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25 Noiembrie, ziua KTM

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Dementor

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deschiderea-oficiala

25 noiembrie ziua KTM in Bucuresti
Miercuri 25 noiembrie, ora 12.00 isi va deschide oficial portile Dementor (Soseau Pipera Nr.48), unicul dealer KTM din Bucuresti si Sud-Estul Romaniei.
Te asteptam alaturi de noi la prezentarea gamei 2010 a constructorului austriac de motociclete si a masinii KTM X-BOW (model realizat impreuna cu Volkswagen AG care cantareste in versiunea Spuerlight 784 de kg si are un motor de 1,984 cmc ce dezvolta 240 CP).
Pentru ca Dementor isi doreste sa fie mai mult decat un dealer de motociclete va sprijini sportul moto din Romania ajutand la crearea unei noi pepiniere pentru motocross. Iar prin Scoala Dementor oricine va putea lua lectii de motocross, enduro si supermoto; din instructorii scolii facand parte si Adrian Raduta campion national de motocross si pilot oficial Dementor in sezonul 2010. In cadrul evenimentului de miercuri, Adi Raduta va primi motocicleta cu care va participa sezonul viitor in Campionatul European de Motocross.
La deschiderea oficiala Dementor vor fi prezenti si trei membrii Vectra Racing, Marcel Butuza, Alex Garbacea si Romeo Duicu, piloti care se vor implica si ei in Scoala Dementor impartasindu-le cursantilor din experienta acumulata in Campionatul Mondial de Rally-Raid, in raliul Dakar sau in competitiile de enduro extrem.
In zilele imediat urmatorare deschiderii oficiale (26,27,28 noiembrie) Dementor a pregatit, pentru cei care vor sa devina membrii ai marii familii portocalii, un discount de 30% pentru orice produs achizitionat. Iar in ziua inaugruarii la ora 18.00 toti posesorii de KTM sunt invitati la un party portocaliu.

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    • De Dementor
      Glenn Coldenhoff: First goal for 2018 – Getting his bike license
      He’s on the bike almost every single day, though he hasn’t got a road bike license. Mind you, for the races on motocross tracks MXGP rider Glenn Coldenhoff doesn’t need one either. Still, he’s keen to get himself that license nonetheless. During the preparations for the 2018 season he’s set himself the goal of passing his bike test.
      As one of the top riders in the KTM Factory Racing Team, Glenn Coldenhoff frequently visits the most daring motocross tracks in the world, fighting to claim as many world championship points as he can along the way. All of those rides without a license, simply because he doesn’t need that piece of plastic to do so. The 27-year-old from Holland wanted to get himself that license regardlessly. “I do quite a bit of enduro every once in a while and for that you do require a license. That’s why I started taking bike lessons,” the MXGP-rider explains.
      Coldenhoff went and found himself a riding school nearby that specializes in motorcycle lessons. “And they had to be flexible enough for me to take the classes in between season preparations. Planning the lessons and tests took a bit of an effort,” he concludes.
      Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) © Shot Up Productions
      The Dutch motocross rider, riding for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, starts the conquest for the license with a bike control test (known in Holland as the AVB test). Since he already has his driver’s license, he was greenlit to start with the practical part of his riding lessons right away. If you don’t have a car license, you have to pass the theoretical exam first before you’re allowed on the bike. “It was the absolute first time getting on a street bike; all I’m used to is MX and enduro bikes. That definitely took a bit of getting used to, since it does really feel a bit odd at first. I did get a hang of it quite quickly, which meant I made pretty rapid progress after that.”
      Riding instructor and owner of Rijschool Roy, Roy Amendt, concurs; Glenn really is something else. “Practice was hardly required to get him ready for his first bike control test.” Just two hours into his lessons, he was ready to check the first box on the road to getting his license. A box checked with ease, which meant his theoretical exam was up next. “It had been awhile since I had to study for anything. Being abroad pretty much all winter, meant it wasn’t easy putting the hours into studying. The week before I took my theory test I was in Italy and strapped for time. That alone made me nervous for the actual test, much more than my bike control test.”
