As a driver, Jarno Janssen has started a Grand Prix 45 times. After having started three times with a wild card in the TT in Assen, he raced for 2.5 years in the 250cc class and once in the 500cc (Le Mans 2001). In addition to the GPs, Janssen was active at international level in the European Championship and the Supersport World Championship. In his last active racing year (2005), Jarno Janssen was not only a driver, but also a team manager. He held that position with various teams in the Supersport class and in the Grand Prix until he became team manager at RW Racing GP in 2013.
“As a former driver, I understand what moves and concerns drivers.
I know the frustration of being close to points, but just not being able to grab them. I know how it feels when you don’t trust the machine. That was the reason for me to retire midway through the 2002 season: I was riding a 250cc machine with a Superbike front fork. I was constantly driving so close to the limit and had already fallen so hard a few times that I didn’t dare to push anymore. Leaving halfway through the season was an emotional decision that I later regretted. When a driver is now complaining that he has no feeling in the front, I sometimes think ‘oh, you don’t know what you’re saying’, but I also understand.
Coaching riders is not my main job. It doesn’t matter if I raced myself. What is important is that I know how racing works and what it takes to have the right people in the right places. That is my most important task: taking care of the right people, ensuring that those people are motivated to carry out their tasks and ensuring the budget to facilitate them.
When I raced, we often didn’t even have a team manager. We arranged much more ourselves. But we are no longer
in the position that we have a couple of big partners that keep our wallets filled. That means a lot of arrangements and a lot of responsibilities. After all, everything stands or falls with the results.”