Interview: Jeremy Seewer on adapting to the Kawasaki and getting back on the box

Images: Nigel McKinstry | Interview: Andy McKinstry

It has been a pretty difficult start to the season for Jeremy Seewer but finally he got closer to his true level in Maggiora finishing on the podium with a third overall. Some relief and happiness for the Swiss rider and he’ll hope to progress in the second half of the season.

We caught up with Seewer which you can read, listen or watch below:

GateDrop: Jeremy, much more like it. It must be a bit of relief and happiness to be up there on the podium again…

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Seewer: Yeah, sure… I mean, still we are not where we should be really, you know? I mean the gap is still big. I wasn’t really in the fight up front and I got it with a bit by luck with Jorge crashing out. But still you have got to be there, you know. But yeah, this is a good step in the right direction. We kept it together and yeah, finished P3 overall. So now we just need to go back to work with a bit of extra motivation also for the crew, for everybody. So yeah, let’s make it happen now.

GateDrop: I would say we haven’t seen the real Jeremy Seewer so far this season. What would you put that down to, from your side?

Seewer: Well, it’s tough to say that. But yeah, I haven’t been the real me. But it’s just I didn’t feel one yet with the bike. We tried so many things and I mean the team is trying hard. They do a really good job. It’s just I’ve been a long time on another brand and somehow we just didn’t find the Jeremy Seewer magic yet. The 450 class, I mean, I’m doing well, you know. It’s not that I’m finishing 15th. I’m always just there.

But it’s like if you want to be in the top three, it’s just this is MXGP, you know. And yeah, we got to work on the setup and on the combination to find the magic. But like I said, I think today we were better.

Image: Nigel McKinstry

GateDrop: It seems like the Japanese are working really hard for you. So they’re trying. What’s it like working with Antti as well? He’s obviously a former rider, so he’s probably been through things like this… Is he able to help you a little bit?

Seewer: You know, on the team side, I’m super happy the way they are very professional. Just the things around the rider are super easy. Travelling is, I never had such a routine around me in terms of the normal things, you know. The struggle, like I said, was just on the setup where Antti and the crew doesn’t have much to say. That comes from Japan, you know. And this, I think, just maybe is a bit normal that it takes time to find each other.

I mean, Romain, the last few years, he had his setup. And then, obviously, I start with what he has, because that’s what they have in the team. But then we find out, ah, that’s not what works for me because my riding style is completely different. Then that whole process starts and it’s not done in one week. That’s just the point, you know.

GateDrop: I mean, this season has been crazy. Mud, mud and more mud. Thank goodness today was dry, but you must be sick of the sight of the stuff…

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Seewer: It’s almost normal here with the rain now. In the past, it was raining. Ah, mud race, okay. There’s one or two races a year usually, max. Now we had like six or something, so it’s getting normal. I’m not really bad in the mud, so for me, it’s okay. But still, it’s not really the most fun to ride a bike, you know.

GateDrop: When you signed with Kawasaki, there was nothing about how many years you signed for in the press release. Could you just confirm – is it a one-year deal? Have you got an option?

Seewer: That’s actually quite open, you know. We said, okay, let’s start a collaboration, and then we decide how we get along, you know, and how things work out. But I think soon we need to decide how many years this is going to be.

GateDrop: What was the track like today? Obviously, so much rain. I feel like they’ve done a good job to keep it dry. It looked rock hard, it looked really, really hard to ride.

Seewer: Honestly, I think we are lucky we were in Maggiora with that amount of rain yesterday. Like, any other track would have been still full wet now. The way how the hills are and stuff, how they can scrape the mud out on the bottom, it was okay today. Just a bit one line and stuff because, yeah, that’s the conditions, you know. It was very hard because they kept it hard that the water doesn’t go in. So second moto, a few places were super sketchy, like you said. But I think, like you said also, they did a really good job to keep it more or less okay and safe.

GateDrop: I’m not sure if you would have read them, but some quotes came out from Jeffrey Herlings during the week about MXGP safety. Is that something you’d like to comment on, just about the safety this season in regards to track prep and then obviously a few riders with the medical stuff…

Image: Nigel McKinstry

Seewer: Well, I’m always honest, you know me.

GateDrop: You might get in trouble…

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Seewer: Yeah, you get in trouble… I get in trouble if I’m really taking my filters off. But, I mean, there’s always two sides. I hear also some stories and they are not acceptable and I think in some small areas MXGP really should try to improve on safety. One is like the flag story, like with the marshals, because lately I’ve seen, especially in France, we have seen some crazy stuff which shouldn’t have happened, like with Benistant and all these things, which I think you can’t really blame the riders. Because I think what many don’t realize is how fast we go nowadays. Unbelievable. These are tracks, they are here for whatever, 50 years. But the bikes are also so fast. The last 10 years the speed got that much faster that many things which were safe are not safe anymore. Now if I go straight or if I crash, it’s serious. There are things in the way which they don’t even think about, because like I say, even 10 years ago it wasn’t the case.

I think they just need to try and come out of that and think further. I mean, and then sure there are many things to improve. But, you know, from outside to say it’s always easy. If you are in there, it’s a different story to make it happen. So, yeah, it’s a tricky thing, but I sure think there can be improvements.

GateDrop: I think Loungo and Davy Coombs are in talks, I don’t know when it’s going to happen, about an AMA and MXGP combo race… It would be pretty cool for the sport. What would your thoughts be on that in the future?

Seewer: For the sport, amazing. I mean, it would be cool. I just hope they don’t add another race, especially for us.

GateDrop: I think it would be part of the calendar…

Seewer: Yeah, I hope so… Because already for the US guys, they have a tough season now with SMX. And us with 20 GPs and two days, you know, it’s not easy.