      Roy Amendt (NED) KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R & Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) KTM 1090 ADVENTURE © Shot Up Productions
      One early Tuesday in December, Coldenhoff checks in for his test at the CBR (Central Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen; the governmental department in charge of every single type of vehicle license in The Netherlands) in the city of Eindhoven. The testing method has changed a bit over the last few years. Since 2015 every single candidate has their own little cubicle, but they’re still in a big room together, whereas in the past there’d be big screens and everyone was side by side. Irene Heldens, spokesperson at the CBR: “In the past candidates would be sitting in this big classroom getting the same questions. That had a few big drawbacks, for instance because you could only take a bike test in that room, unlike the new system where someone getting their bike test could be sitting next to someone getting a tractor driving license.” Riding instructor Roy Amendt also quite likes the new system. “We’re one of the few riding schools in the area that actually instructs year round. Before, students had to wait a long time before they could take their theoretical test, as they’d plan a lot less bike exams during the winter. The demand was simply too low, because a lot of instructors wouldn’t teach during that time of year. Now anyone willing to take their theoretical bike test can be squeezed in between people getting their theoretical test for instance a car license. Works like a charm.”
      Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) © Shot Up Productions
      Not the same
      Half an hour later Glenn Coldenhoff comes back out of the classroom with a faint smile. “Cutting it close,” he says. “I answered six of them wrong; the exact number you’re allowed to fail on. But it’s in the bag at first attempt fortunately.” For a moment it looked like the motocross racer from North-Brabant (the southern Dutch province that produces most of the current top riders from The Netherlands) had to open yet another book over the winter. “I was looking to get my boating license as well, but I decided not to for now. It’s even more difficult and I just wouldn’t know where I’d find the time.”
      With the second box checked Coldenhoff is all but ready to take to the streets; only his AVD (the actual road test) remains. He has an appointment set at the end of January to conclude the Dutch trinity of getting your bike license. You’d expect a professional like him to focus most of his time practicing on the street bike, but then you’d be wrong. The Dutchman has been training abroad for most of the month, getting ready to come out swinging this season. “We’re getting on at the moment. I’m free of injuries now, so that’s a really good start!” Since his season preparations are of a higher priority than getting his road license, he hardly has time left to practice for it. Luckily, he’s got a bit bike skill at hand, but getting out in traffic is a whole different story. Even though he’s been making his way through Europe in a car for a while already, the KTM rider found it hard doing so on a bike. A single day before his test instructor Hendrik Britting gave the Dutchman some valuable tips. The first hour of riding didn’t go to his liking. “I know how to ride a bike and I’ve been driving cars for quite some time, too. So I didn’t think much of it, but even with those experiences in mind, I struggled a bit,” Coldenhoff says. “It’s knowing where to look, and braking with four fingers even. Normally I’d have plenty of stopping power using just two fingers, but they’re pretty strict on using all four. Oh, and using the mirrors; that completely different from what I’m used to in a car.” Thanks to Britting’s professional counseling ‘The Hoff’ starts feeling more and more at ease on the public roads on the KTM 1090 ADVENTURE. “This is a good bike, by the way. I have no frame of reference whatsoever, but I really do like it.”
      Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) KTM 1090 ADVENTURE © Shot Up Productions
      Small details
      After just two hours of riding class Coldenhoff dismounts the KTM to head to Germany for another training session on his trusted KTM 450 SX-F. “You can really tell he’s got the feeling for riding a bike; there’s hardly anything we can teach him there,” instructor Britting remarks. “But public roads, there’s no use in comparing it to an MX track. Glenn found it hard to work around in the beginning but after that he picked up on it pretty quickly. So I reckon he’ll do just fine at his final bike test. Tomorrow we’ll go through a few small details and then I think it should be a walk in the park.”
      Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) KTM 1090 ADVENTURE & Roy Amendt (NED) KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R © Shot Up Productions
      Another early morning for another bike test. But first a bit of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. Instructor Roy Amendt: “We’re going to head to the CBR, but we’ll be taking the long way there. Just to focus on small details.” Arriving at the testing center, both men are looking confident. With just three hours of classes on the road under his belt, the Dutch MX rider feels ready to go and get it. “If he rides like he did on the way over here, he’ll be fine. He is a bit cautious, more than you’d expect from a professional racer like him.” The KTM rider agrees. “Weird, huh? Yesterday I had a moment exiting the highway when I got stuck behind a truck. I did follow the rules; I did it by the book. But it was the cautiousness that caught me out. All I could think was I should just play by the rules, ride the way I’d expect an assessor would want me to ride.”
