Never Ride Alone is proud to present the interview with Dutch-born racer Marcel Van Drunen. Not only is he the great champion, he is quite a character as well.
"A motocross racer at heart" is perhaps the best description for this veteran of Eindhoven. He’s been riding since he was a 9 year old boy, and by the age of 16 he knew that motorsport would be his career.
In the period 1989-2003 Marcel earned his spurs in both the European and the World Championship Motocross (6th in 1991). Being a triple winner of the German and Dutch national championships (in 2001) makes him an all-round motocross rider in the 125, 250 and 500 cc.
In 2004, Marcel tried Super Motard for the first time. He started racing in super close fight races at high speed on sandy soil and asphalt. The same year he was calling himself both Dutch and European champion – he won a great "new entry".
From 2005 he started sharing his Supermoto experiences with champions like Devon Vermeulen and Jermain on den Buijs. He also started training older riders in bootcamps in France and Spain as well in his own Supermoto School in Valkenswaard.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: You are the rider that competed in many different categories of motorsport. Dakar Rally, Motocross, Supercross and Supermoto. Did we miss something?
MVD: No, I’d say you’ve covered them all.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: What was the hardest discipline for you, and which one gives you most fun and pleasure?
MVD: MX is very tough as you need very good conditions for it, plus to train very hard. The Dakar is also tough. But it is different, meaning boring if you need to ride very far and keep concentrated the whole time. Some parts are nice but the time you need to get to the start and to go from finish to the paddock is much more difficult.
Supermoto is great because of the high speed and the sliding. The MX part makes it complete. I really like to ride with my supermoto in the dirt.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: How did you get into Supermoto?
MVD: An old friend was doing Supermoto and he let me try it. It was love at first sight, I really liked it. The first year I didn’t have any sponsor because they didn’t know me yet. So I did MX and SM together. But in 2004 I did my first full season SM and I became the Dutch and European champion. I was racing in the Maxxis team at the time.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: Describe that feeling when you kick three gears down and slide the rear wheel at full lean?
MVD: It’s a really great feeling that you can still control the bike. I did the slide so many times that now I try other things - like sliding with one hand, or without hands. Yesterday I did sliding with one extra person on the back. That was also very cool to do.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: On a scale of 1-10, how lucky do you think you are and why?
MVD: My honest answer is that I have ups and downs. Many things are influencing my MVD Racewear brand, and this brings much pressure. So the scale goes from 4 till 9, from ups to downs and back.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: What did you care about most when you were 10 years old?
MVD: Motocross has been an integral part of me my entire life. Therefore it makes me happy to see my son riding. He is 6 years old and seeing him grow on the bike is quite something. Sometimes it’s unbelievable to see what he does on it, being only 6.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: Who is your hero and why?
MVD: I have many heroes in my life - Stefan Everts is one of the biggest ones. What he did was really tough, and awesome. Also, Carioli is doing a great job.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: What is your favorite motorcycle.
MVD: Yamaha is a great and reliable bike.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: And what about your dream Motorcycle?
MVD: I don't really have one.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: You have Supermoto School, can you tell us something about it?
MVD: At Supermoto School we give people the opportunity to try to ride a Supermoto bike. We teach them the best way to ride that bike. I really like this, because people are always happy when they go home. But I do it every week so it’s starting to feel like work (laughs).
NEVER RIDE ALONE: How soon can one start riding like Supermoto riders?
MVD: It takes practice, of course, but one can start quite fast. The level of races goes from very low to very high, so everyone can do them.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: We’ve heard that you are selling apparel and gear, is that true?
MVD: Yes, I make my own Supermoto suits. When I started to ride Supermoto I wore a Lookwell suit but it was very heavy and tight. So I started thinking and then I made myself a two piece suit. It is still very safe but far more comfortable. Seven years later, many people like our suit much more than one piece suits.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: Recently you have been involved into training with your son Jason. How it is going and how do you feel about training a new generation of racers.
MVD: This is a great thing for me to do at the moment. If you could see what Jason can do with a bike at his age, it’s fascinating. He really likes MX but he already did a little Supermoto one time. Soon I will buy him 2 sm tiers so we’ll see how he goes. Supermoto is very good for his skills and technic.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: Where can your fans find you?
MVD: The best place to find me is my Facebook:
1. Marcel van Drunen
2. Marcel van Drunen (athlete / fanpage)
3. MVD Racewear (company fanpage)
4. Supermotoschool (company fanpage)
5. Supermoto Valkenswaard
6. Jayson van Drunen (athlete / fanpage)...
...and supermotorschool.nl to subscribe to the course.
NEVER RIDE ALONE: So what's next?
MVD: My goal is to grow with MVD Racewear, I hope MVD Racewear will be a big brand in a couple of years. Besides that, I’d like to go to different countries with Supermoto School. Some weeks ago I was in Panama and I taught the riders there how to ride a Supermoto bike. This was a lot of fun and the riders seemed to enjoy themselves.
In the end I hope my son will grow in the MX sport, but for him the main goal is to have pleasure in the moment. He should enjoy the things he does.
2004 European Supermoto Champion
6x Dutch Supermoto Champion
48th in Dakar 2006
3x German champion MX 95,96 and98
Dutch champion MX 2001 sx 95
9th MX World championship 89
6th MX World championship 91