Meet the team: Patrick Kramer
The Marc VDS Racing Team's three riders are well known to race fans worldwide, but not so well known are the people working behind the scenes to get Scott Redding, Mika Kallio and Livio Loi out on track every weekend.
This season we’ll be introducing some of these people…
Name: Patrick Kramer
Role: Technical Coordinator
Have you always worked in racing?
Yes, pretty much. I use to race myself and then moved on to working for a team when I stopped.
Were you any good at racing?
I wasn’t too bad. The highlight was probably competing in the 24 Hours of Spa.
How would you describe your job and what are your main responsibilities?
Basically I am responsible for ensuring that we have all the technical parts we need to go racing, such as the frames, the bodywork and all the small parts on the bike. On one side I work closely with the Moto2 and Moto3 chief mechanics, to ensure they have everything they need, but I also work together with our technical partners and suppliers, to make sure we always have a stock of spare parts on hand.
What is the best part of your job?
There are many good things about my job, but I always get a good feeling when I see the bikes roll out on track for the first test of the year, because the build up to a new season is probably my busiest time.
What is the worst part of your job?
There’s nothing I don’t like about my job, but the long hours are sometimes difficult, especially when you get many long days in a row. There can be quite a lot of pressure at certain times too. When we have a technical problem or a rider crashes during a race weekend then it can be quite stressful until the problem is solved or the bike is rebuilt ready for the next track session.
What has been your most memorable race with the Marc VDS Racing Team and why?
I’d have to say Indianapolis in 2010. We went there not really knowing what to expect, only for Scott to ride a great race to secure his – and the team’s – first ever podium finish. It was a fantastic feeling after what had been a difficult start to our first season in Moto2.
What, in your opinion, is the most important attribute a rider must have if they are to be World Champion?
Any rider who makes it to GP racing has proved they have the talent, but nowadays it’s not just about the rider, although they remain the biggest part of the equation. The bike is important, as is the team working for the rider. A lot of things have to come together before a rider is able to use his talent to win a World Championship.
Who, in your opinion, is the greatest rider of all time?
I’d have to say Valentino Rossi. He’s had two difficult years at Ducati, but before that he was very fast, very consistent and highly motivated. I think with his move back to Yamaha we’ll see something of the pre-Ducati Rossi again this season.
If you could swap places with someone in the team for one day, who would it be?
It would have to be one of the riders. If you work in racing then to actually race the bikes you work on every day would be incredible. A day would be enough though, as I wouldn’t fancy the pressure of having to get good results every weekend!
Quick Fire questions
All time favourite singer or band?
Phil Collins… No, it’s Queen actually.
The last CD you bought, or track you downloaded?
I don’t remember, but it was probably something by Nirvana.
What subjects were you good at in school?
How many languages can you speak?
I speak French and English.
Your friends go parachuting; do you go with them?
Tea or Coffee?
A good book, or fire up the Playstation?
Probably a good book, as I’m not really into video games.
James Bond or Jason Bourne?
Who is Jason Bourne?
Red or white?