Coming into the first round of the EMX250 championship, young Duth talent, Raf Meuwissen had the goal to qualify for the main races directly and then just do the best he could in the races.
The first round of the series went great for the Maddii Husqvarna rider as his starts were on point and he even led the first Moto.
After an impressive EMX250 debut we caught up with Meuwissen to get his thoughts on round one of EMX250.
Gatedrop: Raf, you’ve just competed your first race in the EMX250 championship. Can you talk me through both of your moto’s?
Raf Meuwissen: It started with timed practice, the goal was to qualify but I ended up eighth in my group, that was really good. In the first moto, I took the holeshot, the guys at the front were really fast and aggressive. I’m not used to that so I fell back a little but in the first twenty minutes I was in the top ten. I ended up fourteenth but I was really happy with that and a little bit surprised. I also got a good start in the second race, I was in the top five and I was battling with Facchetti which was good. The riding was going good but at the end I got a little bit of arm pump and made some mistakes. I fell back to thirteenth but overall I am really happy with the weekend and a little surprised.
Gatedrop: You led the first moto, just how did that feel? I don’t even ever remember you leading an EMX125 moto!
Raf Meuwissen: Yeah, it was the first time I was leading a European race and it was also the first time I took the holeshot in a European race. It give me a big boost.
Gatedrop: You surprised me this weekend, I thought you’d maybe be battling for points but to be comfortably in the points is a good sign. How surprised are you by the results?
Raf Meuwissen: Yeah, I am also surprised but I think that there’s more to come. In training I can ride like I can and I think I can ride faster than I did this weekend. Now I need to work on the full 25 minutes plus two laps and then we will see were we end up.
Gatedrop: Matterley Basin isn’t exactly a typical Dutch track so you must be excited to get to the sand?
Raf Meuwissen: Of course but I like the hard pack as well. I am now training in Italy with the guys and I’ve learnt a lot over there. I am looking forward to the sand races though too.
Gatedrop: You’re with the Maddi Husqvarna team this year. Just how’s everything going with the team and how was your winter preparation coming into the season?
Raf Meuwissen: It’s really good. There’s a really good vibe in the team and everyone is positive. We train a lot with Alberto Forato and it’s good to train with him because he’s really fast in training. I went almost four weeks to Italy so I made some good hours there training on the hard pack so the winter prep was good.
Gatedrop: It must be great to ride with Forato, he proved this weekend he’s fast but he also looks much smoother this year. Are you trying to ride smooth like him as well?
Raf Meuwissen: Yeah of course. He’s a little bit bigger than me so he needs to be smooth but in training he is really fast. It’s good to do moto’s with him and he’s also really helpful with me. If he sees something that I’m doing wrong, he tells me so it’s really nice to have a partner like that.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Nigel McKinstry