Tanel Leok

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Tanel Leok
Tanel Leok2010.JPG
Nationality Estonian
Born June 1, 1985 (1985-06) (age 31)
Võru, Estonia
Motocross career
Years active 2000 – present
Teams KTM, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, TM, Husqvarna
Wins 3
GP debut 2001 GP da Holanda, 125cc
First GP win 2008 Irish GP, MX1

Tanel Leok (born June 1, 1985)[1] is an Estonian professional motocross racer competing in the FIM Motocross World Championships in MX1 class.

Early life[edit]

Tanel was born in Võru, Estonia and currently resides in Balen, Belgium. His father, Arvo Leok, was a motocross rider and introduced his son to the sport at a young age. He lived in Estonia and attended Sõmerpalu Primary school until he was 16 years old when he decided to pursue his racing career full-time.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

He became the first rider with two junior world titles to his credit, winning the 85 cc FIM world cup in 2000 and the 125cc FIM Junior World Cup in 2001. He turned semi-professional midway through the 2001 season, and qualified for a number of GP races at 15 years of age. He claimed his first senior title in 2001 as well, being crowned German 125cc champion. His hard-charging and unmistakable racing style earned him the moniker "The Estonian Express."

2002–2003: KTM[edit]

In 2002 his first professional team was Vangani Racing KTM His teammates in this team were Tyla Rattray and Ben Townley. In 2003, the Vangani Racing team metamorphosed into Bruforce Racing, still on KTM motorcycles. Tanel had by now definitely broken through in the top level of motocross world.

2004: Suzuki[edit]

After a few successful races in the 125cc class in 2003, he successfully shifted to 250 cc class for the Motovision Racing Suzuki team in 2004. He made a huge impact during this season, being the only remaining top level rider on a two-stroke machine in the class. His reputation was solidified with a number of furious on-track battles with the hotshots of the class, such as multiple world champion Stefan Everts.

2005–2008: Kawasaki[edit]

Tanel Leok in June 2008

At the end of the 2004 season he signed a two-year contract with the Kawasaki factory team of legendary champion maker Jan De Groot. Leok claimed his first podium in FIM Motocross World Championships MX1 class on 2 April 2006 at Zolder, Belgium. This contract was renewed for another two-year term at the end of the 2006 racing season.[2] After having claimed numerous GP podiums in the preceding year, Tanel Leok won his first MX1 Grand Prix in Ireland in 31, August 2008.[3] He claimed 9 podiums and 1449 points with kawasaki team.

2009: Yamaha[edit]

Tanel Leok in June 2009

At the end of the 2008 Season, Red Bull Yamaha De Carli announced that they will move on to MX1-GP in the 2009 season and the riders will be Antonio Cairoli and Tanel Leok.[4] The 2009 season started off well for the Estonian, winning the Italian MX1 motocross championships by a margin of 5 points over Cairoli (158–153).[5] He won the first GP of the season in Faenza, Italy, and was the first holder of the red plate marking him as world championship leader.[6] 2009 year was steady season for Leok, only 2 retirements: 1st race in Latvia and 2nd race in Brazil.

2010: Honda[edit]

Tanel signed with Honda on September 27, 2009 and in 2010 season he is in LS Motors Honda team, his teammate is Davide Guarneri.[7] In his first season with LS Motors Honda team Tanel chose his "legendary" riding number 40, he started riding in MX1 class with this number in 2004. In addition he got his first personal driving trainer – Marnicq Bervoets, this is very important renewal for Leok. His first competition with Honda was on February 7, 2010 in the Mantua Starcross. He had good starts, placed 3rd in second race and 1st in third race, overall place was 6th, because he retired first race.[8] Tanel Leok finished 2nd to Guarneri in Italian MX1 motocross championships. Leok lost the championship by 17 points (152–135). On May 16, 2010 Leok won the second race and was the overall winner in the Grand Prix of Catalunya.[9]

2011: TM[edit]

In September 2010 Tanel signed with TM Racing Factory Team.[10] His first competition with TM was on February 19–20, 2011 in Mantova Starcross. Leok finished second in all three races and were also second overally behind David Philippaerts.[11] The 2011 season was poor season for Tanel, he had several crashes and technical problems with bike. The best moment of this season was holeshot win in the Grand Prix of Czech Republic and the worst moment was the crash in the Grand Prix of Great Britain.[12]

2012: Suzuki[edit]

In October 2011 Tanel signed with Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 team, this is Suzuki factory team. His teammate in 2012 season will be Clement Desalle.[13] On February 5, 2012 Tanel Leok battled snow and icy conditions to race to second place overall against 1080 riders at Enduropale Du Touquet Beach Race in northern France, less than two minutes behind overall winner Jean-Claude Mousse.[14] Leok best race in 2012 season was in Benelux GP where he got his only podium in this season.

