It was a special weekend in Mantova not only for Davy Pootjes as he secured his first MX2 World Championship podium but also for his team.
A few years ago, the DIGA-Procross Husqvarna team concentrated on the EMX scene but have recently made the jump to the MX2 World Championship and Mantova marked the first podium for the team.
The team manager, Justin Amian recently turned 25 years old which makes him the youngest team manager in the GP paddock.
We decided to catch up with Amian to get his thoughts on Pootjes’ podium and how everything is going with the team.
Gatedrop: Justin, Davy got on the box at Mantova, I believe the first MX2 podium for the team, just how good did that feel?
Justin Amian: 12.05.2019 that day I will always remember in my life. It feels so good, to be together with the factory’s teams on the podium. Until today, I can’t stop thinking about it with so many emotions. For me it feels like doping into my veins when Davy finished the second moto and I knew we are on the podium at the World Championship.
Gatedrop: I believe you’re the youngest team manager in the paddock, as this is the case maybe you have some doubters, was it good to prove to some people you have what it takes to be a good team manager?
Justin Amian: The Monday after Mantova, I turned 25 years years old. I’m sure that I’m still one of the youngest or maybe the youngest team manager.
It was (Davy’s podium) the perfect birthday present to myself. At the beginning of my career as team manager in 2011 not too many guys had taken me seriously. Since we are approved as a satellite team of Husqvarna last year and to race the full MX2 World Championship this year and on top our first Podium, I’m sure that we (DIGA-Procross) is 100% accepted at the Motocross World in Europe.
Gatedrop: Just on Davy, he has so much potential and he seems to be unlocking it all with your team, what sort of things have you been working on with him?
Justin Amian: To take all the potential out of a rider, this is the key of success and Davy has a lot of talent. Davy and myself, we find a good way for both sides to work together, but I have to say that Davy makes progress, because he has the right people around him including the team, family, trainers and the set up. For sure, he has learned a lot also from the last years.
Gatedrop: This is your first year working with Davy, just what’s he like to work with in terms of his character and personality? How would he compare to previous riders you’ve worked with?
Justin Amian: Yes, our work together started last year in November. I like to work with Davy, for sure he has a lot of experiences from the past, he was in one of the best teams in the World. Davy most of the time stays calm.
He doesn’t always search for an excuse with the material. He knows already what he has to work on and he knows where he is already very good at. Compared to other riders at my team in the past, most of the times it fails on following things – too lazy, parents, not 100% focused during the week and complaining.
Gatedrop: Davy has spent the winter with the F&H Kawasaki riders and training with Marc de Reuver, do you think working with Marc has benefited him?
Justin Amian: Marc de Reuver has the training groups with the F&H Kawasaki team with 3 riders as well as Davy. I’m 100% sure that this is perfect for every single rider. The level and competition is high which is what I like. At the beginning to trust my GP rider with Marc was very hard for me if I’m honest, because my feeling was not too good. After a while of cooperation with Marc I’ve started to see what we does and what me makes out of the Kawasaki riders and Dave – let’s not forget the title with Pauls Jonas as well. Marc de Reuver is the perfect combination of honest, crazy, hard working and knowledgeable. Davy believes in Marc and this is so important to make the right steps. Marc is a very important part for Davy’s success.
Gatedrop: In terms for the rest of the season, what’s your expectations for Davy?
Justin Amian: I expect Dave to be consistent at the races and I want him to develop more and more as a rider.
Gatedrop: Has Davy just got a one year deal with the team – I guess you’d like to keep him for 2020 but might face some competition!
Justin Amian: We will see in the next weeks and months. Until now Dave and myself are happy together and this is important.
Gatedrop: Jeremy Sydow got injured at the first round of the EMX250 series, is there any update on when he could be back on the bike?
Justin Amian: Aaaah Jeremy, he had a bit of bad luck. We had a very good winter together, I know that he is a rough diamond. The plan was to show his potential in the EMX250 championship , but unfortunately he broke a difficult bone in his hand. The plan is to start practice this weekend hopefully.
Gatedrop: Filip Olsson is a rookie to the EMX 250 class and seems to be getting stronger since the start of the season, but he’s also got a knee problem. Have you been happy with his season so far?
Justin Amian: Filip popped out his ACL at the beginning of the season at Redsand which cost him around 7 weeks of doing nothing and this is especially very hard for a rookie. For a couple of months now Filip has trained together with Joel Rolands. I have seen that he makes progress week for week and that makes me happy. I know that Filip has that bit of extra work in him that other riders don’t have. Filip, Jeremy and Davy are all hard workers. I’m German, I need and I like this structure and I see all three riders development which is important.
Interview: Andy McKinstry