Natalie Kane interview - Fast Lady
Interview Wednesday 25th July 2012 By Harry Van Hemmen
In every ladies moto Kane and many other lady racers put up a great show. Besides these girls start at a very young ago, Natalie Kane rode her first Women’s Cup race in Lierop in 2007 when she was fifteen, scoring two second places.
Natalie in many reports they make it sound like you are from England but here and now is your chance to set the record straight.
“Everyone thinks I am from England but I am Irish, born and raised in Northern Ireland, 20 miles south of Belfast. I have an Irish passport and my racing is my job. Racing that’s what I love to do and as long as I get my cost covered I will continue to race. With many Irish people to support me it is not good to read that I am English because I am not.”
After a couple of years being sidelined with injury Natalie is now in her best season with the target to improve her best WMX result which was third in 2009. She won a moto in Slovenia and now holds second in the WMX.
“Yeah I have been out with a lot of injuries during 4 years and for this year I had set the target to build my speed up and do better races where I can show my speed and realize a higher score.”
Calling Hawkstone Park her favorite circuit it is pretty amazing to see how fast young Natalie (20) can ride the hard packed WMX tracks. This season you surely have succeeded in improving with being a steady second in the last 4 ladies races. In your opinion, how is the season going?
“Not so bad, every race it is getting a bit better. My lap times are coming closer to Chiara and with that I can be pretty happy. We had a fall and a DNF in Italy but the KTM team or factory gives me all the support. On the way back from Italy we passed by the factory to fix some electrical problems and changed the wiring.”
Is there any involvement from the factory?
“Well I am supported by KTM UK but every time we have some kind of problem KTM offered to help so we stopped at the factory. When we are with the MX1/MX2 riders I can always ask them for help if I need it.”
You have been successful with four national titles, what are you doing this year in Ireland and Britain?
“With the world championship races so far away I have not been racing so much there. Normally I race the Dutch championship but missed the first two rounds. Now I ride the World and the German ladies championship and hopefully I do some men’s British races in MX2. The last weekend of June I did the Irish round in Desertmartin but we had some technical problems.”
THESE GIRLS ARE FIT AND FAST
Natalie and Chiara had a good scrap in Italy but mechanical failure has cost Kane a lot of points as she mentioned. We spoke with her in Slovakia where she scored two second places behind Chiara in tropical weather conditions. The strong girls survived and amazing how fast most of these young girls went on the hard track.
“I had mechanical problems in the qualification race and had to retire after one lap. That resulted in a bad gate position and I needed a couple of laps to reach second place in both motos. By then Chiara was too far ahead.”
How about the gap in the championship on Chiara, can you come closer in the remaining races in England and Germany?
“It is a big gap but anything can happen. At the first two races of the series I had a hand injury but rode anyway. My focus is on my own racing and try to win some of the last 4 motos then see what happens.”
Sidelined with a broken arm nearly the whole season in 2011 Natalie could do only one WMX race, the final in France. She did really well so that was a sign she would be up front this year.
Today the gap on the championship leader is 69 points. Take into account she lost 27 points on the Italian teenager in Holland and France, then a crash and a DNF in Italy and Chiara was another 30 points away.
Natalie would you be happy to finish runner-up in the WMX this year?
“Yeah because in the last 4 years I have had so many injuries. This year I am fit to do a full season.”
How is the relationship between you and Chiara and the other girls in the WMX?
“It is good, I mean I want to win and stop others passing me but I won’t do anything crazy. I have a little sister who loves Chiara so we speak and get on well.”
Text and photo: Harry van Hemmen