It was a rookie year for Petar Petrov contesting in the MXGP World Championship after he inked a deal with Assomotor Honda. However, the season didn’t go to plan for the Bulgarian mainly due to some injuries and small setbacks.
With there being lots of talented riders on the look out for rides in MXGP for next year, Petrov was one of the guys looking to put something together. His plans were announced last week as he’s signed a deal with the North Europe racing KTM team which will be a new setup in the MXGP paddock for 2019.
Arnaud Demeester will be the team manager of the team and he’s won the Le Touquet beach race six times in his career so he’s got plenty of experience.
We caught up with Petrov to get his thoughts on the move for 2019.
Gatedrop: Petar, you’ve just announced your plans for the 2019 season. Can you just tell me how the deal with the North Europe racing KTM team came about?
Petar Petrov: Well, I wanted to do the beach races and I was doing them with Honda. At one of the races we had a talk and it was fast from then on. I felt like we were thinking the same way and the deal came up quickly after that.
Gatedrop: The North Europe racing KTM team will be a new setup at the MXGP races. Can you tell me a bit about the team’s setup?
Petar Petrov: Yes, it’s a very new team. They are very motivated and that’s important, we will be based in Belgium we have already some very good mechanics with a lot of experience. Arnaud Demeester is the team manager and the guy has won six times the biggest beach race Le Touquet. He has a lots of experience and I think that they will be around for some years ahead.
Gatedrop: KTM is such a strong bike but you’ve only ever briefly rode one with the Hitachi KTM UK but that didn’t last too long. Are you looking forward to getting back on a KTM again?
Petar Petrov: Yeah, it has been some time since I’ve been on a KTM. I’ve already done about two weeks on the bike and I must say I really like the bike and the power. I am really looking forward to racing with it.
Gatedrop: You’ve announced MXGP is in your plans for 2019, do you know yet which rounds you’ll do? I imagine it will only be the European rounds of the series?
Petar Petrov: Yes, for this year we will do the ones only in Europe as well as the Dutch Masters of Motocross.
Gatedrop: Just on 2018, how would you describe your season? Obviously, coming in injured wasn’t the best preparation especially with the level in MXGP..
Petar Petrov: The season was very difficult with a lot of injuries and small set backs. The luck was not on our side and because of all that I didn’t really get comfortable on my bike. I missed a lot of days of testing, I didn’t feel ready at the races and it was just a struggle.
Gatedrop: What was it like being part of the Assomotor Honda team setup in 2018? They’ve decided to switch to MX2 for 2019, do you think that’s a good decision from the team?
Petar Petrov: It was very nice being part of the team, they are very friendly and nice people. They work hard but it just wasn’t our year. I don’t really know if it’s a good or bad decision for them to switch to MX2 but I mean they must have already a good bike as Mathys (Boisrame) won the EMX250 with it. I guess we will see when the season starts.
Gatedrop: Just on 2019, what are your expectations for the season?
Petar Petrov: Well, I don’t really want to set expectations. I am just going to go out there and have fun and give my best. We will see where we end up but I feel good about it.
Gatedrop: You’ve rode a few beach races recently and will do a few more. How have you found them?
Petar Petrov: They are hard really hard. Three hours on the bike, it’s not that easy but it’s very good practice. You have to also use your brain a bit more but I am enjoying it.
Gatedrop: Have you any plans about which races you’ll do during the off-season yet and where you will be based?
Petar Petrov: For the moment we are not sure. We want to do Hawkstone Internation and maybe Lacapelle but nothing has been decided yet. We will be based in Belgium
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Petar Petrov: I would like to thank everyone at the North Europe racing. The team boss Daniel and also Arnaud Demeester for the trust and all the people around me, my girlfriend and just everyone who helps me.
Interview: Andy McKinstry