Full Name : Dirk Jeffrey Werkman
Nationality : Dutch
Date of birth/age : 28/04/1992 - 21 years old
Place of Birth : Heerenveen, Netherlands
How did you start your career in Ice speedway?
We were taking part in a demonstration at an ice track in Wommels with dirt bikes which had spiked tires - kind of like 'Speedway on Ice' type events.
Johnny Tuinstra (experienced Dutch Ice Speedway rider) was also there, and we asked him if we could somehow try out on a real Ice Speedway bike, and he kindly obliged!
Johnny immediately saw that I had potential and asked me if I would consider a tryout at Assen. I did, and the rest is history!
When and where was your first Ice Speedway race?
Last year (2013 season) at Assen. I raced in the Roelof Thijs Bokaal.
How / where / when do you practice?
Our first practice was in December 2012. That was in Funasdalen (Sweden).
We practiced there for 3 days. Last year, we went training in Funasdalen for 3 days again.
That has been about it!
What is the best advice you can give to anybody hoping to become an Ice Speedway rider?
Nothing specific really - you just have to ride an Ice Speedway bike once in your life, so if you somehow get that opportunity, don't hesitate - just go for it!
Do you have any pre-race superstitions?
Actually I don't! I just get on my bike and ride. (probably the best way - don't think about things too much! - Sherif)
Your opinion on: a) - The best thing(s) about Ice Speedway & b) - The worst thing(s) about Ice Speedway:
The best thing by far is the speed and the traction - its just amazing how fast these bikes go on this surface!
The worst thing about Ice Speedway is that you have to travel a lot if you want to practice or race. That, and it costs a lot of money!
Have you suffered any injuries? If so, what was the worst?
Thankfully, I am yet to have any injuries doing Ice Speedway.
However, while racing short-track in the Summer with a dirt-bike, I broke my collarbone twice.
Your typical pre-race meal (if any)?
Funnily enough, at the races I don’t eat much at all, but you have to drink a lot to keep going!
What are your personal aspirations/goals for the 2014/15 Ice Speedway season?
I want to win the Roelof Thijs Bokaal at least once, but the Swedish riders are so damn good at this moment in time, so we shall see what happens!
What is your best ever result?
This year at Assen, I had my best result with that 3rd place in the Roelof Thijs Bokaal - that was fantastic.
I also picked up 9th place at the World Championship round there as well.
What is your favourite track?
Assen, of course!!
What is your proudest / favourite personal moment in Ice Speedway?
The whole weekend at Assen this year with my team was a moment I will never forget!
How did you feel racing in front of such a huge crowd in Assen this season in just your second season?
That was a great feeling and almost gives you wings!
(You should be sponsored by Red Bull perhaps?! Sherif)
Favourite pastime(s) / hobby outside of Speedway?
Bikes mainly. In the Summer I ride grasstrack (short-track), and I also tend to do a bit of off-road riding with another bike.
Who is the best rider you have ever seen?
At the moment, it has to be Daniil Ivanov.
Who do you think will win the Ice Speedway World Team and Individual Championships in 2014/15?
I think the award for the World Team Championship will most probably go to Russia again, but I seriously think Austria will have a very good chance too.
In terms of the Individual Championship I don't think you can consider anybody other than Koltakov or Ivanov at the moment.
Do you have a Sporting hero? (can be any Sport!)
In Ice Speedway it has to be my fellow Countryman, Johnny Tuinstra.
Besides him I don’t really have a sporting hero.