YOU SHOWED RAW SPEED AT THE MXDN WHEN YOU SET THE FASTEST LAP TIME. Yeah, I was very pumped about that. Timed practice generally has not been my strong point all year. We had some time from the last GP to the MXDN, so we made some chassis changes to the bike, and it really showed in Saturday’s qualifying.
YOU HAD A GREAT YEAR FOR A SECOND-SEASON GP RIDER. I did race the GP 450 class in 2012, but I had a shoulder injury pretty early in the season, and then my year was done. I had raced a couple GPs before 2012, but I primarily focused on racing in Australia.
DID YOU GET A BOOST OF CONFIDENCE AFTER FINISHING THIRD AT ROUND ONE? I wouldn’t say that it really gave me any more confidence, as I already knew what I was capable of. It did get the monkey off my back straight away, and I wasn’t struggling with the pressure of
getting on the box because I had already done it.
WERE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR SIXTH OVERALL IN THE 250 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS? I should have finished second in the World Championships. My bike just wasn’t working that well for me for the first half of the series, but then we came up with some new suspension settings, and my results were leaps and bounds better. I won three motos and an overall after that. I had a few mechanical DNFs throughout the season and missed one of the rounds due to injury.
HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN TO WIN A 250 GRAND PRIX RACE IN YEARS? It was very exciting. I believe it was Andrew McFarlane back in 2005 who was the last Australian to take a GP win. I actually won the Belgian race in much the same way that Andrew won his first. We both won our qualifying races, were on the same
team and won both of our motos. It was a very special day for my family, the team, Australian motocross and for me. I’m now one of only four riders, along with Jeff Leisk, Chad Reed and McFarlane, to take a GP win. I’m proud to have my name alongside those guys!
WAS YOUR YAMAHA YZ250F AS FAST AS JEFFREY HERLINGS’ KTM? My YZ250F was definitely fast. I think that it was about equal to the power of the factory KTM, but I doubt that it was faster. I am sure that my Yamaha was lighter, as it was right on the minimum weight limit for the GP series. We did use a three-speed gearbox, which was likely the biggest difference from any other bike.
YOU’RE MOVING UP TO THE 450 CLASS IN 2014. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS? Some people may think that I am crazy for saying this, but I’m shooting for podiums straight away! ;
By Jim Kimball