Interview: Morgan Lesiardo!

We are still very early in the 2017 season but Morgan Lesiardo looks to be the surprise package. He has finished on the podium at the first two rounds of the EMX250 series on his Maggiora KTM. He actually won a moto at the first round in Italy in front of his home crowd, Morgan only scored fifteen points in the series during his rookie year in 2016. He has clearly had a productive winter as he has started the season incredibly well.

Morgan actually picked up a collarbone injury just before the start of the season and is still on the way to regaining his full fitness. Morgan currently sits second in the EMX250 championship and if he can stay in the top three at the end of the season it would be a superb season with a lot of talent in the class.

We caught up with Morgan to talk about his great start to the season.

Gatedrop: Morgan, the first round of the EMX250 series went very well for you, even winning a moto in front of your home fans. How did it feel to do that?

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Morgan Lesiardo: Yeah, it was incredible because I got injured two months before it. I needed to have an operation on my collarbone. I was going into round one thinking that it was going to be difficult for me. But then when I saw during qualifying that I was eighth, I was thinking that I could go good. In the first moto I took a good start in third, the track was flat and there was chances to pass. I got a little bit tired so I finished fifth. In the second moto I started at the front, I said to myself that for four or five laps I would give it everything I had. I got a nice gap to the guy in second and I was able to win. It was an incredible race and maybe even my best race ever.  I was very happy with how it went.

Gatedrop: Last year in the EMX250 championship you only scored fifteen points, to win a moto at the first round this year, did you even surprise yourself?

Morgan Lesiardo: Yeah, I am surprised but not actually so much.  During the winter training we worked a lot on the bike and on my body. During the International Italian Championship there were a lot of GP riders, I finished sixth in the sand and in the second race I broke my collarbone. But before that I saw that I was there with some GP riders so I am happy.

Gatedrop: You made the switch from the Yamaha to the KTM this year, it seems to really suit your style..

Morgan Lesiardo: Yeah, it’s much better for me. The bike is bigger and the chassis are a little bit harder, on the sand I prefer this. Also, in the hard pack if you want to go really fast you can push more. I am really happy, the bike is so strong this year. The team really works a lot on the bike and we are happy with how everything is going.

Gatedrop: I believe that you planned on racing eight MX2 World Championship races and not race the EMX250 series but then you couldn’t get an MX2 entry, did the late change mean you went into the EMX series with a different mindset?

Morgan Lesiardo:  We saw that there wasn’t a place to take part in the MX2 class.  We decided to take part in the EMX250 class instead. Actually, it was much better for me as I will get a lot of experience in this class. My mind is a lot better, you know if you go riding in MX2 with someone like Seewer, they are so fast, much faster than me. In the European series I can do what I can and have good races as we have seen with the first two rounds. The mind now is very happy and we will see how the other races go for me.

Gatedrop: A lot of Italians seem to struggle to ride the sand but you have obviously been putting the hard work in on it as you got a podium this weekend in Valkenswaard..

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Morgan Lesiardo: Yeah, the first moto was better for me as I took a better start, I was in second but then I got so tired because of my injury but we will work for that. I finished the first moto in fourth which I was really happy with as the track was really heavy. At the half way point in the race I was thinking I would go way back but it didn’t go like that. In the second moto I took a s**t start, I came back but then my bike stopped in one corner when I was eighth. I went down to twelfth but then I finished eleventh to finish third place overall to get back on the podium.

Gatedrop: Now that two EMX250 races have past, where do you want to be in the championship at the end of the season?

Morgan Lesiardo:  Honestly, that I don’t know because I haven’t been thinking like that when it started. Now I can see that I can stay in the top five and maybe the top three. We will see at the end where I end up.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry