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  1. 1925 HUSQVARNA TOUR

    Swede Einar Söderén was an army lieutenant who in 1925 decided to go adventuring. Riding his 12 horsepower 550cc Husqvarna V-twin, Söderén headed off south from Europe with northern Africa in sight. In mid-March, he encountered frozen and snow-covered roads on his 14,000-kilometre trip - but temperatures soon increased… In 1921, Söderén had acquired his first motorcycle. It was a Husqvarna model 160 V-twin, which he used for recreation. Then he did longer trips, covering many Swedish towns on his travels. "It wet my appetite for more," he said afterwards. Einar Söderén started to look into the horizon and bought his new 1925 Husqvarna model 170, which was prepared for an extensive journey. The 12 HP side-valve motor, coupled with a 3-speed gearbox, had automatic oiling together with a Schebler carburettor. The machine featured a Bosch light and Söderén equipped it further with sturdy leather cases and an extra canister for carrying reserve fuel. One was filled with spare parts while the other contained a suit, extra shoes, four socks, six shirts, two pairs of underpants, two caps, a camera and a toiletry bag. "As I did my trip alone, I also carried a Browning pistol," the adventurous Swede laughed. Having travelled the first 600 kilometres on home turf, Einar crossed over to Denmark where he also switched into right-hand side riding. In Germany, Söderén met with hard-surfaced roads, which contained stones. Having passed Cologne, Söderén hit the Ardennes in Belgium when he went the wrong way and entered Luxemburg. "It was actually the only time that I went the wrong way during my trip," he proudly said. The ride over steep mountains meant going over foggy passages, hard to accomplish. The rear lights glowed like red devil's eyes in the dark. "Sometimes, I walked alongside my machine with the big wheels tugging the wet snow," he said. Most roads in France were battered after the war. Söderén was doing 50 km/h on his way towards Paris. Arriving, he made a stop with his Husqvarna and interested Parisians swarmed the machine wondering what make this beast was. Despite genuine publicity, the brand was not marketed here - yet. High season had just begun in Biarritz and Söderén’s machine still fascinated the French. Going over the Pyrenees, the lieutenant arrived in Spain where roads again were hard on his Husqvarna. "But my machine never tired although I had to change front fork springs here.” In Madrid, Söderén stayed four days for his initial rest. "I went to see bull-fighting, but wasn't impressed when they slaughtered the beasts," he told. In Sevilla, Söderén met with summer and soon he came to Gibraltar before the ferry-crossing to Africa. Here, he filled up his canister, which gave prolonged mileage to the 11 litres in the original tank. "I had to use the extra fuel a couple of times," Söderén admitted. An English vessel took the rider & bike to Casablanca in Morocco. "It was an expensive journey," our globetrotter stated. "Arriving, I made an overhaul, exchanging the piston rings and cleaning the engine from carbon emissions. After many miles, a new chain was also due, so I replaced the old one. I also gave the engine an extra dose of oil every 50 kilometres to make it run smoother. The exhausts left a blue smokescreen after the added oil. My personal gear was upgraded, and I switched from leathers to Kaki clothes and a tropical hat covering my head from the sun." Söderén rode 300 km south to the old capital of Marrakech, situated in the often-snow-clad Atlas Mountains. Here, he met with Islamic traditions and a 42-day religious Ramadan feast. "Interesting, but not getting any accommodation, I backtracked all the way to Casablanca before going to sleep again," he said. Traversing North Africa, Söderén ran out of oil and had to buy an extra small Mobil Oil canister for his onward adventures. "The petrol stations were scarce, and you had to be careful to not run out of fuel," he told. The trip through Algeria was pleasant with good roads, plenty of delicious food and splendid hotels. Traces from the old war between the French and the locals could be seen everywhere, but both Alger and Tunis were now modern cities. It would turn out different in Egypt... From the start, Söderén intended to take the fastest track to Cairo, but would have been delayed as there were no acceptable connections at sea. Instead, he boarded a vessel north to Civitavecchia outside Rome. Before carrying away on the Italian strada, Söderén hit the capital streets with lots of effective sightseeing on his comfortable Husqvarna. "It was nice to experience the famous sights in this vast city," he said. "Continuing, I saw wonderful sceneries with beautiful towns situated on hills, looking like bird-nests. These ‘fortresses’ were surrounded by castles and walls to improve the impression. There was an incident on my tour to Naples. Some barking dogs came out on the road and I tried to dismiss them. However, one of them bit me and I had to use my Browning, shooting this evil creature. Displeased farmers turned up as they heard the shot, but they soon realized that I had a gun and was injured by their dog, so they returned home. On top of it all, I learnt that Mussolini punished armed people without a weapons license. Being caught, it would have meant six months in jail, so I took the fastest road to Naples, surviving without further incidents." Miles before Naples, smoke from the volcano of Vesuvius could be seen in the distance. Of course, Söderén climbed the hs of this volcano and also went to visit the island of Capri with the famous "Grotta Azzurra" (Capri’s Blue Cave). Pompeii was on his agenda too, before going to sea again - this time traveling to Alexandria in Egypt. It was now June, two-and-a-half months into this bike adventure. Arriving in the Egyptian heat was overwhelming, but people avoided the worst by resting between midday and 4 o'clock. There were troubles at the customs clearance into this bureaucratic country. Despite the fact that the machine had a ‘carnet’ - an international customs clearance declaration - the authorities made a fuss about everything. It resulted in a 3-hour arrest as Söderén’s gun was discovered, which didn’t make customs officials any happier. After tense discussions and helping words from the local Husqvarna agent mister Anlyan, Söderén finally hit the road again. He spent a few days in Alexandria and then man and machine set sights on Cairo - one of the big African goals. Dirt roads gave little grip and were impossible to conquer in wet conditions. There was mud, mud and more mud during this rainy season, but then it dried out after only two days, Söderén arrived in the vast capital. He looked at historical monuments in this whirlwind city. "Early one morning, I intended to go south along the Nile River, but was instead taken to hospital after being poisoned by ill food in the previous night. I arrived in a German camp and the doctor probably saved my life before I returned riding again. But the effects from my illness put the journey into perspective and I had to take it easy from then on. The Nile was abandoned so I went to visit the Suez Canal instead." In the Sinai desert, the 28-inch wheels got stuck in deep sand. Four Arabians eventually turned up and helped him out of trouble. When they saw that Söderén had money, the situation turned grave. The Arabs threatened with their clubs but disappeared seeing that Söderén was armed! In order to return, he was forced to take the train instead of risking being caught again. "It was the only time I cheated during my travels," he said. Jerusalem was the last stopover for Söderén before turning north. "I was weak after the poisoning and steered towards Europe. On my way to Port Said, I ran into a steep ditch, which was discovered too late to miss it. But my sturdy Husqvarna was up to the strain and I continued homebound," he said. In Port Said, Söderén boarded a ship with destination to Genova. Arriving, he was close to an accident as some Italian drivers came towards him on the wrong side of the street. "People used the entire road where the surface was best, without looking left or right. I had to brake hard and one of the gearbox cogs broke. Fortunately, I could go to Switzerland, where the Husqvarna agent sent for spare parts. After a few days, I was able to repair my vehicle." Staying a week in Paris meant a new machine service and a few parts from Sweden. After that, Söderén took the sea road from Rotterdam to Malmö. The final 600 km in the beginning of August did not pose any troubles. Completing four and a half months and 14,000 kilometres, Einar Söderén was back in Stockholm - with lots of memories and a fit Husqvarna ready for new adventures!