      He was worried for nothing, when CBR-assessor Krispijn Klappe watched on for half an hour only to hold out his hand at the end. He had passed. Klappe: “A bit cautious to my liking, but a pass nonetheless.” Smiles all around, as the top motocross rider proved he’s also capable of handling a bike on the open road. However, Coldenhoff would likely stick to gravel roads and on enduro trails. “I don’t think you’ll be seeing me on the road much. I really went and took my test to ride enduro legally. But it is nice to know I’m now qualified to take to the public roads whenever I feel like it.”
      Roy Amendt (NED), Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) & Krispijn Klappe (NED) © Shot Up Productions
      European regulations
      As long as there’s been a European Union, there have been those for and those against it, but the fact remains that Europe decides on the licensing system. It is good to know the EU is advised by the CIECA (Commission Internationale des Examens de Conduite Automobile), a collection of examination institutes from all over Europe.
      We’ve seen the introduction of certain uniformity in how licensing works since 2011. Getting a bike license has been split up into three phases. In many European countries you’re allowed to ride an A1 category bike at the age of sixteen. It means you’re allowed to ride a bike that has no more than 125cc and 11 kilowatts of power. Weight plays a part too, as you can’t have more than 0.11 kilowatts per kilogram. There are a few exceptions to the A1 regulation. Belgium and The Netherlands for instance require a rider to be eighteen years old.
      Following the A1 category is the A2 license, which candidates are allowed to take by the age of twenty. You can ride a bike with a maximum power output of 35 kilowatts as well as no more than 0.2 kW per kilogram. After two years in the A2 class you’re allowed to move to the A category – the full license. Both transitions (A1 to A2 and A2 to a full A license) requires taking another riding test. Looking to get a full license first time out? That is possible. In most countries you are required to be at least 24 years of age.
      Recently they’ve added a new option, known as Code 80. That allows you to take your test and have a full license when you´re 21 years old. Your license will be branded with the Code 80 and after two years on a lighter machine you are by law allowed to have the code removed and ride a full power motorcycle. When you turn 24, the code is automatically removed. Biggest advantage comes from the fact that you’re no longer required to take yet another expensive bike test to move up a category.
      Though the EU regulates the rules regarding vehicle licenses, this Code 80 rule has been adapted differently all over the continent. Want to know how the rules affect you in your country? Check out this list containing all the information you might need to pass your bike test.
      Special Thanks to JTX Racing, CBR, and Rijschool Roy for their rapid service and kind cooperation.
      Photos: Shot Up Productions
    • De Dementor
      Tickle’s tips for tackling Supercross
      Red Bull KTM’s new star in the high-profile AMA Supercross series shares his thoughts and opinions on what it takes to run with the best ‘Indoors’ and in the midst of one of the most popular motorcycle racing championships in the world.
      Broc Tickle (USA) San Diego (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby
      It is very easy to be awed by Supercross: the sense of occasion, the setting (inside Major League Baseball and NFL stadiums), the ‘showy’ aspect and the sheer number of spectators (averaging around 50,000 per Saturday evening and for the seventeen rounds run in nineteen weeks across the USA). However, it is on the tracks themselves that the magic really happens. Up close it is hard to believe that riders can achieve that speed, h and distance and defy physics in manipulation of their 450cc motorcycles. Add intense racing – where twenty athletes are separated by mere inches both on the ground and through the air – and it seems like a violent dance of glorious madness.
      As reigning champions, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing are one of the principal ‘honey pots’ of the AMA paddock where the fans gather to eye the robust machinery as well as the refined individuals that need optimum physical and mental conditioning to attempt such a sport.
      We asked 28-year-old Broc Tickle, a former 250 SX West Champion and now into his first term on the KTM 450 SX-F alongside Marvin Musquin to tell us about the three principle – and obvious – requirements that Supercross demands: technique, fitness and bravery.
      Broc Tickle (USA, #20) & Marvin Musquin (FRA, #25) KTM 450 SX-F 2018 © Simon Cudby
      1. Making it happen
      A Supercross layout appears to leave very little room for error. The rolling jumps, landings, rhythm sections, banked ‘switchbacks’ and whoops all seem like a recipe for disaster if the slightest misjudgement occurs. How exactly does a rider execute a rapid lap considering that the motorcycle is in the air for almost half of the time? At an even simpler level: how do they know the power and distance needed to make a jump?
      “It is a feeling that you have to learn,” says Tickle. “Somebody that hasn’t ridden Supercross might think ‘you have to hit a triple fast …’ and the truth is that you don’t have to; most obstacles – especially on a 450 – are not very difficult. We could probably jump everything in first gear. Over time, you learn, and you get your feet wet with different bikes, especially if you have been doing it as long as I have! Trying Supercross for the first time with a 450 is probably not the best idea!”
