Mauno Hermunen from Finland is a new upcoming talent coming from the German Supermoto Championship where he won the 2008 S2 title. He also raced his first World Championship race this year where he took the lead in race one but didn't finish because of a crash. In the 2nd race he finished 7th. Not bad for a first World Championship race. Husqvarna thought the same and signed him as a Factory World Championship S2 rider for the 2009 season. Mauno also made a great impression in the Mettet Superbiker where he won the biker class and finished 2nd in the big Superbiker race behind Cassidy Anderson. This guy has definately got talent and that's the reason why we decided to interview Mauno to find out who this talent exactly is.
Hi Mauno, first of all thank you for doing this interview with Supermoto Central.
Can you first introduce yourself?
Thanks to you! I'm Mauno Hermunen a 20 year old supermoto rider. 2008 German and Austrian national champion in the S2 class. Not much more to say.
Can you tell abit about your history? When did you start riding bikes, what kind of classes did you ride before getting into supermoto?
I started riding at age 3. Since then I have been working a lot with motorcycles. First race was in 2000, the Finnish motocross series. I raced motocross before supermoto.
What made you decide to get into supermoto racing and what do you like so much about it?
It was question of speed and future. In Finland motorcycling is a really small thing, and I wasn't good enough to go to European motocross championship or
World Championship so I decided to try my speed in supermoto. In 2006 I raced motocross and supermoto and then I realised that my future is in supermoto.
You are from Finland. How populair is supermoto in Finland? Are there any good tracks or facilities you can ride at?
Supermoto in Finland is really small thing. I think we have under 100 riders and maybe 50 of them are doing all the races. Tracks are bad, almost every track is a rallycross track so no jumps or anything, just fullgas.
How is the life of a world class supermoto rider? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
So far it has been good and I hope it will stay like this. In my opinion advantages are seeing lot of cool places, without this I think i would be stuck in Finland, and
also I always have the best bikes to ride. I don't know about the disadvantages, maybe sometime when u can't see your Finnish friends for a long time.
Can you tell us something about your 2008 season this year in the German championship, where you conquered the German S2 title?
In 2007 I did 2 races in S2 class, and for 2008 I was thinking that it will be really hard to win the championship. But in the first race I was really surprised that I was so
fast, I know I had good training in spring, but I didn't know that it did so much good to me. Overall season was good, tracks were nice and I had lot of new friends in Germany.
Mauno (22) was the first Finnish rider ever to race a World Championship round (Photo: Youthstream)
You also had your first World championship race this year in the S2 class in Castelletto di Branduzzo. You made quite an impression as a first time rider, how
did that race go and how do you look back on it?
Races went well, first race i was 5th or something after start and then I passed some riders and was leading the race, then here was huge puddle on the track and i
waterslided off the track and that's end of the story. In the second race I got an ok start and finished 7th, like in the first race. Overall place was 6th, which was way over my
expectation. I have the race in my mind as a good memory, I was the first Finnish rider in the Supermoto worldchampionship ever and leaded some laps and had the fastest laptime in race 1.
You got signed as a factory rider for Husqvarna. Did this came as a surprise for you? What are the plans for next year?
It was a surprise really, first races in Worldchampionship and they already want me in the factory team! Next year I will do the German championship and World championship and
maybe some Italian races if I have time.
What are your goals for the 2009 season?
Goal for 2009 is to defend my German champion title and in the World Championship I try to do my best which is winning.
Mauno versus Michel Pichon in the Mettet Superbiker (Photo: MXPhotos.be)
You did really well in the Mettet event in Belgium with a 2nd place in the Mettet Superbiker, how did you experience riding this event against the best riders in the world? What do you think about the American riders?
I really wanted to win because I was also 2nd last year, but Cassidy Anderson was too fast. It was really fun and good racing, with all the blockpasses and stuff what we had with Anderson and Pichon. I really miss those passing moments from motocross. And ofcourse it's allways an honor to race the guys you have been looking up all your life. I can't say much about the American riders only that they are fast as wind!
Who is your biggest example in the Supermoto sport?
I don't have any heroes in supermoto because I have raced only three years so I haven't been watching anyone before that. But maybe now Cassidy Anderson is one of the big guys, because I was giving 110% in Mettet and he just flew away from me!
Do you have any tips for guys starting out with supermoto?
Lines. I still have problems with them. In motocross you can go inside-inside if there is a berm or rut, but in supermoto normally you go outside-inside-outside and i allways forget that one. But lines are one of the most important things in supermoto.
Who do you think has the advantage in Supermoto, ex motocross riders or ex roadracers?
Definitely ex motocross riders. You can learn to be fast in asphalt in notime. But in offroad when you dont have grip and you have to jump you have to know so much more things than on the asphalt.
Mauno keeps himself busy in the winter on his MX bike
How do you keep yourself busy in the winter? Do you do lots of exercise?
Actually only exercise what I do is riding. I dont know if is it my riding style or what but when I ride enough I can do 20mins full speed. And in winter time I ride motocross, it's better for condition than supermoto. And sure there is snow in Finland during winter so you can imagine why I dont drive supermoto.
How do you see your own future?
I hope I can be World Champion, and maybe someday race in America, I have never been there so I really want to go there someday.
Name Mauno Sakari Hermunen
Date of birth 26.03.1988
Birthplace Vantaa, Finland
Single/Girlfriend/Married??(this one is for the ladies) SINGLE!
Hobbies Motocross, Supermoto, MiniMX
Favorite food Pasta
Favorite bike Husqvarna 125cc
Favorite movie Kummeli Kultakuume (Finnish Comedy)
Favorite car Toyota Supra
Favorite music Rock/Punk/Heavy, Rap
Goal in life Be healthy, ride as long as i can and win as much as i can =)