  2. Collecting Moments #8: 238 days and I’m back in the saddle! A lot of people have a passion, or an area of their life, that feels all-encompassing and really defines who they are. When this thing – whatever it is – gets taken away from them suddenly and unexpectedly, it can really turn their world upside down and make them view life from a different perspective. In my case, it was the world of motorsport, where I’d made so many awesome memories. Over the last few months I’ve really experienced the drawbacks of the sport. But it’s this that makes my return that much sweeter. © Jakob Ritter “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” – a phrase I’ve heard a lot. It’s certainly true, though! I’d gotten way too used to packing up my stuff on a Friday afternoon and heading off to enduro training or for a race. Everything changed after my knee injury though – completely overnight – and I can still vividly remember that first weekend after the accident: there are only a few times in my life when I’ve ever felt so empty. The last few months haven’t been easy for me, but, sadly, injuries are as much a part of our sport as success. And it might sound strange, but each goes hand in hand with the other, bringing you to this whole other level as a sportsperson and human. I’ve now experienced both sides and learnt as much from my failures as I have from my success. Never before have I been so desperate to get back on my KTM 300 EXC. The feeling I got when I climbed back on it 238 days after my injury, pressed the E-starter, felt the engine and just rode – that was every bit as good as riding across the finish line at the Red Bull Romaniacs! © Jakob Ritter My physio gave me the green light for my first ride at my last session and it was a moment I’d been waiting on for what felt like an eternity. For the first time in eight months, I got to experience that familiar “I’m packing my stuff for the weekend” feeling. This time I really had to make sure I’d packed everything though: helmet, gloves, glasses, protectors … and my KTM, of course! And it wasn’t just any weekend when I went on my first enduro ride out: it was the weekend of the Erzbergrodeo! Watching the Red Bull Hare Scramble live on TV really gave me the motivation I needed. Watching my enduro racing heroes riding and battling it out gave me this rush of anticipation and energy. It was weird putting my helmet on – a mixture of joy and nerves. I mean, yeah, I’d ridden a bit on trial and motocross bikes since the injury, just to keep the feeling alive, but enduro is this whole other thing for me – it’s really the pinnacle of offroad two-wheel racing. That’s where I really feel at home and I think that’s what made me a little nervous. Could I still do it? What if I’d forgotten everything and it was like starting back at square one? How was my knee going to feel? – I’m sure I’m not the first sportsperson to battle with those kinds of thoughts when riding for the first time following an injury, but it was all new to me. © Jakob Ritter As soon as I pressed the E-starter, though, that old familiar feeling came flooding back. The comforting sound of my KTM instantly made me feel secure. My hands stopped shaking as I put it in gear and set off towards the forest. The world around me faded away and I was able to really enjoy those first magical moments – it was just me and my bike. Reunited at last! – That’s all I could think. I felt free, light, and at peace! After 238 days full of highs and lows, I finally felt like my puzzle was complete and all the pieces were in place. Obviously, you can’t just pick up where you left off after that kind of a break, though. I was more cautious, a little slower, and even kind of clumsy. But none of that mattered to me in that moment because I was just happy and grateful to be riding enduro again. © Jakob Ritter I have dialed things down a notch to prepare for new adventures. I’m maybe not quite READY TO RACE yet, but I’m back where I’m happiest and that’s given me a crazy amount of energy. Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #7: Training after a knee injury – or check out her website! Photos: Jakob Ritter
  3. Collecting Moments #8: 238 days and I’m back in the saddle! A lot of people have a passion, or an area of their life, that feels all-encompassing and really defines who they are. When this thing – whatever it is – gets taken away from them suddenly and unexpectedly, it can really turn their world upside down and make them view life from a different perspective. In my case, it was the world of motorsport, where I’d made so many awesome memories. Over the last few months I’ve really experienced the drawbacks of the sport. But it’s this that makes my return that much sweeter. © Jakob Ritter “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” – a phrase I’ve heard a lot. It’s certainly true, though! I’d gotten way too used to packing up my stuff on a Friday afternoon and heading off to enduro training or for a race. Everything changed after my knee injury though – completely overnight – and I can still vividly remember that first weekend after the accident: there are only a few times in my life when I’ve ever felt so empty. The last few months haven’t been easy for me, but, sadly, injuries are as much a part of our sport as success. And it might sound strange, but each goes hand in hand with the other, bringing you to this whole other level as a sportsperson and human. I’ve now experienced both sides and learnt as much from my failures as I have from my success. Never before have I been so desperate to get back on my KTM 300 EXC. The feeling I got when I climbed back on it 238 days after my injury, pressed the E-starter, felt the engine and just rode – that was every bit as good as riding across the finish line at the Red Bull Romaniacs! © Jakob Ritter My physio gave me the green light for my first ride at my last session and it was a moment I’d been waiting on for what felt like an eternity. For the first time in eight months, I got to experience that familiar “I’m packing my stuff for the weekend” feeling. This time I really had to make sure I’d packed everything though: helmet, gloves, glasses, protectors … and my KTM, of course! And it wasn’t just any weekend when I went on my first enduro ride out: it was the weekend of the Erzbergrodeo! Watching the Red Bull Hare Scramble live on TV really gave me the motivation I needed. Watching my enduro racing heroes riding and battling it out gave me this rush of anticipation and energy. It was weird putting my helmet on – a mixture of joy and nerves. I mean, yeah, I’d ridden a bit on trial and motocross bikes since the injury, just to keep the feeling alive, but enduro is this whole other thing for me – it’s really the pinnacle of offroad two-wheel racing. That’s where I really feel at home and I think that’s what made me a little nervous. Could I still do it? What if I’d forgotten everything and it was like starting back at square one? How was my knee going to feel? – I’m sure I’m not the first sportsperson to battle with those kinds of thoughts when riding for the first time following an injury, but it was all new to me. © Jakob Ritter As soon as I pressed the E-starter, though, that old familiar feeling came flooding back. The comforting sound of my KTM instantly made me feel secure. My hands stopped shaking as I put it in gear and set off towards the forest. The world around me faded away and I was able to really enjoy those first magical moments – it was just me and my bike. Reunited at last! – That’s all I could think. I felt free, light, and at peace! After 238 days full of highs and lows, I finally felt like my puzzle was complete and all the pieces were in place. Obviously, you can’t just pick up where you left off after that kind of a break, though. I was more cautious, a little slower, and even kind of clumsy. But none of that mattered to me in that moment because I was just happy and grateful to be riding enduro again. © Jakob Ritter I have dialed things down a notch to prepare for new adventures. I’m maybe not quite READY TO RACE yet, but I’m back where I’m happiest and that’s given me a crazy amount of energy. Get to know more about Larissa on the KTM BLOG – Collecting Moments #7: Training after a knee injury – or check out her website! Photos: Jakob Ritter
  4. #inthisyear1978: Gennady Moiseev rides KTM to become World Champion for the third time KTM again dominated the smaller MX2 class in impressive style at the 14th World Championship race in Loket, Czech Republic. Riding his KTM 250 SX-F, Spanish ace Jorge Prado and defending champion Pauls Jonass from Latvia were top of the leaderboard with a significant lead over the third-place rider. Even 40+ years ago, the KTM quarter-liter factory bikes were the ones to beat if you wanted to steal the title at the then 250cc Motocross World Championships. All the same, back in 1978, things were not looking so good for KTM as the season got underway in the Spanish city of Sabadell. Belgian rider Harry Everts had just beaten reigning 250 World Champion Gennady Moiseev (who had broken his forearm a few weeks previously in training) into eighth place on his Spanish Bultaco. Just one year earlier, KTM had looked unbeatable in the quarter-liter class – World Championship title for Moiseev, second place for Vladimir Kavinov and with Belgian rider André Malherbe in third place. Gennady Moiseev 1977/78 © KTM Over the course of the season, the sports instructor from Leningrad had just got better and better, and succeeded in claiming pole position on his 97-kilogram 250cc 2-stroke KTM – a position he held on to right up until the final race. Kavinov landed fourth place, also a pretty respectable race result. At the MX of Nations, held in the West German town of Gaildorf in 1978, the Soviet KTM factory riders were on top form once again – Gennady Moiseev, Vladimir Kavinov and Valeri Korneev won the Trophée des Nations, along with Juri Khudyakov, beating Germany and Belgium. Looking back, the early 70s saw the world in the midst of the Cold War and even motorcycling was split into east and west. Victories against western manufacturers brought with them extreme prestige for countries in the eastern bloc. In Enduro racing, it was predominantly riders from Czechoslovakia and East Germany who found success on Jawa and MZ motorcycles at the European Championships and the International Six Days Enduro. In motocross, the focus was on CZ from Czechoslovakia, on which Soviet rider Victor Arbekov and East German Paul Friedrichs had found World Championship glory. The fact that a rider from the USSR won a 250cc World Championship title on a western bike in 1974, well and truly deserves its place in the pages of offroad sporting history. As far back as 1972 KTM had become aware that there were several talented riders in the Soviet 250 Team who nonetheless lacked the wherewithal to compete successfully. When the motorcycles belonging to the members of the Soviet team were stolen from the paddock the night before a race, KTM offered some of their own machines to the team leader, whose riders were now without bikes. According to protocol, the team leader should have been thrown out of the Communist Party for accepting this offer, but after securing their first victories, the Soviets came to terms with the situation; and when Gennady Moiseev became World Champion two years later, he was promoted to the position of major in the Soviet Army. With three world championship titles, Gennady Moiseev is the most successful motorcyclist of the former Soviet Union. He competed in his first motocross race in 1967, on a Czechoslovakian CZ. Over the next few years, he undoubtedly showed flashes of talent, but it was only when he climbed on to a KTM in 1972 that real success came, and by 1974 he had won his first World Championship title for the Mattighofen-based company. After a poor season that saw him plagued by injuries, he returned to his old form in 1976 and ended up losing out to Finland’s Heikki Mikkola by an extremely narrow margin of just a few world championship points. In 1977, he only had to worry about competition from his own team. KTM boss Erich Trunkenpolz presented him with a Mercedes when he won his second World Championship. Gennady Moiseev, Erika & Erich Trunkenpolz 1977/78 © KTM He then went on to win his third title precisely 40 years ago. His last major success for KTM came in 1979, when he was fourth in the world and won his last World Championship race. When the Soviet Federation decided that their rider should return to CZ in 1980, Moiseev still stayed active in the motorcycling world for a several years but without achieving any kind of noteworthy success. Following the end of his active career, he worked as a motocross trainer and sports coach, eventually being elected president of the Russian Motorcycle Federation in 2000. Gennady Moiseev died on 24 July 2017 at the age of 69 in his home town of St. Petersburg. Gennady Moiseev 1978 © KTM Photos: KTM
