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Interview: EMX125 winner Josiah Natzke

Interview: EMX125 winner Josiah Natzke
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Josiah Natzke took his first EMX125 win of his career in France and he did it in style with a brilliant double moto victory to vault himself into title contention with three rounds to go.

It was a big step for Natzke to have the New Zealand national anthem played on such a big stage and no doubt it wet the appetite for even more of those victorious moments in his burgeoning career.

It’s easy to overlook the impact of this win for Josiah and his family, but to come from New Zealand and to dominate on a stereotypical French hillside circuit like he did was very impressive and a big reward for the sacrifices he has made.

We caught up with Josiah to talk about his win, his chances of the championship and the chance of getting to race a NZ GP in the future!

Gatedrop: Congratulations, that was a very impressive overall win with a dominant 1-1,how does that feel just a few months after travelling from New Zealand to live in Belgium to take such a big step in making your dreams come true?

Natske: It was an awesome feeling for sure. I’ve come a long way and put a lot into this so to get that result definitely made it all worth it. I just need to keep the ball rolling and stay focused with two feet on the ground.

Gatedrop: A lot of people complained about the track, it was very French, rock hard and on a hill! How did you find it? It looked a pretty cool crowd to race in front of!

Natske: I actually quite liked it, for us when we were racing the track had ruts and was nice and tacky, I love tacky tracks so I was feeling it. Although the laps when I wasn’t in the lead I was feeling every piece of French rock and dirt on my arms and hands, haha!

Gatedrop: You just had to race three of your main rivals in their own countries, Prado in Spain, Mewse in England and Renaux in France. Yet you won six of the eight motos, that must feel pretty good and shows your mental strength.

Natske: Yea well I mean got beat twice by the home town rider and I didn’t want it happening a third time, I put myself in a good situation to do what I wanted to and I made it happen.

Gatedrop: When we spoke in Spain you mentioned you would be improving your qualifying, two rounds later you were right up at the sharp end! It didn’t take you long, had you been working especially hard on those qualifying laps in the last two or three weeks?

Natske: Yea I had been, each time I go training I have been working on it. And yea it definitely showed at Villars, I even surprised myself I didn’t think I would qualify first but I’m not complaining.

Gatedrop: You are only fifteen points behind Prado now in the championship,three rounds to go, although one is in Lommel. How confident are you can win this championship?

Natske: I definitely think it’s possible, and I am going to keep on doing everything I can do win this. But Lommel is going to make or break my championship hopes so that is my main focus starting this week. Prado is fast and he gets good starts so he’s always going to be there, but anything can happen so I’m just going to do my best every time I’m out there.

Gatedrop: Will you be practicing in the sand a lot now for the final two rounds?

Natske: Yea for sure, I’ve already started. 

Gatedrop: I’ve heard motocross is pretty popular in New Zealand, there have been rumours off and on of a round of the World Championship taking place there over the last few years, but with your success do you think it would now be realistic to have a GP there once you’re in MX2, and how big would that be for you and NZ to have a GP there?

Natske: I’ve heard that as well, but for little reasons I’m not sure it will happen. It would be awesome to see the championship go down my ways…. then it’ll be me that will have the whole crowd cheering me on, not my team mates, haha!

Gatedrop: As well as your talent you come across as very motivated and single minded, do you feel that is a big strength of yours and have you always had those qualities?

Natske: Yea that does sound like me a bit haha. I am very motivated and can just do things without being asked so that does help me a lot. But I try to be open minded as well, if I want to reach the top and I have guys like BT and Stefan then I have to listen to what they say and do it.

Gatedrop: What is the biggest thing you have learnt from Stefan Everts since you have been here?

Natske: There’s been so much it’s hard to put my finger on one thing. But one thing in my head at the moment is that it’s not over until the checkered flag.

Gatedrop: Will you go EMX2 next season or would you like to go straight to MX2 GPs? 

At the moment I’m not sure what I’m doing next year, just focusing on this year and trying to achieve my goals. 

Interview: Jonathan McCready

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