Interview: Lotte van Drunen on her WMX rookie season so far and having the red plate
Dutch teenager Lotte van Drunen fits the red plate to her KX250 Kawasaki for this weekend’s Spanish round of the FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Championship as series leader after the first two rounds.
Kawasaki had always supported fast girls and, thanks to Catherine Prumm, Livia Lancelot and Courtney Duncan, the brand has claimed six gold medals since the first edition of the Women’s series in 2005. Never previously in the history of this series has a fifteen-year-old girl carried the red plate, but that is what Lotte van Drunen will do this weekend.
Lotte, how does it feel to have the red plate on your Kawasaki?
It’s amazing, of course. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep it, but for this weekend I have the red plate and the goal here in Spain is to be on the podium again.
You were able to enter your very-first GP at the end of last season, just after you turned fifteen, so Switzerland was only your third GP. Are you surprised to be leading the series?
Yes, of course. I have trained really hard for several years now and I was dreaming to be racing the championship ever since I was a kid; all the hard work is paying off now. My goal this season was to race in the top-five, but now I am leading the championship. I didn’t expect that but to achieve this gives me a lot of confidence. I don’t feel any pressure, from me or anyone else. As I say, my goal entering this season was to finish in the top-five, and if I can get a podium every weekend that would be amazing.
Like most of the Dutch riders you started riding on sandy tracks so it was not a surprise to see you on the podium in Sardinia, but then in Switzerland you showed that you’re also fast on hard-pack tracks?
I have been training a lot on hard tracks. I think a lot of people didn’t expect me to be fast there but with all the training and all the work I knew I could do it. It’s nice to battle up-front on every type of track, even if, of course, I love most to race in deep sand, same like most Dutch riders.
You raced only one season in the 125 class before moving to the 250 this winter. How was it?
It wasn’t too difficult. For sure I had some ups-and-downs during the winter but I got used to the 250 pretty fast. There’s still a few things I have to work on but I’m learning every day, and for sure with a 250 you take better starts in the WMX, and that’s really important.
You are leading the European championship as well as the World Championship. That’s a heavy schedule?
Yes, at the moment that’s the plan so I have about twelve races. Maybe I will also do a few Dutch races; it depends if everything fits and if I have time.
How do you train between races?
I usually train five days a week; two days during the weekend and three days through the week. Most riders don’t do so much, but I’ve been doing that since I raced on a 65 and it’s always worked for me so we want to continue like that. When I arrive at a track I check it out and then, depending on how I feel, I decide which training I will do that day. I still go to school; that’s not easy as you need to travel to the races so I miss some days. Thankfully I’m at a school where they have some more pro-athletes, so I have facilities to train.
When and how did you start motocross?
My father used to race, then my elder brother had a dirt bike and when I turned four I got a Pee Wee. At the beginning I didn’t really like it, but then I got a 50cc and since that day I started to enjoy it more-and-more, first just training and then I started doing some races.
Last year you raced the European 125 among the boys; is that fun?
Yes, I enjoy it and I hope to do some MX2 races in the future; that’s one of my goals. I really want to battle with the boys again; I don’t think I’ll do that this year but in the future I hope to do it again. Some guys really like what I’m doing and some others not so much, but that’s not a problem for me.
Tell us a few words about your set-up?
We work with the family; I have a really good mechanic and I always train with my dad. My mother comes to all the races and my brother is also coming to many races. We’re a compact team, but we are proving that’s enough to battle on top of the world!
Words: Press Release