Interview: Rene Hofer
Heading into the EMX85 championship at Loket, Rene Hofer was heavy favourite for the title. Sometimes the pressure can get too much for the professional’s never mind the kids! However, Rene didn’t disappoint during Loket and was in incredible form to win both the moto’s in style.
Rene got terrible starts but made light work of his rivals as he got to the front quickly and it didn’t take him long to pull away from the rest of the pack.
The Austrian will be a rookie in the EMX125 class for the 2017 season and there is no doubt he could be one to watch. It’s early days to predict anything but he could follow in Jorge Prado’s footsteps and win it at the first time of asking, he’s that good!
We decided to catch up with the talented EMX85 champion to talk about his brilliant weekend and the season so far.
Gatedrop: Amazing weekend for you… Can you talk me through your moto’s?
Rene Hofer: I rode the fastest time in qualy and had an awesome feeling on a great bike racing a fantastic track. I had a bad start in the first race, but went from 16th to 1st in 6 laps! Then the rain started, but I stayed focused and managed to win the race!
I had a solid start in race 2, went from 8th to 2nd fast and made the pass for the lead in the fifth lap! I enjoyed the rest of the race so much and had the best feeling of my life, when I crossed the finish line!
Gatedrop: You got horrendous starts in both moto’s, a lot of kids would have panicked and crashed but you seemed to stay really calm which helped you..
Rene Hofer: Yes, the starts weren’t the best this weekend, but I will improve on them as fast as I can! But after the starts I wasn’t panicking at all! I stayed calm, stayed focused and I tried to do the best out of this situation!
Gatedrop: How does it feel to be EMX85 champion?
Rene Hofer: That feeling is incredible! I had the dream to win this title since I have been a little boy! The hours after the races, I was the happiest boy in the world!
Gatedrop: You are also racing the ADAC German Junior cup but you have made some mistakes and had some bad luck, are you frustrated with how that series is going?
Rene Hofer: No, I’m not frustrated at all! Although I have a DNF I’m only 7 points off the leader and have still good chances to win! I had a double win at Fürstlich Drehna, then there was the DNF-1 in Möggers, Aichwald was cancelled because of the heavy rain and in Tensfeld I went 3-3, because of four crashes in these two races, even though only two crashes were my own fault! Gaildorf is coming in a few weeks, it’s one of my most favourite tracks and I will try to get the red plate back!
Gatedrop: You made your EMX125 debut in Mantova, how did that go for you and what’s your thoughts on the series?
Rene Hofer: It was very exciting for me to race my first EMX 125 Race! I qualified straight through and got my first 3 points in EMX125. I think EMX125 is the most important series in the 125 class! There are so many good riders, who are taking part in every EMX125 race! And in this series the best rider will win, because there are about 8 races and not just one final like in the EMX85! You have to be good everywhere, on hard tracks, in the sand and you have to be fast and consistent over the whole year!
Gatedrop: I believe you will also race EMX125 in Switzerland, are you excited for that?
Rene Hofer: No not at all, I take it like every other race, because it’s just to learn for next year! A few points would be awesome and I will enjoy it!
Gatedrop: You work with ex world champion, Heinz Kinigadner. How is it working with him and how does he help you?
Rene Hofer: I’m very thankful, I can work with such an experienced MX legend! He always have some tipps for me and that helps me a lot!
Gatedrop: Will you race the JWC in Russia? Is it your goal to win that to go with the EMX title?
Rene Hofer: Yes I will ride! After the European title, the pressure is away and I just try to have fun. The speed is there and I think I have good chances to win it!
Gatedrop: What are your plans for the 2017 season?
Rene Hofer: It’s my last 85 season this year, so 2017 I will be focused on the 125 bike! I will ride the whole EMX125 championship, a few races of ADAC MX Youngster Cup, Austrian Championship, CZ Championship and maybe the World Championship too!
Gatedrop: Having seen Prado win EMX125 as a rookie do you have the same goal or will you take it as a learning year and not put too much pressure on yourself?
Rene Hofer: Puh… I haven’t thought about it yet! But I will train hard over the winter and try to get as much points as I can! We will see what happens! But everything is possible!
Gatedrop: Anyone you would like to thank?
Rene Hofer: First of all my family, which spend so much time in me and my sport that I can live this awesome dream! Big thanks also to my trainer Didi Lacher, Robert Jonas, the Kinigardners and all my sponsors, who make this all possible!
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Martin Plesnik