Interview: Scott Smulders on stepping up to the EMX250 series
The name Scott Smulders is no stranger to motocross. In 2015 he became champion in the European 65cc championship, last year he won the German ADAC championship title in the 125cc class and this year Scott makes the switch to 250cc. He rides for the Husqvarna SKS Racing team in the EMX250 Championship and the Dutch Masters of Motocross. In addition, Scott is also part of the talent program of the KNMV, TeamNL. High time to portray the person behind this talented cross fanatic.
How did you get through the winter?
“After the end of last season, I took it easy for a few weeks. It was an intense season, so afterwards in the relax mode was wonderful. At these times you get to things that are difficult during the season. Think about spending time with the family and going out for dinner. In addition, at the beginning of December I was integrated into the training program of the KNMV. In the training center at Papendal, for example, I train a lot in order to look even stronger physically. I train for strength and fitness. Then I got back on my bike in mid-December to make the most of the start of the season.”
How did you come into contact with this sport?
“Motocross runs in the family. My father has always raced in Belgium. I don’t know if he was doing that. You grow up with it from an early age and before you know it you are on the bike yourself.
What do you do in daily life and can this be combined well with your cross career?
“I’m still at school. I follow havo at the Beekdal Lyceum in Arnhem. Here I focus on the nature and technology sector. Here I can perfectly combine school with sport. They provide the facilities for top athletes. In this way everything falls into place and I can focus undisturbed on my cross career. On Monday I start training early in the morning. I start fitness training and balance and reaction work around 7.30. Monday, Thursday and Friday are all about strength training. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I do what I love most: cross-country skiing. For example, I am busy all week with cross-country skiing, training and school.”
What makes the sport so beautiful/special for you?
“The kick it gives is great! But it is also the relaxation that it brings. When you have a lot on your mind, it’s best to sit on the bike. At that moment I am one with the bike and I can make my own plan on the track. You can switch your thoughts and thus lose your emotions. At that point it’s just you and the bike and try to drive as fast as you can.”
If you hadn’t done motocross, what other (motorcycle) sport would you have done?
“Road racing seems like a cool thing to do, I find the tension and speed in MotoGP very impressive. So I’d love to try road racing. I also think Formula 1 is a wonderful sport. But let’s focus on motocross first.”
You are facing a great challenge, you have switched to the EMX250. Can you tell us more about that switch?
“I have no concrete expectations for this season. For me it is of course a learning year because I am moving from the 125cc to the 250cc. I want to make continuous progress and this should ultimately be visible in the results. I just want to improve myself time and time again. I am therefore happy to have a two-year contract with the KNMV and the Husqvarna SKS Racing team. This also gives me some peace of mind. I can really consider this year as a learning year to gain as much experience as possible. Then I have to prove myself next year by showing that I belong at this level.”
What are you most looking forward to this season?
“The complete EMX250 championship. You ride on beautiful circuits, against good opponents and you always experience unique moments with the people around you. As the season progresses I can definitely show beautiful things, I am convinced of that! I also enjoy the competitions for the Dutch Masters of Motocross Championship. Here you are riding against the guys who normally race in the MX2 world championship. That way I can compete with the best drivers. During these matches I can prove myself and I have every confidence that I will succeed.”
What is/are your goal(s) for this year?
“My first goal is to qualify directly for all competitions this year from the next EMX competitions. During the season opener in Italy I had some bad luck and unfortunately I didn’t qualify. During the season I also want to finish further and further towards the points. If that is successful, we will have to raise the bar for ourselves again.”
Pic: Damon Teerink