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Interview: Stuart Edmonds

Interview: Stuart Edmonds
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Stuart Edmonds rode to three dominating wins at Desertmartin and looked as comfortable as he has in a long time.

Completely at ease on the TM, Edmonds was in complete control and looked to have more if he needed it on what was a rough, rutted and technical circuit. The stylish Dubliner is synonymous with the Italian brand and it looks like it is set to be a great year for Stuart who’s not only back in blue but also back riding the British championship in 2016.

We caught up with the chatty Irishman at the end of a successful day at Desertmartin for round one of the Irish championship.

Gatedrop: You looked comfortable at the front on day, you must be happy with the three wins and with your riding?

Stuart Edmonds:  Yeah, I’m really happy, I came here to do a bit of extra testing on the track for the British championship. I knew that they were going to run the full track so I decided to just do a local race for once. I knew the track would get cut up and be rough as there was a lot of racing to be done and it turned out good in the end. I just kept my head, I kind of gave myself a bit of a handicap for the first few races by starting on the cement just to get the feel for it because I think it’s going to be like that for the British.

For the last race I decided to build my gate up a little bit like the rest of the boys were doing and I managed to get the holeshot. I am really happy and loving how the bike is set up and how everything is going, I’m just enjoying it really. I have worked really hard over the winter and its starting to show so I just need to push on a little bit more now during the week and get out riding as much as I can – hopefully I can find a few more seconds for across the water.

Gatedrop: The Irish championship has a new format for the 2016 season, what’s your thoughts on the new format?

Stuart Edmonds:  Yeah, I love it, it makes the racing more exciting for the spectators as well and at the end of the day that is what we need. We need more spectators to be more interested in the racing. We have ran this format down south in the Southern Centre Championship for the last couple of years and it’s ran really really well.  You do get a couple of people that get a bit confused but after the first round, like today they will understand how it goes.

There is no room for error in the races and its good for the riders, especially the younger riders that are up and coming.  Even if they go into the B’s they have a chance of qualifying and riding with us. That will help bring them on and if they want to go across the water it won’t be such a hit to them when they get the British Championship and stuff like that because they will be riding with us. If they were just sticking with the B’s they would just be riding against themselves and it’s not really helping them in the long run.  I think overall the new format will be really good for the sport.

Gatedrop:  Last weekend you rode the MX National, you had one average race but one good race. Where you happy with how it went?

Stuart Edmonds:  Yeah, not too bad, I got a really bad start in the first one and the clutch actually went on the start so I nearly hit the start gate. With Preston Docks being so rough and so tight, if you get a bad start it makes it really hard to pass. I got caught in a bit of a rumble with four or five MX2 riders and I used up so much energy trying to get passed the boys.  I made so many stupid mistakes but I did what I could really and I managed to get up to 11th MX1 which was like 16th overall, I wasn’t too happy.

In the second race I made a few changes and got a much better start and attacked early in the race, I managed to do okay, I actually fell off 15 or 16 minutes into the race but caught up and passed a few guys again. A few fellas also fell off so that left me chasing a few MX1 boys, I just need to find a couple of seconds. I’m just a little bit off the guys at the front like Irwin, Barr and Anderson are going really really well but I think I can be up there mixing it with them. I just have to get out on the bike a little bit more and work on some areas where I know I am a little bit weak.

Gatedrop: It’s been a few years, but you are back on the TM now. You seem to click really well with it, what is it about the TM you love compared to other manufacturers?

IRISH C-SHIP R1 12-3-2016 1078Stuart Edmonds:  I don’t actually know! This year I just said to myself that I will base what I can around me and get everyone involved with me that have always been helping me over last couple of years and it seems to be working really well.  We are all working together really well and everyone that have helped me in the past are helping me that little bit extra. You can get a much better deal with the TM because you buy it and it comes race ready, there is no need for new engines and tuning bits and pieces.

I have done very little to the bike and with it being a new bike since I last rode it a few years back.  The bike is so much more well balanced and just riding it is really really easy. It’s hard to explain, people say that I have been on a TM for years and it’s just natural to me but when you actually ride the bike you will understand how easy it is and how good it is. I got on it during the winter time and I gelled with the bike straight away and I have been working hard in the guy as well as on the bike. I think basing myself at home and having everyone around me, it’s good having people by your side and fighting hard for it.

Gatedrop: Going back to last year, you were competing in the German ADAC Championship, how was that experience for you?

Stuart Edmonds:  It was brilliant, it was just pure luck how it worked out. I got talking to a few people I know and I got speaking to Alex the team manager of KMP Honda. It was good, it was an experience and I was coming off an injury so I was constantly catching up on myself with fitness, trying to make my ankle stronger as well and that was holding me back a little bit. I couldn’t do too much during the week with the ankle because it would be sore for the weekend and my riding wouldn’t be as good.

