Interview: Kay de Wolf – lockdown

Two years ago, Kay De Wolf was still on the 85cc. Now ‘the red hurricane’ is busy with his rookie year in the EMX250. That De Wolf is taking big steps is therefore an understatement. Since he signed for Husqvarna in the summer of 2018, things have been going fast for 15-year-old Eerselnaar.

Not being able to do what you like to do demands a lot from us in these quarantine times. For most of us it is very annoying to not be able to ride or race, for others, it feels as if they had to donate a body part. I imagine it is tough for much rider Kay to have to go through life without a motor. Normally, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider had raced his second EMX250 race in Agueda, Portugal, this past weekend.

Your mom indicated that you sometimes lend a hand in the family business!
Kay De Wolf: “Right, I like doing it. Last week we stopped by one last time to finish a garden. We made a wall with wooden blocks and the end result was beautiful to see. That gives a nice feeling. I think it is also a nice profession, although it is quite hard work. In itself, I don’t mind that at all. ”

Do you use some jobs as a training?
De Wolf:
 “Hahaha, yes sometimes! For example, if I have to go up and down with wheelbarrows, I try to do it as quickly as possible. ”

What about your real training routine?
De Wolf:
 “It’s not that different in terms of adaptation. That twice a week motorcycle training is now gone so we now work more on the physical. Okay, we have often been in Spain to avoid the bad weather here, but we also did a lot of fitness training. Fortunately, I can still work in the team’s gym. I also have regular contact with Rasmus (ed. Team manager) and Jed (Beaton). Only Thomas-Kjer Olsen is no longer here, he has returned to Denmark. ”

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Have you already turned the knob in this difficult situation?
De Wolf:
 “I have already accepted that it will take a while before we can start riding again. I prefer to race again, of course, the earlier the better. But it has to be safe. ”

During the preparation games in Lacapelle and Hawkstone it was already going well and in Valkenswaard it seemed as if you had been riding the 250 for years. Did you expect that kind of results yourself?
De Wolf: “ I certainly had a good feeling about the 250. It went really well all winter. I have made many steps since the beginning. In the sand, I was regularly one to two seconds from TKO or Jed. I already knew that my speed in the sand was very good. The way I showed myself in front of my home fans in Valkenswaard has certainly pleased me. ”

What surprised you the most about switching from 125 to 250?
De Wolf: “ How quickly I mastered it! I already rode from the bottom (of the power) on the 125cc so I expected that I would like it on the larger engine. That also turned out because I got the flow very quickly! In itself, the speed was immediately okay, but we have made great strides this winter. I also became fitter and stronger physically. For example, when I came out of the corners I noticed that the engine has much more power, it wants to get away from you. Keeping it close to my chest was difficult at first, but over time that went better and you get stronger and stronger. ”

We still have to wait for hard jobs in the European Championship. How does that kind of work go?
De Wolf: “In the beginning when we trained in Spain, it was a bit of a search for power. But just on the hard we have made the biggest steps. It is a pity that we have not yet been able to show our skills, but I think we are doing reasonably well. ”

Are you someone who needs little competition rhythm. You were right there in Hawkstone Park this year.
De Wolf: “
It was more it came down to who was the best in the mud and then it was survival. It was not normal how wet it was there! ”

Mud suits you!
De Wolf:
 “Exactly, even if it has been raining for three weeks at a time… I still enjoy riding. Mud is always cool, a bit of playing and stuff. Whether it’s above 40 ° C or -10 ° C I always want to ride!”

