Matiss Karro on his British Championship title, GP career and plans for the future

Matiss Karro had a good Motocross career, not only did he win a Junior World Championship title but in 2014, on his STR KTM he clinched the British Championship title – one of the best days in his career.

The Latvian showed some good results in the GP paddock as well but looking back knows it could have been even better if he settled for the good results instead of always pushing for better results. Karro won’t be racing at MXGP level anymore but will still be racing Domestic championships as he clearly loves putting in time on the bike.

We caught up with Karro to discuss his British Championship title and much more.

Gatedrop: Were would that day (winning the JWC) rank in terms of career and if there’s better days what would they be?

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Karro: That Junior World Championship title is one of the biggest achievements of my career and I’m really happy about this but there’s so many other races and achievements I’m really proud off.  One of the biggest things and when I was at my happiest was winning the British Championship in MX2. I was part of a British team for I think seven years and with Steve Turner, I managed to win the British MX2 championship. That was an amazing year, it was an amazing team and I had a lot of friends around me in the British series from Latvia and England.  Some British people were cheering for me and that was an amazing feeling (laughs). That was 2014, I am really happy about this year, it was pretty much like winning the Junior World Championship all over again. I was really happy, the season went weird. I’d win two races and then crash in the third race, I was always second and close for the points lead. I needed to back down to win the races because I was so good that year. I remember at Canada Heights, I had a bad start probably around twentieth or something but I got to the front and finished with a nine second gap. When I came to the finish line I stood up on the bike and I showed my guns, I was the man – I won so easy, my head was there and I was a level higher than anyone else.

It felt so so good and the bike was amazing and the team was great. Even now with Steve Turner, I met him a few weeks ago, we sat at the dinner table and we just had a nice chat about the past and those were the best memories. He also said “Matiss, that year was amazing”. It was a great collective team together, the team mates, the mechanics, Steve and his friends. Steve also said he really enjoyed that year – the atmosphere in 2014 was just amazing. He enjoyed it, I enjoyed it and when there’s a good feeling around, you can’t really describe it.

Karro with his Latvian fans. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Gatedrop: You clearly had a lot of talent and winning that championship proved it. Whilst you had some good days in the World Championship, you never reached the heights Coldenhoff went onto reach despite beating him to the JWC, what would you put that down too – any regrets?

Karro: In the GP’s, I had some stupid bad luck. I’m a fighter and always want to show better results and I always want to make passes to do better. Many times that cost me an injury like in Bulgaria 2014.  I was eighth and Todd Waters was seventh and I went for the pass, I crashed, it was a bit of a mud race and in the crash I bent the front break disc. Then on the finish jump, the front wheel locked up so I crashed again, it was with a few laps to go so I lost so many places.  Now I remember all these races and I know now what to do, I should have backed down for the good result and then build on the results.  I always wanted to push a little bit more to get an even better result but that led to injuries and crashes, it cost me big.  I had many injuries but you know, I don’t regret. I have so many friends now all over the world, it was amazing times for me. I have so many nice memories, when I see my friends from school, they were laughing about me doing Motocross and saying “what are you going to do?”. But I have so many good memories from the sport and when I see some class mates these days that were laughing and playing basketball thinking he was the man, he’s just a normal guy in life. He says “Fair play to you Matiss, back in school we were laughing but now you’re a cool guy”, this and that.

I had a little bit of a different childhood you know, In Latvia, the big sports are basketball or ice hockey. Motocross is also there but everything was a little bit different for me. I don’t regret anything. Also, the other Dutch riders, they’re also good riders. For me, it didn’t come together to be the best of the best but the dream was to finish a season top ten in the GP’s, I finished thirteenth which I was really happy with. When I look at that results, if I didn’t have this or that mistake in those moto’s, I could have been top ten but I can’t turn the time back and that’s it.

Karro on the MVRD-Honda. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Gatedrop: What’s the future hold for Matiss Karro?

Karro: I’m happy about my career, time goes fast and I’m 28 now. With the injuries I’ve had, I feel a little bit tired with them. This year I said to myself like last year I’d try to come back to the GP’s to show some results but it’s not that easy. The level has gone up so high the last few years. If you don’t have a team or a location to practice and everything it’s unreal hard to come back. This year I made a big decision that I don’t want to do the GP’s anymore. It’s such a high level and financially, I can’t take it. I’m staying back in Latvia, I’m going to race the Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian championship. Motocross has been my life from my childhood, I started riding a bike when I was three years old. It’s been my whole life so I can’t just say I’ll stop, I won’t race anymore. I’ll race here, I have so many fans and friends here who want to see me at the track and I really enjoy this feeling. Of course I want to win all those championships , I’m making a new step in my life as I started a new business. I know that Motocross won’t be forever so I need to look at something I can do in the future to live and survive. I’m still enjoying Motocross as well.

We recently caught up with Karro to get his thoughts on his Junior World Championship title which you can read, here.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pics: Nigel McKinstry