  5. #inthisyear1978: Gennady Moiseev rides KTM to become World Champion for the third time KTM again dominated the smaller MX2 class in impressive style at the 14th World Championship race in Loket, Czech Republic. Riding his KTM 250 SX-F, Spanish ace Jorge Prado and defending champion Pauls Jonass from Latvia were top of the leaderboard with a significant lead over the third-place rider. Even 40+ years ago, the KTM quarter-liter factory bikes were the ones to beat if you wanted to steal the title at the then 250cc Motocross World Championships. All the same, back in 1978, things were not looking so good for KTM as the season got underway in the Spanish city of Sabadell. Belgian rider Harry Everts had just beaten reigning 250 World Champion Gennady Moiseev (who had broken his forearm a few weeks previously in training) into eighth place on his Spanish Bultaco. Just one year earlier, KTM had looked unbeatable in the quarter-liter class – World Championship title for Moiseev, second place for Vladimir Kavinov and with Belgian rider André Malherbe in third place. Gennady Moiseev 1977/78 © KTM Over the course of the season, the sports instructor from Leningrad had just got better and better, and succeeded in claiming pole position on his 97-kilogram 250cc 2-stroke KTM – a position he held on to right up until the final race. Kavinov landed fourth place, also a pretty respectable race result. At the MX of Nations, held in the West German town of Gaildorf in 1978, the Soviet KTM factory riders were on top form once again – Gennady Moiseev, Vladimir Kavinov and Valeri Korneev won the Trophée des Nations, along with Juri Khudyakov, beating Germany and Belgium. Looking back, the early 70s saw the world in the midst of the Cold War and even motorcycling was split into east and west. Victories against western manufacturers brought with them extreme prestige for countries in the eastern bloc. In Enduro racing, it was predominantly riders from Czechoslovakia and East Germany who found success on Jawa and MZ motorcycles at the European Championships and the International Six Days Enduro. In motocross, the focus was on CZ from Czechoslovakia, on which Soviet rider Victor Arbekov and East German Paul Friedrichs had found World Championship glory. The fact that a rider from the USSR won a 250cc World Championship title on a western bike in 1974, well and truly deserves its place in the pages of offroad sporting history. As far back as 1972 KTM had become aware that there were several talented riders in the Soviet 250 Team who nonetheless lacked the wherewithal to compete successfully. When the motorcycles belonging to the members of the Soviet team were stolen from the paddock the night before a race, KTM offered some of their own machines to the team leader, whose riders were now without bikes. According to protocol, the team leader should have been thrown out of the Communist Party for accepting this offer, but after securing their first victories, the Soviets came to terms with the situation; and when Gennady Moiseev became World Champion two years later, he was promoted to the position of major in the Soviet Army. With three world championship titles, Gennady Moiseev is the most successful motorcyclist of the former Soviet Union. He competed in his first motocross race in 1967, on a Czechoslovakian CZ. Over the next few years, he undoubtedly showed flashes of talent, but it was only when he climbed on to a KTM in 1972 that real success came, and by 1974 he had won his first World Championship title for the Mattighofen-based company. After a poor season that saw him plagued by injuries, he returned to his old form in 1976 and ended up losing out to Finland’s Heikki Mikkola by an extremely narrow margin of just a few world championship points. In 1977, he only had to worry about competition from his own team. KTM boss Erich Trunkenpolz presented him with a Mercedes when he won his second World Championship. Gennady Moiseev, Erika & Erich Trunkenpolz 1977/78 © KTM He then went on to win his third title precisely 40 years ago. His last major success for KTM came in 1979, when he was fourth in the world and won his last World Championship race. When the Soviet Federation decided that their rider should return to CZ in 1980, Moiseev still stayed active in the motorcycling world for a several years but without achieving any kind of noteworthy success. Following the end of his active career, he worked as a motocross trainer and sports coach, eventually being elected president of the Russian Motorcycle Federation in 2000. Gennady Moiseev died on 24 July 2017 at the age of 69 in his home town of St. Petersburg. Gennady Moiseev 1978 © KTM Photos: KTM
  6. The world´s toughest hard enduro rally Posted in People, Racing The Red Bull Romaniacs, now in its 15th year, is known as the toughest hard enduro rally and marking the halfway point of this year´s World Enduro Super Series. The participants faced approximately 200 km of some of the toughest tracks the Carpathian Mountains have to offer and tackled extremely difficult conditions following heavy rainfall. With an already challenging course, with terrain designed to test even the most hardened Romaniacs veterans, it became even more tricky and the race tested all riders to their maximum – to claim a finish was an achievement in itself. These are some of the best pictures of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Taddy Blazusiak, Josep Garcia, Nathan Watson and Jonny Walker, who finished third at the 2018 edition to retain his position at the top of the championship standings, closely followed by a strong Manuel Lettenbichler who crossed the finish line just shortly after the winner. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) © Future7Media Photos: Future7Media
  7. The world´s toughest hard enduro rally

    The world´s toughest hard enduro rally Posted in People, Racing The Red Bull Romaniacs, now in its 15th year, is known as the toughest hard enduro rally and marking the halfway point of this year´s World Enduro Super Series. The participants faced approximately 200 km of some of the toughest tracks the Carpathian Mountains have to offer and tackled extremely difficult conditions following heavy rainfall. With an already challenging course, with terrain designed to test even the most hardened Romaniacs veterans, it became even more tricky and the race tested all riders to their maximum – to claim a finish was an achievement in itself. These are some of the best pictures of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders Taddy Blazusiak, Josep Garcia, Nathan Watson and Jonny Walker, who finished third at the 2018 edition to retain his position at the top of the championship standings, closely followed by a strong Manuel Lettenbichler who crossed the finish line just shortly after the winner. Manuel Lettenbichler (GER) © Future7Media Photos: Future7Media
  8. Moving on: What Ryan did next … A year on from his shock decision to end one of the most prolific careers in AMA SX/MX we caught up on a drastic change of life for Ryan Dungey, how he has eased off the gas and what he’s doing next. We are at the launch of the 2019 KTM SX range of bikes at Tony Cairoli’s Malagrotta circuit near Rome. Ryan Dungey sits down to talk and is friendly, engaging and the consummate professional (we wonder how much he’d earn if we gave him 5 dollars for every interview he performed in an eleven-year career and through winning seven major AMA titles). Physically he still looks like he can buckle some boots and set a new lap time around the hard-pack course, and actually after our interview he quickly suits up to go riding with journalists and athletes like Red Bull KTM’s MX2 star Jorge Prado. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Dungey has hardly changed since he won his third 450 SX title in Las Vegas last summer and then held a press conference shortly afterwards to announce he was stepping away from the sport at 27. Compared to the #5 we encountered at races and through media projects when he was full-depth in the regime of being a pro Supercross and motocross racer (thirty weekends of competition a year), Ryan has the relaxed air and stress-free demeanor of a man who no longer has to devote so much energy to focus, drive and concentration. We were able to talk for a long time about the switch from athlete to able-assistant, from single-mindedness to a new form of sacrifice and about finding new ways to channel the determination and desire that helped Dungey to hold the longest consecutive podium appearance record in Supercross with 31 trophies in a row. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli So, after the press conference last year what did you do? There was no routine any more … “One hard part was making the decision and moving on but then I also didn’t really have a plan. I kinda knew what I wanted to do next … and I didn’t really disappear. I stayed in California because the ‘Outdoors’ was coming with the first two rounds there. I didn’t have anywhere to be so I kinda stuck around and wanted to see those races. Marvin [Musquin] and I are pretty close so I supported him. We had a bit of a vacation and nothing that was really structured.” It seemed like you ‘stopped’ but didn’t stop. You were there in KTM colors, on TV, media roles … “Yeah … for sure I wanted a break but I still enjoyed lots of parts of what I did. It was not like I hated it but it got to a point where I – I was not exhausted – but I knew ‘this was it …’ I’d had enough. Making the decision took a whole year while racing and it was hard because you are supposed to be racing with the mindset of competition. I was trying to make a decision that was tricky to leave on the shelf.” So, it wasn’t a case of ‘run to the beach´ … “I think you need to do those things and regroup and refresh but I was too young to retire from my career and certainly from life. I will always want to contribute and add to this world in some way. Something has to get you out of bed in the mornings and everybody has something that makes them tick. So, I thought about how I could give benefit to other people and thankfully I have a lot of good partners and could transition into a good role with people like KTM, Fox, Oakley and Red Bull. But I didn’t just want to go into it and be paid to do nothing. I wanted to have some influence and for KTM that might be through testing or helping the team or the riders. I wanted to add to something and do meaningful work and not just look for a paycheck. That was my outlook and also as a racer.” With the demands of the sport and the schedule you must almost have to live every day with focus and goals and compromise. To not have that any more – and for the first time in your life – was it bewildering? “As a racer your schedule is jam-packed and maybe that is the case for a lot of jobs. The big adjustment is the change of pace. I’m learning patience and not being in a rush and not getting resentful and bitter. It’s easy to suddenly think ‘I’m not satisfied’ so it is important to have a purpose. You can take time away but it’s good to have something that drives you … not having that is a bad feeling. You look for more projects. My whole schedule was planned out and now it isn’t, and that was a big shift. It has forced me to look at my life and my motives and to question it all and get more answers. When you are in the routine of racing then you just go with it and you don’t really catch things that might be ‘red flags’. You might think ‘maybe I should go racing again because I can improve the monthly bank income much more’ but that’s not right. I learned a lot about myself in this process.