2013: Honda and TM[edit]

In September 2012 Tanel signed for British motocross team Route77energy MVR-D Honda. His teammate in 2013 season was Jason Dougan.[15] On 2 June, Tanel crashed heavily and broke his collarbone, causing him two miss two races. At the end of the month, Route77 Honda withdrew from the World Motocross Championship due to financial problems.[16] Prior to the Swedish Grand Prix, Leok rejoined the TM Racing Factory Team.[17]

2014: TM[edit]

In November 2013 Tanel re-signed for Italian motocross team TM Ricci Racing. His teammate in 2014 season was Davide Guarneri.[18] TM Ricci Racing rider Tanel Leok hasn’t had the best of starts to the season. With a knee injury he picked up in the off-season.

2015: Kawasaki[edit]

The Estonian Express, Tanel Leok, has signed an agreement with the British-based LPE Kawasaki Team for next year. After a long time in the Grand Prix's, Leok will focus himself on the British MX1 Championship and the MX Nationals in Great Britain. Tanel had a good season racing the British Championship and finished second in the championship under the LPE Kawasaki.

2016: Husqvarna[edit]

Tanel Leok has once again inked a deal to join up with the MVR-D team for the third time in his career. His team clearly kept in good terms and Tanel will now be racing the British championship for them in 2016 – the team have decided to run Husqvarna’s in 2016 switching from the Honda machine.[19]

Career summary[edit]

Tanel Leok celebrating win in 2010
Season Series Team Name Final Placing
1994 Estonian Motocross Championship 60cc MK Sinilind 3rd
1995 Estonian Motocross Championship 60cc MK Sinilind 2nd
1996 Estonian Supercross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 3rd
1997 Estonian Snowcross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 2nd
European Motocross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 1st
European Motocross Cup 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 25th
1998 Estonian Snowcross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 2nd
Estonian Supercross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 1st
Estonian Motocross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 1st
European Motocross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 33rd
1999 Estonian Snowcross Championship 80cc Sõmerpalu MK 1st
European Motocross Championship 85cc Sõmerpalu MK 5th
2000 World Junior Motocross Championship 80cc Privateer Honda 1st
European Motocross Championship 80cc Privateer Honda 7th
2001 World Junior Motocross Championship 125cc Bodo Schmidt Racing KTM 1st
German Championship 125cc Bodo Schmidt Racing KTM 1st
European Championship 125cc Bodo Schmidt Racing KTM 6th
2002 World Championship 125cc Vangani Racing KTM 10th
2003 World Championship 125cc Vangani Racing/Bruforce KTM 15th
European Championship 125cc Vangani Racing/Bruforce KTM 10th
2004 World Championship MX1 Motovision Suzuki 6th
British Championship MX1 Motivision Suzuki 3rd
KWS British Champion MX1 Motivision Suzuki 1st
2005 World Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 11th
Dutch Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 3rd
2006 World Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 5th
Belgian Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 13th
British Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 31st
2007 World Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 8th
Dutch Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 1st
Belgian Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 12th
British Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 16th
2008 World Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 8th
Belgian Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 13th
Dutch Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 8th
Estonian Championship MX1 Kawasaki Racing Team 1st
Estonian Championship MX2 Kawasaki Racing Team 1st
2009 Italian Championship MX1 Yamaha Red Bull De Carli 1st
Belgian Championship MX1 Yamaha Red Bull De Carli 9th
World Championship MX1 Yamaha Red Bull De Carli 7th
2010 Italian Championship MX1 LS Honda 2nd
Belgian Championship MX1 LS Honda 2nd
Dutch Championship MX1 LS Honda 23rd
World Championship MX1 LS Honda 6th
2011 Italian Championship MX1 TM Racing Factory Team 9th
World Championship MX1 TM Racing Factory Team 12th
2012 Enduropale Du Touquet Beach Race Rockstar Energy Suzuki 2nd
Belgian Championship MX1 Rockstar Energy Suzuki 2nd
Estonian Championship MX1 Rockstar Energy Suzuki 10th
World Championship MX1 Rockstar Energy Suzuki 8th
2013 World Championship MX1 Route77 Energy Honda, TM Ricci Racing 14th
Maxxis British Championship MX1 Route77 Energy Honda, TM Ricci Racing 6th
Estonian Championship MX1 Route77 Energy Honda 11th
2014 World Championship MXGP TM Ricci Racing 18th
Estonian Championship MX1 TM Ricci Racing 2nd
Baltic Championship MX1 TM Ricci Racing 6th
2015 MAXXIS ACU British Motocross Championship MX1 LPE Kawasaki 2nd
MX Nationals in Great Britain ProX Pro MX1 LPE Kawasaki 16th
World Championship MXGP LPE Kawasaki 41st
Estonian Championship MX1 LPE Kawasaki 3rd
2016 Italian Motocross Championship MX1 KTM 5th
World Championship MXGP Husqvarna, KTM 17th
MAXXIS ACU British Motocross Championship MX1 MVR-D Fuel10K Husqvarna 4th
Estonian Championship MX1 KTM 1st
Estonian Championship MX2 KTM 2nd

