Q: You worked as a BMW factory mechanic at the Paris-Dakar Rally four times in the early 1980s and led Gaston Rahier to victory twice. What was that like?
A: If you were a motorcycle racing aficionado searching for the extreme, the Paris-Dakar Rally was the place to be. It was 21 days in Africa with no hotel, no shower, no nothing. To work without lights under a sky loaded with stars and preparing your bike for the next stage… I look back, and it was one of the most thrilling experiences I've had. Gaston was a very interesting man—very focused, very fast, but very demanding. For instance, when everything seemed perfect just two minutes before a race, he said, "My throttle is 2mm too far to the left." So the others said he's mad, he's crazy—who cares? I took my screwdriver and moved it 2mm to the right. In order to help get him to the limit, you had to give him what he wanted.