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Was it like having a new identity? “No, because I always knew who I was. I’m Ryan Dungey, not a dirtbike racer called Ryan Dungey. I raced dirtbikes: it is not who I am but what I did. I always knew I shouldn’t find my identity in racing. It was never an issue but I think I got spoiled in a way because in that position [of a champion] you can have a lot of influence and benefit a lot of people and I liked that feeling.” Was there also some fear about heading into the ‘unknown’? “It feels like there are a lot of options and you can go in many different directions and that can be confusing. You still want to make sure you make good choices. As a racer all the attention is on you and – not that I was ever self-absorbed – but you are kinda spoiled and then all of a sudden the attention goes onto the next rider and isn’t there anymore. I did not crave the attention and it was good for me to get out of it. I was ready for something else and that aspect never drove me.” Every racer says they are selfish and self-centered. It seems a weird way to exist … “I am still trying to understand that also. Selfishness obviously isn’t good and people say it is a selfish sport and you might have an important role but nobody is not being forced to do anything. We are all working towards a goal. For a rider to recognize the position he is in is like a guy leading a successful business. Of course, everyone wants to please him but he is also turning around and saying ‘how can I make my team or business better or find improvements?’ I think riders need to recognize the position they are in and I learned how people feed off you and how you can motivate your team. It changed for me when I stopped looking at it like ‘how can everybody help ME win a championship?’ to ‘how can I help this team to win a championship?’ then it took off in a good way. So, it is selfish … in a way. Another thing is that these riders are so young, and you do grow out of that as you get older otherwise it makes you miserable. At some point you need to look around and say ‘is everyone still onboard?’ and that means your family, your wife, your circle. I don’t think mine were over it but they were coming to races every single weekend for me for eleven years. Maybe they enjoyed it but I was ready to move on.” You obviously had a lot of success and must have enjoyed the process of reaching those goals. Do you miss that sense of achievement? “No because winning races and championships – the achievement part – they were temporary. I knew that people would forget about that sooner or later. There will be records and this-and-that but people move on. Winning a championship is a great feeling and something great to remember but the very next day it is onto the next championship. You cannot live in that moment. You work for six months and you accomplish a goal but it is short lived. I try to see past the achievement and look for more meaningful stuff. You can win a race or a championship but if you treat people like crap then how does it matter? Being a good ambassador and leader and representing the brand and being a good influence for kids: that is the stuff that is impactful and life-changing. The success on the track was good and kids can look up to that and you can have an integrity that others might want but the bigger picture was the effect on other people. Championships do help bike sales though! And other areas …” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Sebas Romero It’s been just over a year; do you feel you’ve found Ryan Dungey 2.0? “Yeah, I do. I miss the racing and I miss a lot of things … more so the memories. They pop up. But I have found the next step and how I can impact and still benefit people within the sport, the kids, the riders, the team. Representing the brand and the sponsors and what role I can have. Things are still slowly unfolding but I feel I have found my direction.” You look like you can race tomorrow, so you have obviously avoided the cookie jar. Are you still working out? “Oh yeah. I think I just told my wife Lindsay that I think it has only been three days off since I finished racing. I enjoy it because I don’t have to do it. And I can do different workout routines and not just focus on ‘what’s your lap time?!’ We’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle.” So, what do you want to do next? “I’m a big dreamer. I think about our sport quite a lot and what I can do and since the moment I started I always had the thought ‘how can we make this bigger and better?’ It is tough because there are a lot of separate groups in America and not everyone is working together. So, one of my big goals is to try to get everybody working in unity so other areas can benefit; I think there are a lot of areas of potential in the sport that hasn’t been tapped into everybody gets along … but you only get what you give and companies know that; if you don’t invest then you don’t grow and I have seen that learning curve [work]. I’ve been part of teams like that and it all comes to a stop at some point because you quit giving and investing. I think if we worked together then it would affect everybody through the whole chain. It is not something I want to have control over but maybe at least have a voice in. So that’s one area: what is that next step [for MX/SX] and I cannot do it on my own.” You also have your The Mind Champion coaching/education program. What is that about? “My first project, and it will come out here soon and we have done a lot of content, interviews and filming for it. Even with Roger [De Coster]. I think it will be good for the kids in the sport in any class. For me it has been about sharing knowledge and insight and maybe some wisdom and what helped me get to the level I was. Riders are ultimately a driving force. If they are not a good spokesperson and don’t realize the position they are in then this is not helping. A lot of people are watching and it contributes to the growth of the sport.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby Photos: Marco Campelli | Sebas Romero | Simon Cudby
  9. Moving on: What Ryan did next …

    Moving on: What Ryan did next … A year on from his shock decision to end one of the most prolific careers in AMA SX/MX we caught up on a drastic change of life for Ryan Dungey, how he has eased off the gas and what he’s doing next. We are at the launch of the 2019 KTM SX range of bikes at Tony Cairoli’s Malagrotta circuit near Rome. Ryan Dungey sits down to talk and is friendly, engaging and the consummate professional (we wonder how much he’d earn if we gave him 5 dollars for every interview he performed in an eleven-year career and through winning seven major AMA titles). Physically he still looks like he can buckle some boots and set a new lap time around the hard-pack course, and actually after our interview he quickly suits up to go riding with journalists and athletes like Red Bull KTM’s MX2 star Jorge Prado. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Dungey has hardly changed since he won his third 450 SX title in Las Vegas last summer and then held a press conference shortly afterwards to announce he was stepping away from the sport at 27. Compared to the #5 we encountered at races and through media projects when he was full-depth in the regime of being a pro Supercross and motocross racer (thirty weekends of competition a year), Ryan has the relaxed air and stress-free demeanor of a man who no longer has to devote so much energy to focus, drive and concentration. We were able to talk for a long time about the switch from athlete to able-assistant, from single-mindedness to a new form of sacrifice and about finding new ways to channel the determination and desire that helped Dungey to hold the longest consecutive podium appearance record in Supercross with 31 trophies in a row. Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli So, after the press conference last year what did you do? There was no routine any more … “One hard part was making the decision and moving on but then I also didn’t really have a plan. I kinda knew what I wanted to do next … and I didn’t really disappear. I stayed in California because the ‘Outdoors’ was coming with the first two rounds there. I didn’t have anywhere to be so I kinda stuck around and wanted to see those races. Marvin [Musquin] and I are pretty close so I supported him. We had a bit of a vacation and nothing that was really structured.” It seemed like you ‘stopped’ but didn’t stop. You were there in KTM colors, on TV, media roles … “Yeah … for sure I wanted a break but I still enjoyed lots of parts of what I did. It was not like I hated it but it got to a point where I – I was not exhausted – but I knew ‘this was it …’ I’d had enough. Making the decision took a whole year while racing and it was hard because you are supposed to be racing with the mindset of competition. I was trying to make a decision that was tricky to leave on the shelf.” So, it wasn’t a case of ‘run to the beach´ … “I think you need to do those things and regroup and refresh but I was too young to retire from my career and certainly from life. I will always want to contribute and add to this world in some way. Something has to get you out of bed in the mornings and everybody has something that makes them tick. So, I thought about how I could give benefit to other people and thankfully I have a lot of good partners and could transition into a good role with people like KTM, Fox, Oakley and Red Bull. But I didn’t just want to go into it and be paid to do nothing. I wanted to have some influence and for KTM that might be through testing or helping the team or the riders. I wanted to add to something and do meaningful work and not just look for a paycheck. That was my outlook and also as a racer.” With the demands of the sport and the schedule you must almost have to live every day with focus and goals and compromise. To not have that any more – and for the first time in your life – was it bewildering? “As a racer your schedule is jam-packed and maybe that is the case for a lot of jobs. The big adjustment is the change of pace. I’m learning patience and not being in a rush and not getting resentful and bitter. It’s easy to suddenly think ‘I’m not satisfied’ so it is important to have a purpose. You can take time away but it’s good to have something that drives you … not having that is a bad feeling. You look for more projects. My whole schedule was planned out and now it isn’t, and that was a big shift. It has forced me to look at my life and my motives and to question it all and get more answers. When you are in the routine of racing then you just go with it and you don’t really catch things that might be ‘red flags’. You might think ‘maybe I should go racing again because I can improve the monthly bank income much more’ but that’s not right. I learned a lot about myself in this process.