After grabbing the overall victory at the end of two demanding days of racing, Enduro21 caught up with Aigar to find out more about how his weekend went…
Enduro21: When did you decide to compete in the European Enduro Championship race in Estonia?
Aigar Leok: “When the calendar of events was released I realised that the EEC didn’t clash with my EWC commitments. From that moment I really wanted to race Estonia as it’s not often I get the chance to race a big event like that so close to home. Once my team gave me the opportunity to compete I signed up straight away.”
What expectations did you have coming into the race?
“To be honest I didn’t really know what to expect. For sure I wanted to win – every race I enter I try to win – but I knew the standard of riders would be really high. My goal was to win Enduro 3, as I knew that was possible, after that I just wanted to have fun and enjoy my home race.”
Aigar enjoyed the rare opportunity to race at home... © Robert Pairan
After a slow start to day one you managed to recover enough to win Enduro 3 but not the overall, what happened?
“I felt good during the first enduro test but towards the end of it I got a stick wedged in my rear brake and it locked up the back wheel. Even though I was a few metres from the end of the test, the bike wouldn’t move and I couldn’t get the stick out, so I ended up pushing it across the line. That cost me a lot of time but I managed to gain enough back to win my class – unfortunately I missed the overall by like two seconds or something.”
Day two faired a lot better and you were able to win the overall classification. Was it important to end the event on a high?
“Yes, definitely. I felt much more comfortable in the conditions on day two and I was able to find some better lines to win. Overall I really enjoyed the race. I just came by myself and did all my servicing and fuelling at the checks. It was good fun and to end it on the top step of the podium in front of my home fans was a special feeling for me.”
It also proved to be an eventful weekend for the Leok household as your brother Martin won as well.
Yes, I really proud of his result, he rode very strong. We train together a lot and he gets annoyed when I beat him but it’s pushed him on and helped him to win. He’s beginning to enjoy enduro and is now planning on competing in the EWC in Sweden and Finland to gain some more experience."
Aigar plans to compete in round three of the EEC in Latvia... © Lynn / Enduro21.com
Was the EEC in Estonia a once off race for you or do you plan on competing in any more rounds of the championship?
“Originally I had hoped to do all the rounds of the series as I feel it’s important to race as much as possible. There’s no better way to train than under race conditions, especially with 150 riders tearing up the course every lap. Unfortunately, the first round was too close to my other races but now that I’ve competed in Estonia I’m going to race round three in Latvia next weekend. It’s only about three hours from my home so it makes sense to race there too. I’m looking forward to it, the standard of competition has been very high – these guy’s aren’t afraid to keep the throttle wide open.”
Looking back at the recent EWC GP of Italy, were you pleased with your performance?
“On one hand I’m a little disappointed. It was TM’s 35th anniversary and I really wanted to give them a podium but it wasn’t possible. However, I’m satisfied with how I rode. I gave it my best but it wasn’t to be. It’s still only my second year in enduro and I feel I’m learning all the time. At the moment I can’t quite call myself an enduro rider – I’m still at school learning and have another year left before I graduated. After that I can call myself a true enduro rider!”
Nevertheless, with podium results in Chile and Portugal you’re proving yourself to be a fast learner. How do you plan on finishing out the rest of the season?
“Leading into the next round in Sweden I’m fourth in the Enduro 3 championship. I’m nine points ahead of Oriol Mena in fifth and the same behind Joakim Ljunggren so it’s really tight. The GP of Sweden is Joakim’s home race and I know he’ll be quick but all I can do is go there and do my best. We’ve got a lot of racing left before the season is over so I’ll be going full gas until the final special test of the year in France.”