Like summers in Finland usually, it was warm and sunny day in the start of July -84 when I was born. Hah. My home will be always in Haukivuori, Mikkeli, but at this point I pay taxes to Järvenpää.
Some of you knows that Motopark Raceway is located near the village were I was born, but still I got the first bite of motorbikes after I bought my first bike at the age of 16.
First love was Gagiva Freccia 125 (ooh, that great piece of Italian quality…) and of course I crashed that at first night. That made more harm mentally than to the wallet. Fun memories anyway – so Sanna and Pekka, if you read this, the sparkle for driving is basically your fault. Thanks!
It took few years before I bought my next bike. Maybe it was 2009 or 2010 when I said to my good friend Jari H. that I want a bike. He said that he would sell his bike to me. When I went to look at it and he started it – I was sold. Loud pipes, very loud pipes! This memory makes me smile every time.
It was first gen KTM Superduke 990 with Leovince slip-ons. Tons of fun with that for few seasons on road. Lots of torque in V2-engine and flame popping pipes – that was something!
On the road checking the Alps.
End of 2013 KTM published the new Superduke 1290 and I ordered that immediately. Same December was first time I could sit on it and April 2014 my bike arrived. Of course I made some customizing: open pipes, intake, mapping etc. That was awfull loud bike, like MotoGp-loud, like it should be.
This was my first bike on track. From 2014 to 2016 I visited track few times per season.
In May 2015 I got an idea to travel to Alps, and start of June I drove to the ship in Turku. Without plans I drove through Europe to Milano and back. On the trip I visited on Nürburgring (two long laps). First time I saw the Alps… that feeling still gives me the chills. I also visited to see Monza (couldn’t drive laps there), those curvy roads on Alps (passes like del Stelvio, Furka, Gotthard and many many more) and of course unlimited highways in Germany! End of June in 2017 I did this trip again. This time I went to watch Assen MotoGP and after that I met up my good friend in south Netherlands. I set plans to go to Monaco and see the hoods where they drive formula, and again those curvy roads. Twelve days and 7500km…
I could write a book of these trips. I can give some tips and tricks if someone likes to hear more. Awesome memories!
I got to know with Sami #69 and Track Punk Racing via my friend Jari P. from Turku, I think it was year 2016. Next spring I got an idea to drive on track, and do it properly. After few phone calls I bought Yamaha R6 from Sami. I had only a photo of it and what Sami told me on the phone. I was unlucky, I got sick before season started. After my trip to Europe I finally tested that R6 on track first time, in mid-July 2017. That summer I drove few days at Motopark with that.
My R6 after the little accident.
Season 2018 started in better way and I got good days in the beginning of the season. I was able to visit Kemora’s track for the first time in start of July. I spent my birthday evening in car travelling to Kemora, and next day I drove on trackday organized by MP-Tuki. In that afternoon I crashed badly, I lost front in ”Cafeteria” corner. Luckily I didn’t hurt myself, bike and gear were wrecked totally.
I will always remember that Jussi Lehtonen ran from the tower and asked ”Are you ok?”, I said ”Yes I am”. Then he said ”That was the most wildest crash on this season, thanks for that!”. Like all of you can imagine, mid-season crash could be the end. I was lucky my bike was a street bike and I had an insurance for that (this wouldn’t help anymore, they changed the terms of incurances).
After many phone calls I found track-ready R6R from guy called Taneli, and after three weeks from the crash, I was again at Kemora. By the end of that season I had driven quite many days on different tracks.
For season 2019 I decided to drive as many trackdays as I could. Quickly counted, I drove 24 trackdays and visited in every track in Finland. So I did what I planned to do. I have got lots of help and tips from other riders and got lots of new friends, that’s important! Season 2019 was the BEST! I was super lucky to drive that much. One day at Ahvenisto, two weekends at Alastaro, three weekends at Kemora, two weekends at Botniring and two weekends at Motopark.
Because of hard work and hundreds of laps, driving has been started to work pretty well. I think it was the end of September when I encouraged myself and decided to take the next step: I will race in season 2020!
Naturally I made a call to Sami and told him my ideas. Plan is to race the whole season in SSC class with Yamaha R6R, and main goal is I’m going be in TOP 5 at the end of the season. How about that folks?
More news coming during long winter!