Interview: Glenn Coldenhoff on 2020 MXGP and working with Ryan Hughes

This time last year, Glenn Coldenhoff had a serious injury which meant we didn’t see the real Glenn Coldenhoff during the first half the of MXGP World Championship. However, as soon as the Dutch talent got fully fit he showed just how good he was. The Standing Contruct rider climbed all the way to third in the championship after an amazing end to the season.

Heading into the 2020 season, Coldenhoff will be fully fit for round one of the series and shouldn’t be far away from the front if he rides like how he ended last season.

The Dutch rider has spent some time with Ryan Hughes as he’s always looking for ways to improve during his career – there’s no doubt he’s a hard worker.

We caught up with Coldenhoff after Hawkstone International to discuss a range of topics.

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Gatedrop: Glenn, you haven’t raced since Assen, it was pretty muddy and now here at Hawkstone was even worse, I’m sure you were loving it out there (laughs)

Coldenhoff: It’s a real shame. When I was here yesterday (Saturday), we had good weather, the track was looking good and the first practice was good as well. It started raining and yeah, it was full of water then. I usually love to do three moto’s on the day because it’s good practice and it’s my only pre-season race. It’s a bit of a shame but in the end I think the second moto went well, there was one part of the track that was very wet. Other than that, it wasn’t really racing but I still got a race under my belt. It was alright.

Gatedrop: Like you said, only the one pre-season race, what’s the reason for that? I thought you’d maybe head to France this weekend.. With it being your first race here at Hawkstone, did you get any arm pump?

Coldenhoff: I had a little bit of arm pump this morning. When it comes to pre season, I’d usually do Riola but I got a small little injury before it so decided not to do it. I’ve done some really good practice, I’ve done many many races in my career so I feel like one is enough. I decided with this race because I like racing here, I like the place, the English people, I still think it was a good day.

Gatedrop: You didn’t race Riola but I noticed you were there last week putting in the laps, how was that? It’s a rough track so prep wise it must have been good and what’s the speed like?

Coldenhoff: My speed was not so bad at Riola. I really enjoyed it, I have to say even in Holland during the year or winter time, the tracks are pretty flat at the moment. Even in the summer time we can’t really find heavy tracks but Riola is definitely a heavy track. I really enjoy riding there, it’s very physical and really good training.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Gatedrop: This time last year, you had a pretty serious injury but this year you’ll be going into the season 100%, what’s your mindset like going into the MXGP World Championship?

Coldenhoff: You know, I’ve definitely gained some confidence after those nice races (at the end of last season). I’ve got more experience riding up front and that definitely will help me out this coming season. I am just focusing on myself, I am trying to do everything right and working on the details. I’ve changed a few little things, I am looking forward to the season. So far, I’ve had a good winter and I think MXGP racing is a big mental thing. I’ve felt like I can make a step mentally this winter, I am looking forward.

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Gatedrop: You’ve been working with Ryan Hughes a little bit, what was that like and what sort of tips did he give you?

Coldenhoff: I was thinking last winter, what I should change or what I should do to get better to improve myself. I changed a few things and letting Ryno come over was one of them. I’ve been thinking about that already for many years because I’m following him on Instagram and he says wise things. He wasn’t always the big big champion but he was definitely a fighter. He was riding good of course but his coaching, what he is doing, I was pretty surprised. Being on the level I am at the moment in MXGP, it will be all the details, he was one week with me in Spain and he cut everything down to see where I could gain. I definitely learnt a lot from him, I was happy he came over.

Gatedrop: Is there any chance he’ll be working with you full time? He did mention it was a possibility on his Instagram..

Coldenhoff: It’s still to be decided at the moment.

Gatedrop: You mention every detail is important with the level in MXGP, just how much of a difference can 0.2 or 0.3 or a second make in MXGP?

Coldenhoff: I think if you want to be at the top with the top guys, everything needs to fall into place. My technique is usually pretty good but we’ve made it a little sharper and improved on my technique as well. It’s all little things and Ryan showed me some things, I learnt from him.

Gatedrop: What would you say your expectations are heading into the MXGP World Championship this year?

Coldenhoff: I think the expectations are similar to last year. I’m working my ass off every single day and it’s not for a tenth place, you know? I want to be in the top five many many times, hopefully a lot of podiums and to be consistent.  We saw last year I missed the complete first half of the season, if you look where I ended up it shows it’s a long long season. I would like to be up there at the front all the time.

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Gatedrop: Any word on when you’ll race the Gas Gas for the first time and are you expecting that many changes from the KTM?

Coldenhoff: It’s going to be similar, it’s a KTM platform bike, let’s say. It will definitely have a different look, they are planning to do an announcement on the Friday before Matterley Basin so until then you won’t see any red Gas Gas yet (laughs).

Gatedrop: But you will ride it before Matterley Basin, right?

Coldenhoff: I probably will but at a place that’s rented, nobody else will see it (laughs).

Gatedrop: We will see you there then! (laughs).

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pics: Nigel McKinstry