It’s been a big week for the DIGA-Procross husqvarna team as they’ve went from focusing in the EMX250 championship to having two riders in the MX2 World Championship from Matterley Basin and on wards.
Brent van doninck and Iker Larranaga were left without rides after the 8Biano Husqvarna team closed their doors after eight rounds of the MX2 World Championship. However, both riders have now inked a deal with the DIGA-Procross Husqvarna team to contest the rest of the MX2 World Championship.
The team manager of the team, Justin Amian is only twenty-four years old which makes him the youngest team boss in the paddock and now he has two GP riders under his wing.
We decided to catch up with Justin to discuss what’s been a great week for his team!
Gatedrop: Justin, it’s been a big week for the team as the decision has been made to make a big step to the MX2 World Championship series after signing Brent van Doninck and Iker Larranaga.. It must feel great to make this big step?
Justin Amian: Yes, I’m very excited to start after the good result of Dylan Walsh last weekend in Teutschenthal. I’m sure that our team structure, man power, and know how is enough to bring on Iker and Brent so they’re fully prepared from race to race. The whole team can’t wait to start in England in the MX2 class.
Gatedrop: Since the DIGA-Procross team started, has the goal always be to step up to the MX2 World Championship at some stage?
Justin Amian: Yes, my main goal from day one was that we will go in the future in the World championship. Our plan was to start the team from zero (Regional Amateur Championships) and then grow into the GP. Last year we take the first experience with Lars van Berkel in the MX2 class so that means for us it isn’t all completely new.
Gatedrop: Is the goal to stay in the MX2 class for beyond 2018 or are the team just doing Husqvarna a favour by signing van doninck and Larranaga so they can fulfil their contracts?
Justin Amian: It is 100% our goal for the future to stay in the MXGP paddock.
Gatedrop: Can you just confirm if both riders only have deals until the end of the season or is there an option for 2019 too?
Gatedrop: Obviously both the riders left the 8Biano team after they closed their doors. How did the opportunity come about for the team to sign them?
Justin Amian: About the team situation I can’t explain so much about the 8biano situation. We have already worked and know Iker from the ADAC SX races last year, we had a successful series with him. In Gemany we say: never change a winning team. I think this explains a lot. It’s sure that Husqvarna Motorcycle’s Robert Jonas and Diego Clément did for both riders and DIGA-Procross a brilliant Job. To work with both of those people and Husqvarna makes it all perfect.
Gatedrop: Just on Dylan Walsh, he’s showed good improvement since last year. What were you expecting from him coming into the season and have you been happy with his season so far?
Justin Amian: Yes, I’m very happy with his progress as Walsh has a lot of talent. We can help him on his way to becoming on top of the world. The way we’ve been working together is perfect. Dylan’s luck is that he took a chance at the end of last year in our team and he’s made the best out of it. We are certainly not at the end of Dylan’s progress!
Gatedrop: On Larranaga, he’s showed some great speed this year and sits fourteenth in the MX2 World Championship. I’m guessing you’ll just be wanting more of the same from him?
Justin Amian: To find a good weekend facility and good material with bikes are easy for a top ten GP Rider. However, to find a team that supports their riders full time during the season is much harder. The program of my team is to support the rider from Monday until Sunday. To support a GP rider with just bikes and parts are easy. But to work with him every day, that is a full time job for a couple of people in our team. This is the difference at DIGA-Procross, it’s all about the structure.
Gatedrop: There’s no doubting van Doninck’s talent as he’s highly rated but injuries have set him back. It’s now your job to get his career back on path. What are your expectations for him for the rest of the season?
Justin Amian: I expect from Brent to have a good cooperation with my team. The feeling for all of us and especially the rider has to be on point to make progress at the Grand Prix’s. The speed is good but it’s important for Brent and all the riders to feel happy in the team. When I don’t feel happy, I can not give 100% and it’s the same for the riders.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Justin Amian: Yes, The Biggest thanks and 10000 flowers have to go to my Dad and my Brother. Without these two people beside me I’m not able to go as a 24 years old (youngest team boss) to the GP on my own. The same thanks to my team Karsten, Nico, Kevin, Andre, Matthias. For sure, thanks also to all of our Sponsors! Thank you so much – we are not at the end!
Interview: Andy McKinstry