Marshal Weltin is a relatively unknown rider outside the USA, but Bud racing Kawasaki’s latest signing to replace Ryan Surratt could well be a surprise package in EMX2 next season.
Weltin finished 24th in the 250 US Nationals last season scoring 40 points despite not racing the full series, meaning he should be a contender for the EMX2 class next season if he can adapt to the variety of tracks and cultures he will face next season.
We caught up with Marshal to learn more about the latest American with GP ambitions and discover how his deal with Bud Kawasaki came about.
Gatedrop: Marshal, for people that aren’t familiar with you, can you tell me a bit about your racing background?
Marshal Weltin: I have been racing since I was a young lad. I started out in Michigan (which is where I’m from) but I moved down south in 2013 to Club MX where I started taking it more seriously. I progressed fast and worked up to Loretta’s in 2015 with scoring four podiums. I then transitioned into my pro career after that doing a couple nationals. I attempted racing the East Coast SX last year but that was cut short due to a shoulder injury. To finish out this year I ended up doing 8 outdoor nationals and also the Charlotte MXGP.
Gatedrop: Obviously Ryan Surratt and BUD Kawasaki split together but you got a deal out of it pretty quick. How did the deal come about?
Marshal Weltin: BUD Racing approached me earlier this year before anyone was signed. I think they decided to head in a different direction at first. But I’m excited about the opportunity they have given to me.
Gatedrop: You won’t be racing any AMA Supercross races, are you disappointed about that?
Marshal Weltin: I won’t be doing any SX this year. I am a little bummed about it because I found that lining up for an SX main event last year was one of the most surreal things I’ve ever done. But I believe that making this trip to Europe will only help me for the future and I’m confident in it.
Gatedrop: However, at the same time that you will give you more time to prepare for Motocross and the EMX250 championship!
Marshal Weltin: I’m looking forward to the preparation for Europe. I have all the tools I need to be in shape and get ready for the season here in South Carolina.
Gatedrop: When will you be coming over to France in order to prepare for the season?
Marshal Weltin: I believe I’m leaving on the 10th of Feb and I will return in September.
Gatedrop: Looking at your Instagram posts it appears you’re still riding a Yamaha? When will you be getting the BUD Kawasaki?
Marshal Weltin: Right now we are working on getting a green machine to train on. The deal is very new so the team are still working out the details.
Gatedrop: What do you know about the EMX250 championship? Did you talk to Sanayei or Covington about the series before making the decision to race it?
Marshal Weltin: Yeah I have talked to Darian a lot about racing in Europe. He is one of my good friends and it’s cool to get insight from him and helping me be more prepared with what to expect. He told me that it’s a long series and there is a lot of time in between the races. Also the practice tracks are not as good as the states.
Gatedrop: You will be based in France I believe, are you worried about the language difficulty and food etc?
Marshal Weltin: Honestly, I’m excited about learning a new culture. I’m yet to venture across the pond so I think it will be a cool experience. I’m learning French right now actually (laughs).
Gatedrop: Looking at the EMX250 calendar, what tracks are you looking forward to competing at the most?
Marshal Weltin: I’m looking forward to ripping the sand! I have a strong sand background and that is where I feel the most comfortable. I would have to say Holland (Valkenswaard) and Lommel (Belgium) would be the two tracks I am looking forward to racing!
Gatedrop: What are your goals for the series and what other riders do you see as a threat for the series?
Marshal Weltin: I’m not familiar with the competition, but my goals are to have good qualifying positions. The gate picks are huge at the MXGP’s and they do it different there.
Gatedrop: If everything goes well do you see yourself competing in the MX2 World Championship in the future or do you see your future back in America?
Marshal Weltin: I’m not sure with MX2. I want to see how the series goes first before I think that far ahead.