Interview: Nick Kouwenberg (EMX250 Champ)
Holland have a new champion as Nick Kouwenberg was crowned EMX250 championship in front of his home crowd at Assen. Nick might not have been the fastest rider in the class but he was the most consistent and consistency is what brings titles!
Nick was one of the most experienced riders in the class and it certainly helped him win the title. As Nick will be too old for MX2 next year it will be interesting to see if he tries to defend his title or he makes the step to the MXGP class!
We caught up with Nick at Assen to discuss his season so far and how it feels to be champion!
Gatedrop: How does it feel to be European champ?
Nick Kouwenberg: Yeah, it feels pretty good. I had a bad second moto but that won’t spoil the party. I had a start crash in the second moto, the weekend would have been better if I finished on the box but we made it to third place in the first moto and had enough points to have a bad second moto. Overall, it was a long season, we have been working towards this for twelve months now so it has been a pretty nice journey.
Gatedrop: I remember when you got on the podium with Kemea and you said they laughed at you when you told them you wanted to win, it must feel good to prove people wrong!
Nick Kouwenberg: Yeah, for sure, at the beginning of last season they were surprised that I was going for the win. I wanted to step it up and said I wanted to win the title but I’ve never been consistent in my live, this year I knew I needed to do that. I am glad I was able to do it and I got the championship and used my head the complete season, didn’t go to crazy on the wins. I just tried to get on the box as much as possible and take no big risks, sometimes I rode at 80% instead of 100%.
Gatedrop: You’ve always been known for your good sand riding but you were fast in hard pack this year too, is that something you worked on before the season?
Nick Kouwenberg: Yeah, I lived in Italy for seven months so then I forgot a little bit how to ride the sand but its’ been fun! I got a little bit nervous before the races but now it is okay.
Gatedrop: Are you surprised yourself at how fast you were on hard pack this year?
Nick Kouwenberg: No, I know that I have rode a lot on hard pack, we worked a lot on it and I expected to do good on it so I am happy.
Gatedrop: You will be too old for MX2 next year, will we see you in MXGP or could you come back to defend the title?
Nick Kouwenberg: I don’t know yet, we are still in discussions for next year. We will see what opportunity there is, I still have nothing for next year so we will see how it all works out.
Gatedrop: With Davy Pootjes riding injured you could still go to the Nations..
Nick Kouwenberg: Yeah, it’s not selected yet, they have made a list but they are not sure yet. I hope that after the first moto yesterday they can see that I am good under nervous conditions. We will see, I hope for Davy that his hand is okay but if not there is a good opportunity for me to go so we will see because after the weekend they will decide.
Gatedrop: You’re a big guy so you would be suited to the 450 if you are needed..
Nick Kouwenberg: Yeah, I am first reserve for the 450 at the moment so if they choose me for MX2 and one of the two guys gets injured then I will still need to go on the 450 because there is no one else in shape and ready to race that could take the spot. We will see how it works out, its not my decision but I am ready if needed!
UPDATE*** Nick will race the Nations for the Netherlands as Davy Pootjes has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Interview: Andy McKinstry