Interview: Mel Pocock – I want to win!

It’s the Revo Husqvarna team’s second season as a team and there’s no doubt that Mel Pocock has really stepped it up in 2018.

Last year Pocock finished fourth in the MX2 British Championship and only contested selected rounds of the EMX250 series. However, this year he’s been given the opportunity to contest the full EMX250 Championship and he currently sits second in the series with a chance of winning it for the second time in his career with four rounds to go.

Pocock is also having a good season domestically as he sits third in the Maxxis British Championship but being only fifteen points behind Josh Gilbert in the race for second anything can happen in that respect.

We caught up with Pocock after Desertmartin to discuss his season so far in both the British Championship and the EMX250 series.

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Gatedrop: Mel, we’re here at Desertmartin, you just missed the podium but overall I’d say it was a solid day for you. Can you talk me through your moto’s?

Mel Pocock: Yeah, fair play to Conrad (Mewse), he showed us the way around there. He’s a GP rider and his racing is at another level, I know that from my experience. I had a nice third in the first race, it was a 2-3 for the Revo Husqvarna team so that was good, it was a good show.

In the second race I got my first holeshot of the year which was really nice but then unfortunately it got red flagged. For the restart I had a decent enough start, I was in second for quite a long time and not really too stressed about anything going on. I just literally went over the handle bars all on my own and banged my head which wasn’t ideal at all. It definitely cost me a podium and a nice, simple second overall. I’m pretty disappointed about that myself because I shouldn’t do stuff like that but it’s racing. I’m third in the championship and EMX is still going good for me, I’m second overall in that. Thanks to Revo Husqvarna for their continual hard work and development with engines, ignitions and starting etc.

Gatedrop: We’re back at Desertmartin again, how did you find the track this weekend? I thought it was very fast myself and I hear you had to completely re-gear your bike after qualifying..

Mel Pocock: I think that between the riders, it was the conversation of how fast this track is. I don’t think there’s an average speed as fast as this one. Yeah, very fast.. very very fast. I think they maybe need to rip it up a bit. But it is a fantastic track with fantastic scenery, it’s got some amazing viewing grounds and it’s a second to none track. As a racer it’s just a bit quick.

Gatedrop: In the EMX250 series, at the start of the season I feel like you were riding good but there were maybe guys behind you a little bit quicker but the last few rounds you’ve stepped it up and you’re now the guy moving forward. Would you agree?

Mel Pocock:  Yes, I mean my riding is really good.  Today was just annoying that I went down with three laps to go but in EMX I am gathering speed with my riding and I am fit and strong enough. It’s a hard race, you know there’s a lot of racers out there they’re willing to take cheap passes and cheap shots you know. I just need to take a good start, get my head down and go. I hope I can carry these good starts in EMX and get myself back on the podium. I need some podiums at the end of this season.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Gatedrop: There’s four rounds left to go in the EMX250 Championship with Lommel and Assen as well as two hard pack tracks, a lot of variety there. Which tracks are you looking forward to the most?

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Mel Pocock: Definitely the sand. I feel I am more of a sand rider but I am a very rounded rider but I do prefer riding in the sand. I get away with a lot more out there in the sand. Four rounds and I need to see myself on the podium in all four of them really because the championship can be chased down then. It’s pretty much the French V the English in that one.

Gatedrop: The first few laps of any EMX250 race just seems mayhem. How would you describe the start of an EMX moto?

Mel Pocock: Yeah, that’s what I mean. It’s cheap shots and cheap passes so it’s very much carnage. I need a good start, get my head down and stay away from the carnage. Me and Martin have both been caught up in situations where riders have gone down and riders have just twisted the throttle. It’s a very different championship, it’s got a lot of coverage and the television is good for exposure.

Gatedrop: In the British Championship, what tracks left are you looking forward to the most and how would you compare it with the EMX250 series?

Mel Pocock: It’s difficult to compare, there’s a lot more riders on the same pace in the EMX250. There’s definitely room for me in the podium in both of the championships so I need to keep my head high and keep my training going. We need to keep focused because both championships there’s room for me to be on the podium and that’s what I want. No more crashes with three laps to go, please!

Gatedrop: Have you anything sorted for 2019 yet? Will you stay with the Revo team or is it still up in the air?

Mel Pocock: Martin and I both signed two year deals, there are options half way through this year too. I’d like to stay with Revo Husqvarna for next year – at the moment I will be doing exactly the same series’. It’s a good loophole there for me – I want to win.

Interview: Emily McCleane

Pics: Nigel McKinstry