A welcome addition to the Maxxis British Championship paddock for this season is Italian rider, Ivo Monticelli. The Italian signed with the I-Fly JK Yamaha team and due to a lot of UK sponsors the team have, they decided that Monticelli would contest the British series.
With a lot of sand in the British series, they aren’t exactly typical Italian tracks but Monticelli has adapted quickly and brought his GP speed to the series.
After ageing out of the MX2 World Championship last year, this is the first year for Monticelli on the 450cc and the bigger bike seems to be suiting his style more so than the 250cc.
Desertmartin went well for the Italian as he got on the box for the first time in the British Championship ending up third overall.
We caught up with Monticelli after his podium to discuss his season and what it’s like working with Christophe Pourcel who he’s just started to work with.
Gatedrop: Ivo, we are here at Desertmartin for the Maxxis British Championship. Can you talk me through your day?
Ivo Monticelli: Yeah, I had a bad start in the first moto which meant I had to pass many riders. To pass a lot of riders and to keep the speed is not easy but I did a good race. I crashed on the last lap but I still finished sixth. It was a good first moto but not a good place for me to finish after the bad start.
In the second moto I had a better start, I just tried to follow the two guys (Bobryshev and Searle) in front of me. I was behind Tommy (Searle) for all of the moto, I tried to catch up but in the last two laps a back-marker held me up a little bit. Because of that I couldn’t continue to catch him so I just rode to finish the moto in second place. It was good, the speed was good, it was a fun race. I’m happy with my weekend and to get on the podium.
Gatedrop: This is your first time at the Desertmartin circuit, what was your thoughts on the track?
Ivo Monticelli: Nice, it is a really nice track! I had a really good feeling. The track is really fast but also had some big bumps. It was good training for the World Championship.
Gatedrop: With the track being so fast, do you think the starts were crucial for the moto’s today?
Ivo Monticelli: Yeah, also it’s not easy here because it’s the first time I’ve rode the track here and also with this kind of start (concrete). I made a good second start it was just the first start was really bad (laughs). The bike span too much and I was outside the top fifteen which was bad but it was very good training.
Gatedrop: This is your first year on the 450cc after moving up from the 250cc, I personally feel like it suits your style better. Do you agree and are you enjoying the bigger bike?
Ivo Monticelli: I am really enjoying the bigger bike. I like the 450, I really like having more power. The years before in MX2, I had so many injuries so that was the problem for me. I couldn’t continue to show my speed due to the injuries. This year has been a good year for me because every time I’m getting better so we will try to finish the season showing my best. Next season I want to make good results in the World Championship.
Gatedrop: You’re used to racing the Italian Championship but of course you’re doing the British Championship instead this year. How would you compare the two championships? Are you enjoying the British series?
Ivo Monticelli: For me, the British Championship is much better. In the MX1 class in the UK there’s really fast riders which makes it good training. In the Italian MX1 Championship, the level is a little bit lower. Also, the tracks here in the British series are fantastic, it’s nice to train and they’re like the GP’s. I’m enjoying it and it’s really good training.
Gatedrop: You’ve just started working with Christophe Pourcel a former World Champion! How’s that been going and will you continue to work with him for the rest of the season?
Ivo Monticelli: Yeah, we will continue to work together for the rest of the season. Also for next year, I want to train with Christophe because we’ve already worked for 3 or 4 weeks and I really like this guy. With the communication and he also teaches me a lot in 3 weeks so in 1 year he can teach me many many things. I’m really motivated to be working with him and I’m excited about the next year.
Gatedrop: I see you’re also riding with Christophe, what’s he like on a bike now? It must be good to ride with him too!
Ivo Monticelli: Yeah, he’s not slow no (laughs). Everybody knows he was a good rider before and also now he remembers many things on how to ride. He’s pretty fast and that’s good for my training because we ride together and sometimes he shows me some technique. It’s really nice for me.
Gatedrop: Just on next year, have you got a deal with the I-Fly JK Yamaha team or is it a one year only deal?
Ivo Monticelli: I don’t have a contract for next year. I need to find a team or I could also stay with this team. I don’t know yet, I need to check on what will happen.
Gatedrop: Would you like to do the British Championship again next year?
Ivo Monticelli: Yeah why not. It’s a good championship and good for the training.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Nigel McKinstry