Matt Winterborne is the Suzuki World MXGP team’s engines and mapping mechanic.
Matt Winterborne has been around motocross ever since he was a teenager. At that age, he rode on an amateur level back in the UK. And that’s how his passion for MX came about. At local races, he would always work on other people’s bikes. When a couple of his friends started riding in the British Championship he saw his chance to work for them as a mechanic. At around 17 years of age he finally got to take it full on. “Lucky enough I got the opportunity to work with Dave Morgan later on, who had a lot of GP experience. While I was in college for my motor mechanic course he was a true mentor for me. I learned a lot from him in the few years that we worked together.” Working for team green, Matt gained his first experience in GP racing.
Before working for Suzuki, Matt had already moved away from England to work for a different team. When their collaboration came to an end, Matt was considering whether or not he would work for another team. “At that point, I had been working in GP’s for about four years, but I wasn’t too sure about my next step within the world of motocross. And then, when I was on vacation, I suddenly got a call from Stefan Everts. We had a meeting and went from there. I immediately had a good feeling about the Suzuki team.”
Right now, Matt has been part of the Suzuki team for one year, programming the RM-Z450WS engines. His in-house engine development experience at a previous employer prepared him perfectly for the task at hand. “I especially like how everything runs so smoothly here. Race teams are always somewhat hectic, but Suzuki really stands out in being well structured. And because everybody in the team goes for it 110 percent, we all motivate each other to excel at our jobs. I noticed that right from the very start.”
Even living away from home is not really an issue for Matt. “People would think that that bothers me, but I actually get to go home pretty often. Because my job is focused on one specific point, it’s easy to schedule my work. When I worked for other teams, I was responsible for a whole bunch of things and we also did more races, like the British Championship and stuff. It was very difficult to manage my time, which meant less time for family and friends. That certainly improved big time when I started working for Suzuki.”
And the language barrier, working in Belgium? No problem, so it seems. “First of all, at Suzuki all kinds of nationalities work together, so we all speak English. And Belgians outside of the company also speak English pretty fluently, so I don’t really have to push myself to learn another language.” (laughs)
Matt’s 5 fun facts:
Favourite food: Pizza, but I can’t have any right now because I’m on a diet!
Favourite music: I listen to all kinds of music, but most of the time it’s hip hop. When I’m in an extremely good mood I don’t mind listening to some classical music.
Favourite movie: I like the Ace Ventura films with Jim Carrey.
Favourite thing about working for Suzuki: People here are very clean and tidy, and just generally well organised.
Hobby: I try to keep myself fit with fitness and boxing. Boxing has always been quite close to me. I follow it attentively in England.