International Road Race Legend from Yesteryear: Loek Bodelier

The international road racing legend of yesteryear, where has he gone, what is he up to now, and how does he view today's road racing sport? In this section, we ask these former heroes a series of (the same) questions. This week: Katja Poensgen

Loek Bodelier - 125CC

Who is Loek Bodelier?

Name : Loek Bodelier
Nickname : Loek
Born on : 08-04-1966
Nationality : Dutch
Residence: Udenhout
Start of road racing career : 1985
Active in : Yamaha RD 350 Cup, Yamaha TZR250, 125cc and 250cc
Number of titles : Dutch 125cc Champion 1991
End of road racing career : 1997
Current profession : Independent motorcycle salesman

How did you first get involved in road racing?

I worked in the polyester industry and was asked to make fairings for the Yamaha RD 350 Cup. I used the money I earned from that to start racing.

Which rider did you have the best battles with on the track?

There are many, including Ralf Waldmann and Peter Öttl, but if I have to name one, it's Jorge Aspar Martinez. I'll never forget our battle during the 1991 Superprestigio at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, which was the opening of the current circuit and my step into Grand Prix racing.

Best motorcycle you've ridden and why?

The Honda RS125R from my time, it was the best-handling machine I ever rode.

Favorite Circuit you have raced?

Eastern Creek in Australia. I loved left-hand corners and the long straight made it a fantastic track. TT Circuit Assen and Laguna Seca are also among my favorites.

What is the strangest or most hilarious experience you've had in racing?

The funniest things often happened off the track after a race weekend. We were very serious during the day, but there was always time for fun once the pressure was off.

Do you have a special memory of racing in the Netherlands?

CMSNL is based in the Netherlands
Absolutely, racing in front of a home crowd is amazing. In 1994, I finished on the podium and rode in the lead group with over 100,000 people watching. The emotions, joy, and chaos are indescribable. Looking back, I realize how special and privileged those moments were.

The best thing you've gained from racing

The appreciation of the fans. At the time, you're not really aware of it, but as you get older, you realize how special it was.

What did you do after your active road racing career ended?

I stayed in the motorcycle industry as a business owner selling motorcycles.

Are you still involved in the sport in any way?

No, I'm not actively involved, but I'm still a huge fan.

Which current or past motorcycle would you like to ride?

My Honda RS125R from back then, just to experience that thrill and wow moment again, especially at a track like Eastern Creek.

For which current rider do you have a lot of respect and why?

Francesco Bagnaia and Collin Veijer. They both work hard and follow their own plan. Watching Collin work hard without relying on anyone is inspiring. Those are the true racers, and I have a lot of respect for them.

Who do you see as the greatest (currently active) road racing talent and why?

Pedro Acosta is certainly a big talent right now, but my heart goes to Collin. His progress is extraordinary and wonderful to watch.

Who will be the 2024 MotoGP & WorldSBK world champions?

Francesco Bagnaia, though I secretly hope for someone else just for the sport's sake. As for WorldSBK, I don't follow it closely enough to make a call.

With your experience, how do you view the current developments within international road racing?

Very clear, fewer electronic aids. Riders should make the difference. I sometimes watch MotoGP rookies go fast immediately, which was unthinkable in the past. Current bikes have so many aids that everyone trusts them implicitly, which isn't my style and not how racing should be.

This blog was written in collaboration with

issued: Thursday, July 04, 2024
updated: Thursday, July 04, 2024

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