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Marco Campelli Was it like having a new identity? “No, because I always knew who I was. I’m Ryan Dungey, not a dirtbike racer called Ryan Dungey. I raced dirtbikes: it is not who I am but what I did. I always knew I shouldn’t find my identity in racing. It was never an issue but I think I got spoiled in a way because in that position [of a champion] you can have a lot of influence and benefit a lot of people and I liked that feeling.” Was there also some fear about heading into the ‘unknown’? “It feels like there are a lot of options and you can go in many different directions and that can be confusing. You still want to make sure you make good choices. As a racer all the attention is on you and – not that I was ever self-absorbed – but you are kinda spoiled and then all of a sudden the attention goes onto the next rider and isn’t there anymore. I did not crave the attention and it was good for me to get out of it. I was ready for something else and that aspect never drove me.” Every racer says they are selfish and self-centered. It seems a weird way to exist … “I am still trying to understand that also. Selfishness obviously isn’t good and people say it is a selfish sport and you might have an important role but nobody is not being forced to do anything. We are all working towards a goal. For a rider to recognize the position he is in is like a guy leading a successful business. Of course, everyone wants to please him but he is also turning around and saying ‘how can I make my team or business better or find improvements?’ I think riders need to recognize the position they are in and I learned how people feed off you and how you can motivate your team. It changed for me when I stopped looking at it like ‘how can everybody help ME win a championship?’ to ‘how can I help this team to win a championship?’ then it took off in a good way. So, it is selfish … in a way. Another thing is that these riders are so young, and you do grow out of that as you get older otherwise it makes you miserable. At some point you need to look around and say ‘is everyone still onboard?’ and that means your family, your wife, your circle. I don’t think mine were over it but they were coming to races every single weekend for me for eleven years. Maybe they enjoyed it but I was ready to move on.” You obviously had a lot of success and must have enjoyed the process of reaching those goals. Do you miss that sense of achievement? “No because winning races and championships – the achievement part – they were temporary. I knew that people would forget about that sooner or later. There will be records and this-and-that but people move on. Winning a championship is a great feeling and something great to remember but the very next day it is onto the next championship. You cannot live in that moment. You work for six months and you accomplish a goal but it is short lived. I try to see past the achievement and look for more meaningful stuff. You can win a race or a championship but if you treat people like crap then how does it matter? Being a good ambassador and leader and representing the brand and being a good influence for kids: that is the stuff that is impactful and life-changing. The success on the track was good and kids can look up to that and you can have an integrity that others might want but the bigger picture was the effect on other people. Championships do help bike sales though! And other areas …” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Sebas Romero It’s been just over a year; do you feel you’ve found Ryan Dungey 2.0? “Yeah, I do. I miss the racing and I miss a lot of things … more so the memories. They pop up. But I have found the next step and how I can impact and still benefit people within the sport, the kids, the riders, the team. Representing the brand and the sponsors and what role I can have. Things are still slowly unfolding but I feel I have found my direction.” You look like you can race tomorrow, so you have obviously avoided the cookie jar. Are you still working out? “Oh yeah. I think I just told my wife Lindsay that I think it has only been three days off since I finished racing. I enjoy it because I don’t have to do it. And I can do different workout routines and not just focus on ‘what’s your lap time?!’ We’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle.” So, what do you want to do next? “I’m a big dreamer. I think about our sport quite a lot and what I can do and since the moment I started I always had the thought ‘how can we make this bigger and better?’ It is tough because there are a lot of separate groups in America and not everyone is working together. So, one of my big goals is to try to get everybody working in unity so other areas can benefit; I think there are a lot of areas of potential in the sport that hasn’t been tapped into everybody gets along … but you only get what you give and companies know that; if you don’t invest then you don’t grow and I have seen that learning curve [work]. I’ve been part of teams like that and it all comes to a stop at some point because you quit giving and investing. I think if we worked together then it would affect everybody through the whole chain. It is not something I want to have control over but maybe at least have a voice in. So that’s one area: what is that next step [for MX/SX] and I cannot do it on my own.” You also have your The Mind Champion coaching/education program. What is that about? “My first project, and it will come out here soon and we have done a lot of content, interviews and filming for it. Even with Roger [De Coster]. I think it will be good for the kids in the sport in any class. For me it has been about sharing knowledge and insight and maybe some wisdom and what helped me get to the level I was. Riders are ultimately a driving force. If they are not a good spokesperson and don’t realize the position they are in then this is not helping. A lot of people are watching and it contributes to the growth of the sport.” Ryan Dungey (USA) 2018 © Simon Cudby Photos: Marco Campelli | Sebas Romero | Simon Cudby
  10. MESSAGE FROM HUSQVARNA

    Italian manufacturer Pirelli had their tyre treads marked on bodies of female models as a symbol in their famous 1980s calendars. In the 30s, Husqvarna used its racing success to market their products in advertising. The copy and pictures appealed to people's inspiration and was street smart for increasing sales. During the roaring 20s the Jazz age set off, overwhelming trends that also gave an echo within the motoring industry. In France - where else - fashion was of the utmost importance for acceptance of a new vehicle model. Coachbuilders expressed themselves vigorously and fashion magazines were quick to follow up on new trends. Concours d'élégance were established in Paris with witty designs being displayed to many excited local spectators - one would not show up in Biarritz in last year's model, which was as bad as appearing in the fur of the previous season. It is worth noting that advertising can appear in many shapes, which are accounted for in this little two-wheel episode. The Swedish lieutenant Einar Söderén made a stop on l'avenue de l'Opéra with his 1925 Husqvarna on his way to northern Africa. Interested Parisians gathered around his machine wondering what this beast was made of. Being surprised over the Swedish steel and its quality made of rigid material, some motoring insiders were surprised to see the big engine that powered this vehicle. "C'est un vrai construction avec une moteur comme dans une voiture," were the spontaneous comments. It was truly good publicity although the brand was not sold there at the time. From its early days, the motorcycle was a magnificent beast - both economically and politically. During the 20s, it took a somewhat modest position in comparison with the four-wheelers. But not only did one regard all the new possibilities riding a potent machine on the road, but also the design and a prestigious layout grew in people's mind. More often than not, the new vehicle era of the 30s developed into a showpiece of the bike designers around Europe and Husqvarna played a vital role in these European developments. Printed press such as daily journals and weekly magazines had at the time no competition from other media. And certainly not from television, which was still a long way from being introduced. Prints of the era raised the question whether advertising was to be considered an independent art form - or just a folly existing in the tabloids, newspapers and magazines. The debate was absolutely not new as it had been an ongoing theme for at least 500 years since an Englishman printed a leaflet on a hand-press in London. In the 15th century, this man called for attention that his products could be purchased at a low price, which was great news at the time. At Husqvarna, the boardroom consisted of men in suits during the 30s. Sales increased into the 1,000s during the last part of the 20s and now was the time to look to the future. After establishing how to invest and where to book the profits, the Husky men had the noble task of establishing their goals in advertising. Racing was hot on the Swedish agenda and instead of using the normal tools by publishing street machines, it was decided to feature TT – Tourist Trophy – race success as a new concept from the factory. It was decided that racing success was the right medicine for transmitting sales messages to the would-be customers. And, as racing victories took off in the beginning of the 30s, the advertising department - maybe just one man - showed the Swedish customers elegant photos or sketches of successful riders in their leathers competing on the Swedish machine. So, in the early 30s, you would see Gunnar Kalén, Ragnar Sunnqvist and Ake Jonsson in advertisements, featuring these riders' latest victories. Simple sketches were the favourites and no glittering shots were used to communicate the company's agenda. It was definitely not the same art as in the automobile business. However, it was a straight-forward concept that worked well within the Scandinavian borders. Mind you, everything published was in colourful black-and-white shades - no true colours here! In the end, originals were for rich people - advertising, you could say, was a poor man's art. However, ‘if the bike I ride to work can also win races, then I feel I’ve made a good choice buying the right machine’ was the important statement. In a quest for excellence, Husqvarna always strived to better its position on the market by advertising their products. So, be it Gunnar Kalén or Stanley Woods, the riders always marked success by being an icon in the eyes of the customers. To develop means to look forward, taking pleasure in wins and constantly strive for the next victory. But the 30s came to an abrupt halt when the war stalled ambitions towards the end of this magnificent decade.
  11. Get2Know Red Bull KTM Factory Racing´s Jonny Walker

    Get2Know Red Bull KTM Factory Racing´s Jonny Walker Jonny Walker certainly is one of the best enduro riders worldwide. The British ace currently tops the standings of the World Enduro Super Series as the next and fourth round – the Red Bull Romaniacs – is underway. Jonny Walker (GBR) 2018 © Marcin Kin Marking the halfway point in this year´s series, the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania will play a pivotal role in the race to become the Ultimate Enduro Champion. But what is needed to win a five-day hard enduro event that is regarded as the world´s toughest and to be crowned WESS champion? We visited Jonny in Andorra to learn more about the importance of fitness training, on-bike skills and the mental attitude needed to race at the very top level of enduro … [embedded content] Photo: Marcin Kin Video: Future7Media
  12. Get2Know Red Bull KTM Factory Racing´s Jonny Walker Jonny Walker certainly is one of the best enduro riders worldwide. The British ace currently tops the standings of the World Enduro Super Series as the next and fourth round – the Red Bull Romaniacs – is underway. Jonny Walker (GBR) 2018 © Marcin Kin Marking the halfway point in this year´s series, the Red Bull Romaniacs in Romania will play a pivotal role in the race to become the Ultimate Enduro Champion. But what is needed to win a five-day hard enduro event that is regarded as the world´s toughest and to be crowned WESS champion? We visited Jonny in Andorra to learn more about the importance of fitness training, on-bike skills and the mental attitude needed to race at the very top level of enduro … [embedded content] Photo: Marcin Kin Video: Future7Media