Some championships talk about riding without fans, you seem like a rider that is propelled by the audience?
De Wolf: “Well, you notice a little bit of the fans, although I think it wouldn’t make much difference in terms of riding. You are focused on riding. Who knows, maybe it is a solution if there is no other option? On the one hand, there is a little more tension in such a home race, but performing well for your home crowd is a very nice feeling! ”

Jeffrey Herlings indicated during the MXGP Studio Show that he was bored and binge-watched Netflix. Have you discovered anything fun in recent weeks?
De Wolf: “No, I have even hung behind Playstation, TV or iPad less than usual. Maximum one hour per day. I therefore started a new project: At home I am building a jump to BMX. At first it was only a small jump, but once you started doing that, it kept increasing. I have been working on this for more than four weeks. I now also ride a lot of BMX, but building also takes a lot of time. Not only are you dealing with the Earth, it also needs to harden. But it has turned out nice: greasy dirt jumps with some curves in them. ”

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Your younger brother Raff did BMX at a high level. Have you ever competed?
De Wolf: “Not that, I only did it as training. On the one hand BMX and motocross are similar, but there are also big differences such as weight. On the other hand, I am also whipping on the bike for a whole day, so things that you would also do on a motorcycle. ”

Are you also a cycling fan next to your own training ? Do you follow certain riders or something ?
De Wolf: “I follow BMX a little bit, but cycling is not my thing. And in the Netherlands we naturally have world class cyclists such as Niek Kimman, Twan van Gendt, before that Raymon van der Biezen… ”

Online motocross is still very different from what road cyclists are now doing with their virtual competitions. Are you a gamer yourself?
De Wolf: “
I do play games like the MXGP video game or Supercross. I also do Formula 1 with such a race seat. That makes it very cool. Thomas (Kjer Olsen) also has such a special racing seat and my mechanic Julien now too! Every now and then we drive with the three of us. Julien has only just got his seat, but you can see that he can do something with it. I always lose. ”

Keep practicing! In any case, the atmosphere within the team seems to be good and now that Olsen can start again in top shape, this opens up perspectives.
De Wolf: “Certainly everyone is completely fit and Jed had also started the season very strongly. There is a good atmosphere within the team and that flow drives everyone forward. You notice that all people on the team feel good and are in the right place. ”

Are you a music lover?
De Wolf: “Not really. If you ask me what I’m listening to now, it’s nothing in particular or anything. I don’t feel like making playlists or anything. For me, they are mainly English-language songs. Things like the Spotify workout playlist, Tophits workout, Beast Mode, hiphip workout … Music that energizes and boosts. When I’m changing for a competition, that Beast Mode playlist sometimes appears. And “Sandstorm” (ed. Dance number of Darude) that she found in Valkenswaard was also cool, I had never heard that at a GP! ”

For real? They have played it for every start for years. Until you got tired of it!
De Wolf: “Ha, ha, ha I didn’t know that. I also find Jordy Van Dijk very cool. Like his song ‘Reality’, super cool! ”

Last year you have together trained with Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne how was that?
De Wolf: “It’s really nice to train with them and see how they ride in the sand. They drive very differently. That’s how they found out that I had a line in Lommel that was much faster. Nice to see those differences in style! They were both also very nice to deal with. Just good guests, ordinary people, not superstars or anything. ”

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Who did you learn the most from before joining Husqvarna?
De Wolf: “There have been some trainers with my previous team, but I actually learned the most by doing it myself. Riding as many laps as possible and spending a lot of time on the bike! ”

Do you have an idea of ​​how many hours you have been on the bike in total?
De Wolf:
 “Much,  a lot! I normally train two to three times a week with the motorbike and sometimes a bit of pit-biking next to it. One summer I once put 209 hours on the pit bike. So count it out! ”

You can also learn a lot on the pitbike.
De Wolf:
 “Certainly. Play-riding you pick up a lot: balance, agility all things that you can just learn on a pit bike. You take that with you on a bigger bike. ”

It is still early day but the speed of the quarter liter is already there. Will we see you next year in the MX2 World Championship?
De Wolf:
 “It is up to the team, they have to decide that. I could also drive EMX 125 for a year this year, but at least I am already gaining experience on the 250. We have not planned to drive GPs next year. ”

Thanks for your time!
De Wolf:
 “You’re welcome.”


Text: Tom Jacobs
 shotbyBavo, JP Acevedo, fam. De Wolf, Red Sand MX Park