One rider that’s going under the radar in the MX2 World Championship this year is young Slovakian, Richard Šikyňa who is showing signs of great improvement.
Šikyňa only contested a few rounds of the MX2 World Championship in 2017 but this year he has contested all the rounds taking place in Europe. You can see it is helping him become a much better rider as he learns the pace every time he goes out on the track.
Eleventh is his best moto result as he done that in one moto in Loket and also in Bulgaria, he’s ever so close to a top ten result.
We caught up with Šikyňa to discuss his season so far and plans for the future.
Gatedrop: Richard, you had a good GP in Bulgaria, just missing out on a top ten finish in the first moto! Can you talk me through both of your moto’s?
Richard Šikyňa: Yes, Bulgaria was a really good weekend for me. I had a good qualifying race where I finished 13th, so it was a good place for a gate pick for the main races. First moto was great with a good start and also I had a good speed, at the end of the race I fought for 10th place but made a mistake and finished 11th, I was happy with my riding. Second moto was as good as the first one, I had a good start but I couldn’t find my rhythm on a watered, slippery track and with a few laps to go I had a technical problem so I didn’t finish the race. Anyway, I’m happy with the weekend.
Gatedrop: You’ve showed a lot of improvement this year so you must be happy with how your season is going?
Richard Šikyňa: Yes, at the start of the season I didn’t feel perfect on my bike, but race after race it was better and better and now I feel really good, but still I’m not where I want to be. It needs more time and I have another winter preparation ahead of me to prepare for next season as good as I can with my team.
Gatedrop: What would you say is the biggest challenge racing the MX2 World Championship?
Richard Šikyňa: For me the biggest challenge is to racing with the fastest guys in the world, every race with them I gain more valuable experiences that will move me forward as a rider. Until now I’ve raced every European round of the MX2 World Championship so it’s great that we have the same goal with the team and I can improve during whole year.
Gatedrop: You’re from Slovakia, what’s the level of the sport like there, is it improving?
Richard Šikyňa: Motocross in Slovakia isn’t very popular, there were some good riders before but now it’s not good. We have so few riders in our country, that we didn’t have a team for the MxON.
Gatedrop: What’s the level in the MX2 World Championship like this year compared to 2017?
Richard Šikyňa: I raced a few races in 2017, but I think this year MX2 is stronger. There came a few riders from the European championship and I think the level of the world championship will be stronger every year. You can see a lot of good young riders in EMX250 and EMX125 which in a few years probably will race the MX2 world championship.
Gatedrop: Have you set yourself any goals between now and the end of the season and if so, what?
Richard Šikyňa: I don’t have any goals. I just want to be healthy and enjoy every race until the end of the season. When I will be healthy, I believe the results will come.
Gatedrop: You are pretty good in hard pack but do you think you need to improve in the sand?
Richard Šikyňa: Yes, in my country every track is a hard pack, we don’t have any sand track in my country. So, we have to go train to in Belgium. I need to improve in the sand and we will be working on that in the winter and spend a lot of hours there.
Gatedrop: You’re with the JD GUNNEX KTM Racing Team, have you also a deal with them for 2019? I’m guessing you’d like to stay with the team and race the MX2 World Championship again!
Richard Šikyňa: Yes, I want to stay with my team also for next season. They are helping me a lot the last few years and I’m so thankful for that. Next year we want to race the whole MX2 world championship also the overseas races so we’ll see if everything turns out the way we want.
Gatedrop: With another hard winter behind you what are you expecting from the 2019 season? Do you think some top ten results could be possible?
Richard Šikyňa: Main goal for me is to stay healthy all season because the last three or four winters I got injured. I believe I can ride with these guys in top 10, but I need to make a good winter preparation and be ready as much as it’s possible.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Richard Šikyňa: I want to thank first, my family, without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Further I want to thank to my old team Mx Slovakia who is still helping me a lot, to my trainer, my team JD GUNNEX KTM racing team and also to my girlfriend and all the sponsors. THANK YOU!
Interview: Andy McKinstry