“I hadn’t ridden until then, but my dad used to take me to his races. He rode motocross since he was 17 years old. So I didn’t fall out of it, it runs in the family. I’m grateful to him for going along with me,” smiled the young pilot who graduated from the Technical and Transport High School in Ostrava-Vítkovice.
“Of course, I was happy that my son is following in my footsteps. I am a former motocross racer. His three sisters didn’t sweat, two are inclined towards horses and the oldest sometimes goes to the races with us, but just to watch,” described the father of the successful kart racer, 53-year-old Martin Richter.
With the support of his father, Matteo started his career in 2014 and has now completed nine seasons.
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He started in the children’s category on tiny karts with narrow tires, and worked his way up to the senior global Rotax category. With his father, he travels around kart races in our country, but also abroad.
“We are not professionals, it is our hobby. We do it with heart. Otherwise, we both work as carriers. Matteo is sometimes hired by a karting team as a mechanic. He changes the tires, takes care of some pilot and takes appanage for it. He actually does what I do,” the father of the competitor pointed out, adding that these non-professionals are called privateers or garage workers. “They’re just heartthrobs,” they both stated.
World Finals in Bahrain
Now they are preparing for the world finals in Bahrain, which will be held from December 2 to 9. Participation in this race cannot be bought, the competitor must win some championship. “You have to secure a ticket, only then can you enter the world finals. Seventy-two people from all over the world will compete in this category. There are really good people driving there,” pointed out Martin Richter.
This year, Matteo reached the world finals for the fifth time. But he will race for the fourth time, because in 2020 the races in Portugal were canceled due to covid.
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So far, father and son consider the 2019 races in Sarno, Italy, to be their greatest success in the world finals. “We really got off to a good start. It looked like we could get success at the world level. We were still somewhere between the five and ten fastest. Unfortunately, in the third race Matteo was turned across by an Englishman. The son broke his arm in the accident,” the father described, adding that these races are very balanced. “It can be said that in the senior category it is a success to start in Saturday’s super final for the thirty-six best competitors. And we are succeeding in that,” he added.
Physics and comparative psychology
Both of them agree that fear is not part of this dangerous sport. “I’m not worried about my son. It will probably be because I have a career as a motocross racer and have experienced many falls and injuries. That’s part of it,” said Martin Richter.
Matteo himself admitted that in nine years of racing he experienced fear or worry only once. “I’m not afraid in prison, you have to keep things in mind there. In this sport, they say that if you don’t want your rivals to eat you up on the track, you have to act a bit like a psychopath,” laughed the talented pilot from Paskov. He experienced his first fear only after exiting the go-kart last year at the world finals in Portugal.
“I finished the race, got out of the car, took off my helmet and thought it was a bunch of crazy people. I realized that some are simply fools with no instinct for self-preservation,” the young man explained, adding that it is therefore important for a pilot not only to have a good physique, but also to have a balanced psyche.
“During the race, you must not, as we say, wither. If you wither, your opponents will start doing what they want with you. It is necessary to breathe the load and not collapse. Just enjoy it,” Matteo concluded.