Luke Norris who’s been with the Geartec Husqvarna team for last two years has confirmed he will be doing his own thing in 2019. Norris will also make the switch from Husqvarna to Kawasaki and compete in the Maxxis British Championship as well as the MX Nationals.
Unfortunately, Norris picked up a pretty serious wrist injury last season which meant he missed quite a lot of racing but he’s looking forward to getting back to the races in 2019.
We caught up with Norris to get his thoughts on going privateer for 2019 plus much more.
Gatedrop: You’ve made the decision to go green in 2019 and will also be a privateer, what’s the reason for those decisions?
Luke Norris: I felt like it was time for a change and also to enjoy being at the races a bit more. When you put everything into the sport it brings a lot of stress and you sometimes forget why you started racing in the first place. I’ve got myself a full time job now and want to enjoy racing my bike as much as possible. I’ve worked with Kawasaki in the past and the 2019 450 looked like a very strong bike. I’ve got a very good group of people behind me and I’m very fortunate that I can go racing without a ‘team’ to depend on.
Gatedrop: You were with the Geartec Husqvarna team, how was it being in that team?
Luke Norris: I had a great 2 years with the Geartec guys, there was no pressure and we had a lot of fun. I had some of my best results with them and also allowed me to go on the 450 half way through 2017 when I felt the time was right. I’m very thankful for everything they did and wish them the best in the future.
Gatedrop: Just how hard is it to get a team in the British paddock?
Luke Norris: It’s definitely very difficult, there are a lot less paid rides these days and a lot more people paying in to teams or going at it alone. Also budgets are getting smaller and without huge financial backing its very difficult to compete at the top level.
Gatedrop: You got injured last year, can you remind the people who don’t know about the injury and at the time that must have been tough to deal with?
Luke Norris: Yeah I had a pretty big crash at a private track and dislocated the lunate bone in my wrist. It was a lot more complicated than I first thought, I spent a few nights in hospital and had 3 surgeries to repair the damage. I’m still having physio to this day and its no where near 100%, but i’m hoping over the winter it will improve and allow me to ride to my full potential.
Gatedrop: You’ve had a few days on the 450 Kawasaki I believe, how do you feel on the bike and what’s your first impressions on it?
Luke Norris: I’ve only ridden the bike once and I’m amazed at how good it is. I felt comfortable right away and even the stock suspension works really well.
Gatedrop: You recently switched from the 250cc to the 450cc. What do you think makes you suit the bigger bike more?
Luke Norris: Personally I feel my riding style suits the 450 more, I can be smooth and use my technique the best. Also when you’re racing on a tight budget the 450 is a much cheaper bike to run and your not always chasing horsepower.
Gatedrop: Have you any plans for winter yet, will you stay in the UK or head somewhere else in Europe? Also, have you any pre season races planned yet and if so what ones?
Luke Norris: I’ll definitely spend as much time in Europe as I can, you can achieve a lot more over there than back in the UK. Sometimes its not always possible and you have to make the best of what you’ve got. My plans are to do a few local races over the winter, I haven’t planned to race any other pre season races but I’m taking it each week as it comes.
Gatedrop: Have you any plans to race Arenacross UK before the outdoor season gets underway?
Luke Norris: I’d definitely like to race the Arenacross again but my main focus is to get my wrist back to 100% and prepare for the 2019 outdoor season.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Luke Norris: First of all I’d like to thank my family who have supported me through everything and allowed me to keep racing at a high level. I’d also like to say a huge thanks to all of my personal sponsors who have backed me over the years, the guys at Kawasaki UK and also Madison who have stepped up there support in 2019.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Scott Dunne