To be a champion, ‚I think that the most important ingredient is a pinch of madness.’
Hello, Catalin Cazacu
First of all congratulations for the title of Romanian SuperBike Champion!
Q: You are 29 and your name is known in the motor sports. When did you have your first ‚meeting’ with the sport and decided to take it up?
A: Hello and thank you. It all started when I was around seven. And I think that life made the decision for myself – at that age, I just loved the motor sports, and I was lucky enough to have a coach finding me. He somehow guessed my potential, invested in me and so I became a professional pilot. Then, this hobby (as it is for many people) turned into my daily job. Besides my results, I have succeeded to build my whole life around this sport. From the very beginning, I have been walking on this road.
Q: Have you ever had a ‚turning back’ moment, to just give up on the motor sports?
A: It is quite unfortunate that these sports are rather pricey; the technical material is very expensive and is essential. Yes, I have had a few moments when I almost gave everything up. Material resources are the ones that hurt most. But hope has kept me going and I am glad it has.
Q: Besides the financial matters, there are also the ones related to health and body wellness. Have these weighed anything?
A: True, I had many accidents. I always say,’cannot have your cake and eat it.’ Quite often, a serious fall will decide between the pilots. It is again true that you cannot be in your right mind if you are doing this sport, as it has a high risk. But the risk that we are willing to take, we have been aware of it since we started. It was hard for me to go farther after having been challenged in a few accidents, but the good results made me keep afloat.
Q: Are you afraid to ride a bike before a race?
A: No, I am not. Fear is a feeling I still do not know. I have no clue about what fear means, I just guess that it will not let you go fast enough. But I feel nervous every time I get on a bike, even though I have been doing this for quite a while. The starting line fear is what affects me a lot, but it goes away once the red lights are off. The race simply gets all my attention.
Q: You are the Romanian SuperBike Champion… What was the most difficult and yet important time in your career?
A: Every moment and every race are different but they are the bricks that I use to build my career. The title of Romanian SuperBike Champion has been on my wish list for a long time. Two years ago, I switched to Superbike, from 600 ccm class. And I wanted this title in my very first year, even though I knew it was hard to reach it. So, I had to wait for another year and strip the seven-year champion en titre of the title. I really think that everything that happened in my career has helped me get where I am now.
Q: What is more exactly the SuperBike?
A: The sport bikes fall into two categories. One is SuperSport, which means 600 ccm and the other one is SuperBike, with 1,000 ccm. The latter is the strongest.
Q: Tell us what this Romanian SuperBike championship actually is about.
A: Romanian SuperBike is a cup event that gathers sports people from more countries, such as Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and even Israel. It is an alternative created a few years ago to the fact that Romania did not have any circuits and the traditional championship was hosted by the airports. This event came to help those who wanted to ‚put the pedal to the metal’, to make a swifter transition to the strongest competitions in Europe. Today, it is an alternative to the Romanian motorsport.
Photo: Malisevschi Sabin Studio 74
Q: Future sport plans for Catalin Cazacu.
A: After winning this title, I really want to enjoy it, even though for a short period of time. We will soon start scheduling the next year. I want to go back to the world speed moto in 2014.
Q: What is the difference between the world speed moto and Romanian SuperBike?
A: Huge, indeed. First, the money allocated to their teams is beyond fantastic for an outsider. In a hierarchy, it is clear that Romanian SuperBike is an important step you need to take to get there. But any competition you win brings you even closer. Financially speaking still, the costs for a leg in the world moto speed are tenfold or more compared to a normal leg.
Q: Do you have any ideal in this sport? Do you have a model to emulate or would you love being one?
A: It is rather difficult to find myself in someone else. I have always looked up at other racers, but when I reached that status I realized that they were just like me. They are people whom I cannot kiss their feet, as I will not be able to compete against them. Hence, I decided to be my own model.
Q: Would you like to be a model for the children nowadays?
A: I hope to be a role model for them, even though the motorsport in Romania is not the greatest for their age. I wish they will see in me a symbol.
Q: What are the qualities a motosport racer should have to become a champion like you?
A: First of all, he needs to be serious-minded. When you are in a race, you risk losing your life if you are not there 100% and not paying attention to everything around you. By contrast to other sports, negligence and mistake can be fatal. It is essential to be dedicated, as hardships can win over you all the time. But the most important ingredient is a pinch of madness.
Q: Has been the championship this year the most important in your career so far?
A: I always tell myself that the most important will be the next one. This title has helped me tick an item on my wish list and I am glad that it happened. I really cannot tell whether it is the most important. All of them have been that, to a certain extent.
Q: Do you think that this championship has given you a power aura among your future rivals?
