Now that the dust has settled in southern Africa, the organizers of the second International BMW Motorrad GS Trophy can relax, enjoying the knowledge that the 2010 event was an unrivalled success. From BMW Motorrad HQ in Germany, GS Trophy 2010 Project Manager Michael Trammer gives an exclusive interview about this amazing African adventure.
Just how big a logistical exercise was involved in getting everyone to Africa on time and in good shape?
Fortunately, everybody arrived in Johannesburg in a good shape, although I can’t say the same about all their luggage, some of which arrived one day later. But we had enough spare helmets and rider gear to go around, so everybody was able to start the GS Trophy on the Sunday.
How many media colleagues were present and did they also participate?
Each of the teams was accompanied by a journalist who was part of the team but did not take part in the special tests. We had a rule that the journalist would become part of the team if one of the members got injured and this actually happened to team Japan.
Did the Touratech-equipped BMW bikes stand up to the tough challenges of Africa?
Absolutely. In fact, we brought far too many spare parts with us. In the end, all we needed were some rims, clutches, a radiator and a few small parts. Apart from one bike being totally destroyed by a crash, there were no problems and no serious injuries either.
How many event staff were involved in total?
In addition to the 40 participants there were 53 others involved. We also had 14 support cars and 65 bikes with us. It sounds like a lot of people, but on reflection everyone was needed – it’s a big event and they all did a great job!
Were the locals pleased to see the Trophy passing through?
We made many contacts with locals and if you followed the same routes now, you would see many people with GS Trophy caps and T-Shirts. Even the border guards in Swaziland and Mozambique shared our enthusiasm.
Were there any problems with the bikes?
Not really. We were well prepared and the bikes performed admirably, so no ‘night shifts’ were needed by our mechanics from Touratech. Also, the Metzeler Karoo tyres easily lasted the distance.
What was the high point of the Trophy for you?
The high point was that nobody got seriously injured and that we returned to Johannesburg safely. Also, I have to say that it was great to see the satisfaction of the competitors who took part in this amazing event. It was a privilege to be part of this awesome community.
And the low point?
The low point for me was that I was not allowed to ride a bike because of a broken collarbone. That’s all!
Do you think that this event can run in the future?
That’s what we really hope. It’s worth a try for every GS rider in the world to have a go in one of the national qualifying events and to try to become a finalist for the 2012 GS Trophy. We’ll see you in 2012 somewhere on planet GS!