Dutch road racing star at the time: Henk van Kessel

Henk van Kessel – HMV test races at Mill | Photo © Kiss Siro

Dutch road racer from yesterday, where did he go, what to do these days and How to see the current road races. W.Every week we bring you the best Dutch road races last year in the ‘The’ section Dutch road races at the time ‘and we all asked them a series of questions (same). This The Week: Henk Van Kessel

Who is Henk Van Kessel?

  • Noun: Henk Van Kessel
  • Nickname: No
  • Boy: June 25, 1946
  • Accommodation: mill
  • partner: Jail me
  • Start your road racing career: 1967 in the NMB
  • Active in: 1967 t / m 1986
  • Titles: 11, at 50cc, 125cc and 250cc + world speed record 50 cc 221.586 km / h in 1977
  • End of road racing career: 1986
  • current occupation: retired و
  • Facebook social networking site:
  • Twitter:
  • Instagram:

How did you deal with road races at the time?

In 1960 at the age of fourteen, I first went with my neighbor on the back of his Triumph Bonneville to the Rockanje Speedway, and so I really got started. I wanted it too, and I immediately got down to business that year building my own contestant, Victoria in an Italian frame.

With which driver did you fight your best battles in the ring?

With many, 50 cc and 125 cc World Cup competed a lot with Angel Nieto, Stefan Dörflinger, Eugenio Lazzarini, Kent Andersson, Pier Paolo Bianchi, Paolo Pileri, Jorge Martinez, Anton Mang, etc. Timmer, Anton Straver, Theo Van Giffen.

Best motorcycle I’ve ever had and why?

In the 50 cc Van Finn Kredler with which I became the world champion, and in the 125 cc self-designed Condor, I was fourth in the 1976. World Cup, and on this basis I took the Hans de Beaufort Trophy from KNMV, which is the highest Prize in Dutch motorsport.

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What is your favorite path you have taken and why?

Old Francorchamps with beautiful height variations, very fast and slow angles as well, are awesome! There it reached in 1974 with Van Veen Kreidler a top top speed of 50cc and 204 km / h

What is the most outlandish and fun thing you have tried while racing?

I can write a book about that, we’re already working on it … but I’d like to mention two things. In Venezuela, we were transferred from the airport by private transport to a circuit 300 kilometers away. Together with my assistant (Hub van Kessel) I was on the back of an open pickup truck, this was the transport to the track. In the hot sun, it is unimaginable! The driver was kind enough to stop at once to buy us a big watermelon for our thirst, because we had nothing with us. The second funny event that immediately struck me was that in 1979 I dipped in Zuid Willemsvaart with 125 cc Condor at Olofraces in Hilvarenbeek. So I got a very wet suit in there …

What’s the best thing about racing?

So many good memories, a nice collection of racing bikes, a small museum of mine that I’m proud of, lots of friends and acquaintances, including many old drivers.

What did you do after your active road racing career?

I have just started working at Van Mullekom in Vortum Mullem. There I ended up in mechanical engineering, the specialist converting of traditional lathe, milling, boring, and planing machines to computer-controlled. There I took care of the mechanical part.

Are you still playing sports in some way?

Until a few years ago, I was still in the national and international arenas with my great friend Martin Van Soist of Pirelli. Unfortunately, Martin passed away very early at the end of 2018, which is a huge loss in motorsport. Together we have led many classic races like the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in England, many drivers’ classics in Francorchamps, Centennial classics in Assen and many demos in our country, including of course At My Mill.
I’m still busy every day and I work a lot with people who make fast motorcycles. Then we talk about the bench data and everything that comes with it. I also have a lot of connections with Tech3 KTM Moto GP’s data man, Guillaume Dumas. He’s also so interested in a 50cc Van Veen Kreidler that he even rebuilt one from 1973, and it’s almost identical to mine. However, it is characteristic that someone who is busy with their current high-tech MotoGP bikes on a daily basis has had a keen interest in 50cc motorcycles for nearly 50 years.

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What is the current driver you respect so much and why?

Still Valentino Rossi who has already achieved everything in motorsport. To be able to generate motivation each year to stick with it for another year, even at age 42e A year of life, that’s reserved for a few people!

Who do you see as the greatest (currently active) road racing talent in the Netherlands and why?

There are a few. Of course Bo Bendsneyder who has shown he can also compete with First Worlds on a good bike. Zonta van den Goorbergh (son of Jurgen) is also one of the greatest talents of the moment, along with Collin Veijer who has seen her in action multiple times on screen in Red Bull MotoGP Rookies.

How do you view the current race with your experience at the national and international levels?

First of all, it cannot be compared to the past. In both national and international races, you often have an entire team around you with different missions, almost everything for sale. In my time, you had to work on the bike yourself, make it faster (tuning), make the parts yourself, etc. Now, I now always buy a bike and collect data, process it, and translate it into the circuit, and whoever can do it best comes out of my mind. In the past as a driver you had a file in your hand, and nowadays it is a computer mouse …

What I would like to add is: Who was your greatest idol?

My biggest idol was Mike Hillwood. It was the biggest example for me, you can operate it on any engine, be it 125/250/350/500 or 750 cc, or 1-2-4-6 cylinders, left or right shift, it can be used with any drive handle and with success! For me the greatest in motorsport!

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Wednesday 14-04-2021: Dutch road racer at the time: Heine Lentink.

Due to the massive success of this column, we decided as the Racesport.nl editorial team to continue the “Dutch Road Race at the time” after March 1. However, from March onwards, we’ll limit the clip to once a week and only publish it on Wednesdays so it doesn’t get inundated on race-packed weekends.

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