      Broc Tickle (USA) KTM 450 SX-F Oakland (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby
      “I actually didn’t ride much Supercross or Arenacross before I turned pro so it was a big learning curve for me and I did it the hard way in the first few years. You see kids riding Supercross now with 80s [cc bikes]. Anyway, the main thing is timing, and not rushing it. On a 450 it is about carrying momentum and obviously the track is going to break down a lot for us during a Main Event, so bike setup and being clean with your jumps is important.”
      2. Being capable of making it happen
      Thanks to informative systems like LitPro, Supercross audiences can now see the speeds and personal data of racers like heartrate. 450 SX Main Events might only last 20 minutes and 1 lap but it is not surprising to learn that athletes are running at almost ‘maximum’ in that time. At Anaheim 2 and round three of the 2018 campaign 250 SX rider Christian Craig was chartered at a staggering 200bpm while racing. As Tickle reveals, being in shape to complete a race is one thing but extra reserves are needed to push extra boundaries. Supreme fitness and condition is also essential for matters like injury prevention for those close-call ‘moments’.
      “Supercross is more intense [than Motocross] and requires an extra focus to keep you at the point where you can push and not clip jumps, over-jump and make mistakes,” says the rider from North Carolina. “It all comes down to focus and if you lose that for a moment with the pace we are pushing now then it can lead to a ‘big one’.”
      “Outdoors [Motocross] is about gritting-it-out whereas Supercross is about feeling and flow; it is twenty minutes plus a lap and I never really feel like I am too winded. When you don’t ride Supercross all summer and you go back to it then you’re like ‘whoah! What am I doing?!’ and you’re holding your breath in your whoops and rhythm sections: breathing is really important in Supercross and it doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or you have been doing it for a while.”
      Broc Tickle (USA) KTM 450 SX-F San Diego (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby
      Offroad motorcycling tends to push and wear most of the muscles groups in the body. The rigors of Supercross with the take-offs, landings, impacts and scrapes mean it is all-embracing and all-punishing. “I kinda enjoy that ‘wore down’ feeling to be honest; I use it as extra motivation to push through and I’ve learned that from training with Aldon [Baker] and the guys,” Broc says. “Every time we hit the track then it is about [giving] ‘everything you have’, that’s the goal. Put in the time and do it right. In the past, I’d still do my motos at the track but almost go through the motions and taper it off. Going down there to Florida [Bakers Factory] … it was tough a few times because I wasn’t flowing, not clearing jumps, the dirt is sandy and choppy. I had a lot of tough days down there but it has built me into what I am now and I always gave 100 %.”
      3. Wanting to make it happen
      “This is my eleventh year [of Supercross] so I should be fine with it by now but the first time after a summer of Motocross I am always nervous at the Supercross track. Then, after the first session, I’m like ‘it’s not that bad …’. During the season, race-to-race, you’ll see an obstacle and start to think about it … but that’s when you click into focus and know that you are not coming to an event to finish tenth. I think you almost have to overestimate what can be done on a track sometimes.”
      Tickle makes an exaggerated positive gesture when we ask if the sport still makes him think twice or harbor occasional fear. Racers need to be able to have the personal tools to do the job and match those physical assets with the mental desire to engage in a sporting pursuit with a high level of risk. “There are certain scenarios where you watch a race and you think ‘they’re close!’ but when you are in the moment it doesn’t feel that way,” he assures. “Or if you have a ‘moment’ … it feels quite natural. Everything is very tight in Supercross right now. Almost every rider in the Main Event has a factory bike or a well-supported team and it is all very close. I think the tracks have been mellowed because the bikes are so good now that we could pretty much jump anything. I think they [the promoters] are trying to achieve a balance of good racing and being able to keep everybody around [injury-free]. Personally, I have always built up as the season goes on. The margin for issues is so small. You have to be in tune with yourself and what is going on around you.
      Broc Tickle (USA) KTM 450 SX-F Houston (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby
      Supercross carries grand spoils and a profile unmatched in motorcycle offroad racing (the last three multiple champions Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey all retired in their mid-to-late twenties) however outside of the top elite, the risk-versus-reward aspect can be skewed. Those twenty hopefuls at the gate every Saturday night between January and May have made – and continue to make – big sacrifices to be under the stadium lights but it seems that most have a grounded realization of what the whole show is about.