This year I have spent a lot of time strengthening the ankle up and getting it as strong as I can. The races alone over there were just unbelievable, it was just like riding a GP every weekend. The heat in some of the races were 40 degrees and it was nice to experience that. Overall, I think it was a great championship and I think Alex was taking a little bit of time to getting budgets sorted from Honda and stuff like that to come through.

I just said to myself that I didn’t really want to wait around for him to turn me down or maybe have an offer from a different rider from over there or from another country or whatever. I sorted myself out and I just said ‘Look, I’m going to sort my own thing out and I have something sorted with TM’. He wasn’t too happy because we got on really well and we became friends. A lot of the team members too are good friends with me as well so I suppose it could be something I do further down the line again. Where I am now though, I am really happy.

Gatedrop: The level is really high over there but was racing with different competitors something you enjoyed?

Stuart Edmonds:  Yeah, definitely. I think when I was racing in England and back home I was stuck in a rut always riding the same tracks with the same people.  I lost the inspiration of where I wanted to be and I just kept getting bad results or making silly mistakes, small things would happen that would get me down a bit.

Making a change was a big big step for me and to do what I did but it made me realise why I love bikes again and what I need to doing. It has made a major difference in my riding, my training and just my overall thoughts on the sport and stuff like that.  People were constantly saying ‘you’re getting old now and it’s time to pack it in’, I didn’t feel like I was getting old, I feel like I’ve started to peak and get going now! I feel like I have a good five to ten years left in me yet I think.

Gatedrop: Obviously it’s not easy, but Jason Meara is doing the Spanish Championship this year. For the up and coming young guys, would you advise them to go abroad and do a different series as it can help them grow as a rider?

Stuart Edmonds:  Yeah definitely. At the end of the day money kind of holds everyone back really but if Jason is able to get that done then it’s brilliant. It is nice for him to get over there and ride the tracks in Spain with faster riders and stuff. He’s doing Europeans this year so I think he wants to get out with guys he will be racing against and get an understanding to what they are doing and get the speed up that way as well.

With the kids, I think a bit of advice for them is just too, I noticed over the last couple of years that they are lacking at the training and they have the information they need and the people behind them that are willing to teach and show them. They don’t seem to really do anything about it, when I was younger I didn’t really have anyone and had to find out everything myself. What I want to do now is give everyone my information so that the kids over here aren’t struggling so much to get across the water or go do GP’s or anything like that. It’s good what Jason is doing and I wish him good luck this year and anyone else that is doing the Europeans or going across the water – aim high and don’t give up!

Gatedrop:  Last year you rode two GP’s, where you happy how they went and do you plan to do anymore this year?

Stuart Edmonds:  Yeah, I had so much bad luck. I did the German GP and Assen. They were brilliant, I loved it and I loved both the tracks – Assen was gnarly. In the German GP I was sitting 18th or 19th and the moose came out of the wheel so I was annoyed at that. Yeah, it was an experience, I’ve done a lot of GP’s and I would like to do a couple this year.

I have been promised by one of the sponsors that I will be able to do one of the GP’s if I get my finger out in the British! So, that’s my aim, my aim is to be top ten in the British Championship and maybe even push for a top five. I know it’s going to be difficult and a really hard thing to do but I myself know that I can be up there and ride with the top boys. It’s just little changes I need to make and somethings that need to be done when im riding in the week, I know I can get there!

Gatedrop: What full championships will you contest in 2016?

Stuart Edmonds:  My main priority is going to be the Maxxis British Championship. Obviously, with me being home I will do the odd one or two Ulster or Irish races just depending on where I’m going to be.  I’ve also been entered for the MX Nationals and the Pirelli Masters I think so I will do a couple of rounds of those, I won’t be committed to them.

But, actually I have other plans, this is a bit of an exclusive for you, on the 22nd March I will be going over to do a two stroke race in Glen Helen so that is a big thing that is happening at the moment. I have been trying to keep it a little bit quiet, I am trying to get things organised, like videos or someone to come with me to do a fly in the wall type video thing. That is an exclusive for you there and that is my next thing to go for and I am really looking forward to that!

Gatedrop: Thank you for the exclusive, who would you like to thank for making it all possible?

Stuart Edmonds: I would like to say a big tahnks for all the support on Saturday and also to Laurence Spence, Adrian Lappin, me Dad, Alistair Holland and everyone that came up to say hello and that cheered me on.
Also, a massive thank you to all my sponsors, that are as follows:

  • MetconCCRTm
  • foxeurope
  • milwaukee
  • jimmyjonesplanthire
  • pod
  • energisetherapyclinic
  • fibreguard
  • ccmracing
  • electraction
  • metconsbs
  • corcoranchemicals
  • flowfamilyclothing
  • machomartialarts
  • burfield
  • westpartkfitness

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