Moto Media

with ... Tanel Leok

Holding down 12th place in the FIM World MX1 Championship points, Leok is slowly working his way towards the top ten. Having started the season with just 12 points in Bulgaria, he had his best Grand Prix of the season in round seven in Spain, when he scored a second place in the second moto. In his last three GP’s he had some problems, but overall he has looked faster on the bike. For Youthstream, Geoff Meyer catches up with Tanel and asked him about his season so far.

Tanel, you seemed to have problems early in the year. Being new to the TM team you had to learn how the bike works and how your style fitted with the bike. Can you explain how that went?

For sure we were always working on the bike to improve it. I had problems with injuries and then I crashed and injured my finger and I still wasn’t riding well, but now it’s not a problem with injuries and the bike is going better.

Is there a lot of possibilities to change the bike being that it’s a factory bike?

The bike is good; I don’t feel like it’s worse than the other bikes. It’s possible to change so much and find the right thing. We are always finding things out about the bike and sometimes I don’t know what I need to do to change it, sometimes it’s a problem with the language and sometimes it’s me not knowing, you know, guessing what I need to change to make it better. Sometimes I feel the bike isn’t correct but I guess and we go the wrong way. It’s nobody’s fault, just the process of learning the bike.

Tell me about your last couple of races, Germany and Latvia.

In Germany I crashed in the first heat and then the second race I was following Philippaerts but then I didn’t finish the race. In Latvia I got my leg caught in Philippaerts back wheel and then I had a bad qualification race. In the first moto the other riders pushed me so far outside the track in the first corner, and I came back okay, then in the second moto I was 10th and I was feeling good and I was looking at the lap times and I felt okay.

Did it get you down mentally having so many little injuries and also your problems with working out the best for you and the bike?

I didn’t let the problems get me down mentally, I had more problems with all the small injuries, I am worried thinking if I will ever be 100% again. I also had ankle problems, stupid little things. Also now everyone knows I am not a good starter, and in the MX1 class now a start is really important. I did get a good a start in Spain and everyone saw what I could do, I was running up front and it’s no problem.

I know you did the Stefan Everts Charity race and in October you also have Charity race. What do you like about these types of events?

It’s fun, and it’s for Charity, you get to do so many things and I also have the same type of race and you can give everything to the children. It’s also a good thing to show people that Motocross can help in Charity work. I also have a Charity race in October in Estonia and it is a lot of fun.