Dutch road racing champion last year, where did he go, what he does today and how he views the current road racing sport. Every week we bring you the best Dutch road races from last year in the ‘Best Dutch road races since’ section and ask them all a series of (same) questions. This week: Hans Spahn
Who is Hans Spahn?
- Noun: Hans Spahn
- Nickname: “rain man”
- Boy: 12-24-1958
- residence: Castricum
- partner: Mariki
- Start a road racing career: 1975
- Active in: 50 cc, 80 cc, 125 cc
- Number of titles: 9 titles and 9 victories in the Grand Prix
- The end of the road racing career: 1994
- current occupation: Owner control company
- Facebook social network: –
- Twitter: –
How did you deal with road racing back then?
I started racing when I was thirteen years old. Two years later, when I was 15, a road racer stopped in our village. Then I was asked to test the road racer once. I did, and I really liked it right away. But at the time, I was still too young to take part in competitions, but as soon as I turned sixteen I immediately started NMB.
Who is the driver who fought the best fights on the race track?
That’s two, two names that immediately come to mind. The mutual fights with Doriano Romponi – unfortunately she died early – and Loris Capirossi were really great at the time.
Best motorcycle I’ve ever ridden and why?
This has been a Honda 125cc production racer since 1989. This was a standard motorcycle at the time, with a kit. We made some major modifications to this bike ourselves, but it was without a doubt the best rider I’ve ever ridden.
What is your favorite track that you rode and why?
This is without a doubt the TT Circuit Assen. Not the current Assen but the old layout, eg the long path.
What’s the weirdest and funniest thing you’ve seen in a race?
It was a race at Spa-Francorchamps. I was fighting for victory with Loris Capirossi in that race. We were reported, but I was 100% sure we had one more lap ahead. I drove on full throttle, and Capirossi didn’t understand it at first, but soon changed his mind. Then we fought for the win again on the last lap, and I was able to put that in my favour. I won and then there was one person who was probably happier than me, and that was the guy with the square flag. He was so glad we resolved his error this way.
What is the best thing you learned from racing?
Those are fond memories of this time, I would not have missed these memories to the world.
What did you do after your active road racing career?
Right after my active career, I started working as a technician with the Molenaar Racing Grand Prix Team. I have worked in the world of Grand Prix for many years and had the opportunity to achieve many successes here with a number of celebrities including – including 12 Grand Prix victories and 2 world titles. But as I said, I am a technician and because of this I lost my interest in this sport. In the past, as a technician, you could lose yourself in the sport, now everything is standard and that’s nothing. In addition, I have my own tuning company where I am currently mainly involved in setting up motorcycles for kart and motocross.
Do you still exercise in any way?
It hasn’t been that way for a few years now, I’m now working full time at my own tuning company. Once again fully involved in technology, but no longer in road racing but more specifically in karting and motocross.
Which current driver do you respect the most and why?
Yes, every driver deserves respect. But if I had to mention one in particular, I’d pick Fabio Quartararo. Fabio is a boy who has always been fast in every class and everywhere. I have a lot of respect for that, and it doesn’t surprise me that he didn’t become MotoGP World Champion. A great talent hasn’t always been easy, but she’s actually made it to the extreme.
Who do you see as the greatest (currently active) road racing talent in the Netherlands and why?
It wasn’t too close for the past few years, but if I had to name one, I’d pick Collin Veijer. A real talent, a talent with a good mind that has continued to develop in recent years. A hardworking worker who doesn’t shout it from the rooftops but does a great job. If he can make it happen, we will definitely hear a lot from him and he can sometimes go a little too far.
How do you view the current races, both nationally and internationally, from your experience?
Like I said before, I am an artist, which is where my heart lies. But for a technician like me, the sport is becoming less and less, simply because everything is becoming more and more a standard. In recent years I’ve been working in the Moto2 class in the MotoGP World Championship, pretty much everything is standard there and obviously that’s nothing. I’m really sorry about that.
Saturday 12-25-2021: Dutch road racing champion at the time: Harry van Beek.
Yes, you read that correctly, Saturday 25 December is already the next “best Dutch road race since”. Due to the holidays and a quiet period in road racing, we will be publishing this section for a number of consecutive days from Christmas Day. Famous names like Jarno Janssen, Harry van Beek, Rudi Markinck, Gus van Dongen, Toriv Hartelmann, and a few other amazing names and “toppers” since then will tell their story in this section in the coming days.
Do you have a suggestion on the “best road racing since” that you think would fit right in for this category (ex-Dutch champion, Grand Prix – or WorldSBK driver or Dutch TT race participant, for example). Let us know at [email protected] In this email, please provide the driver’s name and contact details where and how we can access this “road racing from then”.
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