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June 03, 2022
As you may know, minibikes are small-sized motorcycles that are used for racing and are a lot of fun to ride because of how light they are and how close you get to the ground.
These motorcycles were developed at the same time as their more popular cousins, karts, after World War II. At first, hobbyists built them using lawnmower engines and bicycle parts. Then the first commercial minibikes came out of Honda's Japanese factories. The first model, the Honda CT70 became very popular, and featured a 4-stroke engine that reached 9000 rpm.
Japan and the United States were among the first countries where minibikes gained popularity, and later came to Europe. Today there are competitions of mini-bikes for children. These motorcycles have a ground clearance of only 2.54 cm and can reach speeds of up to 70 km/h. Not bad at all!
In Spain there is the Copa de España de MiniVelocidad, and we took the opportunity to ask Adrian Acuña from Martorell (Spain), a 7-year-old rider with the spirit of a champion, who also wears our Meteor gloves during races, a few questions.
- At what age did you start riding minibikes and why?
I started in the world of motor racing when I was 2 years old, my parents gave me a gasoline quad, and I started riding minibikes when I was 4 years old.
- Do you remember your first race?
Yes, I remember it very well, it was in the karting of Empuria Brava, in the A.M.P.A. championship.
I started in second position, but a few laps later I was overtaken by Diego, with two laps to go Alex Perez who was in first position and with enough distance, suffered a fall that slowed him down a lot and we managed to overtake him. On the last lap I made an outside to Diego getting the first position and winning the race. I left very happy.
- How does it feel to ride minibikes?
It's a very cool feeling, because we are very small and it's one of the few vehicles we can drive, and we do it at the maximum we can, giving our maximum performance.
- How did you meet Andromeda Moto?
I met you thanks to Instagram, through some publication, but I don't know if it was yours or thanks to some collaboration.
- What is the name of the competition and how many races do you do per year?
This year I participate in two championships, the championship of Catalonia and Spain.
In each of them I participate in two categories, in the gasoline minibike category with the Polini, and also in the electric minibike category with the new Ariane K2RE. We could say that I participate in 4 championships, although they are practically the same.
At the end of the season I will have participated in a total of 20 races (11 of the Catalan championship and 9 of the Spanish championship).
In the championship of Catalonia 7 double races with the gasoline bike and 4 double races with the electric bike.
In the Spanish championship (also in races with 2 tasks) 4 with the Polini and 5 with the electric bike.
- Are you afraid of crashes?
Yes, but not all of them. The crashes I'm most afraid of are the ones that happen by Hide-side. Fortunately I have suffered very few of them and without serious consequences.
The other falls, the ones where you go to the ground because it goes to the front when folding, or to the back when I tilt a lot, those do not worry me too much.
- As parents, what do you feel when you introduce your child to a risky sport?
As parents we would not know how to describe well the feeling we have when introducing our child to this sport, as it is a mixture of many. But at the beginning it is a lot of joy to see your child so young getting on a saddle and that little by little he is mastering it, improving and surpassing himself day by day and seeing how he demands more and wants to reach the level of his peers.
Then when he is already with a very good rhythm, with a great level and is fighting with the best ..... The pride as a father to see what level he has reached... to see that he is fighting and not throwing in the towel is what I like the most. It doesn't matter if he comes in first or last, but when I leave happy is when I see him fight from start to finish.
There's also the part where you're a little scared because it's still a sport that involves more risk than others. But if you are well equipped you don't usually get hurt.
- How many motorcycles have you ridden?
To date only 4, the first of all was a Chinese bike, then the Polini, the electric and the ohvale twice. Although I would like to try a KTM for motocross, a pitbike for track and the ohvale more times since I almost couldn't enjoy it.
- What aspects have you been looking at over time and what do you think you still have to improve?
Over time I have improved many things, first you start controlling the gas, then to touch knee, we continue to lean but trying not to turn the handlebars (or as little as possible), and finally to trace that is one of the most important things to be able to go fast.
What do I still need to improve?
As for riding minibikes, I have to focus more on improving my position on the bike. I'm a rider who is 1.43m tall, so I'm very tall for this bike and I almost don't fit jejeej but it's something that also happens to others and still manage to be faster than me. I have already improved a lot the line and I am very good at braking (it is one of my strong points) so as a rider I have few things to continue improving (that doesn't mean that I don't have to keep practicing it).
As a rider I have to improve in some aspects, but it's more mental work. For example, I have to give gas a little earlier when exiting corners, and above all not to come down when I make a mistake and the riders in front of me get away from me. But where I have to work more, is to improve my times riding alone, it is an aspect that today I have to work on. Because when I ride with other riders, either in front or behind, I am able to lower my times a lot.
- How is the world of competition? Is there a place for friendship within the rivalry?
The racing world is very cool! Because although on the track we are all rivals and there are no friends, once the race is over and we take off our helmets we are friends again and we play or chat with each other. At the end of the day we are still kids and that's what we like the most, to play.
- What is your favorite circuit?
In the Spanish championship my favorite circuit today is the one in A madalena (Galicia).
In the championship of Catalonia my favorite circuit is Menarguens (Lleida).
And in the World Championship my favorite circuit is Montmeló.
- What is the highest speed you have reached in straight line? And touching elbow?
I don't know in a straight line because these bikes don't have an odometer. But I could say almost 70km/h.
Touching elbow I touch, but not in all the curves and I can't say at what speed, but not much.
- Who takes care of the mechanics?
Mainly my father, but we also have a mechanic friend who has a garage in Barcelona that also helps us a lot. The workshop is called Moto minut, in Hospital de Sant Pau.
- Who teaches Adrian the strategy and helps him as a coach?
In this aspect it is also my father. With him we talk about the objectives of the day, how the day went and also how to face the race. From the position in which we start and the rivals I have around me, then the start is approached in one way or another.
- How long have you been using the Meteor gloves and what condition are they in?
Well, at this point I've had them for almost a year and I'm quite happy with them. I doubt that any other glove partner has given them as much work as I'm giving them hehehehe.
Training every week with them and all the races they have been in and they are still holding up well and have plenty of wick left. They have some wear in the area of the grips of the palm and the seams of the wrist strap have been broken and that area does not tighten ... But otherwise great, and that they have suffered many falls and training in the rain.
- Who is your idol?
My favorite rider is Marc Marquez (of course) but the truth is that I like everyone. Each one has his virtues and his personal struggles with his bikes, so each and every one has my admiration and respect.
- Where would you like to grow up?
Well, I think that like most of the child riders out there, I would like to reach the MotoGP World Championship. I know it's a very difficult road with a lot of competition, and I also know that without help it will be more difficult. But with or without help I will always be giving my all and I will always fight to achieve my goals.
From Andromeda Moto we wish Adrian a lot of success :) You can follow him and support him on his Instagram profile.
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