Interview: Camden Mc Lellan – MX2 GP aspirations
Currently in sixth place in the EMX250 championship, Camden Mc Lellan has shown good raw speed this year. His speed is there but starts and crashes kept him away from the podium.
We met up with the young South African after the second race at Maggiora to discuss his season so far.
Gatedrop: So Camden, in the first race here at Maggiora, you’ve got 14th place, tell me a bit about your race?
Mc Lellan: It was definitely not the best. I had a bad start, the fist couple of laps before I crashed I went from way back to eight. I made good moves, felt good. I tipped over and hurt my leg a bit. After that I had a bit of a dead leg so I was struggling to find a good rhythm. I couldn’t really ride well, so I brought it home in 14th. It wasn’t the best, definitely not ideal for the championship.
Gatedrop: But today it was a completely different story, just the track alone, it was super muddy. You didn’t have a great start, you fought your way back, are you content with the second race?
Mc Lellan: Content, with my riding. Result, not to bad, obviously better than yesterday so I’ll take it. I believe I can be much better, when I figure out my starts and start up front. I have the speed to win, especially on tracks like this, I have the fitness. I just need to figure out my starts. Like you said, it wasn’t the greatest start but avoided all the mess on the first lap. Again, just like in the first race, I had good opening laps. Had a small crash, in the same corner as yesterday, due to visibility issues. I took the goggles off and I could see much better. After that the riding became much better. Caught up to fourth at the end of the moto, but just couldn’t make the pass for 3rd at the end.
Gatedrop: You could have ruined Braceras’ weekend though…
Mc Lellan: Oh, yeah, I could have made him very mad [laughs]
Gatedrop: Track wise, would you say the track suits your riding style?
Mc Lellan: Growing up in South Africa, due to the heat, they would always overwater the tracks in the morning. I grew up riding mud often at the races. Mud is second nature to me, my technique is good, line choice is good, I adapt to the track quickly, so I think it favours me.
Yesterday as well, most tracks in South Africa are hardpack, so that’s what I’m used to. On tracks like this, when I get my starts sorted, I think I’ll be upfront.
Gatedrop: I am completely unaware of the type of tracks that are in South Africa, would you say they’re hilly?
Mc Lellan: No absolutely not. When I first came to Europe, the hills were foreign for me. The ruts and the hardpack tracks not, as there are many hardpack tracks in South Africa, the majority is Hardpack. There is like one sandtrack and it is nothing like the sandtracks over here.
The hardpack feels very natural to me, the hills not so much, but I feel I’ve adapted to it well.
Gatedrop: And next week, in the deep sand?
Mc Lellan: I feel confident. I’ve lived in Belgium now for two years an before that two years in Germany. Riding the sand has become second nature to me. Most of my training is done on sand tracks. That’s mostly because of where I live. I would say I am a all-round rider, so I’m looking forward to next week.
Gatedrop: It might be early to talk about next year, but do you have plans for next year?
Mc Lellan: I have no plans, I have goals. I want to be in MX2 next year. I believe I have the speed and work ethic. That’s where I want to be and we’ll see what offers come in. I think when I get the results, I am still young, teams are looking for that. When the results come I think offers for the mx2 will come. Of course the results need to improve, which is easier said than done.
Gatedrop: Last question, but also the most important one. Because we’re in Italy, pizza or pasta?
Mc Lellan: Ooh, that’s a tough one. If I could, pizza for sure, all day. But I am not saying I don’t enjoy pasta. I love pasta, I love pizza even more. Pasta, for my riding, it’s racing fuel. Go fasta, eat pasta. That’s how the saying goes. I have to say pasta, but if I could, pizza all day every day.
Interview: Marco Kamper
Pic: Niek Kamper