Interview: Ben Almagor – Isreali racing in Europe

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Ben Almagor may come from Israel but he hasn’t been scared to come to Europe to race with some of the best young talent in the world. Unfortunately, this season started with an injury but he made his return in France and was able to qualify finishing 26-23 in the moto’s despite being fully fit. A crash also cost him points in the second moto as he was battling to push into the top fifteen before a crash dropped him back to twenty-third.

This weekend, Almagor heads to Maggiora for another round of the EMX125 series with the support from, Grizzly Racing Service, KTM Israel, Official WP Suspension, Fox racing-Israel, Motoline, HGS and VHM.

We caught up with Almagor to get his thoughts ahead of another EMX125 race under his belt this weekend.

GateDrop: Ben, you got injured at the start of the season I believe before coming back in the EMX125 series in France. Can you tell us about the injury, it must have been frustrating?

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Almagor:  Yes, I got injured before the start of the season, I broke my thumb then I did a surgery and took rest for 2 months.

GateDrop: Since coming back, tell me about your season, racing the EMX125 series in France, some Dutch Nationals and racing at home too?

Almagor: I didn’t start the Israeli season because of my injury, and also because I spent time in Europe
for my winter training in Spain with John van den Berk and then some pre season races. I finished the last season in Israel first and I won the championship overall in MX2/MX1 combined.  I am now six times Israeli champion – 2 x 65 cc, 3 x 85cc and 1x MX2/MX1.

I did some races before the EMX125 round in France. I had 2 weeks of training before the EMX. I did the Dutch masters in Markelo but I wasn’t fit enough to get the results I want.

GateDrop: How do you find racing the EMX125 championship – the level is high with some of the best young talents in the world (not only Europe) but it’ll help develop you as a rider…

Almagor:  The level is really high right now but I know that I can be there with the top guys. I have learned a lot during the time I spend in the Holland with Grizzly Racing.

GateDrop: You are in for Maggiora this weekend, what’s your expectations for this weekend?

Almagor:  I’m really looking forward to this weekend. My goal is to be inside the top 10 and get some points. The last time I was there it was 2016 when I was 8 years old and I was there for watch the MXoN. I know it’s one of the legend tracks in the world.

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GateDrop: What are your plans for the rest of the series – selected EMX125 events, if only some, what one?

Almagor:  My plans for the season is to do Arnhem and Frauenfeld in the EMX125 class. I will also race Lommel in the EMX250 class.

GateDrop: The Junior World Championship takes place in Heerde, Netherlands next months. Are you planning to line up there? Always a big event and if you’ll race you must be excited for that one…

Almagor:  I will line up for the Junior World Championship as part of the Israeli team. Really excited for that one also to race at the Netherlands for my Dutch team (Grizzly Racing Service).

GateDrop: You spend a lot of time in the Netherlands, how do you find it there? Pretty different to Israel I imagine!

Almagor:  I spend a lot of time in The Netherlands with the Grizzly team. Our plans are going good also at home I try to do the same so I stay fit.

GateDrop: It is sad what is going on in Israel, what is that like? Pretty scary I guess…. 

Almagor:  For the sad situation in Israel… yes we have difficult days, but I hope for a quick recovery to normal and hope that all the kidnapped people will return home soon.