Interview: Emil Weckman on his impressive start to the season!

There’s been two rounds of the EMX125 Championship and Emil Weckman has had a great start to the season sitting second in the championship. Valkenswaard and Arco di Trento are two completely different tracks but Weckman showed good speed at both rounds and even won a moto in Italy.

The Finn is impressing so much that the Junior Diga KTM team have already announced that Weckman will stay with the team until the end of the 2021 season and will compete in the EMX250 Championship next year. It’s unusual for announcements like that to be made so early in the season but it shows how well Weckman has been riding.

We sat down with the Finn to discuss his impressive start to the season.

Gatedrop: Emil, we have had two rounds of the EMX125 series. First of all, can you just talk me through round one at Valkenswaard?

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Emil Weckman: Round one at Valkenswaard was a good start for the season. I finished 2nd and 8th in my motos, which meant I was equal on points with Mario Lucas. Due to me finishing worse in the second moto I didn’t get on the podium. My goals were to get to top-3 so I came very close with that! My start in the second moto wasn’t very good so I will most definitely practise on starts and hope to get good starts in future competitions.

The weather was cold and the track was snowy but I didn’t mind it since I am used to it from riding in the cold at home in Finland. I think the speed of my riding was really good and the bike was working well as well as my fitness. Now I am looking forward for the next round in Kegums.

Gatedrop: At round two you won your first EMX125 moto, you must be pleased with how that went and can you describe the feeling of winning a moto?

Emil Weckman: Yes, I am very happy with how the second round in Arco went. It felt really nice to finally win a race after last seasons results. It was also a confirmation that my training during the winter preparation is paying off.

Gatedrop: It’s just been announced you’ve extended your DIGA KTM deal and you’ll be racing EMX250. It must be great to get 2019 sorted so must be pleased and excited for a new challenge next year?

Emil Weckman: Yes, it is always nice to have next season planned so early. It lets me focus on my riding and training without worrying for next season. I am looking forward to race in EMX250 and I am sure it will be challenging, but a new challenge is always refreshing.

Gatedrop: Before the start of the season what were your expectations and have those now changed seeing your speed?

Emil Weckman: Before the start of the season my expectations where to get in the top 5 as well as to get as many points as I can from every round. I wouldn’t say that they have changed now seeing my speed I just hope to be in top 5.

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Gatedrop: This time last year you were with the JTech Suzuki team and results weren’t great. How was your time with that team and do you think you need a KTM to be right at the front in the EMX125 class?

Emil Weckman: My time with JTech was both good and hard. Hard because I was only 15 when I left to Italy so I would say I wasn’t ready for the big change, but my stay was also good. I got friends there and got quite close with the team members. I don’t think that the colour of the bike really matters, because in the long run it is the hard work from a very good off-season that pays off in the moto’s.

Gatedrop: You obviously signed with the DIGA Junior Team, when the JTech Suzuki team decided to stop where you worried about landing another ride and did it take long to get everything sorted with the DIGA Junior KTM team? You must be happy they decided to sign you!

Emil Weckman: Of course I was a little worried to not find another team when JTech stopped but fortunately I had contacts who helped me. I think I was at home for a week and then I left to Belgium, so no it didn’t take that long of a time. Yeah, I am very happy and grateful that Diga decided to sign me.

Gatedrop: How did your winter preparation go and is there anything you’ve worked on specifically?

Emil Weckman: Me and the team decided that I should work specifically on my physical shape during my winter preparation to build up my strength and endurance. My preparation went well and as I have mentioned before I think it is paying off in the moto’s, which I am happy about.

Gatedrop: Valkenswaard and Trentino are completely different tracks, you must be happy with your speed in both sand and hard pack terrain?

Emil Weckman: Yes, I am glad with my speed in both sand and hard pack! I am usually better at sand tracks so to make the podium in Trentino is definitely a big step in the right direction.

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Gatedrop: Miro Sihvonen is your team mate, is it nice to have someone else from Finland underneath the awning and has he been able to help you in anyway? If so, how?

Emil Weckman: It is very nice to have Miro as a team mate. It’s nice to have someone to train with and of course to have someone you can speak your native language with. During winter preparations he helped me with my meal plans and his riding gives me inspiration for my next season in EMX250!

Gatedrop: It looks like a win might just be around the corner for you. Out of all the tracks left which one are you looking forward to the most and perhaps the best chance you have of winning at?

Emil Weckman: I would say that I am probably looking most forward to the race in Lommel because last season that was the track where I had my best finish at. I also think that Lommel might be the track where I could get an overall.

Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Emil Weckman: I would like to thank my family, team and sponsors.

Pic: Eric Laurijssen