Team Suzuki Press Office – September 21.
Dave Geurts is Kevin Strijbos’ personal mechanic at Team Suzuki World MXGP.
Before starting his career in MX, Dave Geurts worked as a maintenance technician for a Belgian company. A couple of months after that company closed its doors in 2007, Dave got a phone call from Harry Everts. That’s when his professional MX adventure began. By 2015, the year that he joined GRP in Lommel, he had gathered a lot of experience from working with several motocross teams.
Up to this day, Dave is still very happy that he took a step into the unknown back in 2007: “Working in motocross is miles apart from working in a corporate environment. It’s a special kind of atmosphere, almost like we’re all one big family. I think it’s especially important as a personal mechanic that you build a strong relationship with your rider. Because we are a big part of these guys’ careers, we share the same goals. That’s very motivating for me.
“Another huge difference is that you experience all of the highs and the lows from up close. When a race goes well we all get super excited. In any other company things could be going great, but you wouldn’t really notice anything as an employee. On the other hand, when something goes wrong, you’re also affected on a personal level. But together with the team you just pick yourself up and start again from square one. And even outside of your own team there’s a lot of comradery in MX. When one of our riders is injured for example, everyone in the paddock shows their sympathy.”
Even though the bond between Dave and Kevin Strijbos is pretty strong, it can still be hard for Dave to predict Kevin’s wishes: “Sometimes, Kevin’s mind goes in a completely different direction than mine. He would, for example, want to change something about his bike after an issue occurs, and then ask for something totally different when the same problem happens later on. But because MX is very much a mental game for the riders, I always make the requested changes and let him find out for himself if it’s the wrong decision or not (laughs). If you try to force a rider into a specific setup, you’ll immediately see the negative impact on his performance. Confidence is an important factor during a race.”
Unlike many of his colleagues at GRP, Dave can still live with his family in Belgium, something he wouldn’t want to give up: “If I would have been in my 20s still, I might consider working abroad. But I notice that as I get older, I feel more attached to my family. I do respect the guys here for giving it their all day after day, while being away from their families. I can only imagine how hard that must be at times.”
Because working in motocross means ‘always being there for the team’, Dave sometimes does wish he could spend some more time with his family and friends: “It’s pretty hard to plan things in advance. But on the other hand, I get to travel, meet interesting people and learn new things all the time. That kind of balances it out for me.”
Dave’s 5 fun facts:
Most positive characteristic: “I get along with everybody and always stay calm. When I do get into a discussion, I’m open to every point of view.”
Most negative characteristic: “I think I’m too much of a perfectionist, which causes me to expect a lot from the people working with me. But maybe they haven’t even noticed that (laughs).”
Favourite food: “Everything my Mum cooks, even when she’s experimenting. I’m a certified cook, just like her, so food plays a pretty significant role in our family.”
Favourite track: “For me the Citadelle de Namur is a mystical place. I still get the chills when someone mentions it in the paddock.”
Hobbies: “I like riding my bicycle and have always been interested in RC cars. From time to time I also play the drums.”