Interview: Cas Valk – the goal is to be EMX125 champion

The EMX125 series produced some absolutely unbelievable racing at the end of the weekend and it was Fantic’s new signing, Cas Valk who stood on the top step of the box to win his first EMX125 overall. The Dutch talent came into the season as one of the title favourites and didn’t disappoint going 2-1 to take the overall

Valk will hope to stand on the top step of the podium many more times this year but the bigger picture will be to remain consistent as he wants to win the title – it won’t be easy but he couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.

We caught up with Valk to discuss the opening round and more.

GateDrop: That’s the opening round of the EMX125 series done and dusted and it couldn’t have gone much better for you. How does it feel to take the in? It’s your first time winning at this level so it must feel amazing!

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Valk: Yes, it was an incredible weekend. The starts weren’t the best, but the riding was really good. I had good focus but only in the second race I made a couple of mistakes which nearly cost me the win but in the last lap I responded to take back the lead. I really enjoyed the track; it was really nice and really rough but I enjoyed it so I’m really happy about the weekend. I’m really looking forward to the next race now.

GateDrop: Just on the first half of the second moto, it looked like you were kind of stuck behind your teammate and Reišulis while Van Erp looked to be getting away at the front, was that frustrating as you did look to be faster?

Valk: Yeah, they were all fast, but I just couldn’t make a move stick, so I spent a some laps behind them. In the end I was able to make the pass and Van Erp crashed so I could take the win. I am really happy that I could make the pass and really happy about the weekend.

GateDrop: The last couple of laps and especially when you were leading. How did you feel, any nervous? You did make a mistake at the first corner with two laps to go! I would say it’s probably the first time you were in this situation…

Valk: I was not really nervous but the track, it was so easy to make a mistake and yeah, I made a little mistake. I went a little bit too fast into the corner and then missed the rut, I almost crashed but luckily I managed to save it. It was a scary moment (laughs) but it turned out okay.

Pic: Infront Moto Racing

GateDrop: Coming into the season, you signed with Fantic, they are a fantastic team and I feel it’s a big opportunity for you…

Valk: For sure, it’s one of the best teams in the EMX125 class and for sure it is very nice to ride for them. It’s a really great team with really nice people and the working we do is so good. I enjoy it in Italy so it is going really good.

GateDrop: Just on the off-season, have you moved to Italy or do you just spend a lot of time there with the team? How was all that for you? It’s probably the first time you’ve spent an off-season outside the Netherlands…

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Valk: For the most part, during the off-season I lived in Italy because you can prepare yourself much better for the EMX races there and the tracks are much nicer than they would be in the Netherlands during the winter. It was really good and after this weekend I will fly back again to Italy so I can prepare for the next race.

Pic: Infront Moto Racing

GateDrop: How has it been working with Marco Maddii and his father? I feel like every youth rider they sign so having them behind you must give you a lot of confidence?

Valk: For sure. They do a really good job, and they explain really well what to do. It’s really nice to have such good people around me and it’s helped me a lot.

GateDrop: Coming into the season, I wouldn’t say you were the outright favourite but you were one of the favourites – how did that feel as it’s probably the first time in your career you’ve come into the season as one of the main guys?

Valk: I am just going into the races to have fun, ride like I can and that’s the most important thing I think to do. When you do this, the results will then come.

GateDrop: Ultimately, what is the goal for the 2022 EMX125 season?

Valk: Champion (laughs).

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Main pic: Scott Dunne