Enduro 3 class big surprise this season, Aigar LEOK (EST – TM), third in the standing, never stops to ride and to take pleasure. But he took few minutes of his time to answer to our questions… while relaxed and cheerful!
Let speak about you, your personal life and Estonia… Who is Aigar LEOK?
Aigar LEOK: “I am born in Estonia, I am married and I have an 8-month-old son named Lucas Leok! I’ve been riding since I was 4 years old so I’ve been all my life together with bikes and racing. And I’m enjoying the new challenge of trying to do well in Enduro!”
Aigar, Nobody really expected you to be competing at such a high level this year (3rd in E3 class). What did you work on during the off-season to reach such a high level?
A.L: “My results have been a big surprise for me as well. I think the biggest change was that I learned how to set-up my bike! I knew what I wanted and what I needed. Last year I signed the deal with TM to race enduro just weeks before the first GP, so I didn’t know what to expect. Now I know the rules and the system. We did some great testing in Italy with the TM Factory and after that I went to Spain where I rode with strong riders like Matti SEISTOLA, Eero REMES, Juha SALMINEN, Antti HELLSTEN, Marko TARKKALA, Jordi FIGUERAS and Lorenzo SANTOLINO.”
As a former MX rider, what are your strengths and weaknesses in Enduro?
A.L: “I think this year, for me, has been all good so far but I need to improve on the stones and I need to get better on the Enduro tests. But I think for me there is still a lot to learn and I personally think I will be better again next year.”
What are your favourite terrains and grounds?
A.L: “I don’t have favourite terrains or grounds. I like it when the tests are getting rutted and have many bumps. The speed difference between many of the top riders isn’t so big, what makes the different is your head. If you think that you’re not going to do well, then you probably won’t do great.”
2 strokes or 4 strokes?
A.L: “I like both bikes. I am happy with my 2 stroke this year and I know it was a good change for me. When the TM Factory asked me to ride it, I was like ‘yes, bring back the 2 strokes’. My TM 300 is great, two strokes rule!”
Why did you come to Enduro last year while your cousin (Tanel Leok) stayed in Motocross?
A.L: “I had a really bad injury in 2010. I broke my liver and that set me back really badly. I missed one year racing. I tried to come back to motocross, but I didn’t enjoy it so much anymore. Also, I was little scared. I think the TM guys saw that and then came the offer to race enduro. When the offer came I thought about it for one week and decided to go for it. I love to ride my dirt bike, I’m continuing to do that in enduro.”
You’re well known in the paddock for your jovial manor. Is it your way of releasing pressure before a race or are you always as funny in normal life?
A.L: “My friends call me The Annoying Leok. Because I never stay in one place and I like to talk to everybody. So I am the same in normal life, not just at the races. Even at the races I like to have fun, and joke around.”
Are Enduro and motorsports well-known in Estonia?
A.L: “Motorsports are well known in Estonia. More motocross but since I start riding Enduro people are also more interested in Enduro. I hope the sport will be bigger in some years.”
Are you known as a star in your country?
A.L: “Not a star but people know my name but not so much my face… because I’m always wearing a helmet.”
Isn’t it difficult to be a top rider from Estonia… to be from a small country like Estonia instead of France or Italy?
A.L: “It is difficult. For me I need to show good results to get somewhere, and show people what I’m capable of. But I am proud of where I’m born and who I am. I love Estonia and I love motorbikes, that’s all what matters for me.”
You must have some big goals to reach in the EWC… especially after your strong start to the season?
A.L: “If I know I did all that I can, and gave 100%, then I am happy. I need to take it step by step and learn more about the sport. In Spain this year I really wanted to show people what I’m capable of and it was no good. I spent more time on the ground than on the bike. In Portugal I was again on my game plan, and it worked well for me. For sure I am happy when I am on the podium!”
Name: Aigar LEOK
Date of Birth: 09/08/1985
Place of Birth: Võru (Estonia)
Nickname: Aix, the Annoying Leok
Home: Tartu (Estonia)
Moto Club: Eestis Somerpalu Motoklubi
Bike: TM 300 2T (E3 class)
- 1999 : European Champ 80cc, Baltic Champ 80cc ;
- 2000 : Baltic Champ 80cc ;
- 2001 : 7th MX Junior World Champ 125cc, Estonian Champion 125cc, Latvian Champion 125cc;
- 2002: 6th MX 125CC European Champ, German Champion 125cc ;
- 2004 : Belgium Champion 125cc ;
- 2005 : 17th World Championship MX2 ;
- 2006 : Dutch Champion MX2, 15th World Championship MX2 ;
- 2007 : 19th World Championship MX1 ;
- 2008 : Dutch Champion MX1, 14th World Championship MX1 ;
- 2009 : 12es World Championship MX1 ;
- 2011 : 10th Enduro 2 class Maxxis FIM Enduro World Championship.