* Season still in progress.

Complete World Championship Results[edit]

Year Team Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos. Points
2001 KTM 125cc ESP
NED
21
AUS
BEL
29
GER
21
BEL
SWE
FRA
BEL
SUI
GER
17
NED
26
ITA
AUT
17
0
2002 KTM 125cc NED
ESP
15
GER
6
FRA
28
ITA
28
AUT
BUL
SWE
BEL
GER
12
CZE
15
RUS
6
20th 51
2003 KTM MX2 ESP
14
NED
14
EUR
22
ITA
26
BUL
14
AUT
17
SWE
12
BEL
13
NED
6
GER
15
CZE
11
FRA
21
15th 73
2004 Suzuki MX1 FLA
8
ESP
9
POR
16
NED
11
GER
9
BEN
7
GBR
4
FRA
5
ITA
10
BEL
8
SWE
12
CZE
6
WAL
5
EUR
9
IRL
11
RSA
12
6th 356
2005 Kawasaki MX1 FLA
11
ESP
25
POR
BEL
9
EUR
5
JAP
6
GBR
13
ITA
12
FRA
18
SWE
10
RSA
11
WAL
12
CZE
7
GER
5
ENG
16
NED
29
IRL
5
11th 299
2006 Kawasaki MX1 FLA
3
ESP
2
POR
5
GER
3
JAP
5
BUL
5
ITA
4
GBR
5
SWE
12
RSA
4
CZE
7
BEL
14
IRL
9
NED
12
FRA
2
5th 443
2007 Kawasaki MX1 BEN
11
ESP
7
POR
12
ITA
2
GER
12
JAP
14
FRA
5
BUL
11
SWE
3
ITA
9
CZE
4
BEL
3
IRL
29
GBR
6
NED
12
8th 355
2008 Kawasaki MX1 NED
16
ESP
5
POR
9
BUL
11
ITA
8
GBR
5
FRA
9
GER
3
SWE
11
RSA
9
BEL
15
CZE
7
IRL
1
BEN
14
ITA
13
8th 352
2009 Yamaha MX1 ITA
1
BUL
7
TUR
10
BEN
3
POR
6
CAT
10
GBR
5
FRA
4
GER
7
LAT
11
SWE
6
BEL
7
CZE
9
NED
4
BRA
14
7th 395
2010 Honda MX1 BUL
14
LOM
12
NED
4
POR
6
CAT
1
USA
31
FRA
8
GER
10
LAT
8
SWE
12
LIM
5
CZE
3
BRA
8
BEN
6
ITA
15
6th 356
2011 TM MX1 BUL
15
NED
9
USA
16
BRA
14
FRA
10
POR
9
ESP
6
SWE
18
GER
19
LAT
10
LIM
6
CZE
4
GBR
13
EUR
16
ITA
17
12th 267
2012 Suzuki MX1 NED
9
BUL
11
ITA
10
MEX
5
BRA
14
FRA
15
POR
9
BEL
7
SWE
6
LAT
7
RUS
10
CZE
9
GBR
7
BEN
3
EUR
8
GER
13
8th 381
2013 Honda MX1 QAT
14
THA
12
NED
8
ITA
16
BUL
15
POR
12
BRA
16
FRA
ITA
14th 232
TM SWE
13
LAT
18
FIN
19
GER
15
CZE
10
BEL
11
GBR
9
EUR
14
2014 TM MXGP QAT
13
THA
14
BRA
18
ITA
19
BUL
15
NED
9
ESP
18
GBR
16
FRA
15
ITA
13
GER
SWE
22
FIN
16
CZE
9
BEL
22
BRA
MEX
18th 146
2015 Kawasaki MXGP QAT
THA
ARG
ITA
23
EUR
19
ESP
GBR
FRA
ITA
GER
SWE
LAT
19
CZE
BEL
24
ITA
NED
MEX
USA
41st 15
2016 Husqvarna MXGP QAT
14
GBR
19
17th 193
KTM THA
17
EUR
10
ARG
MEX
LAT
12
GER
15
ITA
9
ESP
16
FRA
ITA
14
CZE
16
BEL
10
SUI
13
NED
7
USA
USA