  13. Interview of the Month: Pol and Bradley’s favorites There are plenty of just a bit too serious interviews on our MotoGPTM heroes, so instead we thought we’d keep it nice and casual. We met up with Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith in the Red Bull Hospitality to do a little quiz. The KTM duo had to guess each other’s favorites, and for every right answer they scored a point. Let’s see who came out on top! Pol: “Ah, I’m already pretty sure Bradley’s going to be so much better at this than me.” Bradley: “He doesn’t even know who his own favorites are. That’s Pol’s problem. Right, let’s do this. I’m ready!” Pol: “Me too!” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite MotoGPTM Legend? Pol: “Yes, I know this one! That has to be Randy Mamola. He helped Bradley out during his career and was inducted to the Legends Club at the Austin Grand Prix of this year. That’s a point for me; I’m sure!” Bradley: “He’s right. I have no clue as to who would be Pol’s favorite MotoGPTM Legend, but I do remember a rider that used to mean a lot to him. That’s Alex Barros.” Pol: “Yes, that’s a point for Brad.” Bradley: “Though Alex isn’t officially a Legend, right?” Pol: “He isn’t? Well, he sure should be.” Bradley: “You know what? We are now making him a Legend here on the spot.” Pol: “I totally agree. Alex helped me so much when I was only just starting out in racing, back when I raced in the Catalan championship. I was managed by a guy that knew Alex and he set up a meeting with him. He was so kind and he let me into his motorhome. As a little kid that meant so much. I really enjoyed him helping me back then.” Bradley: “That was back when television was still in black and white, right?” Pol vs Bradley: 1:1 Favorite holiday destination? Bradley: “That’s an easy one. Pol’s is Australia. Surfing and the beach are the only things you could wake Pol up early for. Well, that and riding a MotoGPTM bike, obviously. He’ll wake up for that, too.” Pol: “That was a bit too easy. I don’t have a clue what Bradley’s favorite holiday destination is. Malaysia maybe, with extreme temperatures and the horrid humidity. He’d love that; he has to.” Bradley: “Hahaha … Yeah, just about right! No, I really enjoy going to America; California above all. I really like San Diego. Bit of motocross, pushbike rides, and the beach. That’s the good life.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:2 Favorite racetrack? Bradley: “Easy again. That is Phillip Island. Australia and that track are at the top of his list, I’m absolutely sure.” Pol: “Oh, come one! This isn’t fair. Anyway, I guess Bradley’s would be Silverstone. Sole reason to go with that is because it’s his home track, because I really wouldn’t know …” Bradley: “It’s Mugello, though.” Pol: “Right, I should have known that. Another point for Brad.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:3 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite movie? Pol: “Bradley’s? That’s a given! Has to be Dirty Dancing, both part 1 and part 2.” Bradley: “Pol is amazing, isn’t he? Guessing Pol’s favorite movie would be My Little Pony then. It just has to be.” Pol: “Who told you that?” Obviously neither Pol nor Bradley will be getting any point for this. The score remains 1-3. Favorite beverage? Bradley: “Red Bull.” Pol: “It’s incredible; how do you know all this? But then Red Bull has to be your favorite, right? High five, man! We’re really good at this. But, do you know my favorite flavor too?” Bradley: “Err, dunno. Sugar free perhaps?” Pol: “No way. That has to be your favorite, since you’re constantly working on your diet. It’s Silver; the lime flavored one.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:4 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite current MotoGPTM rider? Bradley: “I’d have to go with his brother Aleix. It might not be his absolute favorite, but he just has to say he is. It’s still family, right?” Pol: “Yes, Bradley nailed it. If it wasn’t for Aleix I would have probably said Dovizioso. Good guy all round and a fast rider too. Really nice guy, but of course my first pick would be my brother.” Bradley: “Pol, it’s 5-2 for me now. You are going to have to start picking up the slack. Just adding a bit of pressure for you.” Pol: “Well, another tough one. Cal Crutchlow, maybe?” Bradley: “Nope.” Pol: “It isn’t? Scheisse! [Shit!]” Bradley: “I’ll give you another shot. Don’t think you’ll get it anyways.” Pol: “Okay, so it’s someone I wouldn’t think of right away … Karel Abraham then!” Bradley: “Wrong! It’s Danilo Petrucci. Main reason is how he made it to MotoGPTM. He got so much stick when he rode the CRT bike. But every chance he got, he took. He just keeps making strides and now he’s managed to put his signature under a works contract. At this point in his career, that deserves respect.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:5 Favorite car? Bradley: “Pol came in his dream car, so that’s a Lamborghini. Just no clue on what type it is. What was that again?” Pol: “Yes, he’s right. It’s a Huracán. I know Bradley doesn’t feel much for supercars, so that isn’t worth going into. I expect he would like a nice van; something his dirtbike would fit into. He could even live and sleep in there, that’s the sort of answer I’m expecting.” Bradley: “That’s not a bad idea, but to be fair, my dream car is a Rolls-Royce.” Pol: “Of course, I like those too.” Bradley: “To put it simply; I have two sides. I’m from Oxford, so I’m expected to be the gentleman. A bit posh. That’s why I like Rolls-Royces. My grandfather has one; a 1996 or 1997 model. His car still looks amazing. But yeah, then I’m also a gipsy, so living out of a van is something I’d enjoy too. So, Pol’s answer was actually half good. Can we award half points?” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:6 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite animal? Bradley: “I know that one too! A kangaroo.” Pol: “Here we go again! Everything comes down to my love for Australia.” Bradley: “Don’t get me wrong, but we’ve been teammates for … wow, a long time. Since 2014, I guess? You get to know a person, you know.” Pol: “But then tell me, how come you seem to know me a lot better than I know you? You’ve never told me about your favorite animal.” Bradley: “I don’t talk about my personal life that much, actually.” Pol: “Do you even like animals at all? I don’t even know that. I’m going with a rabbit; shot in the dark.” Bradley: “Nope, it’s a crocodile.” Pol: “How was I supposed to know that? You like crocodiles; that’s crazy!” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:7 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite sport? Amendment: no other forms of motorsport allowed. Pol: “If that’s the case, it has to be cycling for Bradley.” Bradley: “That’s right. For Pol I’d go with ski touring, like hiking in the mountains but on skis. He lives in Andorra, and I know he goes into the mountains there a lot during winter.” Pol: “I’ll let him have half a point, because I really do like surfing too. The other sport, I think, is officially called Skimo.” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:7.5 Favorite food? Bradley: “I’d go with pan con tomate, a typical Catalan thing.” Pol: “Good again. I really love that. Basically, just toast you rub tomato into. Bit of oil and some cured ham to go with it. I think Bradley would go with something like a nice and big hamburger maybe? That’s what I’d pick for him if we’d be in a restaurant.” Bradley: “It’s a typical British roast dinner. We usually eat that on a Sunday and it’s actually pretty quaint. Meat, potatoes, and greens. No points for Pol.” Pol: “Seriously? I’m getting owned here!” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:8.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite motocross rider? Bradley: “Oh my god … Best guess? Vico [former Spanish MX rider].” Pol: “No, mine is Jorge Prado. He’s young, he’s talented, and he’s always smiling. Good kid and a Spaniard of course. Another bonus; he’s a KTM rider too. Bradley’s favorite is … “ Bradley: “We have the same complexion.” Pol: “I know, I know. The American, right? Didn’t he race for Kawasaki?” Bradley: “And Suzuki, and Honda too. Raced the number 4.” Pol: “I just can’t come up with the name!” Bradley: “It starts with Car …” Pol: “Carmichael, yes.” Bradley: “Okay, we’ll let Pol have half a point.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite music? Bradley: “Pol would go with Reggaeton, I guess.” Pol: “No way, come one. You would like Ed Sheeran. He’s English too, right?” Bradley: “But then everyone likes Ed Sheeran.” Pol: “And he’s orange like you too. Aren’t the two of you related?” Bradley: “Sort of, but I’m a lousy singer. Not too many ginger guys make it, so we have to stick up for each other. Brothers for life.” Pol: “Let’s just agree neither of us get a point here.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Favorite corner? Pol: “Bradley would like a hard and very technical corner, lacking any form of grip. That’s where he shines; that’s the sort of corner he likes most.” Bradley: “The corner everyone hates, I love. Completely counterintuitive. Take a rainy day at Misano, turn 1. That would probably be it for me.” Pol: “It would be impossible to guess my favorite; I don’t even know what my favorite corner is!” Bradley: “I really like nicely cambered corners, but those are becoming rare. Assen’s Stekkenwal is one.” Pol: “Loads of grip, too. That’s one amazing corner, indeed.” Bradley: “And the final turn at Phillip Island is the same. You turn in, the bike slightly floating, only to pick up the grip again really fast. That sensation is awesome.” Pol: “We didn’t really score any points here, did we? But we both did have nice answers. What would you say if we both get a point, for the effort.” The judges aren’t particularly harsh today. A mark on both scorecards. Pol vs Bradley: 5:9.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite fruit? Pol: “I go for grapes, he eats a lot of them.” Bradley: “I do, actually. And Pol’s favorite fruit? Let me think.” Pol: “Don’t you dare say bananas! That would be too easy of a joke to make.” Bradley: “No, I think he probably really likes durian.” Pol: “Oh no, that’s that weird Malaysian fruit, right? Those things smell so bad.” Bradley: “The smell is horrendous, I know. But they really don’t taste too bad.” Pol: “Yeah, it’s really bad. So bad even, you’re not allowed to bring durians to your hotel.” Bradley: “Yes, and Pol loves them.” Pol: “No, I really don’t! I can’t come up with what they call my favorite fruit in English. [Pol gets up and gets a piece of fruit from the bowl in the Red Bull Hospitality]. This, what do you call that? A plum? Yeah, that’s right! I like those.” Pol vs Bradley: 6:9.5 Favorite street bike? Bradley: “That’s the Husqvarna Vitte … something Pilen.” Pol: “It’s the new Husky, but I’ll go with the Svartpilen. That bike looks so cool. I don’t have one yet, but I’m waiting for it now.” Bradley: “Hahaha, That’s right. I remember Pol at last year’s EICMA in Italy. He just had to have one. Of course, he’s still hoping they’ll give him one.” Pol: “For Bradley it has to be an enduro bike of some sorts. Something like those new KTM 300cc 2-strokes.” Bradley: “If we’re sticking to KTM built bikes, that would be the one, yes. But I’d really love me something like a café racer. KTM just doesn’t build bikes like that. The other day I saw a promo on Max Verstappen’s new bike. That thing is incredible. I think that would be my dream bike right now. It’s completely different from anything that’s come before it. You know what, I’ll let Max pay for it and then borrow it off him every once in a while.” Pol: “Yeah, you show him how to ride it.” Bradley: “I will!” Pol vs Bradley: 7:10.