Interview: Mike Gwerder – I want to be in the top three

A few years ago young Swiss rider, Mike Gwerder was contesting the EMX125 championship and found it tough to even qualify. Just a few years later and he’s really starting to improve as a rider.

After two rounds of the series this year, Gwerder sits an impressive sixth in the standings but isn’t even 100% fit after a crash in Valkenswaard hurting his leg.

It’s nice to see riders improve and Gwerder has clearly worked hard to make a big jump during the past few years.

Being from Switzerland he might just be their next big thing after the likes of Arnaud Tonus, Valentin Guillod and Jeremy Seewer.

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We caught up with Gwerder to discuss his season so far.

Gatedrop: Mike, you’ve had a strong start to the EMX125 season sitting sixth in the standings. You must be happy with how the first two rounds went for you?

Mike Gwerder: So far I’m not happy, but I can be satisfied with these circumstances, but I know that more is possible.

Gatedrop: I believe you hurt your leg during practice at Valkenswaard, just how much did that affect you in the races?

Mike Gwerder: Yes, in Valkenswaard I had a violent crash during qualifying. I got myself a violent bruise on my foot. I feel it now, it will hurt for at least two weeks. The races really hurt, I was not able to deliver my full performance.

Gatedrop: Being from Switzerland, is it tough always travelling back home to and from the races?

Mike Gwerder: Me and my dad can handle that well. We are always on the road or by bus. Switzerland is also in the middle of Europe, so we are very flexible.

Gatedrop: I guess you’re still at school too – what’s it like dealing with school and fitting in the work for motocross?

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Mike Gwerder: I finished school last summer. Now I’m doing an internship as an electrical contractor and by the way another self-paced school.

Gatedrop: Coming into the season what were your expectations for the season?

Mike Gwerder: My goal is to get into the top 3 in the EMX, the expectations are quite big but everything is possible.

Gatedrop: What’s Motocross back like in Switzerland? In Ireland it’s pretty small, is it similar over there?

Mike Gwerder: In Switzerland it is just as small as in Ireland, you can see we don’t have many international Swiss riders.

Gatedrop: Seeing riders like Tonus, Seewer and Guillod being successful in GP’s must give you a lot of motivation for the future to be the next big Swiss rider in the GP’s?

Mike Gwerder: Yes, the motivation is very big, not much Swiss riders has made it as far as me, and of course that is very motivating. But it is still very long and a further road to the GP’s. I will give everything that I make the jump up to the GP’s.

Gatedrop: I believe you work with Didi Lacher as he’s your coach and Rene Hofer also works with him. What’s it like working closely with those guys?

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Mike Gwerder: Yes, I train with Didi Lacher. We have it together very well and I’m very happy to have Didi, without him I wouldn’t be as far as I am now and I’m very happy about that.

Gatedrop: What sort of goals have you set yourself for the rest of the season as well as long term goals?

Mike Gwerder: My goals for the rest of the season are still to be in the top three. I think I have a good chance when I’m 100% fit again.

Gatedrop: I believe this will be your last year on a 125cc before you make the jump to the 250cc, are you looking forward to that?

Mike Gwerder: Yes, this is my last year on the 125cc. I am also looking forward to the change, I think it will be more difficult but I’m really happy. I have been training a few times on the 250cc and it was so great.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Niek Kamper