      “It is important to be able to sit back and see where you are because it can be frustrating at times,” Tickle says. “You are always putting in the work and you have to appreciate things. It is awesome we are able to come here and do this, to be honest with you.”
      Photos: Simon Cudby
    • De Dementor
      READY TO RACE MXGP: Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Motocross Team video release
      The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team is ready for MXGP 2018.
      Tony Cairoli (ITA) KTM 450 SX-F 2018 © Ray Archer
      With a few pre-season events to warm up under their belt, the orange squad is focusing on the countdown to the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Neuquen, Argentina. From the deep sand of Sardinia, to the wintry conditions of Hawkstone Park and with just a few more races to go, the testing is almost complete ready for the 19 Grands Prix events that lie ahead.
      Take a look at this year’s team in the all-new video with the line-up of Tony Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings, Glenn Coldenhoff, Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado.
      [embedded content]
      Photo: Ray Archer
      Video: DGProductions

    • De Dementor
      Interview of the Month: The Ringmaster – Aldon Baker
      When KTM secured the exclusive services of the most revered trainer in Supercross and Motocross KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer was moved to say: “Now the package is complete.” Aldon Baker is a name that evokes fear, desire, confidence and respect in AMA racing. We asked him about his ‘orange’ union, his work and the future of motocross training …
      Aldon Baker (RSA) 2017 © Ray Archer
      KTM North America’s HQ sits quietly and plush in a suburb of Murrieta, California. Almost 3000 miles across the country and in the depths of Florida a more furious type of work – essential to the Red Bull racing wing of that operation – is taking place. Aldon Baker’s ‘Bakers Factory’ complex has been the sole domain of KTM AG athletes for over a year. The South African, who indirectly exerted his influence over the sport due to prolific alliances with Ricky Carmichael, James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey (as well as working with racers such as former MotoGPTM world champion, the late Nicky Hayden), is now marshalling names like Marvin Musquin, Broc Tickle, Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne. A ‘Baker-crafted’ talent has won every 450 SX championship since 2010.
      “From 2010 we worked hard: we built a new workshop, we got Roger [De Coster], we created a completely new bike and we got better riders,” recounts KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer of the origins of Baker becoming orange. “We were missing the trainer … and if we missed a championship then it was probably because Aldon was working with somebody else! But we also won championships with him on our side.”
      “It was a target that at one time seemed unreachable when we first had it on the agenda but at the beginning of this year we got more and more riders to him and in the end we could finally close a deal in January that there would be nobody else in his camp apart from KTM and Husqvarna riders,” he adds. “It means we cannot create a better base for a rider. If you come to us you get a good bike, team and the best trainer. We can offer a package that is really important. It took seven years for me to get all these people together to run such an operation and I think it is something that can make us strong in the future.”
      Aldon Baker (RSA) 2017 © Ray Archer
      Baker’s knowledge and work ethic and the subsequent results with his athletes have made him the most sought-after specialist away from a toolbox. Osborne has publicly commented on the ‘power of association’ of working with Aldon both in terms of the mental boost for the rider and the sense of foreboding for rivals on the track. Entering the Baker program however required unwavering levels of commitment.
      “For sure I was scared!” half-jokes Musquin. “I did not know what to expect. In the beginning it was Roger De Coster’s idea. He said ‘I’d like you to meet Aldon and consider working with him and making a step mentally and physically in your program’. To be honest I was really curious about how it would be and I knew I’d need to move to Florida. I knew it would be a big change. Today I have no regrets. It helped me straight off in the first year. I had more confidence and I won a Supercross championship right away. It was fun to move to a new state and see new things and new tracks and riding with other riders: training all together was a big benefit.”
      Marvin Musquin (FRA) & Aldon Baker (RSA) 2017 © Ray Archer
      If Baker initially made inroads through the conditioning and fortitude of his ‘clients’ then he recently made another through the ‘factory’s’ policy of encouraging and asking top-level athletes and fellow competitors to train together. “It was like ‘racing’ at the practice track,” reveals Musquin, “and that’s what we do with Anderson, Osborne and Tickle now … it is a good structure.”
      “This whole sport has evolved, jeez, when I first started there were no trainers and I gained some ground and saw what worked,” says Baker, sipping on a bottle of water in the heat of the Las Vegas paddock for the 2017 Monster Energy Cup. “Back in the day I would never have put two good riders together. That was not the mentality. I think to get the level up you would have had to do that but who would have been willing then? It was a challenge, and now it is kinda the norm where good riders are working together.”
