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Catching up with Kim Savaste

Catching up with Kim Savaste
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Back in 2014 Finland had a World Champion in their hands with the very talented Kim Savaste winning the 85cc World Championship. A lot was expected of Kim during his rookie year in the EMX125 class during the 2015 season on-board his Marchetti KTM. However, injury meant he was ruled out for most of the season and he couldn’t show us what he could do!

However, 2016 brought a new challenge as he switched teams. BUD Kawasaki signed the talented rider and this year has been much better. Most importantly he was able to stay injury free and towards the end of the season it started to really click. A podium at the last two rounds in Belgium and Switzerland meant he ended the season on a high.

The race in Switzerland will be his last EMX125 race as he will move up to the EMX250 class for the 2017 season. Kim has already been riding a 250 machine this year competing in Finland. He prefers the 250 bike more than the 125 so Kim could surprise us in the EMX250 class. With Darian Sanayei finishing runner up in the 2016 EMX250 championship, Kim has big boots to fill.

We decided to catch up with Kim to talk about his EMX125 season and plans for the future.

Gatedrop: Kim, two podiums at the last two rounds, you must be happy with how Belgium and Switzerland went for you?

Kim Savaste: Yes, i’m very happy to finally get on the podium at the last two races. I finished fourth in the first moto at both races, in Lommel I just couldn’t get the rhythm during the first moto. The second moto was the toughest race of the year when I fought from pretty much last to second. I had my target on the top three so I passed the other riders quite easily at these races. But I had to battle with Moreau to get second in Lommel. Also, we had good racing with Facchetti in Switzerland.

Gatedrop: You didn’t start the season so well and had some bad luck, you must have been pretty down about that? Overall, are you happy with how the season went for you?

Kim Savaste: The season started well at Kegums when I finished third in the first moto. I had two top three starts there and the speed was fine for the sand. I had a pretty big crash in the second moto because I didn’t have the strength in my arm yet. Italy, Spain, France.. I just had not enough riding at hard pack and especially in Spain I tried to push too hard and didn’t score any points. I stayed a lot in Finland where the tracks are a lot similar like Mantova, where I nearly got a moto win but had to settle for second.

Gatedrop: Winning the 85cc World Championship in 2014, did you feel that there was pressure for you to perform in the 125 class? 

Kim Savaste: Well, I had some pressure to do good last year but after the injuries i had to calm down and also I started doing more mental training.

Gatedrop: Has it been frustrating getting such bad starts because you can’t let such a fast rider like Geerts get away! Do you think you could have run with him if the starts were better?

Kim Savaste: I knew that with a good start I could possibly beat Geerts. He was faster than me on the first laps but I could have rode the same speed or faster at the end of the races.

Gatedrop: You aren’t racing the World Junior Championships, what’s the reason for that? You would have been a contender for the title!

Kim Savaste: I won’t ride the junior world championship in Russia because it is expensive and difficult to organise for one race. I also have a Finnish championship race that weekend and I’m leading it by 24 points.

Gatedrop: For a young rider you have suffered some pretty big injuries (can you talk me though them), just how hard is it to come back after those big injuries?

Kim Savaste: I injured my knee (acl) already in January 2014, i didn’t have surgery and rode all year with kinesiology tape. I broke it again at Matterley Basin 2015 and after that I needed to have surgery. During February I had a crash in France and my shoulder humerus broke. In the last year I haven’t been able to ride so much, of course it was hard to race against riders like Geerts and Rubini who are healthy.

Gatedrop: What are your plans for the 2017 season?

Kim Savaste: I will continue with team Monster Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki during the 2017 season in the EMX250 class. This off season my plan is to stay more in France and Belgium to train with the team. Also, I race the French championship next year.

Gatedrop: You have been riding a 250 KTM in Finland this year on free weekends, how have those races been going and what’s your feeling like on the KTM?

Kim Savaste: I ride the Finnish championship this year with the KTM 137 Motorsport team, it’s nice to race in Finland after this year and hopefully I can win the title. I did the first race on 125 and got third, I wanted to be a contender for the title so i switched to the 250 which I like a lot better than 125cc 2 stroke.

Gatedrop: Will you go into the 2017 with any expectations in the EMX250 class or will you just treat it as a learning year?

Kim Savaste: I’ve ridden with the 250 quite a lot already and just tried the Kawasaki race bike last week. I liked the bike a lot and with a decent off season I think I can be a contender for the title. So, my goal for 2017 is to be on podium and win races.

Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Kim Savaste: I would like to thank the whole Monster Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki team, Ortema, Scott, Alpinestars, Troyleedesigns, Scorpion, Betonipumppaus Laatikainen, JP Salonen, 137 motosport, Paco Rico, family and all the fans!

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Nigel McKinstry


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