With plenty of MXGP riders taking part at the Hawkstone International, not too many people would have expected to see Ivo Monticelli battle for the win but that’s exactly what happened and he even won the Superfinal.

Monticelli was a rookie in the MXGP World Championship in 2018 with the I-Fly JK Yamaha team but after some good rides was able to secure a spot on the Standing Construct KTM team.

It looks like the Italian has had a very productive winter and looks pretty good in the sand which is impressive considering he favours the hard pack conditions.

We caught up with Monticelli after his impressive performance at Hawkstone International.

Interview: Ivo, you’ve had a great day at Hawkstone International. Can you talk me through your day?

Ivo Monticelli: The first moto was actually really hard for me because I didn’t really get a good start. After five laps I already had arm pump, I know that it’s a normal problem for me at a pre-season race.

The second moto was better with the arms and I got a good start. I tried to push really hard during the first part of the race. At the end Max (Anstie) was faster than me, he caught and passed me at the end.

In the super final I made a good start and made a pass on Nagl. I tried to go and I had a good rhythm. At the end I was able to win it and I am really happy about that, for me it was a fantastic race. I know that we have a lot of work to do now as we have many races. We need to arrive in Argentina at not 100% but we need to have a good speed. I am really happy with how things are going and with this race.

Gatedrop: When you arrived here this morning did you think it would be possible to win a moto, did you surprise yourself? Also, you seemed to get better every moto as the track got rougher and rougher, that’s pretty impressive considering you’re more a hard pack rider.

Ivo Monticelli: Really for the win, I didn’t think about it but after the first moto I knew that I could have improved a lot. I seen that during the second moto that I had good speed so for the last moto I knew that if I got a good start and was able to go then I can also win. I tried to do that and in the end I made a great race so it was perfect. We have trained really hard this winter and it’s really helped.

Gatedrop: Have you been riding much with Max Anstie in the sand and has that helped you ride the sand?

Ivo Monticelli: For sure, with my team mate we train many times together. For me it is really nice because for sure Max is faster than me in the sand so for me it’s great to be able to train with him and also Glenn (Coldenhoff). I need to say thanks also to my team mates for that.

Gatedrop: Last year you spent the season with the I-Fly JK Yamaha team, how’s everything going with your new team, the Standing Construct KTM team?

Ivo Monticelli: The team is really professional. They work really hard and everybody is doing their job and with a smile. This is an important thing. I have an apartment now in Belgium and I am living there. It means that I can improve a lot in the sand. I need to say a big thanks to the team because we’ve been working really hard and have had many tests to get the bike the way I want it and like it.

Gatedrop: What are your expectations for the MXGP season?

Ivo Monticelli: I don’t really have any expectations for the position, you never know. Race by race you just need to see but I will do my best. For the first race if I finish tenth, or fifteenth or twentieth, it’s okay, I just need to improve from there during the season. I don’t expect anything from the first race, I’ll do my best and wherever I finish is fine.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Martyn Petts

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