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: Leon Buffy.
Wie is Leon Buffy?
- Noun: Leon Buffy
- Nickname: –
- Boy: 06-25-1985
- residence: Nijmegen
- partner: pleasant
- Start a road racing career: 2002
- Active in:
2002-2003 Aprilia rs125
2004 SV650 Cup
2005 3 races FIM Superstock 600
2006 FIM Superstock 1000
2007 IDM Superbike
2008 3D Cup
2009-2012 ONK Supersport 600
2013 IDM Supersport 600
2014 IDM Superstock 1000
- Number of titles: 1x Ducati 3Dcup (2008), 1x ONK Supersport 600 (2012)
- The end of the road racing career: 2014
- current occupation: Rider coach, Bovee Athletic Training, and Yamaha bLU cRU coordinator since 2022 for the Cup classes.
- Facebook social network: Leon Buffy
- Twitter: –
- Instagram: Leon Buffy
How did you deal with road racing back then?
My dad Leo Buffy used to race in the ’60s and ’70s, so I really had the motorsport virus. My dad managed to stop it for a long time, but when I was 17 I took my first steps in road racing, at that time in the Aprilia RS 125 Cup.
Who is the driver who fought the best fights on the racetrack?
With many different drivers. The year I became the Dutch champion, I competed all year long with Steward Fosskamp, Nigel and Raven.
Best motorcycle I’ve ever ridden and why?
Yamaha YZF R6. I was a true friend of this bike and knew the bike through and through. Especially with the support we got from Torleif Hartelman at the time, it was a very solid package.
What is your favorite track that you rode and why?
This is Spa Francorchamps, a very challenging and beautiful trail to drive that really has it all in it.
What’s the weirdest and funniest thing you’ve seen in a race?
There is a lot to say, but the time with DTC Racing was definitely awesome. With DTC Racing, I’ve had a lot of fun and interesting moments on different circuits all over Europe, and there’s just too much to say.
What is the best thing you learned from racing?
The work I do as a driver coach, I’ve never strayed from the sport.
What did you do after your active road racing career?
I was already working on a DTC elektro when I raced and kept doing it after I stopped racing. However, motorsports still fascinated me, and after having had several requests to instruct riders as a driver coach, I approached this in a professional manner. In addition, I am currently in my final year of physical therapy training, a course I have joined part time. It is 2022 a new challenge in Yamaha
Do you still exercise in any way?
every day . As I described above, I work as a racer coach and from 2022 I also work for Yamaha.
Which current driver do you respect the most and why?
Given the sheer covers, of course, Rossi shouldn’t be missing here. Because of his unimaginably long career and his influence on motorsports, he definitely belongs on the rich list in my opinion. He had to adapt again and again to the new generations and was able to compete each time.
Who do you see as the greatest (currently active) road racing talent in the Netherlands and why?
It is not enough to look at talent in sports alone, after all many factors play a role. How far do you want to go to achieve your dream, what do you want to leave behind, what opportunities do you get and do you know how to achieve it, etc.? I think we have a lot of talented drivers in the Netherlands. Looking at the current drivers in the top class of road racing, we have one active Moto2 rider, Bo Bendsneyder. Qualifying on the front row of the grid in Moto2 and finishing the race four seconds behind the winner is, in my opinion, not without talent. Looking at the Superbike Stadium in the World Championships, we have Michael van der Mark, his results speak for themselves. And Jeffrey Boyce with his WSSP 300 title should definitely not be missing from this list.
How do you view the current races, both nationally and internationally, from your experience?
If you look purely at Holland, I think the foundation is good with NK Junior Moto Racing, where you can grow really well in different classes. In particular, cup classes, where the competition is contested on equal subjects, contribute to the development of the driver. NSF is a real breeding ground for talent and the Yamaha R125 is a good starting point for Supersport 300 machines.
For the top sports, after NK Junior Moto Racing, you can split towards the Superbike or towards the MotoGP circuit. The road to MotoGP is very difficult and expensive for the Dutch because there is no intermediate step to reach, you will have to go to Spain quickly – with the possibility of the NTC class first as an intermediate step – to participate afterwards in the ETC and then the FIM Moto3 World Junior Championships. For Superbike, this route is even better, because after NK Junior Moto Racing you can advance to the Yamaha R3 Cup and then go from IDM 300 to the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship.
Looking at the international level, you see that the differences are diminishing and the field is getting closer to each other (which is of course a lot to do lately in safety in the light seasons). As the materials become more and more equal and drivers all receive the best guidance, the differences between them diminish. Up until fifteen years ago you could have gone far with a good dose of talent, tenacity and a good engine, times have changed and steering and team play an increasingly important role in a driver’s success. This makes the sport more and more complex.
Wednesday 01/26-2022: Dutch road racing champion at the time: Leon van der Heyden.
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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