A day of ‘firsts’ for KTM Junior Racing’s Rene Hofer who claimed his first podium finish with a maiden double victory at the opening round of eight in the 2018 EMX125 European Championship. The Austrian also collected the red plate for the first time.
The sixteen year old set the fastest lap in a cold and snowy Timed Practice on Saturday and controlled both races – the second moto taking place on Sunday morning – to make a dominant initial statement in the competitive 125cc division. Hofer is negotiating his second term with the KTM 125 SX and after learning the ropes of the two-stroke division in 2017 where he finished fifth.
Diligent work and an organised training programme in the winter clearly bore fruit with Hofer’s bright starts and pace-setting speed through the rough and sapping Dutch sand. He leads the standings of the series with seven more fixtures to go and a perfect 50 points. Eight of the top ten finishers in Holland steered KTM 125 SX machinery.
Hofer: “I’m really happy with the weekend. Yesterday was great. I had the fastest time in qualification and holeshotted the first race to lead all the way. I felt really comfortable. The conditions were tough with deep and heavy sand and really cold temperatures. I rode well and our starts are working now. I made a mistake on the first lap of the second moto but regained the lead right away. The team have worked so hard for a result like this and we have practiced my sand skills. We’ll try and keep that red plate until the end of the year.”
Didi Lacher, Team Manager: “A perfect weekend! I’m very proud that Rene could take his first win this way because he – and the team – worked so hard this winter. We worked on his technique on the bike, and his set-up this weekend was ideal. He didn’t make a single mistake. It is only the first race and we have some more coming but Valkenswaard and the sand was normally one of his weaker points. There is some competition in this class so we will keep on working. I also want to thank Rene because it was really nice to be on the podium for the first time as a team manager!”