      “I think it is good for the sport to create that level. The improvements in bikes and machinery [are so great] that we now need to improve the athlete to keep up and that’s one of the ways to do it.”
      Marvin Musquin (FRA) KTM 450 SX-F Anaheim (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby
      The factory, located in Sumter County, is Baker’s biggest move towards a future plan of working with other trainers as much as the riders themselves. “My goal is to get out of being a ‘one-man show’ and to develop a business. And part of that is having the full-circle and being able to bring in new guys and develop them. Having a team will create longevity,” he says. Stamping the complex with KTM AG insignia was another part of that process. “It has probably been the biggest turning point for me in regards to what I do in the industry,” he opines. “The deal came into the forefront when I was developing the facility because it is a massive undertaking and to have them backing that and wanting to be part of that is huge.”
      “I remember thinking ‘I just need one Supercross track and an outdoors track …’ and now we are up to three Supercross and two outdoor tracks! It depends how big the land is but right now it’s to the limit of what I envisaged. It could never happen in California due to the [cost/availability of] land but if you look at it then most of our races are towards the east coast, so it makes sense to be in Florida. We have the workshops and the tracks but at some point I’d like to have the machine shop and suspension bay and the full deal. I think as the relationship grows KTM will see how important it is developing the riders … I believe they are a company that is ‘all-in’ when it comes to that side of the sport.”
      Aldon is talkative. He has his views on Ryan Dungey (“I felt he could have done more years for sure. But I also know that when an athlete is going to question things then this is not good. If he had not been as successful as he was then he wouldn’t have quit. Ryan also wanted to have a family and he knew that would be hard to do in his situation. I think all of those put together meant that he made a good call.”) as well as on Jeffrey Herlings who he met briefly before the Dutchman won the last AMA Pro National of 2017 and the US GP in Florida (“man, he is committed and does a lot more than anyone else wants to do. He has the right attitude and it worked out well.”). He chats handling multiple race winners (“I think you eventually get a feeling for the right feedback at the right time and you have to be upfront with all the athletes. I think you need to have that respect factor, and that they trust you. From them there is always that worry of ‘are you helping him more than me’ and the answer is ‘no, I’m trying to help you all attain the best’. It is a balance and sometimes it is not an easy job.”) and his possible future influence in Europe (“I am getting to the stage now where I need to start training other trainers and that does include Europe and of course KTM and Husqvarna are open to that. There is a big umbrella. We need to work on some logistics but I do see it happening in the future.”).
      Aldon Baker (RSA) & Ryan Dungey (USA) Las Vegas (USA) 2017 © Simon Cudby
      But we also want to chip away at some of that expertise when it comes to all that work in the gym and track. Are there still areas and fields for him to master? “If it was just about the training, so the cardio and the exercises then, heck, I have good enough ratios and information about the physiology of what the body is doing [not to worry] … but [the next stage] it is the mental side, the character of the athlete and the evolution of the sport,” he advocates. “What I did with Ricky back in the day would not work now. I’ve had to change things and try to learn. I have a lot more data to use and just watching motorcycling then you learn. A lot of it is on the track still: to make them sharp and fast and get them up to a level. The training is part of that … but it is a combination of everything and if you don’t have the circumstances to push that – which means the facility and a good team to provide the machinery and technical backing to be able to push all the time – then it is not easy.”
      Baker certainly remains open to the latest technology and methods to diversify his feedback and to explore new waters. Where next?
      “I think it is psychology,” he offers. “Something like nutrition has evolved and we know a lot more than we used to. The cool thing is that we now have a lot more tools to use, like these GPS systems to find better lines and see where speed can be won. Before it was just a stopwatch and looking at the track but technology has moved and it has been a big step forward, especially if you are watching four guys. It helps a lot.”
      With almost two decades invested into Motocross Baker has developed a passion for what he does and the sport itself. He clearly has a path and objectives set for his professional life and development but what moves a man with so much success and such a potent reputation to keep on striving. “I think everyone at this level has talent and ability but helping them to really reach their goals is the fulfilment for me,” he defines. “If a guy retires under his terms and has done enough and won enough and reached his goals then that’s a real achievement.”
      Aldon Baker (RSA), Mathilde & Marvin Musquin (FRA) & Frank Latham (USA) 2017 © Ray Archer
      Photos: Ray Archer | Simon Cudby
    • De Dementor
      His last road to Dakar #4: “I’m glad to have been a part of this Rally Dakar”
      We followed Jurgen van den Goorbergh in his run up to his final Rally Dakar entry; his final attempt at winning the Malle Moto class. Obviously we’re very curious as to how the Dutchman got on in 2018’s rally. The former MotoGPTM rider spills his guts on the hardship of the most grueling rally raid in the world.