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite Marvel or DC character? Bradley: “What’s Marvel or DC?” Pol: “Come on, Brad. You know this!” Bradley: “Is that with all those Spider Man kind of characters?” Pol: “Yeah, those popular superhero movies.” Bradley: “If that’s the case I know Pol’s favorite. Has to be Wonder Woman.” Pol: “Bradley would pick the green one, that ugly guy. The Hulk, that’s right. But Bradley is right about Wonder Woman. I really like her.” Bradley: “She is beautiful, isn’t she? Isn’t the actrice French? I’m pretty sure she is. I’d want her to be French. She could talk French to me all day long, even though I wouldn’t be able to understand a single word she’d say.” Pol vs Bradley: 7:11.5 Favorite MotoGPTM battle? Pol: “Am I even in with a shout of winning this anymore? Anyway, I have no clue. I don’t even know that for myself, my favorite MotoGPTM battle …” Bradley: “If I remember correctly it was Assen 2015. It was a scrap for P5, so no-one saw the battle on TV, but to me it was the most epic battle ever. We were both in the group.” Pol: “I remember that. That was a really good fight. I also remember having terrible arm pump. I just kept throwing the bike into the corner like a madman, blocking the rest, basically turning myself into some sort of riding chicane. In the end I did manage to come out on top, but the arm pump really didn’t make it any easier.” Okay, points for you both. That makes the score 8-12.5, with Bradley leading the way. Last question is a bonus. There are two points up for grabs for both of you. Pol: “I’ve lost already, right? But I’m going to defend my honor by getting this right. Should make the loss feel less painful.” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem His favorite model? Pol: “Model??? I’m going to go with Axel Pons; he’s a model now. What are you laughing about, Brad? He really is a model; I’m not kidding. Come on, tell me! Am I right? I’m not entirely certain it’s right …” Bradley: “You’re only saying this because it’s the only model you know.” Pol: “That’s about right.” Bradley: “Let’s be honest, most pictures of models are photo shopped beyond recognition. So, I’m just going to go with Wonder Woman again.” Pol: “Brad’s right. Let’s just both go with Wonder Woman.” That round changing nothing for the final score – Pol vs Bradley: 8:12.5 Bradley: “Oh yeah, I’ll have that! It’s one of the few times I’ve managed to finish ahead of Pol over the last two years. This is my moment of glory … yeah!” Pol: “But if we turn the page, I win. But okay, I’m content with this. In the end I came out second overall and that’s a podium finish regardless. I’m kind of proud of that.” Photos: Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem
  14. Interview of the Month: Pol and Bradley’s favorites

    Interview of the Month: Pol and Bradley’s favorites There are plenty of just a bit too serious interviews on our MotoGPTM heroes, so instead we thought we’d keep it nice and casual. We met up with Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith in the Red Bull Hospitality to do a little quiz. The KTM duo had to guess each other’s favorites, and for every right answer they scored a point. Let’s see who came out on top! Pol: “Ah, I’m already pretty sure Bradley’s going to be so much better at this than me.” Bradley: “He doesn’t even know who his own favorites are. That’s Pol’s problem. Right, let’s do this. I’m ready!” Pol: “Me too!” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite MotoGPTM Legend? Pol: “Yes, I know this one! That has to be Randy Mamola. He helped Bradley out during his career and was inducted to the Legends Club at the Austin Grand Prix of this year. That’s a point for me; I’m sure!” Bradley: “He’s right. I have no clue as to who would be Pol’s favorite MotoGPTM Legend, but I do remember a rider that used to mean a lot to him. That’s Alex Barros.” Pol: “Yes, that’s a point for Brad.” Bradley: “Though Alex isn’t officially a Legend, right?” Pol: “He isn’t? Well, he sure should be.” Bradley: “You know what? We are now making him a Legend here on the spot.” Pol: “I totally agree. Alex helped me so much when I was only just starting out in racing, back when I raced in the Catalan championship. I was managed by a guy that knew Alex and he set up a meeting with him. He was so kind and he let me into his motorhome. As a little kid that meant so much. I really enjoyed him helping me back then.” Bradley: “That was back when television was still in black and white, right?” Pol vs Bradley: 1:1 Favorite holiday destination? Bradley: “That’s an easy one. Pol’s is Australia. Surfing and the beach are the only things you could wake Pol up early for. Well, that and riding a MotoGPTM bike, obviously. He’ll wake up for that, too.” Pol: “That was a bit too easy. I don’t have a clue what Bradley’s favorite holiday destination is. Malaysia maybe, with extreme temperatures and the horrid humidity. He’d love that; he has to.” Bradley: “Hahaha … Yeah, just about right! No, I really enjoy going to America; California above all. I really like San Diego. Bit of motocross, pushbike rides, and the beach. That’s the good life.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:2 Favorite racetrack? Bradley: “Easy again. That is Phillip Island. Australia and that track are at the top of his list, I’m absolutely sure.” Pol: “Oh, come one! This isn’t fair. Anyway, I guess Bradley’s would be Silverstone. Sole reason to go with that is because it’s his home track, because I really wouldn’t know …” Bradley: “It’s Mugello, though.” Pol: “Right, I should have known that. Another point for Brad.” Pol vs Bradley: 1:3 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite movie? Pol: “Bradley’s? That’s a given! Has to be Dirty Dancing, both part 1 and part 2.” Bradley: “Pol is amazing, isn’t he? Guessing Pol’s favorite movie would be My Little Pony then. It just has to be.” Pol: “Who told you that?” Obviously neither Pol nor Bradley will be getting any point for this. The score remains 1-3. Favorite beverage? Bradley: “Red Bull.” Pol: “It’s incredible; how do you know all this? But then Red Bull has to be your favorite, right? High five, man! We’re really good at this. But, do you know my favorite flavor too?” Bradley: “Err, dunno. Sugar free perhaps?” Pol: “No way. That has to be your favorite, since you’re constantly working on your diet. It’s Silver; the lime flavored one.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:4 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite current MotoGPTM rider? Bradley: “I’d have to go with his brother Aleix. It might not be his absolute favorite, but he just has to say he is. It’s still family, right?” Pol: “Yes, Bradley nailed it. If it wasn’t for Aleix I would have probably said Dovizioso. Good guy all round and a fast rider too. Really nice guy, but of course my first pick would be my brother.” Bradley: “Pol, it’s 5-2 for me now. You are going to have to start picking up the slack. Just adding a bit of pressure for you.” Pol: “Well, another tough one. Cal Crutchlow, maybe?” Bradley: “Nope.” Pol: “It isn’t? Scheisse! [Shit!]” Bradley: “I’ll give you another shot. Don’t think you’ll get it anyways.” Pol: “Okay, so it’s someone I wouldn’t think of right away … Karel Abraham then!” Bradley: “Wrong! It’s Danilo Petrucci. Main reason is how he made it to MotoGPTM. He got so much stick when he rode the CRT bike. But every chance he got, he took. He just keeps making strides and now he’s managed to put his signature under a works contract. At this point in his career, that deserves respect.” Pol vs Bradley: 2:5 Favorite car? Bradley: “Pol came in his dream car, so that’s a Lamborghini. Just no clue on what type it is. What was that again?” Pol: “Yes, he’s right. It’s a Huracán. I know Bradley doesn’t feel much for supercars, so that isn’t worth going into. I expect he would like a nice van; something his dirtbike would fit into. He could even live and sleep in there, that’s the sort of answer I’m expecting.” Bradley: “That’s not a bad idea, but to be fair, my dream car is a Rolls-Royce.” Pol: “Of course, I like those too.” Bradley: “To put it simply; I have two sides. I’m from Oxford, so I’m expected to be the gentleman. A bit posh. That’s why I like Rolls-Royces. My grandfather has one; a 1996 or 1997 model. His car still looks amazing. But yeah, then I’m also a gipsy, so living out of a van is something I’d enjoy too. So, Pol’s answer was actually half good. Can we award half points?” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:6 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite animal? Bradley: “I know that one too! A kangaroo.” Pol: “Here we go again! Everything comes down to my love for Australia.” Bradley: “Don’t get me wrong, but we’ve been teammates for … wow, a long time. Since 2014, I guess? You get to know a person, you know.” Pol: “But then tell me, how come you seem to know me a lot better than I know you? You’ve never told me about your favorite animal.” Bradley: “I don’t talk about my personal life that much, actually.” Pol: “Do you even like animals at all? I don’t even know that. I’m going with a rabbit; shot in the dark.” Bradley: “Nope, it’s a crocodile.” Pol: “How was I supposed to know that? You like crocodiles; that’s crazy!” Pol vs Bradley: 2.5:7 Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite sport? Amendment: no other forms of motorsport allowed. Pol: “If that’s the case, it has to be cycling for Bradley.” Bradley: “That’s right. For Pol I’d go with ski touring, like hiking in the mountains but on skis. He lives in Andorra, and I know he goes into the mountains there a lot during winter.” Pol: “I’ll let him have half a point, because I really do like surfing too. The other sport, I think, is officially called Skimo.” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:7.5 Favorite food? Bradley: “I’d go with pan con tomate, a typical Catalan thing.” Pol: “Good again. I really love that. Basically, just toast you rub tomato into. Bit of oil and some cured ham to go with it. I think Bradley would go with something like a nice and big hamburger maybe? That’s what I’d pick for him if we’d be in a restaurant.” Bradley: “It’s a typical British roast dinner. We usually eat that on a Sunday and it’s actually pretty quaint. Meat, potatoes, and greens. No points for Pol.” Pol: “Seriously? I’m getting owned here!” Pol vs Bradley: 3.5:8.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite motocross rider? Bradley: “Oh my god … Best guess? Vico [former Spanish MX rider].” Pol: “No, mine is Jorge Prado. He’s young, he’s talented, and he’s always smiling. Good kid and a Spaniard of course. Another bonus; he’s a KTM rider too. Bradley’s favorite is … “ Bradley: “We have the same complexion.” Pol: “I know, I know. The American, right? Didn’t he race for Kawasaki?” Bradley: “And Suzuki, and Honda too. Raced the number 4.” Pol: “I just can’t come up with the name!” Bradley: “It starts with Car …” Pol: “Carmichael, yes.” Bradley: “Okay, we’ll let Pol have half a point.