Ben Watson offers his thoughts on the new 2020 calendar and his start to the season
Lisa Leyland and Paul Malin caught up with Factory Yamaha MX2 rider, Ben Watson to discuss the new 2020 calendar and the start of his season. The young Brit picked up an injury which hindered him at the opening two rounds but will be good to go for the restart.
Thoughts on the new 2020 calendar and the sand GP’s..
Definitely, it looks good. Obviously we’ve been away from the racing so long now that any kind of race or just to get back on the start line is going to be a big relief. I think everyone is just so excited to get on a plane and go somewhere again to actually do something. It’s going to be different but I think everyone is excited to get back to the races. I love the sand so that’s definitely a benefit for me, I think some riders see that many sand races on the calendar and think it’s going to be tough but that gives me an extra boost. In Latvia the base is a lot harder underneath, the bumps are smaller but a lot more choppy. If you go to Lommel it’s a lot more soft the whole way through kind of sand, the bumps tend to get a lot bigger and more wavy. It takes a completely different riding style to be fair and even with the bike set up. You’ll still run the sand tyre which is a completely different pattern to on a hard pack track but there’s quite a lot of differences on how the track rides and how the bike needs to be setup.
Thoughts on the one day format..
I can get used to a track quite quickly but the problem with Matterley, I needed those warm up sessions because I missed so much time off the bike before the race. Now it’s going to be the same for everyone to have one timed qualifying session before the race. It’s just a matter of getting out there, getting the laps in, get a good feeling as soon as possible then go for it.
On racing before Latvia..
The plan is to race Faenza (Italian Championship taking place this weekend) to have a look at the track there and get back into the groove of things and just enjoy myself. I think I’ll do one of the Dutch races, maybe at Arnhem or Axel. I’ll do at least two races to get back into and try to improve before Latvia.
On his start of the season at Matterley Basin..
At the pre season races I had a really good feeling and everything went good. I had a good race at Sardinia but unfortunately Tuesday after, I went back to the track that we raced, I had a problem on a corner and landed on my hand, I kind of went back to 2019 at Indonesia and needed a few weeks off the bike again. I could only do two days on the bike before Matterley, I didn’t have enough time on the bike and I was in quite a lot of pain during the race and the feeling just wasn’t there. It just wasn’t the weekend for me and even going into Valkenswaard, I was still missing the bike time compared to some of the guys. I mean I improved a lot, I had two days riding then we went to Valkenswaard and we improved a step. It’s still not where I want to be though.
On round two at Valkenswaard..
On Saturday I had quite a good feeling on the bike actually but I was struggling with the intensity. I managed to put some good sections together but I still wasn’t anything spectacular let’s say. On Sunday I took two consistent starts and just had two solid rides were I didn’t make any mistakes. I just kept plugging away and came away with a fifth and a fourth. Baring in mind everything that had gone on before and still having a niggling feeling in my hand, it was a positive weekend and something I could build on.
You can watch the full studio show below – it’s well worth a watch with the likeable Brit.
Main pic: Shot by Bavo