Interview: Stuart Edmonds – I’m feeling really comfortable

Stuart Edmonds switched from his trusty TM to Apico Husqvarna this winter and he already looks very at home on the Husky going by his performance at Desertmartin in the opening round of the Irish championship.  

Edmonds looked superb, was flowing all day on a rough track and even an early crash in race two couldn’t prevent him hunting down a fast Richard Bird for an exciting win in the final few laps.  

Edmonds is a popular rider in both the Irish and British paddock with his cheery, outgoing nature, but once one the bike he gives nothing less than 100% and he has the talent and technique to back up his effort – giving him the platform to achieve his goals.  

We caught up with Stuart at the end of a very cold day and, after getting a photo with one of his young fans, Edmonds talked about his day, his switch to Apico Husqvarna and his goals for the season.

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A pretty dominant day but the second race you made it hard for yourself going down? 

Yeah just with it being so cold I couldn’t feel my hands on the first couple of laps and I was struggling to control the bike, I just made a small mistake and it turned into a big mistake then I couldn’t’ start the bike. To be fair it gave me something to concentrate on and try and catch the guys from the back. I push a bit harder coming from the back than when I am in the lead, when I am in the lead it’s a bit more controlled. So, I needed that push mid-moto just to see what the bike was doing. I really enjoyed it but also the first moto and the last one. I’m to get some time on the bike and get some set-up and I knew it was going to be rough so I said I have to come here and get some time on the bike. 

When you have such a big lead like you did in the last one, are you able to keep your concentration?  

Once I got a rhythm going I was fine. I was able to break the gap to second place and then I can concentrate more and ride my own lines and where I want to go on the bike. When I am in that zone it’s great, it’s really handy and it’s effortless to me because once you have a rhythm going and you aren’t making mistakes, it makes the riding easy and that’s what I like doing. If I could ride like that all the time, that’s when I’m at my best but the problem is being able to switch to that all the time. The problem is sometimes when you are mid-moto, in the middle of a pack it’s hard to do that. I know myself smoother is fast but putting it into practice is the main thing.  

Edmonds had the flow going all day at Desertmaritn. Pic: Jonathan McCready

This is you second race on it this season how are you feeling on it? 

I’m feeling really comfortable. I feel I am a little bit behind schedule in terms of testing, but if I compare myself to this time last year I only had my bike a week so I am ahead than last year but I still have a lot to improve on, I have a lot more testing to be done, that’s why I’m here today just to get more comfortable on the bike and get that half a second there, half a second here so I am ready for the MX Nationals and the British – that’s what it’s all about. Because I work during the week I don’t get a lot of time off, compared to work all the other boys are doing, they are out two or three times a week and I am only getting out maybe once during the week and once or twice in the weekend but I have to make do with what I have got. I am really, really enjoying the riding and the work as well, it’s a busy lifestyle but I like it.  

It is probably a good relief to get on a good team and bike early coming into the season? 

Just before Christmas CCM racing stuck behind me and got me two bikes, we wanted to make a change and Husqvarna UK were making a nice little deal for us and we just said, ‘change is as good as anything and it might open more doors for us.’ Maybe two or three weeks later we got a call from Apico, Dylan and Scott said they wanted to do something with me and after a couple of weeks we came to an agreement. I am still in charge of my own bikes, Gav still owns the bikes at CCMracing and Apico gave us a really good budget to run the bikes and maintain the bikes.  

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So, I am still with all my personal sponsors and Apico are giving us a dig out and really, really helping us. So all my usual sponsors; CCM racing, Husqvarna UK, Mooney’s Hyundai,  Apico factory racing, Talon engineering, Answer racing, Arai helmets, Forma boots, Scott goggles, POD knee braces, Status YK clothing, Olfi camera,  GOMX distribution, Pirelli MX, Putoline UK, Westpark fitness, Pro Green MX, Jim Jones Plant, Macho Martial Arts, Hamilton sports, Magilligan MX Park, Curtis Enterprise, Caffrey International, Balbriggan service centre, Corcoran Chemicals, Electraction, Spence racing, TMC motox, Ankon, HGS exhausts, Boyesen factory racing, Raptor titanium footpegs, Joov muscle spray. 

Paraic and Mark Mooney have made me a Mooney’s ambassador for 2018 and provided me with the use of a brand-new van. They have been involved in the motocross before I was born and I am delighted to be able to work with them this year. They share the same passion as I do in motocross if not more and it is very important that I have great people like that supporting me so a big thank you to those guys. 

This year has been amazing for me and it has been unreal all the people that are behind me and want to back me and believe me. To have that much support behind me is great and that’s why I put 100% in and to get the deal with Apico and all my sponsors, I am very, very lucky.  

I have a few years left in me and I think I can surprise a few people this year. Everyone that has been looking at me on the bike, even my dad, this was the first time he has seen me on the bike and he says I am looking a lot better this year than ever. For someone close who has seen me ride all the time to say that to me, and Laurence Spence said it too me as well. It’s different to hear that from them when inside my own head I am thinking I have a lot more work and prep to do but they are reassuring me that I am going good, so it is nice to hear that and that my work is starting to pay off.  

But what matter is round one, well round two now that round one was cancelled! I was actually pleased it was as I had been sick but I am looking forward and I am delighted to have all these boys behind me, it’s great to have.  

What are your goals for the Maxxis British championship and the MX Nationals? 

I’m not too sure, in the British championship I know I am a top ten runner but realistically I think I can be top five. If there are no problems, last year I showed I have top five speed. I think personally think I can get on the podium once or twice and if I can get on it consistently that would be even better. It just depends how hard I can push now in the next few weeks and if it all comes together. Everybody is going to be working hard and it’s not going to be easy but my goal is to be top five in the British championship and the MX nationals I would be going for top five as well.  

Will you be doing many races here at home? 

I will be doing the ones I can but some will clash with the MX Nationals, I might even do some Ulster championships as well but I have to be careful I don’t burn myself out because I am doing a lot of training and with working I have to be careful where I am using my energy. My family and friends are telling to rest and not keep pushing and pushing all the time so I need to start listening!