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Interview: Ivano van Erp on starting his season with an EMX250 podium despite a tough off-season

Interview: Ivano van Erp on starting his season with an EMX250 podium despite a tough off-season

After getting an injury at Arnhem last year and a few knocks throughout the off-season, it hasn’t been the ideal preparation for Ivano van Erp. Despite not being 100% fit for round one, van Erp had a strong weekend and got himself on the box.

We caught up with the likeable Dutch rider to discuss his weekend which you can listen/watch or read below:

GateDrop: Just before we talk about this weekend, obviously you got a very big injury in Arnhem last year. Just how did that affect your winter and have you had much bike time coming into this season?

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Van Erp: I have had quite a hard time, I still had some pain in the beginning and also with running in the beginning, it was quite hard so to train in the beginning was quite hard. But now, I don’t have pain anymore so I can do all the stuff. I can do training so I put in all the hours on the bike and physically, so this is good. Now I feel comfortable on the bike, I feel myself and a bit more comfortable. I am still not 100% so this we need to still work on. We can keep building from here and let’s see what we can do in Arco and the rest of the season.

GateDrop: Coming into the season just how much bike time did you have coming into the season – obviously it wasn’t a full off season?

Van Erp: I started, I think at the end of December and then at one training, I think the third training after I crashed and did something with the shoulder so this cost me again 14 days. Okay… and then I go to Spain for one training which went quite well, but I still was not feeling good so this was a bit frustrating for myself. But then the running was getting better and better so in the end I started feeling good and we did the first preseason race of the year, I did one good moto and also one not so good moto.  We learned from this and then in the week after I had one crash with the photo shoot and I injured a bit my knee. This then meant I was off the bike for 10 days so it was quite a tough off-season. It was not going pretty well, but yeah to start a season like this with the off-season I have is not so bad. Let’s keep rolling from here.

GateDrop: Obviously just on this weekend, the track was very different both days but you were able to get good starts and run at the front all weekend. You must be happy to get to end the first one with a podium considering the difficult off-season…

Van Erp: The starts were one of my best points of the weekend so this is really nice. I started two times at the front. It’s more easy also to get in a good rhythm and this is good but I had a little tip over which cost me, I think the win. The race was good, I was feeling good so yeah let’s see and what we can do and just train hard.

Image: Full Spectrum Media

GateDrop: What were your expectations coming into the first round this weekend. Obviously after everything you just told me about the off-season so that must be very good for the confidence to stand up with the podium?

Van Erp: Coming into the weekend I was quite happy with the top five, let’s say. That was quite good and I want to take some good points home so this I was able to do. I take a podium so this is even more nice. We did good for the championship, I don’t need to focus too much on the championship, but just ride right. I am going to be to find myself and improve to then being at 100% to show my potential.

GateDrop: You are with the same brand with Yamaha but it is a French team with VRT. What has that been like with the new team? 

Van Erp: It’s almost the same team as Hutten Metaal, just this team is located in France and I train a lot in France to improve my hard pack. So this is good for me, I know it’s one of the points I need to work on, this is also good for me to go there and have the hard pack training.  The people are really nice, my mechanic is really nice, the trainer is good so yeah let’s just build from here.

GateDrop: You obviously had Karlis as a teammate before but you’ve also now got Janis as a team mate. Do you do much riding with them and what’s it like spending a lot of time with them?

Van Erp: The last two weeks I spent with them but the weeks before I was there alone. The boys were in Latvia so sometimes we train together and we can learn from each other. It’s good to have these guys as teammates so we can learn from each other and also from the trainer so this is really nice to have these guys as teammates. They have a good speed so I can learn from them and they can learn from me and so we can put each other more to the top.

GateDrop:  You are looking good in hard pack now so you must be looking forward to sand in the future if you’re this good in hard pack, you should be even better in the sand…

Van Erp: Normally, the sand is my speciality so I’m not too much focused on the sand for now because the first sand race will be in Latvia. I am going to need to improve still on the hard pack and just work on my physical stuff. I will be back soon to 100%.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Images: Full Spectrum Media