Supersport World Championship will hit San Juan with a rookie in its field. Young Dutchman Glenn van Straalen will replace Anthony West (who’s still involved in a doping case) on the brand new Argentinian circuit and so he’ll debut in WorldSSP after a good season in World Supersport 300.
van Straalen, who has recently turned 18, raced in Supersport 300 on a KTM of Arie Vos’ Fortron Racing Team and the eight races of the season saw him scoring a podium finish in Assen, four further top-10 finishes and ninth place in final standings. The rider from Hoogkarspel debuted in WorldSSP300 last year in Assen, when he secured a podium as a wildcard entry, and what he did during 2018 season has proved his skills at an international level. Glenn’s career is still very short (he started racing in 2015), but he has already been very successful, with two titles in KTM RC Cup Benelux and one in Dutch Open Wegrace Cup 600 in his name.
van Straalen is quick in getting used to a new machine and when it’s time to fight, he’s definitely not short of fair aggressiveness. The brave 18-year-old Dutchman wants to shine on Argentinian soil and here you can read the short interview we had with him before his departure to South America.
What can you say about the opportunity offered by EAB antwest Racing?
I’m very happy with this opportunity. My manager Martijn Polinder arranged it for me together with Ferry Schoenmakers and Anthony West. I heard it as a birthday present after the World Supersport 300 race at Magny Cours and I’m looking forward to enjoying it.
Tell us about your season in World Supersport 300.
It wasn’t an easy season. It’s a shame that we were not competitive everywhere, like at the beginning of the season. Some rule changes penalised KTM riders and this made me struggle a bit, together with the fact some tracks were new to me. By the way, I have learned a lot and I have grown as a rider and I will never forget the great second place I scored in front of home crowd at Assen.
You’ve already ridden 600cc bikes. How big is the jump from 300cc to 600cc?
Last year I rode on the 600cc and 300cc bikes, as I raced in both KTM RC Cup and sort of Dutch Supersport Championship. I had to switch bike almost every weekend. I find it difficult to explain the differences, but I can adapt myself well to both bikes.
Can you tell us about your racing career so far?
It’s been fast and very good. In 2015 I started with racing and in the following year I started collecting titles. Up to now I’m two times KTM RC Cup Benelux champion (2016 and 2017) and one time Dutch Supersport champion (2017).
How fundamental is Arie Vos in your career?
I know Arie since I started racing, as he organized the KTM RC Cup. This year he started a team in World Championship and I’m grateful I could join him in this step.
You’ve won a lot during your career…But have you ever had troubled times?
In a season you always have good and bad times. I have won a lot in the last years and that makes it easier. But you also learn a lot when we have a difficult weekend or if you don’t get a good result. I’m very happy with the people who are helping me. They support me 100%.
What do you do outside racing? Do you work, study…?
I work as a truck mechanic at Truckland and go to school for one day a week. Normally, I do some physical training in the evening. Furthermore, when I don’t race, I spend the weekend working at my father’s transport company.
What are your plans for 2019?
I would like to go to Supersport 600 class. I think this is a good step for me. I don’t know yet whether it will be the European or World Championship. Hopefully this race will help me in finding a good seat.
Photo Credit: Philippe Damiens