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Working in MotoGP: Rizla Suzuki Chief mechanic Stuart Shenton

Working in MotoGP: Rizla Suzuki Chief mechanic Stuart Shenton

The man under the spotlight in todays Working in MotoGP interview is Stuart Shenton who talks through the details of his role as a Chief mechanic for the Rizla Suzuki team.

The man under the spotlight in todays Working in MotoGP interview is Stuart Shenton who talks through the details of his role as a Chief mechanic for the Rizla Suzuki team.

Throughout the 2007 summer break Working in MotoGP will take you behind the scenes in the MotoGP paddock, as we meet a wide selection of people who play significant roles off the track in the World Championship and they reveal the specifics of their involvement in Grand Prix racing.

Shenton plays a crucial role in the Suzuki pit-box, managing John Hopkins team of mechanics and ensuring that they prepare the GSV-R800 to the highest specification for each free practice, qualifying session and race reacting to the feedback Hopkins provides about the bike at any given moment.

You have been in the sport many years, how did you come to work in the World Championship and how long have you been with the current Suzuki set-up?
Well I went to my first Grand Prix in 1975. The following year was my first full season and Ive been turning up ever since then. At first with Kawasaki, then with Honda and since 1992 with Suzuki.

Has it been tricky to keep pace with the technological development of the machinery in your time in the pit-lane?
Being here all the time has allowed me to grow with the changing technology and keep up to date with that side. If you come in new to the sport now there are a lot of things you must pick up on and it could be difficult to embrace everything at once. The constant evolution of Grand Prix bikes over the years and now week-to-week is quite phenomenal.

What riders have you worked with and who do you admire most?
Ive been lucky to work with several world champions, Kork Ballington, Wayne Gardner, Freddie Spencer and Kevin Schwantz. Its difficult to pick one out as they all had different traits and characters; however they were all determined and reached their goal of being a World Champion in different ways.

Who was the most accomplished in terms of machine set-up and gelling with the rest of the team?
Kevin Schwantz was very popular with the fans and he was also very popular with the team. He is still a part of Team Suzuki and a frequent visitor to Grands Prix. As well as our current riders Kevin is always a welcome addition to our garage.

How has the paddock changed in your years in the sport?
Its a lot bigger and busier now. As the sport has grown it has also become more professional. The one thing that has remained the same is that it is just as competitive as it always has been; we just go about things in a different way now. MotoGP puts on a good show and we have a big fan-base both at the tracks and on TV. If you mention the riders names around the world they are now more recognised and that can only be good for the sport.

What are the ins-and-outs of your current job?
I have a great team of mechanics, including tyre and data guys, fabricators and suspension engineers, so my job is just to put it all together on the day. We do spend a lot of time away and that can be a bit of a strain, but it is still a job I enjoy doing.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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