(INTERVIEW) Niki Tuuli: "The world is changing and it is an honour to be involved in this process, thanks to Avant Ajo MotoE."
"The world is changing and it is an honour to be involved in this process, thanks to Avant Ajo MotoE."
Niki Tuuli talks about the first year of the electric series, which will kick off its second season in one week at Jerez.
Just over a year ago, Niki Tuuli and Avant Ajo MotoE made history when they won the first ever FIM MotoE World Cup race. On the day of the first anniversary of the electric racing series, the Finnish rider looks back at how the championship has evolved. In addition, Tuuli talks about the past few months of inactivity, and his goals for the 2020 season when it gets back underway next week.
What did it mean to you to become the first rider to win a MotoE race?“Racing is my life, so my goal - and that of the team - is always to win. That day we achieved our target by taking the victory. Of course, doing it in the first race in MotoE history made it an even more special result."
How well have the team adapted to the MotoE class throughout this first year?
“The team have adapted perfectly to the series. They have worked very hard since the first test where we met each other, and where we were able to ride the bike for the first time. We've connected very well, right from the beginning; all the people who work there are highly experienced professionals. I am very happy to be part of the Avant Ajo MotoE team.” Unfortunately, you suffered a crash that prevented you from finishing the season. How are you now?
“It was a shame because the season ended for me at the third race. I practically couldn't get back on a bike for the rest of the year, so it was a tough time. Luckily I feel good now and have no pain when I ride. However, I have to continue working to further strengthen this part of my body, to get back fully to the fitness I had before the crash."
"What fascinates me most about Aki [Ajo] is the passion he feels for what he does."
How important is the role that Aki Ajo plays for you?
“Aki does everything possible to make our team the best around. What fascinates me most about him is the passion he feels for what he does. Whenever I go to talk to him, he listens attentively to me and thinks about what we can do to solve any issue. For me, it is very important to be part of a team led by a person like Aki Ajo.” How have the last few months without races been?
“It has not been a good time due to the health crisis, but these months without racing have allowed me to improve my fitness after the injury. In March, when we had the first test of the year for MotoE, I still noticed some discomfort when I got on the bike.During the lockdown I managed to maintain my daily routine for training quite well, always complying with the safety protocol. But the important thing is that, after these difficult months that the planet in general has been through, we are returning to normality."
Next week, the first MotoE race of the 2020 season will take place at Jerez. What mentality and objective do you have for the event?
“We have to start the season calmly, since too much desire can make you make a mistake. It is important to improve little by little and set out all the steps that we are taking. Our goal, as always, will be to get on the podium on Sunday, but first we will have to work hard if we want to have a good result.” Today is the first anniversary of the MotoE series. What do you think about this championship? Do you think it is the future?
“For me it is a pleasure and an honour to be part of this series, since I consider that, in addition to being a novelty, it is very fun. There have been many improvements compared to last year and, although there is still work to be done, I think that over the years it will increase in importance. The world is changing and it is an honour to be involved, in some way, in this process thanks to the team. It is the future and I believe that other sports should follow its lead.”