Interview: Lynn Valk on getting back to winning ways and the popularity of WMX

Images: Nigel McKinstry | Interview: Andy McKinstry

After getting a harsh penalty in Germany, Lynn Valk bounced back in style at Maggiora as the girls faced brutal conditions after being out first after so much rain. Valk took to it like a duck to water and was superb as she won the one moto from the weekend.

We caught up with Valk on her win and a range of topics which you can watch, listen or read below.

GateDrop: Lynn, that one must feel amazing. Can you just talk me through the moto and the complete chaos out there?! It did not look one bit enjoyable but you probably did enjoy it. (laughs)…

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Valk: Yeah, it was insane. With the rain we had last yesterday in the night it was crazy. I knew I had to take a good start and I did. I took a solid start and then I was behind Larissa (Papenmeier) and it was pretty difficult to pass because there was like one line on track and after one or two laps there was so many back markers crashing and yellow flags. I managed to pass her and then Kiara was pushing and then at one point she crashed so I was having a little bit of rest and the last two laps, three laps on the uphill it was insane honestly. I’ve not experienced this before but I kept my head cool and I tried to do what I had to do and I did and I won the moto.

GateDrop: With about seven minutes to go Kiara just started to catch a little bit. Did you sense that that she was closing? I think she was pushing very hard though…

Valk: Yeah, I mean definitely… you can feel that she was pushing a lot so I also had to push but it was hard to not make mistakes. So, yeah like I said I kept it cool and then at one point I had a little bit of rest again.

GateDrop: After the last round, after that strange decision in the second moto, this must feel extra special?

Valk: Yeah, I mean it was muddy in the second moto and I won. For me I won and the FIM, they thought different. I felt it was not completely fair… they’ve done a lot this year also two other riders with the boys so that was difficult. It was frustrating but yeah to take a win here is really nice.

Image: Nigel McKinstry

GateDrop: Just on your WMX season so far I feel like the start of the season you were still very consistent up there in the top five, but I know you want to win so you were probably frustrated with that so this must feel extra good?

Valk: Yeah definitely I mean to take the win now it feels really good you know you have up and downs but yeah onwards from now on.

GateDrop: You have a new team this year in Schmicker Racing, how’s it all going with the new team and their relatively new team as last year was their first year?

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Valk: Yeah, I mean definitely they do a good job and I have a great mechanic, a good trainer so it’s going all fine and I’m happy with the bike so it’s performing really well. So, yeah I’m satisfied.

Image: Nigel McKinstry

GateDrop: Goals for the rest of the season?

Valk: Definitely take more wins.

GateDrop: What’s the level like of WMX this year? Lotte and Daniela are very very fast but I feel like you’re closing the gap slowly but surely and obviously this weekend it was you on the top step?

Valk: I mean the level is really high at the moment. we can say that with Daniela, Lotte, Courtney, Kiara and Larissa… I mean we can all be up there and everyone can win. Yeah we have a strong field of women.

GateDrop: Do you feel like the popularity of WMX is growing? Do you feel that because Lotte seems very very popular I mean I was waiting after Spain for her and she was signing autographs for like an hour… Do you feel it’s getting more popular than maybe what it was 10 years ago?

Valk: Definitely and I think it’s also necessary… I mean we all want that, we all want that we’re doing a good job and we’re on the right track.

GateDrop: You got an extra round this year compared to last year so that’s good also is there anything else you’d like from the organisers to make it better?

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Valk: Maybe even more rounds (laughs). No I mean last year yeah we had five and now we we have seven. One moto less from due to yesterday but no it’s definitely good that it’s growing.

GateDrop: You seem to love the mud, what is it about the mud that you enjoy so much?

Valk: It’s good for the skin (laughs). No, yeah, I don’t know… I just you know I grew up in Holland and in the winter it’s always like this, you know? Mud, Rain and ice, it doesn’t matter, you need to go through it.

GateDrop: Obviously you and Cas have been in the same team for so many years, you’re not in the same team this year…. is that a little bit weird?

Valk: Definitely, weird… I mean last year we were living together, training together and racing together like everything but this year it’s definitely different. We see each other a lot less although the last few weeks we see each other more and we can train a little bit together. Yes, it’s weird but it’s also he’s growing and I’m growing so it doesn’t really matter, yeah.