The last few weeks haven’t been ideal for Brent van Doninck as the team he signed a deal with at the start of the season – 8Biano Husqvarna decided to stop the team leaving him without a ride.
Thankfully, the talented Belgian has picked up a ride with the DIGA-Procross team for the rest of the season which means he’ll still be able to contest the full season.
We caught up with Brent to discuss the last few weeks and his injury troubles without his career.
Gatedrop: Let’s start with the 8Biano Husqvarna situation, it was the team’s last GP in Germany, when did you find out and where you shocked by it?
Brent van Doninck: They told me already from Latvia that they were discussing about maybe to stop the team. But there was nothing 100% decided but it was a question mark. Every weekend we went to the race like it might be the last or if they’d keep on going. After the German GP I was a little bit shocked because Husqvarna told me it might be the last race but then Nikki, the boss from 8Biano, he told me no, I want to keep going with the team. After the second moto after we finished the race, I just took my helmet off and then they picked up all the bikes already.
They came into the team with 4-5 guys that came to pick up all th stuff and that was it. At that moment, I was a little bit shocked and scared because I didn’t have something else.
Pretty quick, Justin Amian from DIGA-Procross called me so I went straight to Cologne were the team is based. He offered me a really good deal for the rest of the season so I signed directly with them.
Gatedrop: Obvioulsy you’ve a new team now and everything is okay again but you commited with the 8Biano team for a full season, from your point of view the team stopping must have been disappointing. When you sign a year contract you at least expect the team to last the season!
Brent van Doninck: I started riding really late in February, I mean even in February nothing was ready. I still had to wait for a bike and the suspension or whatever, it was too late to have everything even in February. Already in the first few weeks I saw that things were a mess in the team – there was no organisation or structure. He promised me a lot of parts for at home, just enough for training but at home I didn’t have enough parts. The bike was looking like it was two or three years old (laughs), everything was just finished on the bike.
Gatedrop: Going back to your winter, I believe you had four operations and then rode Argentina. Just how frustrating was that for you, it’s not the first winter you’ve had problems!
Brent van Doninck: It’s really frustrating. In my career already I’ve already had a lot of bad luck with injuries and especially last year. It wasn’t really planned. I torn my ligaments in my wrist in Russia last year.
At the first moment they didn’t see that I torn them because they said everything looked fine on the X-Ray. I kept riding all season but then I was struggling with it, it hurts and it hurts. At the end of the season I got a second opinion. They then spotted that I torn my ligaments and I had the surgery. For a long time I as out, I had to do it three times. I also had a really bad hospital infection so I had to start from zero physically.
I was so weak and also I had a small surgery in my knee also. So yeah, as you can see I didn’t have any training during the winter time. Argentina, it was better to stay at home, even Valkenswaard was still a little bit too early. I also got sick there that weekend too. The first weeks were not good, dealing with the results mentally is hard to accept this, you know. I want to be at the front and it was hard to accept not being fully fit.
In this team now I feel really motivated, there’s still a long season to go and I think I can show some really good results this year now.
Gatedrop: When you look back to last year, you had a lot of problems but you ended up finishing tenth in the world. When you look back now are you happy with that considering the problems? Also, where you disappointed Kemea Yamaha didn’t keep you?
Brent van Doninck: Yeah, I think last year could have been much better. I think I had six zero’s or something like that. I mean if I just some decent points instead of six zero’s, for sure I’d have been close to the top five.
I think sixth or seventh maybe. With Kemea, it was an awesome team. I don’t blame them for anything, it’s a hard world. They don’t always think about injuries, they just want to see results. Maybe that’s why but we are still friends. I still talk with Hans the team owner a lot.
Gatedrop: How far off do you think you are off being the Brent van Doninck we know you can be? Germany looked like it might have been a step in the right direction for you.
Brent van Doninck: Yeah, from Russia and maybe Portugal, I started feeling better and better. Russia was pretty good, I was tenth in the second moto. Germany was also better. But like I said, with my mind not in the right place with the team maybe stopping, it’s hard. S**t was going on and I wasn’t feeling happy with the 8Biano team because I wasn’t sure on my future. Your mind needs to be in the right place and I know with this team it will be.
Gatedrop: You mentioned your future there, I know next year is your last year in the MX2 World Championship. In that sense there’s a bit of pressure on your shoulders to get results now to secure a ride for next year as it will be vital for you!
Brent van Doninck: Yeah, next year is my last year in the MX2 class, I’ve still one more year to go. I want to make the best of it of course because it’s my last year. For sure I want to be on a good bike but there’s still 11 GP’s this year.
There’s 22 moto’s to show what you have. Hopefully I can sign a good deal for next year and make the best of it.