KicXstart Column #1 - April 2018

English translation below!

The preparation for this race season is different from other years. It’s the same sort of chaos, mainly financially we’re not sorted yet, however I have a sense of peace – because I finally know I’m on the right track. Last year was my first season on the roads, and it went incredibly well.

I participate in the IRRC (International Road Racing Championship), a Supersport and Superbike championship that takes place over 6 rounds in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, and Finland. I compete in the Superbike class, for my own team, on a beautiful (fast, reliable) 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R. For the first race at Hengelo my team and I were somewhat cautious. There’s always the chance of me doing one session in between the trees and thinking ‘nope, not for me’. Luckily, as expected, I actually loved it, and we were able to raise the bar bit by bit after Hengelo. In overall points I ended up 14th, in a field of 40+ riders.

I started motorcycle racing in 2010, at 18 years old, and back then never dared dream of everything I have achieved now (though this is only the beginning). Mainly because I didn’t even want to race a superbike, let alone roads, but also because I’m not from a racing family. My parents do both ride, since they were 18, and when I was young we’d always watch MotoGP and World Superbike, but they never raced themselves. This meant I had a lot to discover for myself, and luckily throughout the years, with help from my parents, I was able to put myself in the position to learn from some of the best riders in the world (i.a. Colin Edwards, Peter Hickman, Scott Russell).

End 2013 I, after re-watching ‘TT3D: Closer To The Edge’, decided to want to ride the Isle of Man TT. The look in the racers’ eyes when the speak about riding there, I wanted to feel that too! A first step towards TT, or road racing in general, was in my eyes to make the switch to the British Superbike Championship. This because of the generally narrow and hilly circuits, and the high level of competition. I rode there for three years; two seasons in the Ducati TriOptions Cup, and one season in Superstock 1000 for Team ILR (Ian Lougher Racing). The latter sadly wasn’t quite what I expected, but it did teach me that a good team – a team capable of winning – doesn’t need a big name behind it. Much more important is a very reliable mechanic, and a good atmosphere. So I started my own team, with the best mechanic I’ve ever met. We have a lot of fun, work smart and hard, and I think our results in our debut roads season speak for themselves.

This year we will once again start in all IRRC races, and next to that we return to the UK for two of the biggest road racing events in the world: the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix. To be able to race these events is a proper dream come true, if I think about it for too long it feels surreal, but still: I know my team and I belong there, and I know we’ll get some good results. I’ll share my experiences with you through this column, and I hope you’ll enjoy to learn a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes in (road)racing. I’d love to hear any feedback, for example through social media, you can find me on all platforms as Nadieh Schoots.