From street racer to youngster
When the 21-year-old Wuppertal native starts to talk about his hobby in his casual and plainspoken manner, you immediately notice: for him it is more than just a pastime.
For nearly 5 years now the motorcycle rider has been racing in the road racing scene under the name “Schmiddel”, and is no longer an unknown person.
“Road racing has always inspired me. In the past my dream was always to ride in the competition.”
The first obstacles to overcome ensued for the then 17-year old when he decided to venture a start in the racing scene in 2011.
Juggling his training and his own apartment with racing was a huge challenge at first.
Particularly in the beginning it was difficult to find sponsors, because the low beginner’s classes did not generate enough attention. But the hobby swallowed more and more money. This hobby increasingly developed into a full-time activity around which the rest of life revolved.
Everyday life increasingly consisted of working, tinkering on the motorcycle, preparing for races and organising everything.
“I always knew what I wanted. That’s why I stayed with it despite the stress and the lack of free time.”
He participated in his first race at age 17 on his dream course at the Fischereihafen race, at that time with an Aprilia RS125.
In the beginning of 2013 he bought an Aprilia RS250 and completely rebuilt this for the racing course. Now with about 67 HP on the rear wheel und a maximum speed of 210 km/h he took part among other races in classic motorsport in the IG “King’s Class” had a few guest starts with CZ Road Racing, and rode in the Fischereihafen race in Bremerhaven. The name Schmiddel was continuously among the top 5 on the scorecard.
He fulfilled a dream in 2014 when he bought a Yamaha R6 and also rebuilt this for the racing course.
Now with 120 HP on the rear wheel und a maximum speed of around 270 km/h he could start the IRRC newcomer season in 2015.
“I immediately felt comfortable here. The atmosphere, the people, the courses, everything is different and larger!”
The higher the class, the more complex the races are, and the races are also further away. A racing weekend for Schmiddel usually starts on Thursdays at 4 o’clock in the morning with a departure to the racing course. Training sessions, qualification races and not least the race and the trip home on Sunday evening are on the agenda from Friday to Sunday.
“Since the races are usually several hundred kilometres away, it is sometimes not easy to stand at the workbench again on Monday mornings at 6 am after a few hours of sleep”, says the trained toolmaker, “not least because my job and racing are physically strenuous.”
Even during the racing weekends there is not much rest.
“When the other racing teams try to park their 40-tonne vehicles with equipment and completely furnished living rooms and bedrooms, I drive up with my old, rickety Sprinter, in which I sleep on a mattress next to my motorcycle”, he says, and laughs.
Nevertheless, a small family emerges among the racers, and the solidarity is quite considerable, regardless of whether they are riders on a large racing team, mechanics or photographers. Everyone is part of the scene, and everyone pursues the same goal.
Schmiddel also reports that he was immediately respected from his first race, despite the considerable age difference and the clear financial differences.
“Sometimes I ask myself whether I am not quite right in my mind.”
Motorsport has always had its drawbacks. High speeds, narrow courses and no crumple zone particularly transform road racing into a dangerous sport.
Serious accidents and losses of friends and colleagues are ubiquitous.
He himself also experienced a serious accident last year after a few smaller accidents in his career.
In the 9th race of the season in Horice (Czech Republic), he was involved in a serious accident during the qualification phase.
The consequences of the accident: his fibula, tibia and ankle were smashed, and 4 cervical vertebrae as well as 5 thoracic vertebrae were fractured. The accident was not only a shock for him, but also for all those involved as well as friends and family. The video of the accident circulated through the entire road racing scene.
“Here I would also like to emphasise once again what a great community this is at such races. I travelled all alone to the Czech Republic. After the accident, other riders organised everything for me. They drove my things to Germany and accompanied me the entire time. I cannot thank them enough.”
After a long recovery phase he is fit again and definitely does not want to give up. Starting on 1 May 2016, the IRRC racing scene continues for Schmiddel with a new motorcycle and new sponsors.
We wish him all the best for the preparatory phase underway at the moment and will also continue to support our Tool Rebel in the future.