As Valkenswaard is just around the corner, I want to tell you something about my off-season, my team and overall how my winter month’s went.
But at this point, a little flashback on my 2017 EMX 125 season during my rookie year.
After I broke my finger just two weeks before Valkenswaard, it was not clear if I could take part at the first race of the season. Thursday before the race, I tried to ride in Lommel. Although there was some pain, we decided to race in Valkenswaard and it was worth a try. In the end, we went back to Austria with two top 10 results and a smiling face. I collected some decent points in the next rounds and got my first top 5 finishes in the heat of Ottobiano (ITA) and Agueda (POR). There was a small down in the sand of Lommel, but I had my best results towards the end of the season. In Frauenfeld (SUI) I just missed my first podium by one point and also in Sweden there was some good speed. But don’t forget the Junior World Championship in Estonia, which took place during the summer time. With a 5th overall I got one of my best results of the year on an amazing track. The whole team was very happy and excited how 2017 went with that 5th place in the European Championship standings.
After the last race I had a talk with my team and we all thought it will be the right decision, to stay in the EMX 125 class for 2018 and to ride all national races on a 250, as a preparation for 2019.
The off-season was actually pretty exciting. The winter was really good, I had no injuries and made some good progress in riding and fitness. There was also my signing with Factory KTM and the start of the partnership with Red Bull Austria, which was a big confidence booster. Because of the new conditions, there were some changes to the team too. I will participate for KTM Junior Racing, which will be a one-rider-team in 2018. So we did some decent riding blocks in Belgium, Spain and Italy under the leadership of my riding coach and team manager Didi Lacher and we are definitely ready for the season. It’s definitely the goal to win a title on the 125cc too, after my perfect year in the 85cc class 2016.
Obviously, I have already had some pre-season races, before the EMX season starts next weekend. The first one was the Italian Championship in Mantova. I rode quite well in timed practice, but I wasn’t happy with the first moto, where I ended up fourth. I got the win in the second moto and all the pressure fell off my shoulders. I knew, I can do it this season. The second pre-season race at the Dutch Masters of MX in Markelo went even better. Got the pole-position, made two holeshots and went on to a (2-1) result, which gave me the overall win. It was really positive to know, I made good progress in my sand riding and I can finally get good starts, which was the biggest problem point last year and in Mantova too.
So now we prepare for Valkenswaard, where the showdown begins!
See you guys there this weekend!