It is really not easy to surprise the spectators every year, but we do our best. Last year we had the young South African Kerim Fitzgerald, this year it could be the Frenchman Pierre Alexandre Renet or Vitaly Tonkov from Russia. The latter was already good for a surprise during a previous Inter-Series and won the “Namibia Trophy of Nations 2000” together with his partner Sergej Garin.
They were actually able to beat the German super stars Gunnar Schuster and Markus Volz at that time! Carsten Kölling, team-manager of the Kölling Yamaha Team, took Vitaly Tonkov under his wings and with his help, Vitaly became a success. He won the Russian Championship title in the 80cc and the 125cc class and with this reputation he came to Germany.
Vitaly Tonkov last weekend in Teutschenthal (GER) / Photo by: Jens Pohl
However, the bar is set higher there: In 1998 he made a good 9th place in the German 125cc championships and in 2000 he even made 4th place. Apart from that he also won the before-mentioned Namibia Trophy of Nations. In 2002 Vitali returned to his home country to study but two years later he re-appeared in Germany’s pits, this time riding for the Jef Jansen Honda-Team. In the DM Open-Class he made an overall 11th place, far below his abilities.
In 2005 he rode for Kölling Yamaha again, with varying success. Then, the expected breakthrough in 2006: Vitali became Vice-European Champion in the 250cc Class. In the following year he successfully won the Winter-Cup in Dolle and then he really proved his worth when he won the European Championship 2007.
In 2008 he competed in the German Championships 125cc Class, where he achieved a good 10th place, as well as in the MX3 World Championships which earned him a solid 17th place. He had definitely hoped for more. However, at the end of the season he got his bearings and made an excellent 7th place at the international MX-Masters-Series in Teutschenthal. Vitaly will want to prove in Namibia that he is one of Europe’s aces. Radiowave 96,7 is supporting the annual Motocross Inter-Series for 7 years alredy and is the patron of team Russia.