There are plenty of Brits heading to Valkenswaard for the opening round of the EMX125 Championship and one of them to keep an eye on during the course of the season is young Joel Rizzi. The RFX Crescent Yamaha rider has plenty of potential and will be looking to learn as much as possible in the EMX125 series.

We decided to catch up with the young Brit before he gets his EMX125 season underway this weekend at the sand track of Valkenswaard.

Gatedrop: Joel, you’ve switched from KTM to Yamaha machinery for the season ahead. How’s the transition going for you and how do the two bikes differ?

Joel Rizzi: I love the Yamaha, the handling is really good and the speed is up there.

Gatedrop: You have been working together with Brian Jorgensen, what’s it like working with a former GP winner and how has he been helping you?

Joel Rizzi: I had a really good time in Spain with Brian and he helped me out loads over those two weeks. I’ve took on board all the advice he gave me.

Gatedrop: You just rode the first Dutch Masters round in Markelo, can you talk me through how your day went?

Joel Rizzi: The day went really good had 17th in qualifying but I didn’t ride as good as I could have, but I turned it around in the races with a 10th race one and was running 13th in the second race but went down and got 17th. The racing is really good out in Europe!

Gatedrop: The Dutch tracks are obviously very rough, how did you find the deep sand track of Markelo?

Joel Rizzi: The track was really good and I’ve always loved riding deep sand and the track got really rough.

Gatedrop: The EMX125 Championship gets underway this weekend, what’s your targets for the season ahead?

Joel Rizzi: My main goals are to get good qualifying results, to get good starts and to run with the top boys for a few laps.

Gatedrop: Obviously it’s going to be your rookie year and there’s a lot of talent in the class. I guess there’s not much pressure on you this year and you can just learn from the more experienced riders in the class?

Joel Rizzi: Yeah, that’s exactly right. This year is a learning year over in Europe to see where I’m at speed wise.

Gatedrop: How has your winter preparation gone for you – what have you been focusing on and where have you been located?

Joel Rizzi: I’ve been training hard over winter mainly in Britain and Europe.

Gatedrop: Have you a long term target you’ve set yourself in the future? If so, what is it?

Joel Rizzi: My long term goal is to get out to America, ride the Supercross and AMA as soon as possible.

Gatedrop: You must be excited to race the EMX125 series – a great opportunity to ride on the same weekend as the best riders in the world…

Joel Rizzi: Yeah, I’m looking forward to ride the EMX125 and with the MXGP boys! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Joel Rizzi: Thanks all my sponsors and supporters for making this possible.

Pic: Niek Kamper

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