Rene Maehr, KTM’s newest factory rider talks about racing just before competing in his third International Superstock Series at his favourite circuit of Monza. Rene is riding the newly launched KTM 1190 RC 8 motorcycle in its debut year of racing.
What are your goals and expectations for Monza?
Firstly, it is always fantastic to come here to Monza. The venue and all the atmosphere here is unique. Its pure racing feeling! There’s a very good reason why Monza is my favourite circuit. As far as the race is concerned, my motto is to learn as much as I can. It is very difficult to predict where I might finish in the race on Sunday but one thing’s for sure, we will be doing everything possible to be as near to the front as possible!
Now some general questions about your career and your passion for racing. How old were you when you first rode a motorcycle?
I was quite old before I started riding a motorcycle. I was 12-years-old at that time and I took part in the Swiss Pocket Bike Championship.
When did you race for the first time?
My first race was at the Sachsenring (Germany) in 2004.
What is your race history?
In 2006 I was given a great opportunity to start in the GSX-R Suzuki European Cup and I finished the season on the second place. Because I was competing in the Suzuki European Cup, I wasn’t able to ride in all the races in the International German Championship but I still managed to finish in fifth place. My Rookie year in the Superstock 1000 European Cup in 2007 was a great experience. I finished the season in eleventh place.
What was your first impression of the RC8?
When I first saw the RC8 I was deeply impressed. It was really a “new” kind of bike. The design is great and it’s like no other bike. It’s a real honour to ride the RC8. I would never have dreamed about having such a great opportunity.
There are many competitors - like Ducati and the Japanese brands. What is it like to compete against them?
I believe the competition in the Superstock World Cup is extremely high. This is the reason why KTM and I decided together to race in the championship against the best stock bikes and teams in the world. I can learn a lot and so can KTM . We have a lot respect for all brands. It doesn’t matter if it is Ducati or one of the Japanese brands, because they all have tons of experience, and as we well know, they have great know-how. On the other hand, we are totally motivated to compete with them on the circuit - and to beat them in future!
And what would be your message to the motorcycle fans?
Don’t care about anything – as long as you can keep riding!