Interview: Mark Scheu – a new name in the MXGP paddock
Infront Moto Racing have reduced the entry fees for the MXGP World Championship this year and it’s helped increase the number of wildcard entries. As a result there’s a new team in the paddock, SixtySeven Husqvarna – a German based team as they have eight rounds in their schedule which is great to see.
It’s a brilliant opportunity for Mark Scheu who made his Grand Prix debut in Switzerland before racing in Italy at Arco di Trento the week later. A new face and a new team in the paddock is fantastic to see.
Scheu who has experience racing in Germany and Switzerland will learn what he can racing the very best riders in the world and hopefully score points in MXGP but it’s easier said than done with such a stacked class.
We caught up with Scheu recently to discuss his season and more.
GateDrop: Mark, you have a big opportunity to race selected MXGP World Championship events this year. When you found out the news you’ll be racing some how did you feel? I am sure you were excited to find out you’d be racing against the best in the world…
Scheu: Yes, I was definitely excited to race against the best in the world. I mean it was a childhood dream to race a one day in a world championship.
GateDrop: Coming into the season, how was your off-season, did you change much to previous years knowing you’ll race some GP races?
Scheu: I didn’t change that much, we were going to Spain and the Italian championship same as last year. For sure my training was even more intensive then last year but the overall program was the same.
GateDrop: Let’s start with the opening round of the ADAC MX Masters, you had a good first round running not too far from the front. Where you happy with the opening round?
Scheu: I was definitely happy with my first race in the ADAC MX Masters but had some bad luck in following races which were destroying my overall results.
GateDrop: What’s it like to race against someone like Max Nagl who dominated the opening ADAC MX Masters? He’s done a lot for the sport in Germany that makes him a bit of a legend and he’s not exactly slowing down…
Scheu: He is one of the greatest in Germany and I am impressed on which level he is still riding and his passion for the sport.
GateDrop: You made your MXGP debut in Switzerland, just how did you find that? I sure there were a lot of nervous… Can you talk me though your races and what it felt like racing with the very best for the first time?
Scheu: The atmosphere was different, everything was bigger. That’s why I was more nervous than usual. The first time on the track I felt really good and my bike, and the qualifying race was better than expected. In both races I had my ups and downs but overall, I learned a lot and I felt more used to the intense racing than before. First time MXGP is an experience which I will never forget.
GateDrop: You then raced Arco di Trento, was it easier for you to deal with the emotions there after racing Switzerland? Can you tell me though your moto’s in Italy?
Scheu: Yes, Switzerland helped me to get more used to the level of riding in this class. I was also used to the organizational things, so I was more relaxed than the week before in Switzerland. In Arco di Trento I struggled a bit with my riding… on Saturday the qualifying race was quite positive compared to my riding in qualifying. On Sunday I was motivated to reach my goal to achieve some points in the MXGP class. In the first race I couldn’t hold my speed over the complete distance. In the second race I had technical issue which forced me to quit the race. All in all, my second MXGP was not what I was expecting. I saw where I have still some weak points and trying to improve on that in the next few weeks.
GateDrop: Did you enjoy both tracks in Switzerland and Arco di Trento? Both were technical and rough with Arco being slick as well…
Scheu: I felt comfortable in Switzerland because the track conditions suit my riding style better than Arco di Trento. Arco was difficult to find a flow with the slick surface.
GateDrop: How would you describe the level of MXGP? I feel like people don’t even realise how hard it is to get points – even when there are sometimes only 25 riders but we’ve seen full gates at the rounds you did…
Scheu: As I already told you my goal is the achieve some points in the MXGP class. I know how hard it is and how much effort you need for reaching this goal. That’s why I am really happy to have the right people in my corner. The speed of these first 20 riders is high and everything in your program needs to be right. So yes often people don’t see the effort you are putting in even to get a 25th place.
GateDrop: How many more MXGP events will you race?
Scheu: I will do about six more MXGP races. I am really looking forward to the GP of Germany. It’s an honor to race in such a high level in your home country.
GateDrop: What’s your goals for the rest of the season in both the ADAC MX Masters and MXGP?
Scheu: In the ADAC MX MASTERS I would like to be more often in the top ten. This year the MXGP is only for learning and adapting to the speed of the riders in this class. For sure my goal is the get some points but I know it difficult it will be but I will try my best and improve myself with every more round.
GateDrop: Looking ahead to the future and 2024, would you like to even race more MXGP rounds if it is possible?
Scheu: We don’t know yet, it depends how this season is going. Right now, I am just happy to have the opportunity to race at this class. Therefore, I would like to thank my Team SixtySeven and all my partners. For sure I would love to race even more races in the MXGP class in 2024 but right now I am focused on achieving my goals for this season.
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