Interview: Charli Cannon – WMX rookie

The WMX is very competitive this year with a number of young guns emerging, the future is looking bright! One of the new imports is Charli Cannon from Australia who actually made her debut at the final round of the series last year in Turkey.

After impressing, Cannon signed a deal with the Italian based team, JK Yamaha to contest the full series in 2023 and she’s had a good start to the season at fifth in the championship standings after two rounds.

We caught up with Cannon after the Swiss GP to see how things have been going for her.

GateDrop: Charli, overall it was a good long weekend for you in Switzerland. With a good start in the first moto you rode really well but in the second moto you probably just found out how important starts can be as it’s tough out there with a lot of good riders in the class this year but overall I feel you can be happy with your speed…

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Cannon: Yeah, overall I am quite happy with how my weekend went. It is definitely a step in the right direction. The first moto was a great one with a really good start and just held my position. In the second one, I was in the top five but I think I lacked my first few sprint laps, I wasn’t as aggressive and that really cost me a few positions. I know what to work on when I go back home and hopefully come back for the third round stronger.

GateDrop: You’ve raced Turkey at the end of last year which was your WMX debut and now you’ve raced Riola and Switzerland this year. From them three rounds alone how different things can be – they’re three very different tracks, something you maybe aren’t used too in Australia?

Cannon: Yeah, well I guess can be the same, they’re either hard pack or they’re sand. It’s just really a different layout but I can pick up and gel with the tracks pretty quickly. It hasn’t really been difficult for me but it is definitely cool to race different type of tracks.

GateDrop: What was your thoughts on the track here in Switzerland? Very old school like a track in the 80’s but actually it was good on Saturday, it’s just a shame they completely levelled it for WMX on Monday…

Cannon: It’s definitely a bit different but it was fun. I do prefer a rough track so after having a day off and coming back out to a flat track, it was pretty hard because everyone can ride fast on a flat track. Flattening the track made it a bit tricky.

GateDrop: I believe you have been racing in Australia so did you even get to Europe that soon before the first round and what was that like preparing for it?

Cannon: No, I flew into Europe the Thursday before the race at Riola so it was quite a short preparation before racing that one. I know for the next time to definitely come a bit earlier because I did suffer from jet lag quite a bit. I know what to do for the next round.

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GateDrop: What’s your plans now with the racing in Australia and when does that series finish? I am sure you’d like to fully focus on the World Championship as soon as you can…

Cannon: I fly back on Thursday (after the Swiss GP), then I will spend two weeks at home but the WMX championship in Australia is quite spread out over the whole year. I have big breaks in between each round so I’ll go home for two weeks and race with the boys before flying back to do Spain and France.

GateDrop: Just on the World Championship, what’s your thoughts on the level? This year I think it is quite high with Lotte, Guillen and yourself being added to the mix…

Cannon: Definitely, the level is very high this year. It is great to see a good bunch of really fast girls. It is cool to come over here and race we just need MXGP to support the girls a bit better.

GateDrop: You’ve seen Italy and Switzerland now already this year, is that something you are enjoying to travel the world whilst racing?

Cannon: Switzerland is very pretty. It is completely different to back home in Australia, on my day off yesterday we actually drove to Germany as well so I’ve really enjoyed travelling and seeing all the different cultures and scenery.

GateDrop: Expectations for the rest of the season, anything you’d like to achieve or are you going to take it race by race and just learn as it’s your rookie season?

Cannon: I want to just keep improving each race. My goal is to be on the podium or top five by the end of the season but I’ve got a lot of learning and improving to do. I will just keep focusing and chipping away.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Image: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing