“Once in a lifetime” The British team talk MX of Nations with Dirt Hub
It’s fair to say that the British Team for the 2017 Motocross of Nations,which takes place this weekend at Matterley Basin near Winchester has inspired huge hope among the victory starved British fans. Confidence is high in the British camp and after catching up with the Team at their training day at Cusses Gorse on Wednesday you could feel an air on confidence… Here’s what they had to say…
Images courtesy of Dave Rich
Dirt Hub: Your MXGP Season has finished really well so that must give you loads of confidence going into the MX of Nations?
Yeah I think we have got a great team and I think its going to be a great event. Racing at home in England is an awesome feeling and I do feel we are gonna be strong. We have had two great days riding and we have put everything into it and I think and we have all got what it takes to do a good job. We will have to see with the weather, see what happens, there’s obviously a lot of great competition but we have to go do our job and see what happens.
You always seem to ride Matterley well, and you always seem to enjoy riding in front of the home crowd, how much is that going to help you at the weekend?
Its going to be amazing, we haven’t race in England all year so to come back and do it for the nations… it’s that once in a lifetime thing. I think its going to be great. In one breath I am going there just as its GP number 20, I finished my last GP last weekend so I have only had a weekend off and I have been training and riding like normal, so I am going in there like it’s another GP. Its my job and I will be focusing on what I need to do for the weekend, but I am sure it will sink in afterwards that we were there for the nations and for our country, but for the moment I am just focusing on what I need to do, to do my job and perform as well as I can.
It’s been a long while since Team GB won the Nations, is this the year?
You can never speak too soon, everyone has been asking us that question. I will focus on my job and do the best job I can, and I know the boys are strong and riding well. We need a little bit of luck, hopefully with everything going on, and it being in England we have a strong chance.
We saw your Dad ride the Vets Des Nations a few weeks ago…
Yeah he said he is still stiff now, but he had a good time, he was telling me all about it and said it was great.
Do you have a message for the British fans?
Yep just hang over that fence and cheer us on. We will be putting everything into it, to do our best job possible, and I am really looking forward to putting on a great show for everyone.
Hey Dean you have been over in the UK for quite a while, how has your prep been going?
Yeah I think its been going pretty well, I think its good to be out here and ride these tracks, just because, I feel like it’s a lot different than in the States, it’s a harder dirt, stoney and its pretty choppy and rough, so its pretty good for me to be out here and get acclimatized really.
I heard you had a few problems getting your bike and equipment over?
I didn’t ship anything actually. I never had any problems, its just Mark Chamberlain was nice enough to offer me a Husqvarna to ride around out here and the ICE One Team have been nothing but awesome to me because they supplied me with a bike, and my mechanic Daniel has really worked his butt off over here, so its been a really good trip, and everything is going smoothly, so ready for a good weekend.
You have been in the US for a while and Canada before, being here does it feel like coming home?
Yeah it does, I mean it was nice. I try to go back to Scotland at least once every year, so its nice. I still have a house in Scotland and stuff like that but its nice to see some friends and my family, its enjoyable.
And coming back for Irn Bru?
Yeah my Irn Bru and Sausage pies
Its going to be an absolutely huge event, so are you prepared for the expectations of the British Nation?
Yeah, I mean I don’t think you can throw a bunch of expectations on yourself. The best thing I can do is just go out there and ride my best and keep a clear head and have fun. This is something that might never happen again, having the Des Nations on your homeland, so I think its going to be pretty good and I am really excited and you have just got to embrace it and have fun.
You have been to the track at Matterley and had a ride round it, what do you think?
I like the track, it was good, it was pretty smooth when I was riding it, but its going to be really rutty and technical and it will be good. The jumps are big, and it was nice to get a feel for the track and I’m looking forward to the race.
You have a busy schedule in the US but are competing for your Team whereas other racers in America have turned down the opportunity in turn for a rest period. What do you think about that?
Its tough, it really is, because I have decided I am doing the Des Nations I don’t have an off season, that’s full month more of training, where I could be just resting and doing something else before I really get into bootcamp before Supercross. So its tough, but I think its an honour to represent your country, and right now I think I am in a good place and I really like where I am at, so I am just gonna keep plugging away and working hard, and do well this weekend, do well in the Monster Cup, and I have a couple of other races I am doing. Yeah so I am busy this off season but its nice to be racing for me as I haven’t been out there very much.
What do you think of Team GB’s chances?
I think we have a great chance of doing well. We definateley have a good chance of being on the podium. If all went really well I think we have a good chance of winning it, but like I said you don’t worry about the expectations, just riding to your best potential, and everything will fall into place. You cant look too far ahead, just minute by minute.
MXGP has the metal mesh start gates have you had a practice on them?
Yeah only since I have been here. I have done the Monster Cup a couple of times and they use the mesh, but other than that I have never really raced off of it. I feel really good off of it so I it wont matter to me. I really want to get good starts as the roost doesn’t look too enjoyable at Matterley.
Whats your message to the British fans?
Thanks to everyone who comes out on the weekend and for supporting us, its really appreciated by us the riders. We can hear all of the cheers and all that, it’s a cool feeling so we thank everyone for all of their support.
You have been off the World scene for a little while now with injury, how are you looking forward to being back on it?
I cant wait to race this weekend. I came back a couple of months ago, so I have got a few races under my belt. Now I have dropped back down to a 250 and really looking forward to race.
So do you think riding a 250 is going to help you with your injuries?
No, not so much help my injuries, but I think I can put in a good performance for this weekend and that’s just the goal. Get a good result this weekend and then focus on next year.
You have proved you can get good results on the 250 and you are the strongest person in that class for Team GB…
Yeah in the past I have had good results on the 250 so I’ve just got to carry on with that really and do my best. We have prepared well. The last couple of weeks now I have felt good on it and its just gonna come down to the day and putting in good results.
As a team you are probably the most experienced out of them, do you feel like you will be playing a captains role?
No not so much. I think everyone in our team has a bit of history. I have probably done the most Des Nations, but with Max riding really well and Dean, we have got three good riders and we just have to all go out there and do our best.
As a team do you compare notes and things?
We will do on the day because we all want the best , and we all want everyone to do as well as they can for the team, so I think on the weekend we will. Right now it’s hard to as i’m on a 250 Kawasaki and their on 450’s so I think they are helping each other out now with some technical testing, but I am just doing my thing on the 250, but obviously on the weekend we will all help each other.
You have been to Matterly now and had a ride there hows it looking?
We went there last Friday and its looking really good. They have done a good job, I just hope the rain stays off so we can have a good weekend.
Its probably perfect right now?
Yeah it will be right now, but they are forecasting a bit of rain, but hopefully its not too much, so that the crowd and everyone don’t get too wet and we can have some good racing.
Many think it’s Team GB’s year, what are your thoughts on that?
Yeah I think your right, we have a good chance, we have got good riders and a few other teams have riders out injured, so now its time to just make it happen on the day, with a lot of luck. You have to have a bit of luck at the MX Des Nations so hopefully its on our side.
The British fans are awesome at Matterly how much of a part are they going to play?
Yeah they do play a massive part. I think they help tremendously, and I think they are all going to be out there behind us, so we have got to do our thing.
Do you have your own personal goals for the weekend?
No not personal goals. I just wanna do the best I can, get good starts, run as far up there as I can and get the best result, and hopefully its good enough to get the team up there on the podium.
Do have a message for the fans?
Just come out and get behind us. I think its going to be a great weekend for them and us and I think its one that you don’t want to miss.