|Mario van Rooijen Born in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on August 20 th 1960.From 1975 untill aprox. 1990, Mario was a fanatic motocross rider competing in various events and classes.For several years Mario has been a mechanic in the Johan van der Wal (Yamaha) Racingteam, a.o. Endurance, Superbike and Supersport 600.Around 1994 he joined Ferry Brouwer with the restoration of his classic racing motorcycles, followed by the Centennial in Assen in 1998. Because Mario is also a very good rider he got the opportunity to ride all the machines as well. So now he is a mechanic as well as a rider for the team with which he was of course involved since the beginning. Present job is with Arai Helmet Europe in the R & D department.
Ten questions to Mario van Rooijen:
1. What is your background in racing? I started with motocross sin 1975 until 1990. After that I was a mechanic for the Yamaha Exclusive Racing team participating in Superbike, Endurance and Supersport 600 events. But I love to enjoy some off-road riding every now and then!
2. How and when did you got involved with the YCRT? I knew Ferry since 1976, when he was working on the bikes for former world champion sidecars the late Ton van Heugten. We met again in1994, and started restoring classic bikes. In 1998 Ferry organized the Classic Centennial TT . From then I started working on the classic bikes on a regular basis, later I joined the YCRT.
3. What is your function within the YCRT? My first function is being a mechanic, but I ame fortunate enough to have the privilege to ride the Yamaha racers at classic events.
4. What is the best part of being an YCRT member? And the worst? I am very proud and happy, that I may work on, and build these historical racing machines. And also it is a good thing to see, how the people enjoy seeing those bikes ride again. Worst part? Are there any?
5. How much time do you spent with the team? Every Wednesday evening and Thursdays, I work on the bikes. And of course in the weekends during events. From Friday till Monday, we are on the road to drive the race truck.
6. How is the spirit within the team? The spirit is a tight group, close friends, with a special feeling for the Yamaha bikes.
7. What is your favorite YCRT bike, your favorite classic event and your favorite rider? My favorite bike is the 500-3 cylinder, but I do like all the machines. My favorite Classic Event is Schotten and Spa Francorchamps. My favorite rider is Valentino Rossi and for the Classics it is Steve Baker. It is fun to ride together with him at the Classic Events!
8. What makes you proud of the YCRT during an event? To see all those happy faces from the spectators, who enjoy seeing the bikes ride again and that they have the opportunity to see the bikes from nearby.
9. Do you have a special bond with Yamaha as a racing brand? Since 1976 my first MX-bike was a Yamaha YZ-125. And I still have an YZ-465, a XS-650, an OW-01(FZR 750R) and a WR 450F.
10. What’s your opinion about the future of the classics? I hope that there will be more Classic Events in the future to experience the racing history of Yamaha.