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International MX News : MX / SX World Championships
05.07.2006 Tanel Leok inks two year deal with Kawasaki
Kawasaki Racing Team have inked a two year deal with their twenty year old Estonian rider Tanel Leok that will see the MX1 World Championship Grand Prix rider now extend his contact to ride for the Dutch based team of Jan de Groot until the end of the 2008 season.
Tanel Leok, nicknamed the ‘Estonian Express’ has been one of only a few riders to show any serious threat in competition to the MX1 class championship leader this year. He is a strong and aggressive rider who turns heads while he is on the race track as he muscles around the bike and attacks every part of the track. Tanel is currently lying in third position in the championship with five of the fifteen rounds still remaining.
Team manager Jan de Groot and Tanel renewed their contact during last weekends Swedish Grand Prix at Uddevalla, De Groot was delighted to secure the signature of the Estonian who has now been based in Belgium for several years, he has been very pleased with Leok’s determination and professionalism since joining the Kawasaki squad. Tanel’s talents have not gone un-noticed in Japan where he has been several times to race and do extensive testing, Leok has come to enjoy the trust of both the Racing and R&D Departments and staff.
Team manager Jan de Groot and Tanel Leok
 at the pitlane in Teutschenthal (GER)
 Photo by: Jens Pohl
Team manager Jan de Groot and Tanel Leok
at the pitlane in Teutschenthal (GER)
Photo by: Jens Pohl
Jan de Groot had this to say of Leok, "I have big hopes for Tanel, he is very hard working and determined. He is one of only a few riders that any team manger would short list so I am very pleased that he has now signed a contract confirming his plans for the next two seasons. This year has been a turning point in his career, not only has he started to mature but the true potential that he has, has started to show. The MX1 class is very competitive yet Tanel has not been daunted or intimidated by the older, more experienced riders. He is still very young and I know that the best of Tanel is still to be seen as he gains more experience and confidence. We have seen him take to the podium several times already this year and I am confident that he can be a very serious threat for the MX1 World Championship Title in 2007."
Tanel Leok commented "I am very pleased to have signed again for Jan de Groot and Kawasaki. I am now in the second year of our two year contract and I have received full support for both Jan in Europe and the Kawasaki factory in Japan. They are all working together to improve the bike, the handling and the engine on what is already a very good base model, possibly the best production based bike in the class. Between us we have one common goal and that is to win the World Championship. This year I have stepped up my riding and I feel that I have been more confident on the bike than I have been my whole career. That confidence comes from Jan and my knowledge all the work that goes on both at the team’s workshop in Holland but also from the many man hours and team work that comes out of Japan. My goal for 2007 is to give my best as always to Kawasaki and in return for everyone’s hard work bring home the World Title."
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