Vesa Ruhanen, more, faster and quicker in 2016
When a rider could earn bonus points for being the first to enter the championship, Vesa Ruhanen would now be the leader, as the Finn was one of the first riders to register for the 2016 EDRS Pro Nordic Motorcycle Championship in Super Street Bike, and not without reason. After a season with only two races, Ruhanen can’t wait to start racing again and is looking for a bit more of everything; more races, more wins and a first 6-second time slip.
“Last season was my shortest season so far. I only did two races at Alastaro, the Nitro Nationals and the Finals. At the Nitro Nationals I had all kind of problems with my engine, so that was not a good race for me. But the Finals was much better as I reset my personal bests to 7.39 seconds and 319 km/h”, said Vesa Ruhanen, who lives in Taivassalo, a village in the southwest of Finland.
The now 48-year old Ruhanen started racing in 2005. “I have always been interested in drag racing. In 2004 I decided to give it a try on a test day at Alastaro. I was the fastest rider of the day and started racing in a regular competition the next year, first in Super Gas Bike, then came Pro SB, and from 2012 in Super Street Bike”, said the Finn, who is married, has two adult kids and three dogs and cats and says playing with the dogs is his second hobby next to drag racing.
Ruhanen had his best season so far in 2010 when he won the Finnish championship. Something he is also proud of, is the fact he built his own bike, the Kawasaki ZZR 1400 Turbo Super Street Bike. “I bought the bike in 2007, it was new and street legal. Every winter I changed it more and more into a race bike. I always try to do everything myself. I do the tuning with my own dyno. I chose the Kawasaki ZZR 1400 because it is so different from the Hayabusa so many others use. It’s a big challenge to make this bike fast. At the moment it makes around 650hp. This winter we didn’t change that much, the bike is only a bit lower and lighter now”, said Ruhanen about the turbo Kawa.
The Finn really likes the class he is racing in. “Super Street Bike is so challenging, a powerful bike on street tyres and no wheelie bars. It’s a real challenge to find the right settings so you don’t make a wheelie nor spin the tyre. I really like it.” Ruhanen is loud and clear about his expectations for the 2016 season. “It will be an interesting season, as there are many competitors that run fast, and will be faster and quicker than last year. My goal is to win some races and I hope to see my first 6-second run.”
It will be no surprise Alastaro is Ruhanen’s favourite track. “It’s my home track and the Nitro Nationals is my favourite race meeting. It’s such a big happening and there are always so many friends in the grandstands. That’s great, also for the sport in our country.” He went on to say, “I would like to say a big thank you to my sponsors Pro Estore, Mainoskoho and Kansiset who make this all possible. And for those who want to see what we are doing, I race in a team called Any10. You can follow us on facebook, Any10 RaceBook.”
Text: Remco Scheelings
Photos: Remco Scheelings