British fans got what they wanted in the EMX250 class with a British rider standing on top of the box but Steven Clarke wasn’t the only Brit for the fans to get behind.
Josh Spinks had a superb weekend on his M Smith KTM to make it a British 1-2 on the podium as he ended up second overall and that’s his best finish in the EMX250 series to date.
It’s tough for Spinks as a privateer to contest the entire series but Matterley Basin was the third round he’s done this year and the 25 year old plans on doing three more rounds before the end of the season.
We sat down with Spinks after his impressive weekend at Matterley Basin.
Gatedrop: Josh, it was a great weekend for you ending up second overall in the EMX250 series. Can you just talk me through your races?
Josh Spinks: In the first race I gated about eighth and made some early passes to get myself in third. At the flag there was only a couple of seconds in it so not far off the win there which kind of came as a surprise but I was really happy with that. Going into the second moto I felt I could go a bit better. I struggled off the start a little bit but made some passes to get into fifth or sixth. I had a couple of bad laps and dropped back a little bit further. I finished eighth at the flag and with just how the points worked out that put me second overall. That was a big goal I’ve had for a while so to get on the podium at Matterley Basin was great.
Gatedrop: Coming into this weekend what was your expectations, did you even surprise yourself with a second overall?
Josh Spinks: I just wanted a semi decent qualifying because before I’ve been in the last chance which made the races really difficult. I was sitting P1 in qualifying for a while but ended up eighth, I was really happy with that. That was one of the things I really wanted to do and other than that I just wanted to progress from the rounds I’ve done before. Two solid top tens’ or something like that and I’d have been happy with. To end up on the podium was really really good.
Gatedrop: At the previous EMX250 race you’ve done, after you’ve qualified you’ve showed some good speed in the races so are you happy with how things are going?
Josh Spinks: Like I mentioned before, qualifying for me is very difficult so when I get into the races I feel a lot more comfortable. I’m usually able to grind a decent result out so I’d say I’m better than racing than over the one individual lap. But I can’t complain really for the small team that we’ve got and the small budget we’ve got some good results so we’re happy.
Gatedrop: There’s some factory bikes in the EMX250 class and it’s obviously full of talent. How is it racing the series on a privateer setup?
Josh Spinks: It’s very very difficult. There’s a few factory bikes out there and you know, we have a race motor but it’s basic. We look at reliability more than out and out power so I definitely get out dragged in places. I just have to ride the bike a little bit harder than most but I try not to focus on that too much. I try just to focus on what I can do as a rider.
Gatedrop: Just on the British Championship, you’re sitting sixth after four rounds. Have you been happy with how it’s going or do you want a little bit more?
Josh Spinks: I want a little bit more but compared to previous years it’s definitely going in the right direction. The two fourths’ in Canada Heights nearly put me on the podium so moving forward I definitely want to be on the box.
Gatedrop: You’re 25 years old now, not the youngest rider in the GP paddock. Do you see yourself sticking to the 250cc next year or maybe moving up to the 450cc?
Josh Spinks: We spoke about that recently. Maybe back to MX1, I did a race at the British Masters when I jumped on the 450cc for the final race as a random one and I got on with it really well. We’ll see what happens later in the year, I’ll maybe try and 450cc again and make a decision then.
Gatedrop: Just on the rest of the EMX250 Championship this year, do you know which of the remaining rounds you’ll contest?
Josh Spinks: We’ve missed three or four now because of our budget but we are scheduled to do France this weekend, Italy the one after that and then I think Bulgaria as well. I’ve three more from now to finish the year off.
Gatedrop: What are expectations for both the British Championship and the EMX250 races for the rest of the season?
Josh Spinks: I think I just have to be looking for podiums now that I’ve proved to myself that I can do it and to be consistent.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Nigel McKinstry