Interview: Nathan Watson on Hawkstone and racing his brother!
Top talent, Nathan Watson went from Motocross to Enduro but he contested a one off Motocross race at the weekend at the Hawkstone International event.
Watson showed he hasn’t lost his motocross skills and especially in the sand. For a guy that’s been racing Enduro and missing the intensity of Motocross, to end up seventh overall is very impressive. He was running the pace of Graeme Irwin and Evgeny Bobryshev at times!
In the superfinal, both the Watson brothers were in a battle but Ben passed his brother towards the end to make sure the motocross rider came out on top.
We caught up with Nathan to discuss Hawkstone and what it was like battling with his Brother out on track again.
Gatedrop: Nathan, good to see you at a motocross event again! Can you just talk me through your day at Hawkstone for me?
Nathan Watson: Yeah, I just decided to do this last minute last week just for a bit of fun. They got me a spot in the MX1 class and I haven’t got anything on in a while so I just thought why not? I wanted to do it just for a bit of fun because I don’t get to race motocross anymore obviously I still love it. I rode the bike a couple of times before today and I had a pretty solid day.
I had bad starts which is normal, I haven’t done a start since Preston Docks so it’s too be expected. No, I had a solid day and I just enjoyed it out there really.
Gatedrop: In the super-final I saw you and Ben had a good battle, I have to say I enjoyed watching that! You must be annoyed he got you towards the end but you looked a bit tired, will you blame it on that?
Nathan Watson: Yeah, definitely. Obviously, I’ve got good endurance fitness but this is intense and I’ve missed that. It’s completely different – motocross, it’s so difficult! My goggles started to fog up because I was really hot. I didn’t want to take any risks either, I saw him behind me and I tried to hold him off but he kept coming and coming. He was strong at the end to be fair but it was really nice to race with him.
Gatedrop: Just on the bike, is it a motocross bike and how did you get access to one for the event?
Nathan Watson: I’ve been doing the beach races all winter and it’s just a pure KTM Motocross bike, a 450 SXF so it was an ideal tool out there.
Gatedrop: Did it take you a while to get the settings sorted on it for the track out there today because you’re probably used to Enduro settings these days?
Nathan Watson: To be honest, I didn’t get a setup for the track, I just got on with it. I had no time to do any tests, I just rode it how it was and didn’t really worry about it. A bike is a bike so I just cracked on with it (laughs).
Gatedrop: Obviously, you’re an Enduro man these days. How’s Enduro life treating you and are you content with how everything is going?
Nathan Watson: Yeah, it’s been a good last few years for me. Obviously I’ve had quite a lot of success in the Enduro so it’s been a good choice I think. Deep down I do still miss the Motocross, I’d love to do some more racing and stuff but at the moment I am signed to race Enduro so I have to give it 100% in Enduro.
Gatedrop: Are you planning to do any more Motocross race events this year and if so do you know which ones yet?
Nathan Watson: I’m not sure. I am going to try, I’m going to push the team to try and let me do some races. We’ll see, I’ve got to do my testing and my Enduro stuff, if I’ve a bit of time, I will definitely try and do a few Motocross races.
Gatedrop: Just on Ben, obviously he has a great ride with factory Yamaha engines in MX2 now. You’re pleased for him but does part of you wish you had that opportunity when you were his age?
Nathan Watson: Yeah, I’m really happy for him. He’s obviously got a good ride and he can give it a good shot this year with his good opportunity. I was never really that strong on a 250cc, I did alright in the British a few races but I grew quite a lot and I was straight up on the 450cc. Sometimes I do wish I’d give it another go but it’s what happened and that’s it.
Pic: Scott Dunne