Interview: Caleb Grothues

The MXGP paddock will welcome plenty of new faces in the paddock during the 2017 season and one of them is talented Aussie, Caleb Grothues. It has recently been announced that he has signed a two year deal with the Diga-Process Husqvarna outfit to compete in the highly competitive EMX250 series.

Aussie will join a host of Aussie’s in the MXGP paddock and will compete in the same series as Jed Beaton. Caleb is very talented but hasn’t had a lot of luck when injuries are concerned but hopefully he can stay injury free in his first year in the EMX250 class and learn lots in what will be a rookie year.

We decided to catch up with Caleb before he sets off for Germany where he will be based for the season ahead.

Gatedrop: Caleb, it’s official that you will ride in the EMX250 series in 2017 with Diga-Process Husqvarna, how did the deal all come about?

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Caleb Grothues: It literally started only a few short weeks ago. We were at the dinner table when I mentioned to mum and dad that I had received a message from a guy in Germany. I read them the messages and the next day dad called and the rest is history. They are an awesome team and I am looking forward to sharing my journey with them.

Gatedrop: In 2016 you rode in the 125 class in Australia, can you talk me through your season and where you happy with it?

Caleb Grothues: I was happy overall with last years riding. I can honestly say that sustaining my injury and the uncertainty of whether the surgery was going to be a success was the worst time of my life. Then to be told I wouldn’t race again made me dig deep and really think hard about my career moving forward. For those that know me would agree that I always take a negative and turn it into a positive and giving up was not an option but rather what I was needed to do to get back on top. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy so I set out my goals which I achieved with my families support.

Gatedrop: You will be making the jump up from the 125 to the 250 machine, have you rode a 250 before and how do you think you will find the transition?

Caleb Grothues: Last year I focused mainly on the 125 however I raced the 250 and had some good results.

Gatedrop: Can you tell me when you will be making the move over to Europe and where you will be based for the season?

Caleb Grothues: I leave on Friday the 20th of January (tomorrow) so there is a strong possibility that I will be on my way when you guys are reading this. I will be based in Koln, Germany with my team.

Gatedrop: Moving away from Australia at such a young age can be daunting, is it something you’re worried about and how do you think you will adapt?

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Caleb Grothues: I have been away from home for many months at a time since the age of 12. Dad and I spent quite a lot of time in the USA and I have been lucky to have lived with my family as well as the time we have spent in Europe. All I can say is thank goodness for Facetime.

Gatedrop: You were going to compete in the EMX125 class in 2015 but unfortunately got injured at the first round – did you think your European dream was over then and are you surprised to be back in the GP paddock?

Caleb Grothues: I never lost focus on my dream.  It was a major set back and I knew it was going to be really tough but I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from pursuing my goal and what I had set out to achieve.

Gatedrop: You also have experience racing the JWC, how did those events go for you?

Caleb Grothues: Being given the opportunity to represent Australia in the World Championship and have the support from KTM Australia was an experience of a lifetime. To become a World Champion in 2012 and place second in 2014 are races I will never forget. With so many countries taking part I have been lucky to have seen some of the most amazing countries and have met so many fantastic people along the way.

Gatedrop: You have some experience racing with some of the EMX250 riders you will compete against next year – who do you see as being a main contender for the title?

Caleb Grothues: I’ve mainly only competed with riders in the World 125 championship so I’m not familiar with all the riders in the 250 class. I believe that anyone that lines up on the gate has the same opportunity.

Gatedrop: What’s your thoughts on the EMX calendar, what tracks are you looking forward to the most?

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Caleb Grothues: This years calendar looks awesome and I am excited to race in so many different countries. They say that Lommel in Belgium is one of the deepest sand tracks in the world so this is a track I am looking forward to racing on.

Gatedrop: What are your goals for the 2017 season?

Caleb Grothues: My goal is to focus on my training, fitness and stay healthy. I want to finish the season strong and go into 2018 a more knowledgeable rider.

Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Caleb Grothues: Diga-Procross for giving me this amazing opportunity to be part of their team. My Mum and dad and family for always believing in me, I wouldn’t be where I am today with out their support. Also, thanks to M2R Helmets, Scott Goggles, Berry Sweet, Neil, Larry and everyone that has been part of my journey.