BERGHEM - Of course it wasn't going to be easy, switching to the juniors category in the middle of the season. But Roderick did it anyway and last weekend in Berghem, during the seventh round of the Dutch championship, he proved that he is also very fast at that higher level. The twelve-year-old rider from The Hague finished ninth in the third race and had the pace for a top three position. Quite an achievement for the youngest rookie in the field!
Roderick wouldn't be Roderick if he wasn't completely satisfied with that ninth place in the third race. Only a podium place - and then, in fact, only the victory - counts, he said. But he had made up four places in that race. In addition, he had been the rider with the fastest laptime for quite a while. Two feats that show that the potential of the sympathetic young man is very good. Firstly, the rider of Taormina Racing really knows how to overtake and secondly, he proved that he can compete with the fastest in the class. It makes for a promising future.
The move to the juniors class was more or less inevitable. Roderick is big for his age and at some point he hardly fitted into a Minimax kart anymore. So a transfer to the juniors was a logical choice. Looking back, Roderick is happy to conclude that he made the right decision. "In this kart I'm sitting well, it's very nice", he said. "It goes much faster than a minimax kart, I like that. It took some time, however, to get used to it. The kart is bigger, which makes it a bit more difficult to get passed other riders during a race, but I really like it."
It showed during the races on Sunday. The first two races didn't quite go as planned - as a result of being hit by other drivers he dropped to the eighteenth and thirteenth place respectively - but he showed that he was fast with numerous overtakes. With his beautiful and daring actions, Roderick repeatedly demonstrates that he isn't afraid at all. This attitude often provides success in a race. Unfortunately, he was unable to turn this into a satisfactory result during the first two manches on Sunday.
He decided to take it a bit easier in the third race, to wait for his chance. Still, he succeeded in overtaking three men during the first lap. "And then I stayed behind the boys who always drive me off the track. Then I went after them. My goal was to end in the top ten."
He obviously succeeded with finishing ninth. His coach Frits Don was satisfied with the attitude Roderick had shown. "He's driven in a mature way", Don said. "That's good, because it shows self-restraint. The most important thing is that he picks up those things. Because talent is not the only thing you need to drive fast, you also have to pick up the tips you get and then do something with them. Roderick can thus make full use of his potential."
Roderick is supported in his racing activities by: Balkan Basalt, Citronics, Canley Vale Investments, Via Andres, Freem and Racing Sportiva.