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      First of all, congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line, coming 41st. You have to be proud, right?
      “It turned out to be a good end to my Dakar career. Well, the last try on a motorcycle anyway. Who knows, I might go back one day, just not on two wheels; no way. I’m glad to have been a part of this Rally Dakar, though. It was a tough one, but a good one as well. It kind of makes me proud, knowing I made it to the end on a bike I’ve built. That makes it that bit more special, even though I didn’t quite finish too high up on the leader boards because of it. I had to be careful, because above all I wanted to finish. Breaking down was not really an option. That did mean I didn’t quite come out as well as I had originally intended. I blocked that out very quickly. I came here to fight for the Malle Moto class title, but just six days in I realized that was a bridge too far. After that, I didn’t really care anymore where I’d finish. It turned out to be 41st in the end, which I’m content with. For me personally, I felt I rode a good rally, not making too many mistakes; keeping the bike in one piece. And in the end my KTM didn’t miss a beat. In hindsight I know I could’ve been faster, but I really wanted to get the bike to the finish line at all costs. That I did, so!”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      The bike made it out unscathed, but we can’t really say that about you physically, can we?
      “Yeah, for me Dakar is far from over. The aftershocks are coming through in waves, because I’m suffering from a nasty neck injury still. On stage 11 I had a spill taking on a fast dune. At the bottom it flattened out quickly and I had a knoll of camel grass. You come across thousands of those in the desert and normally they’re quite soft. This one wasn’t. As my rear wheel hit it, I went off. I’ve got a nice mark from my front wheel across my helmet, so I guess I should be lucky it didn’t hit me square in the face. I wasn’t even going too fast when it happened, but it was still quite a hard hit. It immediately took me back to my entry last year, when a relatively small crash caused me to withdraw from the race. I got up right away and felt my neck had taken the brunt of it. Plus I was quite dizzy, too. And I had landed on my back as well, something I found out as the contents of my camel back was dripping down my pants. I had only done around fifty kilometers of the stage, so now I was going to have to finish the stage without water. I managed to bargain a bottle of water off a couple of locals, but that meant I had to stop every time I needed to rehydrate. Every single chance I got to get myself a drink, I took. Stopping at the roadside wasn’t my concern at this point; I was more worried about possible broken bones. After I did my own physical check-up, it turned out all was well on that front. Think about it, having to withdraw with only a few days left because you took a slight tumble and broke your collarbone. Anyway, I had hoped my neck would start to get a bit less sore as the days went by. Unfortunately, that really wasn’t the case. It only got worse in fact, so I stocked up on quite a bit of painkillers and got on with it. On the second to last day I woke up and could barely lift my head up. That is not good, I thought. That rally shouldn’t have lasted for much longer, because I don’t think I would have been able to keep going for much longer.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      You’ve been home for a week now. How’s the pain in the neck going?
      “Not too good, unfortunately, and I don’t even know what’s exactly going on in there. I’ve had appointments at a chiropractor and had X-rays made as well. No fractures, luckily, but no clear image of what’s exactly wrong with my neck at this point. I’ve got an MRI planned for tomorrow, so by then I hope to know more. Looks like a pinched nerve, because I’ve got a tingling sensation in my forearm. All I know now is, things are not as they should be. It’s driving me crazy to be fair, certainly because it was the smallest of spills.”
      Back to the rally. All contestants agreed this was a big one. Would you say it was tough?
      “Definitely. I’ve faced hardship before, like when I first rode the Malle Moto class, but this was one technical rally. In Malle Moto you get it doubly bad, because it’s all up to you. That alone takes thirty to forty percent of your energy during the rally. I reckon this year’s winner, Olivier Pain, would certainly concur. He used to be a works rider, so top ten finishes are a regularity. This time around he had to give it his all just to make it within spitting distance of the top 25 that says a lot to me. I spoke to him a couple of times during the rally, and he told me he really enjoyed experiencing the rally this way. His eyes, however, told a different story; this to him was a one-off. You won’t be seeing him back in Malle Moto, no way! It’s a different game altogether Malle Moto, and completely different from what he’s used to. Top tier riders start every day fresh, only suffering from the rally stages themselves. As a Malle Moto rider you come out of a stage, only to have to piece your bike back together until around midnight. And then you have to get back up at four in the morning. That takes a toll, especially when you’re expected to give it your all again the next day. Malle Moto really just wrecks you.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      Which stages or areas will stay with you the most; what made the biggest impression?
