It was recently announced that Bas Vaessen will race for the Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee after an up and down season for the 114 Motorsports Honda team in 2018.
Vaessen showed his potential at times but injures often interrupted his momentum. Now, with a new season fast approaching, Vaessen was out riding in California and getting a feel of the KTM machine before heading home to take on a packed year of 19 Grand Prix races and eight British championship events plus the Hawkstone Park International!
We caught up with the Dutchman to get his thoughts on switching to KTM and the upcoming season.
Gatedrop: It’s just been announced you’ve signed with Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee. How did the deal all come about and you must be happy to secure your future?
I feel happy with the deal. Around the last few GP’s someone from Hitachi came to us and said we are interested in you and that’s how it started really.
Gatedrop: How did you feel last season went? You showed good speed at times!
Not really satisfied with it, made many mistakes and had a nasty injury after Italy. I had some good moments but overall I think I could have been a lot better.
Gatedrop: Was it stressful not knowing what was happening for next season?
Not really, I know my potential and was sure to get a ride and I think I made some good decisions towards the future.
Gatedrop: How are you finding the KTM compared to the Honda?
Suprised really, I was a bit anxious because I’ve always ridden on Japanese bikes since I ride 250 but I immediately felt at home with the chassis and the engine feels really comfortable and the power feels good to handle and work with.
Gatedrop: What are your expectations for the British championship, it’s going to be a busy year for you!
Yeah, the plan is now almost 30 races next year! I’ve no idea what to expect at the British other than going what’s expected of me and that’s going for the title.
Gatedrop: In the world championship what are your goals for the year?
My biggest goal is consistency. I think to put a solid year together I have to be with the top everywhere and my goal now is to be top five every GP.
Gatedrop: You are in California at the minute, how long have you been there and what benefits do you feel you get being there?
I just arrived home in holland and will go to Benicàssim and start testing and training there to prepare for the season. I think to go to California for a month to start off is really good. You can put out many hours on bicycles, gym and on the track. to have nice weather and not worry about rain or anything is the best for building your fitness back up.
Gatedrop: Have you planned any pre season races with the team yet and if so what ones will you do?
I will race the Hawkstone international and hope it won’t be snowing at least haha
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents first for supporting me and I’m so glad to have them behind my back. Also Roger Magee for giving me this opportunity.
Interview: Jonathan McCready and Andy McKinstry Pics: KTM UK