Steeman’s career highlights: popular Dutchman remembered by WorldSBK

Tuesday, 11 October 2022 21:34 GMT

The Dutch rider sadly passed away following a Race 1 crash at Portimao

Following the sad news that Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) has passed away following a crash in Race 1 of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, WorldSBK remembers the Dutch rider. Steeman brought an infectious personality to the paddock but was also a strong competitor on the track, consistently fighting at the front of the field in WorldSSP300 as well in other championships that he competed in prior and during his World Championship successes.

Steeman, 22, made his WorldSSP300 debut in 2018, after two seasons in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, when competing for the KTM Fortron Junior Team, completing two races at Portimao and Magny-Cours; scoring a point on his debut in Portugal to show the leading talent he would become over his time in WorldSSP300. A first full season followed in 2019, for the Freudenberg KTM Junior Team, with Steeman taking points in all but one race throughout the season including four top-six finishes. It was a sign of things to come as his incredible talent continued to develop. 2019 was also the year he claimed his first pole position, at Jerez, showing his one-lap pace, which he’d continue to demonstrate in the Championship, with him being the all-time pole positions record holder with six at the time of his passing.

Steeman’s 2020 season was spent in the German IDM championship, a return to where he had experienced so much success previously. In 2018, he claimed two wins, eight podiums and two pole positions on his way to third in the standings, whilst he finished fifth in 2020 as he focused solely on competing in Germany and the Netherlands, where he was Supersport Champion. Another win and two pole positions came in 2020, whilst he also made a one-off appearance in IDM in 2021 and took victory.

2021 also heralded a return to WorldSSP300 on a full-time basis, again running KTM machinery but for the Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team, and both his one-lap speed and race management skills were shining by this point. Two pole positions, on home soil at the TT Circuit Assen and on the Championship’s first visit to the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic. He was able to convert the pole position at Most into victory to take his first of five in the Championship and KTM’s last win to date.

For the 2022 season, Steeman made the switch to MTM Kawasaki, and his talent and personality shone brighter than ever before. Four more wins followed as he mounted a title challenge against Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) and Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing), with his switch to Kawasaki rewarding him straight away. He took victory on home soil at Assen in Race 1 as well as at Most, Magny-Cours and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Often at the front of the field during 2022, Steeman was a shining star on both the world stage and in domestic championships.

Always optimistic about his chances, in races and in Championships, Steeman kept the 2022 title fight going until the last round despite the odds being stacked against him with the points difference to Diaz. Steeman’s presence and character within the paddock will be greatly missed. Charismatic, polite and always with a sense of humour, Steeman brought success to his teams, a fierce competitive nature to the track but, above all else, pride, warmth and charm to all those within the WorldSBK paddock.