.” Robert Reijers, the team manager of Suzuki Sweden, reflects on 2020 as a very different year, where a global pandemic had a great impact.
In winter, Suzuki Sweden’s motorcycles are usually stored in a race bus in southern Spain, ready and waiting for the numerous training sessions and fine-tuning in preparation for the upcoming season. When Covid-19 hit Spain in the Spring of 2020, the borders were closed and the opportunity for training disappeared - and flying down to pick up the bus was not an option.
By chance, through Facebook, Robert got in touch with a Swedish man living in Spain who could help. The man collected the bus and made the 36-hour journey to bring it home to Sweden a week before the season was due to start. Not ideal preparations.
Robert, who has competed at Motocross, Enduro, and Superbike, knows how it feels to race as a rider as well as how it feels to watch the decisions he makes for the whole team lead to success on the track.
A broad smile appears on Robert's face when he is asked what it is about road racing that he loves. He says that he gets shivers down his spine just thinking about it: “as a driver, it is the speed, the adrenaline, the feeling of constantly being on the verge of falling over, the excitement and energy. It is an incredible adrenaline kick to lie at 300 km/h and arrive at a 90-degree bend, brake as late as possible so that the rear wheel goes up in the air, and then manage to get the perfect curve”.
So, what kick do you get being a team manager?
“I get a kick from managing everything about the team, from working with the sponsors, sourcing the merchandise, making sure all of the tools are in the right place, the right amount of fuel is in the engine, the choice of tires is right, and everything is in its place. Being able to run forward and hug the drivers when they have achieved good results is an amazing feeling.”
How has using Teng Tools and the ‘Get Organised’ system helped the team?
“During time training, a driver may need to make a pit stop for a quick adjustment. It is essential that everyone knows exactly what to do and where their tools are when they are needed. Order is a must for us - looking for things is a waste of time, and we do not have time for that! The Teng Tools ‘Get Organised’ system was an obvious choice for us as every tool has it’s own specific place so no time is wasted searching for tools.
Big things were planned in 2020 to take sponsorship to the next level that would have benefited the team. T-shirts and stylish VIP badges were printed to give to fans, but because no audience was allowed at any of the races, all plans had to be cancelled. “2020 was a challenging year. We had big plans to connect our sponsors and increase the awareness of the team and the sport, especially through engaging with the audience at the races", says Robert. The question now is how will it be in 2021?
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