      “I took on the challenge one more time because the organizers had taken Peru back into the rally. That country has the most beautiful dunes, as the organizers promised us. It all came together. It was daunting, but beautiful. That shows the effect a man like Marc Coma (Director of Sport at organizer ASO) has on the rally. Last year he showed it here and there, but now he really put things back on the map. As a former entrant and winner, he knows how to make the rally as grueling as it should be. Every single time you think things couldn’t get harder, they take it one step beyond. Take the second to last stage for instance. You can all but see the finish line, only to face off on the longest day of the lot. Marc Coma kicks you out of bed and on the bike at 5.30 am, onto a stage that won’t see you back in the bivouac until nine in the afternoon, just before sunset. Just ride from sunrise until sunset. I can tell you, that made me long for the finish even more.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      In 2016 you took home the Malle Moto title and this year you had high hopes to reclaim it, only to finish fourth in the end. That has to bum you out, doesn’t it?
      “I was sort of expecting to be at least on the podium, yes. Not sure if it all just came down to Olivier Pain being so fast, but in the end that’s not what it’s all about in the Rally Dakar. By the third stage I had to help out my friend Kees Koolen, because his quad bike had broken its chain. I couldn’t just leave Kees by the side of the road, so that cost me half an hour to about 45 minutes. Over an entire Rally Dakar, that’s something you could clean up on, but in the end I didn’t manage to do so. I started to fall behind, and trying to up ground only saw me make more mistakes. Missing a waypoint for instance or having to help yet another fellow rider. In the 2016 rally I had locked in to an upward spiral that was definitely not the case this time around. I had this sort of neutral like feeling about me.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      You rode a self-made bike, based off a KTM 450 EXC-F. How did people respond to that?
      “It hasn’t gone unnoticed, I can tell you that. More than once others sought me out in the bivouac to come and see it. It’s a quite different from the regular rally replica bikes; mine’s built quite a bit lighter. Technically I’ve had no problems, so I’m content about that. The bike stood tall, even though I might’ve been able to go faster on it. I tried to keep my cool, but the bike would not have minded bit more push and shove. I did miss a bit more speed and stability here and there, though my bike was better when it came to handling. Truth be told, I could’ve done a better job on a KTM 450 RALLY REPLICA. My bike is perfect for amateurs who struggle making it into the top fifty. When you lack skill a bit, a lighter bike that handles well really helps. Especially in tough editions like this one. I’m not yet sure about how I’m going forward with the project. I guess I might build a few more but nothing’s set in stone yet.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      You take on a daunting ride through the depths of hell for two weeks, as Malle Moto riders even more so, that has to form an unbreakable bond of friendship among rider, doesn’t it?
      “You make some amazing memories along the way. Not just literally on route, but when you get off the bike the adventure doesn’t stop. One such special moment was when I spent the night with the other two Dutch Malle Moto riders, Hans-Jos Liefhebber and Edwin Straver. In the bivouac at Tupiza we were told stage 9 was canceled, and we were required to ride on through to Salta in Argentina. Just another 500 kilometers to do after a pretty hefty ride on stage that day. We did get underway, but just after crossing the border from Bolivia into Argentina we decided to grab a hotel somewhere. Three guys in one room; it was actually – as we say in Dutch – gezellig. It was fun. After a hot shower we went and found ourselves a pizza place. Unfortunately we didn’t have any clean clothes on us, so there’s the three of us in some random pizzeria in stinking MX-gear; brilliant stuff! I felt just like some tourist. Those are the little extra’s you get from the Dakar. Same goes for meeting Juan Agustin Rojo, a young Argentinian rider who was riding the Malle Moto class for the first time. It’s a very skinny kid who had to really push himself to make it to the end of the race, but in the end he did just that. I spoke to him every night, trying to keep his spirits up and to advise him wherever he might need it. It really showed character how he got on; you can say it was a heroic effort on his part. I really felt like a father figure; like a father and a son taking on the Dakar together. Those are moments that stick by you. They’re a part of what makes the Rally Dakar special. You’ll never ever forget those memories.”
      Jurgen van den Goorbergh (NED) Dakar 2018 © Shakedown Team
      Photos: Shakedown Team
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