* Season still in progress

Personal life[edit]

Leok married Karoliina Karu on 11 October 2008.[20] They have three sons, Sebastian (born 3 December 2007),[21] Travis Leok (born 14 April 2010)[22] and Leon Leok (born 14 March 2015).[23] His cousin Aigar Leok is also a motocross racer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tanel Leok" From www.yamaha-racing.com, Retrieved July 1, 2009.
  2. ^ "Leok inks two year deal with kawasaki" From londonbikers.com, July 5, 2006. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
  3. ^ Tanel Leok won in Ireland From www.mxlarge.com, August 31, 2008. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
  4. ^ "Tanel Leok Joins Yamaha Red Bull De Carli" From www.vitalmx.com, November 5, 2008. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
  5. ^ 2009 Italian MX1 motocross championships Results From mxrealtime.com, March 15, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  6. ^ "Tanel Leok wins at rain plagued faenza" From www.hyundai.eu, March 29, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
  7. ^ "Tanel Leok And His Move To LS Motors Honda" From mxlarge.com, September 29, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  8. ^ Mantova 2010 Results From mxlarge.com, February 8, 2010. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "Grand Prix of Catalunya – Musquin and Leok win in Spain" From mxlarge.com, May 16, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  10. ^ "Tanel Leok joins TM Racing Factory with high ambitions" From motocrossmx1.com, September 18, 2010. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  11. ^ "LEOK GUIDES TM TO SECOND ON FIRST OUTING" From moto.mpora.com, February 23, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  12. ^ "Billy MacKenzie Tanel Leok Hard Crash - GP Of Great Britain - 21.08.2011 " From youtube.com, August 22, 2011. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  13. ^ "Factory Suzuki for Tanel Leok in 2012" From moto.mpora.com, October 5, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "Leok second in Le Touquet 2012" From mxlarge.com, February 5, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Tanel Leok back in the UK with Route77energy MVR-D Honda" From moto.mpora.com, 13 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Tanel Leok murdis Briti motokrossi etapil rangluu" From postimees.ee, 4 June 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Tanel Leok oli sunnitud hooaja keskel tiimi vahetama" From sport.err.ee, 29 June 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Leok stays and Guarneri joins him at TM Ricci Racing" From moto.mpora.com, 11 November 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Tanel Leok signs with MVR-D Husqvarna" From gatedrop.com, 1 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  20. ^ "Motokrossisõitja Tanel Leok abiellus" From www.elu24.ee, October 15, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  21. ^ "Tanel Leok sai isaks" From www.tanelleok.com, Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  22. ^ "New baby boy for Tanel Leok" From moto.mpora.com, Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  23. ^ "Motomees Tanel Leok pani pisipojale huvitava nime" From elu24.postimees.ee, Retrieved September 29, 2016.

External links[edit]