Last year Ruben Fernandez was a rookie in the EMX250 championship, he had some solid results and learnt a lot during his first year in the class. The young Spaniard finished eleventh in the series which is good for a rookie. However, with a strong winter behind him he would have been looking plenty more in 2017 and he hasn’t disappointed.
The Spaniard is a much better rider this year as he has showed some good speed but he still makes too many mistakes and that’s an area he still has to improve. He currently sits sixth in the championship but has three DNF’s to his name! If it wasn’t for those he would definitely be challenging for a top three spot in the championship.
Fernandez had a great weekend in Ottobiano as he rode with maturity, he ended up third overall and it was his first podium in the EMX250 series.
We decided to catch up with him to talk about his season so far and what he expects when he races the MX2 World Championship in 2018.
Gatedrop: Ruben, you finally got a podium! You must be happy with how your weekend went?
Ruben Fernandez: Yeah, I am really happy. I have been waiting for this moment for some time. In all the races I wanted to go for it but I have been making a lot of mistakes and a lot of crashes. This time I didn’t make any crashes this weekend and I could make it to the podium.
Gatedrop: How would you describe your season in the EMX250 series so far this season?
Ruben Fernandez: I have speed but I haven’t been in control of my riding and make mistakes. Now I am working on it and I hope it will improve.
Gatedrop: Like you say you’ve been crashing quite a lot, how are you going to try and stop that from happening in your riding?
Ruben Fernandez: Yeah, I have been training to stop the crashing. I have been training to be in control and be more calm in the races. I don’t have to do everything during the first laps, the race is long with it being twenty-five minutes and two laps so I can take it more easy. I don’t always have to be first on the first lap, I have to be more calm and wait for the right moment.
Gatedrop: You’re racing the F&H Kawasaki, is it tough competing against the factory bikes in the class?
Ruben Fernandez: I think the F&H bikes are really good. I don’t have any problem with it. I have nothing to say except that they are good bikes and I am happy with how it’s going with the team.
Gatedrop: How would you compare the EMX250 class this year compared to last year? Obviously a few guys have moved up!
Ruben Fernandez: I think that it’s always a really good level. Even when some of the riders go to the MX2 class, other riders in the class come strong and step up. I think the level is always really high. The proof is if you look at the EMX riders that moved up MX2 this year, they are all almost in the top ten. I think also that the riders from this year that move up next year can do something like that too. It’s a good level.
Gatedrop: This year it looks like the start is important, one moto you could be third but if you don’t get the start then you could be thirteenth. Would you agree that starts are more important than ever?
Ruben Fernandez: Yeah, they are really important. It makes the race way more easy. I’m not making such good starts this year which means I have to work a lot to get to the front. There are other riders that are always starting at the front so they are making it work.
Gatedrop: I believe that it’s in your contract that you will race the MX2 World Championship with the F&H Kawasaki team, you must be excited for that opportunity?
Ruben Fernandez: Yeah, now I still have a contract with the team and for the last year we have already been thinking that the plan is to go to MX2. For sure, we will see how it goes in the MX2 class next year.
Gatedrop: Have you got any expectations going into that class?
Ruben Fernandez: I don’t know. I would like to be in the top ten. Maybe not at the beginning of the year but we will work to get better.
Gatedrop: Will you be racing all the MX2 World Championship rounds of just the European rounds of the series?
Ruben Fernandez: Just the European rounds, I think.
Gatedrop: It must be an exciting time to be Spanish with the likes of Jorge Prado, Iker Larranaga, Jorge Zaragoza and Jose Butron? The team could be strong at the nations!
Ruben Fernandez: I think we have good riders. Now with Garcia Prado, he is doing a really good job. Jose Butron has been here for a long time and working for a long time here, he is doing a good job to stay at a good level for many years. Zaragoza had a bit of a bad leg and has had so many injuries but I think the level is really good. Iker Larranga is also doing very good, I think we have good riders coming from Spain.
Pic: Alex Piantanida