Jürgen Mohr, the 40-year old rider from north Bavaria, won his first European Quad Championship in 2006. Three years later Mohr finished the 2009 ATV Cross Country race season with the European over 450cc Championship in the Baja Series, and the German-Enduro-Quad-Cup Series Championship. Racing a Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS, Mohr made history that year by becoming the first National Champion to also win a European Series title in the same year. He has in fact clinched the German title, the Deutscher Meister, four times - in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, and after talking with him it's clear he has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Although racing with dated machinery, Mohr plans on winning his fifth German title this year.
Jürgen Mohr has won the European Quad Champion twice and the German Championship four times, and he has every intention of adding more to his resume.
Mohr, it appears, is in fact just hitting his stride in the sport, as he already has race plans extending down the road several years. High up on his agenda too, is simply getting Germans to tune in, so they can see for themselves how truly exciting quad racing can be, and to dissuade them from thinking that bowling is indeed an extreme sport. We began our conversation with Mohr by getting caught up on how 2010 went for him.
"Well, I had some difficult technical problems last year. One engine problem destroyed my chances for the championship. In the last winter months, we spent some time, and energy, improving the engine's overall endurance and durability. This is the reason we were looking for professional help with our filters. So, that's how I found the partnership with K&N Filters. In 2010 I still placed second in the German championship, which is very good when you consider the engine problems. In 2011 I want to win my fifth German title, before I begin working on 2012, and learning about the Dakar Rally. In 2013 my aim is to race the Dakar and finish on the podium."
Mohr is looking forward to perhaps racing several WORC races in the states this year as well.
How did you get started and how long have you been racing?
"In 1999 I visited my brother in-law in the USA. That was the first time I got to know quad riding, on his pretty old four-stroke Suzuki. It was more trail riding than racing, through the woods in Pennsylvania. I used to race bikes in cross-country races in Germany first, and as I tried quad riding, I immediately loved the style. I came back to Germany and started quad racing in 2001. So now I've raced more than 180 races over the last 10 year, first in the motocross, and later in the enduro, cross-country and Baja Races."
"I've been racing with K&N Filters on my KTM for the last four years, because I wanted to find some extra performance on my engines. In 2010 I got to know the people from K&N at the Intermot Show in Cologne, and we talked about a possible partnership. In a pragmatic way, Marcel Blom, and his colleagues offered me their support. As a four-time German Champion, and double European Baja Champion, I know a lot about quad racing, and definitely the experience exchange with real racers is also good for the K&N Company."
How popular is quad racing in Germany and Europe overall, does it have a large fan base, and is it still growing in popularity?
"Quad racing is coming up in Germany, but other countries are stronger at this point. In France, UK, Portugal and Spain you find more racers and more fans. During the Baja Races in Portugal for example, hundreds and sometimes thousands, of people are jumping out on the track. It feels like the Tour de France."
"In France you find some huge races too. In Pant de Vaux for example, you may see more than 12,000 spectators. And in the beach race in Le Touquet, more than 150,000 fans show up. Yeah, that's awesome."
"The big TV Stations like Eurosport are a little disappointing at the moment. You will find more coverage about darts and billiards, and even about this action sport 'bowling.' It makes me tired thinking about it. But, I am very confident for the future."
In 2008 I had the chance to make a little show on a big German TV program, more than 3.5 million people watched it. In another show, a camera team came to my practice session, to talk and film it. It's growing and we will continue to produce the best possible PR-Work we can."
How do you feel about your chances for another championship this year?
"I was training hard in the winter and I will try to win my fifth championship this year. It won't be easy though, because my race quads are two years old, and the engines are three years old. That's why we are so concerned with reliability."
Have you raced much in the United States, and if so, what are some of the differences from where you usually race?
"Not yet. But my next goal is to race one or two races in the WORC Series in the states this year. Right now I'm trying to connect and collect people for this plan. I supported the 16-year-old Supercross winner 'Prince of Dortmund,' Austin Politelli. I got to know his dad, who was a very successful quad racer in the 80's in the USA."
"Another important person is my friend Andy Green, who was racing on my own team in Germany in 2008 and 2009. He used to race in the GNC series a few years ago, and he taught me a lot about the scene. The main thing is to find a team in the USA that would be willing to make a race quad available for me."
"Another 'classic' race I want to have on my list is the Baja 1000. I think the big difference between USA and Europe, is opportunity for the top riders in America to concentrate on their sports 100 percent. They are professional and get big deals."
"When you look in the backyard of an American rider's house, you will often find they have their own practice track. As a European top rider you have to have one, or even two jobs, just to earn enough money to spend on your sport. Finding enough time for training and managing your team is very hard. You have to have 100 octane gas in your blood. But, it's exactly what I love to do, so I won't stop racing."
Do you have anything new or different for the 2011 race season in mind, and when does your race season get started?
"My first race is in March. This year my plan is to look even cooler than the guys up to 20 years younger. Ha-ha. For real though, I want to shock the German racing scene with my two strongest upcoming team members this year. They are two 14-year-old little fighters, and I expect to find them on the podium in the German Motocross Quad Sports scene. But, it's always hard work, and we need good luck and no injuries."
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