Interview: Kade Walker on his return to the GP paddock
Kade Walker contested the EMX125 championship back in 2013 and looked to have a lot of potential for the future. Since 2013, the Canadian rider hasn’t rode many EMX or GP races but secured a wildcard entry for Valkenswaard two weeks ago to contest the MX2 World Championship.
Walker really impressed in the qualifying race as he was battling with some top names and crossed the line in seventeenth. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to score points during the main races but the two days intensity of racing would have been tough considering he’s been away from the GP scene so long.
We decided to catch up with Walker to discuss Valkenswaard and much more.
Gatedrop: Kade, I remember you in the EMX125 class and since then I don’t think you’ve raced a GP, why not because I felt you had a lot of potential?
Walker: Yes, in 2013 I raced the EMX125 series. After 2013 I raced two EMX250 rounds in 2016, but I was fighting a knee injury all year and I was not close to my normal speed.
Gatedrop: You rode the MX2 World Championship at Valkenswaard, you were really good in qualifying! Can you talk me through your weekend?
Walker: Sure, Saturday was fun getting to mix it up. it took me all day to feel confident with myself racing new and old riders from my past years. In the qualifying race I felt good, but not really flowing. just tight arm-pump in the end. 17th on paper looks good, but it’s not where I want to be.
Gatedrop: I guess since it’s been so long for you racing in the GP paddock that the intensity for two days was quite tough?
Walker: It was really hard for me. Sunday, two long moto’s on that type of track with that pace, was something new. I was surprised with my speed when not ever racing MX2 or EMX250 at all for the past 3-4 years. I sat there on Sunday after the races looking at the good things, trying to take that on to the next races.
Gatedrop: You beat some top names in the qualifying race like Sanayei, Sandner, Pichon just to name a few. Did you expect that and I bet you had a lot of fun battling with those guys?
Walker: I didn’t expect it. I just wanted to get my feet wet and mid qualifying race I found myself swimming with some big fish. I really had fun racing with Sanayei. I felt like I was on a 65cc again where we had our battles.
Gatedrop: Do you plan on racing anymore GP’s this year?
Walker: As of now the plan is to race Loket, Teutschenthal and Lommel. That’s the plan and maybe Saint Jean as well.
Gatedrop: How would you say the GP paddock and the level of GP’s compare now to when you last raced in the paddock on the 125cc?
Walker: I find it’s more professional. Every class EMX or MXGP is more competitive. It’s not fun and playing games anymore: better bikes, better programs, strong teams, it’s just a level up since 2013.
Gatedrop: You’re with the Pol Motors Husqvarna team for this year, just how is everything going with the team?
Walker: Amazing. Since last October I have been with them. It started as a one SX deal for the Dutch SX and I won the Prince Title there and finished my SX year with them. We started this 2019 adventure together and I’m very blessed to be with such good people.
Gatedrop: Will you focus more on Motocross this year or do you still plan on doing Supercross races as well?
Walker: Right now, my focus is on MX for the summer. I will do the Dutch Supercross races and the German SX races this winter. Any other SX races I can get the chance to do, I will ride.
Gatedrop: I believe you live in Italy, what’s it like living in Italy and did it take you long to adapt to living there?
Walker: I lived in italy from 2012-2018. In 2012/2013 it was not so easy with talking and living but the team was great. My team boss was and still feels like a dad to me, without him I would probably not be here. He made it easier for me to adapt and now I speak and write perfect Italian. Now I’m living in the Netherlands with my girlfriend, close to my new team. It’s easier to focus on riding without travelling that much.
Gatedrop: Is it tough being away from Canada and is there anything you miss from your home country?
Walker: It’s not easy to be away from my brothers and parents, but my dream is to race MX & SX in Europe. For now my mind is set on my dream. There will be enough time to catch up with my family later in life.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Walker: I would really like to Thank Mike Kras for hooking me up with the POL Motors Team. I’d also like to thank Team POL Motors, Ties, Andy, Alle, 6D Helmets, Forma Boots, No escape racing, 100% and all the team sponsors. Thank you!Thanks to Gate Drop for the interview too.
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Pics: Niek Kamper