Interview: Jarne Bervoets on trying to follow in his Dad’s footsteps and his rookie EMX125 season

Images: Nigel McKinstry | Interview: Andy McKinstry

One rider in the GP paddock who is hoping to had a bright future is young Jarne Bervoets who is trying to follow in his Dad’s (Marnicq’s) footsteps in becoming a top Grand Prix rider in the future. Bervoets is with the MJC Yamaha team in what is his rookie season in the EMX125 class and he’s been solid as he sits tenth in the standings.

We caught up with Bervoets after Maggiora to get his thoughts on his rookie season and more which you can read, listen or watch below:

GateDrop: That’s EMX125 done here at Maggiora. Crazy, crazy weekend with the amount of rain. But overall, I feel like the track was okay given the circumstances. How did you find the track and can you just talk me through your moto, it was positive?

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Bervoets: Yeah, Saturday was quite good, only we had no moto, so it was okay. The track was muddy on Saturday, so it was better for me, but on Sunday it was still mud, but it was one lined, so hard and dry. But yeah, I managed to get P7, it was quite okay. The last two laps I had so much pain in my hand because the bike stuck in the siting laps and I crashed on a double, but for the rest it was quite okay, so I’m happy.

GateDrop: How are you feeling now with the hand?

Bervoets: Yeah, it’s okay, it’s not going to be a problem, onto the next one.

GateDrop: That’s good, good news. How difficult was it to ride that track? I mean, it looked brutal and you didn’t get the greatest to start, so I think you made a few passes, so that was positive?

Bervoets: Yeah, I had an okay start, but yeah, 20 meters before the first corner, there was like some deep mud and I went in there with Mancini and we almost crashed. But yeah, first two laps was okay, so I managed to get P6 quite early in the race, so that was okay.

GateDrop: You were following your teammate there, Dani Heitink, that looked like a pretty good battle…

Bervoets: Yeah, he passed me on last lap, but the lappers used the one line, and he managed to jump the double and I was behind some lappers. But yeah, it was my own fault, I need to go to outside and look a little bit to the track.

Image: Nigel McKinstry

GateDrop: It’s obviously your first season in the EMX125 class, a rookie. Overall, how do you feel you’re progressing?

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Bervoets: Yeah, first I wanted to qualify every race, but that was okay, because yesterday I got P1 in qualifying, so I think it’s going positively. I try to keep consistently always in the top 10, and just my riding needs to be good and consistent.

GateDrop: How do you find being in the GP paddock racing? Obviously, it’s a step up from what you’re used to. Are you enjoying being in the paddock with all these big stars?

Berveots: It’s really nice, because the tracks are also so nice. It’s way bigger, such big jumps, and then you see the GP riders compared to how fast they are, and so it’s nice.

GateDrop: How did you find making the jump from the 85cc to the EMX125? When you got on it straight away, did you feel good, or did you need a lot of winter to feel comfortable?

Bervoets: Yeah, in the winter I had a crash, I had something with my knee, so I was out for like two and a half months. Then I started, so it was heavy in the beginning, but now it’s okay, keep working on stuff, and it’s going to be good.

GateDrop: You’re with one of the best EMX125 teams. What’s it like being with the MJC Yamaha team? Bigger and professional than anything you’ve had before?

Bervoets: Yeah, it’s really nice, professional team. I think it’s one of the best teams you can have on the 125cc, so it’s really nice.

GateDrop: They’re based in France. Do you spend much time in France, or do you sort of do your own thing in Belgium, or is it a bit of both?

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Bervoets: Yeah, in the winter we went to France just to do some testing, but mostly I just train in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and in the north of France, but we never go to the team because it’s so far. They have a lot of tracks over there, but we also have enough tracks in France and all sorts.

GateDrop: Plans for the rest of the season? Anything you want to achieve before now and the end of the season? Probably a podium?

Berveots: Yeah, that’s the main goal. I want to get one podium or just good consistently top five, that would make me really happy, I think.

GateDrop: We’ve got the Junior World Championship coming up. I assume you’ll probably be racing there for Belgium. Is that something you’re looking forward to in the sand and in the Netherlands?

Bervoets: Yeah, that’s one of my favourite tracks (Heerde) also. Here I went training and it’s a really fun track, and I think if I get a good start and good time practice, I think it’s going to be okay because I love the sand.

GateDrop: Obviously you’ve got your dad, Marnicq, he helps you do everything. What’s that like? Obviously he’s been a GP rider in the past, he knows exactly what it takes. What’s it like having him in your corner?

Bervoets: Yeah, sometimes it’s difficult because he knows how it is to be on top, and so he knows what to do, and he always sees the little faults and that stuff. So yeah, it’s helped me a lot, but sometimes it’s also difficult to understand, you know.

GateDrop: Having the Bervoets name on the back, does that add any pressure or does that not bother you?

Bervoets: A lot of fans also, because that gives me a little pressure, but for the rest I think I need to manage it like professionals and just ride my own thing.

GateDrop: I’m not sure if you would have seen it, but Jeffrey Herlings, it came out that he commented on the tracks and the track safety this week. What would you say about the track safety of the MXGP tracks, just generally?

Bervoets: Yeah, I think we had a lot of struggles because it rained so much. And that’s, yeah, normal years we had like one GP raining, but now it’s almost every GP already. So yeah, I think we need to just manage it and just ride, just do your own thing and don’t say anything to the FIM about it, just ride.