Motocross

Steven Powell: The Privateer Way

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Steven Powell is a well know name around the professional motocross paddock having been a mechanic for teams like No Fear Honda, Motorex KTM, Red Bull Honda, Suzuki to name a few.

Powlley at work, above the SP Motorpsorts Rig.

Powell is also an A grade motocross rider himself having competed on the National circuit. 2009 sees the Victorian launch his new business, SP Motorsport, which follows a concept that the other motorsports dispiplines have used for years where his company will supply you with transport and management at the Australian Motocross Championship for a fee and all you do is turn up and ride.

 

Insider: So people know what your business does, what is it exactly that you offer.

 

Steven Powell: In short we are a privateer team, you could say i am the stepping stone between the "Hi Ace Van" which you do it all yourself and the support truck where all you have to worry about is riding.

 

Insider: So if for example i am a guy that wants to do the Nationals your job is to take the stress out and make it cheaper in the long run?

 

Steven Powell: Yes, we have a few riders on board so it helps spread the costs around. The rider gets full use of the transporter and everything in it. We run a few different tiered programs. You bring me a Honda, Yamaha, whatever you may have on race plan. We look after it maintain it, prepare it and transport it. On race day the rider has to supply someone to look after the bike and rider on the day. pretty much the whole concept is that i present you with a factory prepared bike, look after it and get it there. The rider gets to fly in and fly out without the hassle of transporting and managing their bike. I take it back to the workshop, strip it down as i would have done when i was working with the teams. I supply things like oil and air filters, fuel etc that are used to maintain the bike. We don't supply hard parts such as broken bits and tyres etc but we do fit them as part of the package.

 

Insider: I see Byrners Motorcycles all over the place, are thy part of the set-up.

 

Steven Powell: No this is my own deal, i am a privateer team. Byrners supply bikes to certain riders such as Michael Menchi and Lee Ellis. I then have a couple of other guys on board who ride for me. They supply their bikes or will organize it for them. You can give me a bike, i can help with a Suzuki, and i can supply and engine suspension, whatever the needs may be or you can come to me with a bike that has Krooz Tune suspension and a Harry Bell engine and say hey i want to do the 8 round's of the motocross championship and we will look after you.

 

Insider: The system has been used for years in say Formula Ford. Do you offer the same sort of deal where there are set packages?

 

Steven Powell: It averages out to be between $2500 and $3000 per round, so your talking roughly around 20 to 25 grand for the Motocross Nationals season. The way that we structure the payment program is to also try and take some of the load off. We don't ask for the whole payment up front. We ask for 3 rounds up front and a series entry. After that we stay two rounds ahead. This allows me enough time to find another rider if one has an injury and it helps the client to not be out of pocket to much.

 

Insider: Is there a limit to the number of riders you can cater for?

 

Steven Powell: No not really. I would just add a trailer to the truck. So really we would just keep growing. I can carry ten in the truck and 4 in the trailer.

 

Insider: I guess, besides the convenience, the other main selling point is your experience. You have been around a long time and worked at the very top with the best riders. What comes along with the deal from that point?

 

Steven Powell: During the week the workshop is pretty busy getting bikes and stuff ready so i send a driver with the truck. I actually fly into the meetings with the riders. I have an association with Steve Cramer Products and a few others so you get fairly good discounts and can kit a bike out a lot cheaper. So you are also getting all my contacts i have built up over the years.

 

Insider: What about from the riding point of view. Do you offer support there?

 

Steven Powell: I am here to oversea all my bikes and riders, so when they are out there practicing i keep an eye on them. If i see things like the way the bike is handling or how it is running or even the way they are riding i will suggest things to them or their mechanic. So yes all that sort of advice is there for them.

 

Insider: How has the uptake been so far?

 

Steven Powell: I have got six guy's on board so far. Two Under 19's, two Pro Lites and tow Pro Open's. We just lot a Pro Open with Lee Ellis breaking his leg.

 

Insider: This will be your first season so has the initial launch been successful enough for you to look further down the track?

 

Steven Powell: Yes for sure. At the moment we are seeking expressions of interest for the 2009 Super-X season.

 

Insider: Well it seems to be going well so we wish you all the best with it

 

Steven Powell: Thanks. We have taken a big risk and put a lot on the line but yes it's doing ok and i am looking forward to the future. Thanks Gaz

If you would like to talk to Steven you can call him on: 0427 112 161

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