Article from the Dutch magazine "Strada" (Ducati
Ambition ... Racing is fun!
For the many Ducati motorsport fans the track off Drenthe (Circuit van Drenthe - Assen) is a synonym for pleasure and great memories. In the A-class off the Dutch Ducati Dealer Cup is a rider that would like to take those moments from 2011 with him... but it turned out differently!
Robin Haesen from Belgium began to ride on a motorcycle in 2001 , not strange if you know that Haesen senior also rides motorcycles in the past and even now. In 2004 Robin decides to ride his motorcycle no more on the road but exclusively on the racetrack. "When you're mixing rides with your motorcycle on the track and also on the road, it's getting very dangerous because you'll speeding up and want to take the same risks on the road like on the track. It was clear from the start that I'll be racing with a Ducati to show everybody that you can go fast with an Italian bike. For people that ride Japanese motorcycles it's difficult to understand the passion for an Italian bike, the emotions on such bikes are awesome, they have to visit the Ducati Club Race to feel that vibe and spirit!"
When in 2006 the first edition off the Dutch Ducati Dealer Cup started, it was clear that his future will be there, the atmosphere ,
the good friendship between the riders and racing in a Ducati-only championship on great European tracks are great. The organization of the Dutch Ducati Dealer Cup is fantastic, thanks to Cecile van Hattem, she organizes and updates the riders in a great way … a big chapeau for this lady!
Since 2004 Robin rides the following desmo-motorcylces , a 748 , 749 , 999 , and this season a special prepared Biggelaar 1098. Every year the engine is completely serviced by these specialists from Biggelaar and for this season Toine had some special parts for his engine. In appreciation for new clients , Toine built up his engine with some special parts, it's like a win-win situation for both off them, and that's the way it should be ! A nice example off a great trust and friendship between them, and also in difficult times ... during the 3D-Cup which took place on 28th August.
I'll be witnessing the 2nd qualification off the 3D-Cup that Saturday afternoon on the Haarbocht-platform, when Robin is accelerating through the GT-Chicane towards to the main platform. It's going wrong ... engine blow-up … and a massive oil trace from GT to the end of the pit lane. A complete disaster ... and a desperate Robin is seeking Cecile. Mentally down in the pit box ... but not for long ... we must find a solution to race tomorrow! Robin is calling his good friend Marc , "Hello Marc , could I borrow your 1198-engine to race "…."YES, OF COURSE!" So ... after making contact with Toine ... Robin is off for a long trip , 2 hours driving to Biggelaar where they start
to take out the damaged engine while Robin is driving to pick up Marc's bike in Antwerp. After 1 hour he is back at Biggelaar where Toine and Sveti are taking out his engine and putting in Marc's engine. After several hours of work and testing, the engine is placed and he is ready to drive back to Assen.
It's 4 am when he is back in the paddock ... a great example how dealer and racer/rider respect each other.
Just like the introduction of this article showed ... Assen was not "the place to be" for Robin this season. The first time we met is on Saturday evening of the Club Race where he explains that he was driving already some days and sessions on the Assen-track. This season he focussed more on nutrition and a higher level of racing by also starting at the ONK Dutch Superbike Championship, this level is very high but good for learning and speeding-up.
Just before the Ducati Club Race weekend, Robin is on 2nd place in the championship ,
and with participation in every race off the 3D-Cup , his goal "a place in top 5" would be possible.
"I'm trying to make it difficult for some fast guys by scoring good results but alongside the competition
in the 3D-Cup , the friendship between all the riders is also great. Yesterday during the qualification I've been penalized and the race-control has decided to take my 2nd best time because I've been passing under yellow flag. So my qualification-time is 1.49 instead off 1.48, and it's good for a 9th place on the grid." The true ambition of Robin is next to performing well in the 3D-Cup also to start racing in a true Superbike Championship, like he's been doing it in the ONK Dutch Superbike but because of the budget it's not possible to start in all the races but who knows what the future will bring.
When the Desmoquattro-race starts where he also participate in this weekend, Robin has a good drive. After a few laps he is racing on 3rd position behind Marijn. But after 6 laps it's all over ... the back wheel slides away in the Mandeveen-corner and off he goes ... and even a couple off months later ... the Assen track will bring Robin again bad luck with engine blow-up ...
So if there is anyone who wants to leave Assen 2011 behind him ... it would be Robin. But his goal is achieved. With a great victory in Lausitz , and podium places in Francorchamps and Assen,
Robin scored a fantastic 4th place in the 3D-Cup 2011
See you all in 2012.