A: Yes, this is 100% psychical. A title will give you motivation and helps you grow. But, on the other hand, you turn into everyone’s target. Very often, it is much easier to be a hunter than the rabbit. Right now, with the number one on your jacket, everyone will want to take it away; your mistakes are pried into and comments will be made. The pressure is big on you but, again, the strength coming from winning a championship motivates you even more to keep the title.
Q: How is this championship compared to similar ones abroad? Do you think you could race in other championships?
A: I have already raced in other championships, but let’s start with the first question. Right now, the championship here is quite strong, considering that it gathers participants from many countries and the circuit times are almost similar with the ones abroad. For the other question, I have already been invited to race in the Spanish championship, which is the strongest in the world. Unfortunately, as I said before, it is a sport that requires substantial material resources and financial matters hurt most. Catalin Cazacu, the sportsman, is ready to handle any championship but we need a budget boost.
Q: The Romanian championship SuperBike takes place on circuits abroad. If here, would you think we had different results? I mean a better support from the fans and similar…
A: Yes, of course. The moment we race at home, we will be more visible to our public and the financial contribution will be more substantial. The lack of funds now is because we do not race in the country. I am positive that money will come more easily, because the phenomenon will attract very many supporters.
Q: You are part of the Taifun Racing team. What is your relation with the other teammates? Describe a regular training day.
A: Taifun Racing is Catalin Cazacu and Cosmin Costescu. I started this team seven years ago, while trying to come up with an alternative to what was going on in the Romanian motorsport. Cosmin joined me two years later. We are the core of this team, which now counts over 20 pilots who are associated with us. We are a great family and help one another. A day spent with my team is a day when we are there for one another, we complement each other. I am the most experienced in the team and I am trying to raise the standard during daily training – sometimes, I pretend to be the coach and help them improve. And they have had very good results so far. Cosmin was a champion, the others are ranked very high. Taifun is one of the strongest teams in Romania.
Q: Where are you training, since you have no circuits in Romania?
A: We train before the races and, sometimes, we have a spring training session before the championships in countries with a milder climate. These are Greece, Spain – it all comes down to how much we can afford to spend.
Q: Your greatest wish for 2014?
A: The year of 2014 should be the time when I am going back to the speed championship, after a two-year break. In 2011, I was there and it was one of my best years, 2012 was a difficult one, 2013 a good one as I was part in the European championship final. So, I hope that 2014 be my return to the World Championship.
Q: A regular day in the life of Catalin Cazacu?
A: They are so different because I travel extensively. I commute from Timisoara to Bucharest all the time inter-season; as for during the season, I am gone racing most of the time. I always say that even my dog does not recognize me any longer. A day in my life depends on the racing times and there is no day without motorsport.
Q: Are you going to the social events, clubs?
A: I am a normal person and, of course, whenever I have time and things allow me, I go to events and I love to be present where people are having fun.
Q: What are your other hobbies?
A: I like to relax myself and even to be a slacker, despite my tumultous life. I have been doing contact sports for over 12 years and this helps me tremendously with my physical and psychical training for the motorsport.
Q: You are one of the most eligible bachelors in sport. How is your love life?
A: For now everything goes well, even though I am not in the category of the most eligible, but am going straight to switch my status, for good.
Q: Should you had to sweep back the ocean, is there anything you wished you had done?
A: I regret that the year does not have six hundred and some days, because I would love to do whatever I want. But I can admit I am happy with my life, very pleased with the place I am right now and I really hope to still have time to finish all the projects I am dreaming about.
Q: What is the greatest challenge in your life?
A: Hard to tell… To wake up every day and find the necessary motivation to go on with projects that many people do not really apprehend. And I am saying this because you see the life in pink if you see it from outside. In Romania, a racer with my results is struggling to keep going. For average people – I had also some disputes in my family – it is hard to understand the reason for which you are risking your life for a sport that is drawing you back instead of helping you.
Q: Have you ever played in a casino? If yes, share with us your gambling experience.
A: I have been avoiding such activities but I consider myself a responsible man and whenever I play, I do it cold-headedly. I am playing rather rarely, as time does not allow me. I like simple things and the only game I play is BlackJack.
Q: Do you lose or win?
A: Losing or winning, is something relative. I think that all players will say that I always win. I don’t know. I have never counted the money or don’t want to keep the exact evidence.
Q: Last year, PokerStars became the sponsor of a Superbike team. What do you think about that team?
A: I think that the team is allright, they have a good image, which says a lot about the sport. This action has also brought us a plus. The racers are young, just beginning their career. If they are serious enough and work hard, they will enjoy a promising path. And the fact that they have such a huge sponsor, with a major impact upon the image, should motivate them. They can do excellent things together.
Q: As a conclusion, please send a message to the readers of our publication, Casino Life & Business Magazine’.
A: I am glad that I could share my thoughts in this magazine, which I have known and liked for some time. I hope that we will have the opportunity of a more impressive performance next year.
Thank you and good luck!
Same to you!