One of the EMX250 title contenders, Stephen Rubini had a good start to the season at Matterley Basin.
Despite bad starts on his Assomotor Honda he was able to come through the pack during both moto’s to earn a well earned second overall.
Despite a good first round of the series, Rubini wants more because he’s dropped down from MX2 to do one thing and that’s to win the title.
We caught up with Rubini after his impressive performance at Matterley Basin.
Gatedrop: Stephen, we’ve just had the first round of the EMX250 series here at Matterley Basin. You must be happy with your second overall?
Stephen Rubini: Actually not so much because I want to win but second overall is okay for the first round. I’m going to work now to be better and to be on top of the podium. For the first one it was okay, actually I have to work on my starts. Physically I was okay and the bike worked really good so I’m happy about that.
Gatedrop: You must be happy with the last ten minutes in the second moto. You had a big gap to the two guys in front of you but you were able to close them down even without making the pass. It shows the speed was good?
Stephen Rubini: Yeah, after fifteen minutes I found my lines and I was getting faster. I closed down the gap so I am pretty happy about my last ten minutes in both moto’s. Now I have to work for the first fifteen minutes to be directly fast at the start of the race and to be in front.
Gatedrop: How did you find the track here at Matterley Basin? A lot of riders are saying it was slipper than usual and not much grip out there?
Stephen Rubini: Yeah, it was slippery out there. The bottom of the ground was pretty hard but when there’s lines you always have grip. When there was no ruts though it was slippery, yeah.
Gatedrop: How would you say the track compared this year to the last time you rode it?
Stephen Rubini: On the 125cc in 2016, it was pretty good but we had some rain if I remember right and that’s why the track was good. This year it was also good – we had some good sun and no rain.
Gatedrop: Your hard pack riding is really good but have you done much sand riding? If you’re going to win the title that’s probably the one area you’d need to improve.
Stephen Rubini: Yeah, for sure. i went to Sardinia for one month with the team and with Brent van Doninck. We trained a lot in the sand and now after this GP, I will go to Belgium to train in more sand at Lommel. I’m going to work for that because for sure I want the championship and I know I have to be good at the sand tracks.
Gatedrop: You were close to being without a ride for the season but the RedMoto Assomotor team stepped in at the last minute to support you. How’s everything going with the team so far?
Stephen Rubini: I am really happy. It’s a really professional team so I have all that I want. The things I want are always for me, the bike works really good. I am really happy about that and they all work really good – they’re friendly and work for the rider.
Gatedrop: In 2020, Brent van Doninck will be too old for MX2 so there might be a step with the team in MX2. Is there a bit of rivalry going on with Pierre Goupillon as you are both possibly competing for the ride in MX2?
Stephen Rubini: The goal was to come back to the EMX250 to get the title. After that, my goal is to go back to the World Championship to do some good races. For now, I am fully focused on the European Championship. We will see at the end of the year if I will get a place in the World Championship.
Interview: Andy Mckinstry
Pic: Nigel McKinstry