Interview: Julius Mikula on signing with MJC Yamaha and goals for his future
Over the past year Julius Mikula has really impressed and improved his riding. The 2022 season went great for the young Czech talent as he finished sixth overall in the EMX125 series and even won a mot at the toughest track on the calendar, Lommel!
Mikula has been impressing teams in the GP paddock and for the 2023 season has inked a factory deal with the MJC Yamaha team for another year to race the EMX125 series – he’ll hope to challenge for the championship.
We caught up with Mikula to discuss the move, 2023 and more:
GateDrop: Julius, you’ve signed a factory deal with the MJC Yamaha team for the 2023 season, how did the deal all come around – it must feel amazing to have secured a factory ride?
Mikula: Yes, I am signed for the 2023 season with MJC Yamaha. Yamaha approached us at the races and then a few meetings followed. I am very satisfied with the MJC team, it was a very good decision for me.
GateDrop: Let’s look back at your 2022 season, you finished sixth overall in the EMX125 championship and were a regular top ten rider. When you reflect on your season are you happy with the progress you made?
Mikula: In the 2022 season, a few races didn’t go as I expected and sometimes something went wrong, but in the end the overall result is not so bad.
GateDrop: You’ve had a privateer setup for a number of years, what’s it like being a privateer trying to battle against factory bikes and the best young talents in the world?
Mikula: It was very difficult for everyone, especially my parents, it was expensive and difficult years, but we got to the factory. I believed I could prove it and I love this sport.
GateDrop: You also come from Czech Republic, what’s the sport like there? I imagine there’s plenty of nice hard pack tracks but probably not so much sand, is it hard to adapt to racing all over Europe?
Mikula: Yes, we have some nice and difficult tracks in the Czech Republic, but we still have to travel a lot to learn on all types of tracks, especially Lommel sand.
GateDrop: At Lommel you were amazing! You won the first moto in style, that must have felt amazing – did you surprise yourself with the way you won? A bad start in race two but you came back to fourth to secure second overall. How did it feel to stand up on the podium?
Mikula: Lommel was my best race so far. I felt good, relaxed and confident there, but I was still surprised by the result. It was an amazing feeling to win the first race. The second race was a bit unlucky and maybe I was a bit nervous to win my first overall, but keeping the podium was the best feeling I’ve ever had.
GateDrop: Lommel is brutal and the track was so rough this year. If you can win a moto there you must feel you can win anywhere? A lot of riders don’t look forward to that GP!
Mikula: I think Lommel is the most difficult track on the calendar but I love sand so I enjoyed the weekend even though it was quite hot that weekend.
GateDrop: For the 2023 season, where will you be based with the MJC Yamaha team?
Mikula: We will be traveling a lot. EMX125 races will be the priority.
GateDrop: You will have the very talented Janis Reisulis as a team mate, you must be looking forward to putting in the laps with him at practice – that should help your level…
Mikula: Yes, he’s a very good rider, so I think it’s very good for both of us.
GateDrop: Just on the Yamaha 125cc what’s your first thoughts on the bike and how does it compare to your privateer KTM machine?
Mikula: I adapted to the Yamaha very quickly, it’s a nice bike and I enjoy riding the Yamaha. It’s also faster than my last bike.
GateDrop: What’s your goals for the 2023 season for the EMX125 championship?
Mikula: This year I want to be champion, that’s my goals.
GateDrop: Long term what’s your dream to achieve in the future?
Mikula: I want to be world champion one day, that’s my goal for the future.
Interview: Andy McKinstry