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite music? Bradley: “Pol would go with Reggaeton, I guess.” Pol: “No way, come one. You would like Ed Sheeran. He’s English too, right?” Bradley: “But then everyone likes Ed Sheeran.” Pol: “And he’s orange like you too. Aren’t the two of you related?” Bradley: “Sort of, but I’m a lousy singer. Not too many ginger guys make it, so we have to stick up for each other. Brothers for life.” Pol: “Let’s just agree neither of us get a point here.” Pol vs Bradley: 4:8.5 Favorite corner? Pol: “Bradley would like a hard and very technical corner, lacking any form of grip. That’s where he shines; that’s the sort of corner he likes most.” Bradley: “The corner everyone hates, I love. Completely counterintuitive. Take a rainy day at Misano, turn 1. That would probably be it for me.” Pol: “It would be impossible to guess my favorite; I don’t even know what my favorite corner is!” Bradley: “I really like nicely cambered corners, but those are becoming rare. Assen’s Stekkenwal is one.” Pol: “Loads of grip, too. That’s one amazing corner, indeed.” Bradley: “And the final turn at Phillip Island is the same. You turn in, the bike slightly floating, only to pick up the grip again really fast. That sensation is awesome.” Pol: “We didn’t really score any points here, did we? But we both did have nice answers. What would you say if we both get a point, for the effort.” The judges aren’t particularly harsh today. A mark on both scorecards. Pol vs Bradley: 5:9.5 Pol Espargaró (ESP) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite fruit? Pol: “I go for grapes, he eats a lot of them.” Bradley: “I do, actually. And Pol’s favorite fruit? Let me think.” Pol: “Don’t you dare say bananas! That would be too easy of a joke to make.” Bradley: “No, I think he probably really likes durian.” Pol: “Oh no, that’s that weird Malaysian fruit, right? Those things smell so bad.” Bradley: “The smell is horrendous, I know. But they really don’t taste too bad.” Pol: “Yeah, it’s really bad. So bad even, you’re not allowed to bring durians to your hotel.” Bradley: “Yes, and Pol loves them.” Pol: “No, I really don’t! I can’t come up with what they call my favorite fruit in English. [Pol gets up and gets a piece of fruit from the bowl in the Red Bull Hospitality]. This, what do you call that? A plum? Yeah, that’s right! I like those.” Pol vs Bradley: 6:9.5 Favorite street bike? Bradley: “That’s the Husqvarna Vitte … something Pilen.” Pol: “It’s the new Husky, but I’ll go with the Svartpilen. That bike looks so cool. I don’t have one yet, but I’m waiting for it now.” Bradley: “Hahaha, That’s right. I remember Pol at last year’s EICMA in Italy. He just had to have one. Of course, he’s still hoping they’ll give him one.” Pol: “For Bradley it has to be an enduro bike of some sorts. Something like those new KTM 300cc 2-strokes.” Bradley: “If we’re sticking to KTM built bikes, that would be the one, yes. But I’d really love me something like a café racer. KTM just doesn’t build bikes like that. The other day I saw a promo on Max Verstappen’s new bike. That thing is incredible. I think that would be my dream bike right now. It’s completely different from anything that’s come before it. You know what, I’ll let Max pay for it and then borrow it off him every once in a while.” Pol: “Yeah, you show him how to ride it.” Bradley: “I will!” Pol vs Bradley: 7:10.5 Bradley Smith (GBR) KTM RC16 Assen (NED) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem Favorite Marvel or DC character? Bradley: “What’s Marvel or DC?” Pol: “Come on, Brad. You know this!” Bradley: “Is that with all those Spider Man kind of characters?” Pol: “Yeah, those popular superhero movies.” Bradley: “If that’s the case I know Pol’s favorite. Has to be Wonder Woman.” Pol: “Bradley would pick the green one, that ugly guy. The Hulk, that’s right. But Bradley is right about Wonder Woman. I really like her.” Bradley: “She is beautiful, isn’t she? Isn’t the actrice French? I’m pretty sure she is. I’d want her to be French. She could talk French to me all day long, even though I wouldn’t be able to understand a single word she’d say.” Pol vs Bradley: 7:11.5 Favorite MotoGPTM battle? Pol: “Am I even in with a shout of winning this anymore? Anyway, I have no clue. I don’t even know that for myself, my favorite MotoGPTM battle …” Bradley: “If I remember correctly it was Assen 2015. It was a scrap for P5, so no-one saw the battle on TV, but to me it was the most epic battle ever. We were both in the group.” Pol: “I remember that. That was a really good fight. I also remember having terrible arm pump. I just kept throwing the bike into the corner like a madman, blocking the rest, basically turning myself into some sort of riding chicane. In the end I did manage to come out on top, but the arm pump really didn’t make it any easier.” Okay, points for you both. That makes the score 8-12.5, with Bradley leading the way. Last question is a bonus. There are two points up for grabs for both of you. Pol: “I’ve lost already, right? But I’m going to defend my honor by getting this right. Should make the loss feel less painful.” Pol Espargaró (ESP) & Bradley Smith (GBR) 2018 © Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem His favorite model? Pol: “Model??? I’m going to go with Axel Pons; he’s a model now. What are you laughing about, Brad? He really is a model; I’m not kidding. Come on, tell me! Am I right? I’m not entirely certain it’s right …” Bradley: “You’re only saying this because it’s the only model you know.” Pol: “That’s about right.” Bradley: “Let’s be honest, most pictures of models are photo shopped beyond recognition. So, I’m just going to go with Wonder Woman again.” Pol: “Brad’s right. Let’s just both go with Wonder Woman.” That round changing nothing for the final score – Pol vs Bradley: 8:12.5 Bradley: “Oh yeah, I’ll have that! It’s one of the few times I’ve managed to finish ahead of Pol over the last two years. This is my moment of glory … yeah!” Pol: “But if we turn the page, I win. But okay, I’m content with this. In the end I came out second overall and that’s a podium finish regardless. I’m kind of proud of that.” Photos: Jarno van Osch/Shot Up Productions | Guus van Goethem
  15. Red Bull, KTM & MotoGP™: All in the ‘house’ Posted in Lifestyle, Racing We visit Red Bull’s vast Holzhaus in the MotoGPTM paddock and find out about the company’s aims and desires inside MotoGPTM … Red Bull emerged in MotoGPTM through Yamaha, several key athletes, an association with HRC, event sponsorship, Rookies Cups and finally emphatic presence in every Grand Prix class with Red Bull KTM. Today the Red Bull Energy Station ‘Holzhaus’ stands both as a subtle but monolithic presence in the MotoGPTM paddock and reflects the ambition and vision of both the company and KTM’s hunger for racing prestige. Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Walking into the Holzhaus is a little like entering the spacious and airy confines of a hotel. The wooded interior with strategically placed monitors, fridges and seating becomes more casual and less functional (but somehow also more exclusive) the further you rise through the three floors. A vast coffee bar greets the visitor once through the doors and past the showbike KTM. The 16 trucks needed to ship the 788m2 Holzhaus first rolled into the paddock in 2017. The catering/entertainment/business facility quickly became a reference for how Red Bull had grown into the sport. “We’ve come a long way in MotoGPTM and I think the series has been rising year after year in terms of relevance and perception by the public and as a brand we want to be involved in the top motorsports categories,” commented a senior Red Bull spokesperson during our visit and tour. “It is a no-brainer to be involved here. We really like this environment and it is accessible for us and enjoyable to work in as a brand, and for this reason the size of our presence in this paddock has been significantly growing.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Red Bull’s early biking roots were stamped hard in 2007 with the creation of the Rookies Cup; a filtering competition to Grand Prix that has already produced star talent like Johann Zarco, to name one athlete among many. The contest was backed by KTM and the Austrian link spread to Moto3 (the first title was won in 2012) and then Moto2 before completing the circle in 2017 with the KTM RC16 baptizing KTM’s intent on the premier class. The Holzhaus is the home for this ranging alliance. “For KTM and Red Bull in the paddock this is the central hub and from 2018 we are bringing all of our entities inside,” comments our guide. “It is a great way to give our friends and partners an experience of our engagement in MotoGPTM. This space speaks for us.” More than twenty staff appear to be permanently busy while guests eat and drink only meters away from mechanics, TV pundits and Grand Prix riders. Red Bull opened a lot of eyes in 2017 when the hospitality unit that is almost at F1 level (“I think the Formula One station is even a bit bigger but F1 teams are a bit bigger than MotoGPTM teams. I think this is two-thirds of the size.”) and requires three days to build and two to dismantle what was first erected. But it has expanded in terms of scale since. “Mainly because of the Rookies Cup,” we are told. “We used to have a second facility for them but as a matter of efficiency we brought them in here. When you consider we are feeding between 4-500 people each mealtime in different stages then it gives you an idea for the size of the operation and also puts it into perspective because it is a big building but when you consider the amount of people then it serves a good purpose.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool We’re served a coffee and shown the rooftop terrace that again gives the Holzhaus that spotless and desirable ‘hotel’ feeling. There is a hint of luxury, the feeling of canteen downstairs and the sense that this is a sizeable pocket away from the oil, noise and engineering of the race bikes. Our hosts are quick to stress the versatility of the location. “I think you can see from the style and the layout that it is a multi-functional place for us in the paddock. We’ve hosted presentations, a team launch and more events in conjunction with [MotoGPTM rights holders] Dorna. There are many ways we can use it and KTM run media debriefs and we have big screens and multimedia. Our staff is also used to quickly changing the configuration as well.” Red Bull Energy Station © Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool Rumors circulated in the paddock of the millions needed to create and run the Holzhaus. It was therefore irresistible (if predictably futile!) to ask about a ballpark figure to make it all happen. “It is an investment!” is as close as we get. “Purely through the sheer size of it but also the quality we are trying to bring. What is important is that our product – the Red Bull energy drink – is something we use a lot on the premises and is part of the gastronomy occasions; and this is a gastronomy outlet and a pretty nice looking one! We try to make our products fit here; we are a premium product so we try to make the surroundings fit as well in a similar style and manner, that’s why we pay a lot of attention to the details and the setup.” Hiking the Holzhaus to at least ten of the nineteen MotoGPTM events in 2018 is no easy (or cheap) task. Is there a risk that it might not pay off in the short term? We’re met with a serious look. “Of course, if you build a facility like this then it is not just for one year so the plan is to use it for many years,” we’re informed. “For us it has been made as the home for Red Bull KTM but also for Red Bull and our guests. We are planning for the long-term and also developing it year-after-year. We are trying to maximize the facility and the space we get in the paddock from IRTA.” Wow, it might get even larger then. It already has a detachable terrace in some of the larger circuit areas. Red Bull KTM MotoGP Team Barcelona (ESP) 2018 © Markus Berger Importantly for bike racing the unit is a symbol for how a major lifestyle company wants to continue to support and back the sport. The Holzhaus might not appear in other motorcycle paddocks but it’s a statement for how Red Bull view two-wheeled competition across the board and for their synergy with KTM. “MotoGPTM has been expanding quite a lot in terms of viewership over the last few years. Motocross and Supercross in the States as well are both healthy sports. We are present in all the key motorcycling categories like MXGP with Red Bull KTM, Rally and Supercross. We try to find the strategy to be competitive in those series, especially because our competitors are very involved, particularly with the offroad side and they are very active with series sponsorships. So, we try to find our positions there and the relationship with KTM helps a lot and we have been winning many championships over the years.” As we descend the stairs and given a friendly farewell it’s not difficult to understand just how and why Red Bull KTM are rapidly progressing to the front of the Grand Prix grids. Photos: Andreas Aufschnaiter/Red Bull Content Pool | Markus Berger
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