Interview: Petar Petrov
Petar Petrov has plenty of GP experience even though he is just twenty years old. He has been racing the MX2 class since he was sixteen when he started with SRS honda, since then he has moved on to Van Beers Yamaha, Rockstar Energy Suzuki and Kemea Yamaha. He signed to ride for KTM UK before the start of the season but things weren’t going as both parties had planned.
When Dylan Ferrandis picked up an injury, Monster Energy Kawasaki needed a replacement and turned to the Bulgarian. Petar debuted his Kawasaki at Matterley Basin and gatedrop caught up with him about his season so far and plans for the future.
Gatedrop: How did the first GP go for you on-board the Monster Energy Kawasaki?
Petar Petrov: Yeah, not too bad. In the first race I had problems with the goggles, in the first lap a rock broke the lens and it fell apart, it was quite difficult to ride with no goggles, especially on this track with so many rocks and stuff. I finished eleventh which is not what I was looking for. At the start of the second race, Thomas hit natural and we both started dead last. I came back to ninth and at the end I caught Tonkov and Paturel. The speed is getting better and better and I’m getting used to the Kawasaki more and more. I am really happy with the team and with everyone in the team, the bike is working well so I just have to work on small things like the suspension. I am happy with the first race, I only had four practices with the Kawasaki before I came here. I am happy and especially here because I don’t like this track.
Gatedrop: At the start of the season you were with KTM UK, were you frustrated with how the season was going?
Petar Petrov: Yeah, the results were just not good when they should have been and I guess they were not happy, neither was I and that’s how it is. I got the opportunity to go to Kawasaki and I took it.
Gatedrop: Hows the Kawasaki compare to the KTM?
Petar Petrov: Yeah, I mean the Kawasaki is a factory bike and they are always doing podiums. You see Jordi just did a podium, I think it’s his fourth in a row. Dylan Ferrandis won a GP so that says it all I think.
Gatedrop: You must be a bit frustrated because you have top five speed but cant get out of the gate well..
Petar Petrov: Yeah, I mean that’s been the problem my entire career but I think now that there are small things that I should work on as it has a completely different clutch and engine so I have to learn it more. I believe I will have some good starts before the end of the season and hopefully starting at the next round.
Gatedrop: You must be pretty happy with this weekend because Matterley Basin last year was one of the worst GPs of your career..
Petar Petrov: Yeah, like I said this is far away from my favourite track, I mean its really nice but I don’t know I just don’t feel comfortable. It seems like after I come here that I am always in pain afterwards, this year I am going home quite healthy so I’m happy.
Gatedrop: Have you got the option to stay with Monster Energy Kawasaki next year or is it still to be discussed?
Petar Petrov: Yeah, it’s pretty much done already for next year.
Gatedrop: You are a pretty big guy, do you see yourself moving to the MXGP class before you reach the MX2 age limit or will you wait until you are too old for MX2?
Petar Petrov: People have their own opinion first of all, my opinion is that I want to do good first in MX2 and now I am on the right team with the right bike so I will move up when I feel like it and when I feel like im ready.
Gatedrop: Have you set yourself a target to reach before the end of the year?
Petar Petrov: Yeah, I wanna get on the podium by the end of the season and think the goal is reachable, especially with the team behind me now and with everyone working 100%, yeah I feel happy and we will see how it goes.
Gatedrop: We seen RV struggling to adapt to the world championship coming from US, how hard was it for you when you first came over coming from Bulgaria?
Petar Petrov: Yeah, you can’t really compare coming from US to Bulgaria. Possibly, it’s harder to make it from Bulgaria, I don’t know. I came over quite young as I was riding 65cc in Belgium and I have been living there for like 13 years now. Bulgaria isn’t really my home right now. The tracks are what they are and this track here is quite special. I mean to be honest, English tracks are different from anything else. I did a couple of rounds of the British championship and those tracks are different and them riders are quite fast in their tracks, it’s not like a usual GP track such as Spain or something, it is what it is.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Nigel McKinstry