Mel Pocock was the feel-good story of the weekend, winning the first moto of the EMX250 series and coming back from a terrible start in race to to get ninth and secure third overall on the podium.
A couple of years ago Mel lost his thumb in a horrific and extremely painful accident in a British championship race that left mist of us wondering if he would be able to race again, but Mel hasn’t just raced again he is as competitive as ever despite holding on with just four fingers and now he has got that memorable race win that he will never forget to bring his journey from injury full circle.
We caught up with Mel to discuss his brilliant weekend.
Gatedrop: A win and podium, a pretty phenomenal weekend for you!
Mel Pocock: Thank you, it felt impossible some days when you look a couple of years back, you just think it’s never going to happen, you do it for the love of the sport, it’s tough but that win yesterday was an emotional win – it was 2012 the last time I won!
I made it hard for myself in the second moto, I think Sam said 27th place in first sector, so I had a lot of work to do and the track was hard. Thanks to Sam and my REVO Husqvarna, it was good.
Gatedrop: You got away third or fourth in the first moto and you stayed calm and just picked them off, I know from taking to you earlier you said you were stressed, but on the bike you looked calm even when you were being pressured, how did you control your emotions?
Mel Pocock: I do well with pressure, the pressure isn’t really a worry to me unless someone is completely banging the houses down. I am normally riding with a train of people behind me – it’s normal, I’m normally the hold up! I rode well in the first race but inside I was tense, I was clenching the arse cheeks!
Gatedrop: Looking back to what you’ve been through, many thought you wouldn’t be able to come back and to do what you did last year and now win here again, it’s impressive.
Mel Pocock: Sometimes it just feels impossible. Racing without a thumb and having to hold on with 4 fingers all the time on a GP spec track, it’s not the easiest thing, and with the all the youngsters. There are a lot of trainers about so there is a lot of effort going into that EMX class. I’m over the moon with it, to get third overall is like another win.
Gatedrop: Does winning the championship before help you with your know-how?
Mel Pocock: Yeah I won it in 2012 so it feels like a while ago now! It’s been a rocky road since then and I can use my experience to push me on through. In that second race I could have gone for some silly passes, it would only have taken for one mistake and I would have been off the box, so I was being sensible.
And on the British championship, taking this result here it must give you an extra confidence boost for that?
Mel Pocock: It’s still a bit of a monkey on my back, I haven’t won that championship yet. It’s always been my goal and I have always come up short. There are some big names and big competitors in there, Martin being one and there will be others, so we will just get our heads down and understand the sport and that each race counts.
Interview: Jonathan McCready
Pic: Niek Kamper