Interview: Jörgen-Matthias Talviku on his season – switching teams and racing in America

It was a strange year for Jörgen-Matthias Talviku after a switch of teams and starting the year in the EMX250 series he ended the season racing a couple of MX2 GP’s as well as a few AMA Nationals on a standard bike. 

Unfortunately, the season didn’t end as he’d have wanted after picking up an injury during qualifying day at the RedBud MXoN but hopefully he’ll be back raring to go for the start of the 2023 season. 

We caught up with Talviku on the Friday of the MXoN to discuss his season and much more. 

GateDrop: Jörgen, it’s been a bit of a journey this season for you but let’s go back to the start. After a good season in 2020 you were expecting more last year so I think this year was important to get back to that good level you showed in the past. You started the season with Sahkar KTM and you must have been happy how you started the season running at the front of the EMX250 series again… 

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Talviku: It’s exactly like you said. In 2021 it just wasn’t the best year for me with injuries and stuff like that. This year I tried to come back in good shape again and I managed to do that quite good. I started the season quite well in Mantova with a podium finish in the first moto. It was going quite good, I had some health issues at the beginning of the season but it was going upwards every race. 

Luckily at the middle of the season, the SC Sports Homes Husqvarna team noticed me. It was really good for me because being in a private Estonian team, it takes a lot of money. This was a good change for me and I am quite proud about that. 

GateDrop: Even though the SC Sports Homes Husqvarna team came in for you during the season, the Sahkar KTM team helped get you back on track, was it still a tough decision to leave them? Although at the same time an opportunity to do a couple MX2 GP’s and race some AMA Nationals was probably too good to turn down…

Talviku: Of course, it was not easy to leave the team in the middle of the season to change the brand, sponsors and people behind you. It was not easy and I don’t want that anyone gets mad about that but in the end it was my decision. It’s my life and I decided to go. To change championships because I was doing well in the EMX250 series and I did some GP’s to try and get that deal for next year. The team give me the opportunity to ride some AMA Nationals and I took it because I always like to try new challenges. It was a good opportunity for me and it was a really nice time. 

GateDrop: Going from the EMX250 series racing a couple of MX2 GP’s, how did you find the jump racing the World Championship? 

Talviku: Quite good, actually. Of course, I had the 2020 season quite good and I had some offers to race MX2 but we decided to go with the Estonian team to have close people around me to stay in the EMX250. I was not ready for MX2, I was living in Estonia and I moved to Belgium, it is completely different. We took some time and I managed to do some GP’s which was nice. I raced Kegums, Madrid and Lommel and overall they were quite good to me. Especially Lommel I had quite good speed because I am living in Lommel so it was pretty much a home GP for me. I enjoyed it and I am thankful to the teams, Sahkar KTM and SC Sports Homes to make it possible for me. 

GateDrop: Going from racing some GP’s to racing AMA Nationals, how did you find the 250cc class over there as well as the tracks? They all seem quite similar and fast which makes the bike important – there’s so many factory guys and we seen what Farres could do on a Star Yamaha, you were quite close to him in EMX250… 

Talviku: It is totally different coming from here. We start with the time difference, the tracks, the race format and one day racing in America. I mean the tracks compared to GP tracks, they look bigger on the TV but when you come here you find out that they’re not actually so big but they have a lot of lines and more than at the GP tracks. In AMA you don’t need so much technical control, the 250cc bikes in my opinion over here are way faster than in the GP’s. We came here and raced with a standard bike so it was quite difficult. Coming to do three rounds you don’t have time to get used to these things. It was challenging but a really good opportunity. 

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GateDrop: Considering you were racing a stock bike against so many factory engines, where you happy with the results in the AMA Nationals you raced? 

Talviku: Yeah, I was quite happy. When I came here I didn’t really know what to expect. I didn’t have previous experience but when I started at Unadillia for the first round I was already around tenth position in the second race. Then the last ten was quite difficult with the heat, I had some muscle cramps and stuff like that, things I never experienced before. I ended the trip quite well in Ironman with a top fifteen overall so it was quite good. It was difficult, especially if I could have a better bike but we didn’t know what to expect coming from here in the middle of the season making that huge change. Considering all that, I think I did quite well. 

GateDrop: You have done a lot of National racing around the world whether it’s in Estonia, Finland and now America. What has it been like racing the British Championship this year and at tracks you’ve never raced before? 

Talviku: The British Championship is always nice, I have done that before. It’s nice and the tracks are nice, there’s a lot of hard pack tracks and tracks I’ve never raced before. It’s really good for me to go there and race, it is a good level there and it’s a good championship. I enjoy my time over there. 

GateDrop: You are working closely with Harri Kullas, I believe he is your trainer, what is it like working with him and having him in your corner? 

Talviku: He is really important for me. He has been a big part of it and also his girlfriend has been as they brought me over to Belgium and give me a house to live in. They have give me some tips on how to be more professional so they have been a huge part of my success of where I am today.  It’s really nice, he is a nice guy and a good friend and it’s so nice to be in the same team for the MXoN. 

GateDrop: For 2023, have you got any plans yet or is it still up in the air? 

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Talviku: It’s pretty much still up in the air. It has been a busy couple of weeks now trying to get everything sorted for the MXoN. We try first to get this race under our belt and then let’s see what the future will bring. 

GateDrop: Would you maybe like to focus on the one championship in 2023 or perhaps maybe you’d like to stay with your current team and race a bit of everything again? 

Talviku: It will be one option, yeah but my goal has always been to find an MX2 GP deal. I have seen since I was a small kid all those guys racing there like Tanel Leok and right now it is his twentieth time at the MXoN. I have been following him since I was like five years old so it has been my dream to find a GP deal. When I do have another opportunity I never say no which meant I had a nice AMA experience. You never know what the future can bring you and who can notice you so we will see what we can find. Obviously it would be good to stick with one championship and do well in the season. 

GateDrop: With your dream being to land an MX2 GP deal, have you any offers on the table at the moment or a case of waiting to see? 

Talviku: Not really at the moment. One reason is probably because I moved teams during the season and to race some rounds in America so I missed the Swedish, Finnish and French GP’s.  I don’t really have any offers at the moment but we will see what the future brings. We have some small ideas about next year, we will see. 

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Pics: SC Sports Homes Husqvarna