In this blog, we look back at all the highs and lows we and our partners have experienced in 2021. Including two champions, a dramatic comeback during the season, and our vision on the year that is almost over. Read all about RAC41 ChromeBurner's season in the FIM Endurance World championship, Mirjam Pol's season in the FIM Baja World Cup, her preparations for Dakar 2022, Thije Ligtermoed's season in the Molenaar NSF100 Cup, and our view on the past year and vision on 2022.
2021 was a year full of ups and downs for RAC41 ChromeBurner! The team has been improving steadily over the last few seasons by attracting the right people to further professionalize. The EWC championship finally started in June, after a lot of delays, with the legendary 24h of Le Mans.
Hopeful for a good season the team started off with positive training sessions at the Le Mans circuit. The team had managed to snag the third starting position on the grid by tactically managing the tires during qualification. After starting in the famous Le Mans style Chris Leesch got off to a good start but got taken out in the first corner of the 24-hour race, by a rider behind him. Disaster had struck the RAC41 ChromeBurner racing team. The Fireblade caught fire, which had to be extinguished. Leesch brought back the Honda to the pit box. But after trying to repair the bike and an attempt by Wayne Tessels to head out on the track, it was clear the team couldn’t finish the race. The bike’s electronics got damaged, and the team retired from the race an hour after it started.
In the second race of the season, the 12 hours of Estoril, RAC41 ChromeBurner had a decent P16 qualification overall and started as 5th Superstock team. With Wayne starting the race off and managing to stay between P4 and P6 in the Superstock class, a podium finish was within reach. But after a pitstop, a leak was found in the radiator, caused by the impact of a rock, because of this misfortune the team lost 12 minutes. After this, the team decided to take some more risks by changing up the strategy for the stints. These risks didn’t turn into the rewards RAC41 ChromeBurner had hoped for. The team managed to fight back up the pecking order but lost those places after the fuel tank dried up. Grégory Fastré ran back to the pits with the Honda but there was no real hope for a good result anymore. The team focused on getting a good consistent pace to finish the race and they finished 14th in the Superstock class and 26th in the overall standing.
In the final race of the season, the legendary Bol d’Or, the team started working hard during the training sessions. The team as a whole was feeling great and working together very well. The hard work came to fruition in qualifying, where RAC41 ChromeBurner managed to place P4 in the superstock class and P15 overall. After the start of the race, the team struggled in the warmer conditions, which saw them drop back into 6th place. In the later, cooler, stages of the race, Leesch, Tessels, and Fastré managed to win positions all the way up to second place in the early evening. In the night a lot happened, because of some rain. Because of a few issues during tire changes the team lost a few positions, but after it started raining again the team kept their pace high, with Wayne being the fastest Superstock rider on track. He managed to bring the bike back to the pits after having a small slide. At sunrise, the team’s position on track was 7th overall and 5th in the Superstock class. After the rain during the night, the track dried up in the morning and the team managed to ride good stints at a consistent pace, which saw the team climb two positions during the morning. In the final hours of the race the team managed to pass one last team, this meant the final position of RAC41 ChromeBurner during the 2021 Bol d’Or was 2nd in the Superstock class and 4th overall, a great achievement by the team!
For 2022, the team hopes to build on this achievement and of course have a bit more luck. The foundation for a better season is there, with further improvements still to come! Hopefully, RAC41 ChromeBurner’s hard work will get rewarded in front of the enthusiastic crowds we normally see in the FIM Endurance World Championships.
Because of budgetary and planning reasons, Mirjam’s had to decide to not partake in the 2021 Dakar. This was a difficult decision for Mirjam and quite a disappointment for the Dutch Dakar fans, but also an understandable one in these uncertain times.
After a year with extremes in 2020. Having achieved her best result ever in the Dakar rally, but she also lost two of her dear colleagues. Which understandably affected her deeply. She said in an interview, “The passion of our sport is big and we all know the risks of riding rallies.” After the events of the 2020 Dakar, Mirjam decided to take a step back and process her experiences. Finishing a Dakar is an accomplishment on its own and Mirjam said “If you’re close to the loss of two friends in the rally, the medal is even more valuable. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel the pain, the opposite is true. For me being strong means; feeling the pain, understanding, and accepting. After that, you can move on. In the end, this will only make me come back stronger.”
Her return to the Dakar was postponed from 2021 to 2022 and Mirjam wanted to prepare for the 2022 Dakar in the best possible way. This is why she participated in the FIM Baja World Cup. Setting the tone for the rest of the World Cup, she started off with a first-place finish among the female riders in Dubai. In Aragon, she couldn’t quite repeat this result and finished second in the female standings. In the last two races of the competition, she showed true class and finished first in both Hungary and the final race in Portalegre.
Because of these results, she was crowned FIM Baja World Cup champion in the female category and finished 9th in the overall standings! After this marvelous feat, she is fully prepared for the 2022 Dakar, which starts Saturday, January 1st, 2022. Her biggest competition over the last few years, Laia Sanz, chose to make her debut in a car for the upcoming 12 stage rally. This means Mirjam will be one of the favorites to finish on top of the female riders’ standings. Good luck to Mirjam and all participants in the Dakar, enjoy the ride!
Thije Ligtermoed, an exciting prospect in motorcycle racing, who just turned 14. In 2021, he showed his potential once again, finishing on top of the final standings in the Dutch Molenaar NSF100 cup. In his last of three years in this class, he finished with 250 points, to beat his rival with a margin of 7 points. During his career in the cup, he came home with the 2019 rookie title, 2019 vice-champion, 2020 vice-champion, and to finish it off 2021 Dutch champion. During these past years, he achieved 15 race wins, 10 second-place finishes, 8 third-place finishes, and 7 pole positions. Well done Thije! And we look forward to your bright future.
Like many others, we have experienced 2021 as a hectic year. We still do our best to make it as fun as possible for everyone, especially in the future! Looking ahead into 2022 we have a lot of fun things planned. We want to keep improving our service and product range, we want to help every motorcyclist to have the most fun possible when riding.
In 2021, we have extended our range of products, by adding various brands. We have broadened our offer by adding products in our Motocross range on top of our existing range, from brands like Fly Racing, Shot, Oakley, and Spect Red Bull. And by adding the renowned motorcycle luggage brand to our collection a new category was added. On top of that, we have deepened our product offering, by adding brands like LS2, Stylmartin, Daytona, Trilobite, Halvarssons, and Lindstrands. With LS2 we have added helmets for most types. In Stylmartin and Daytona we have found brands that are known for their top-quality motorcycle boots. While Trilobite is one of the top brands for motorcycle jeans. And Halvarssons and Lindstrands offer some great motorcycle clothing options.
While adding these brands is a good start, it only gives an impression of what’s to come. We hope to deepen and broaden our collection even further in 2022. In addition, we want to keep working on our brand recognition worldwide. We always keep working to know most of the products in our space, so we can help you the best we can. Next year you can look out for more content that shares our expertise in an intriguing and entertaining way.
Check out our MX/Enduro and Race/Sport offerings and take a look at our other blogs for more stories, tips, tricks, and inspiration!