coming up. There are even 85cc riders that will be
coming soon. The future is good.
DO YOU HAVE ANY INTEREST IN MOVING
TO AMERICA? Who knows? Maybe I will come
here one day. The USGP was the very first time I was
in America. It’s very nice there. First I want to get a
championship in Europe. Maybe then I will come over
like Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen did. They won
championships in Europe and then in America. The
racing seems different in America than in Europe. The
tracks are a lot faster, so I would need to learn that
style of racing. When I watch Supercross, I just think
about how someday I want to win a Supercross title.
WHAT’S IT LIKE COMING FROM LATVIA
AND ACCOMPLISHING ALL THAT YOU HAVE?
Latvia is a very small country, and motocross is not
the most popular sport there. We have many tracks,
just not that many riders. Latvia is a great country,
and I love going home. I think that I know every
motocross rider in Latvia personally! It’s pretty cool.
Since I have been doing well, many more people are
watching motocross. That’s good for the country and
good for me.
ALL IN ALL, DID YOU HAVE A GOOD YEAR?
Yes, for sure. I never had pressure to win the championship. Of course, it would have been better to win
it, but that was never my goal. We went to Mexico
with nothing to lose. The first moto worked out well,
but the second did not. Still, I got my first moto win in
Mexico, and that was an incredible feeling!
PAULS, DID YOU EXCEED YOUR
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE 2015 SEASON? Yes.
Before the season started, my goal was to have
consistent top-eight finishes. After the first three or
four races, I was already top three in the points. I
never expected to be on the podium or battling for
a championship at the end of the season. I was so
surprised when I got the red plate in Lommel; it was
better than a dream come true. Even in my wildest
dreams I never saw myself holding the red plate in
2015. Unfortunately, I lost the championship, but Tim
Gajser is a very good rider.
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO HANDLE THE
PRESSURE OF BEING THE POINTS LEADER?
Not at all. The team has been really great, and Pit
Beirer even told me to take it easy. He said that I
had already done way more than KTM expected. That
helped me a lot. I had nothing to lose at that point. I
was already top three in the 250 Championship. I think
the team may have felt pressure to win a championship with Jeffery Herlings, but after he got hurt there
was no pressure placed on me.
THE 2015 SEASON HAD TO BE ONE OF
THE MOST EXCITING 250 TITLE CHASES IN
YEARS. There were so many guys that won races.
Herlings, Dylan Ferrandis, Jordi Tixier, Valentin Gulloid
and Max Anstie were all battling. In the past you
would only see two guys battling for wins, but this
year there were eight guys battling for wins. When
Jeffrey was racing, everyone expected him to win,
but this year he was under pressure more than ever
before. Everyone was closer to him, and he was not so
relaxed anymore. He is a great rider, and no one can
really catch him unless he crashes, but he got injured
this year and didn’t get to race that much. There were
lots of crashes this year, so at the end of the season
maybe it wasn’t the fastest guy who won but instead
DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH
STEFAN EVERTS. Stefan started working with
me in the summer of 2014, and since last October
we were fully on the gas during training. I moved to
Belgium to be closer to him for training and riding. We
worked very hard in the winter, and in the spring and
summer you could see that the hard work paid off.
Last year I was trying to get into the top 15, and this
year I was battling for a championship. I attribute it
to the efforts of Stefan and his father. It’s a pity that
Stefan is moving to Suzuki and cannot be my coach
anymore, but hopefully I can learn some new things
from Joel Smets when he comes to KTM.
WHAT’S IT LIKE RIDING FOR THE RED BULL
KTM TEAM? The support is amazing and the bike
is very good. All the people involved are very helpful.
Everyone is working hard to become the best team
in the paddock. I have four more years on my KTM
contract. I’m really happy they have faith in me, and
hopefully we can get some championships together.
HOW DOES THE FUTURE LOOK IN THE 250
GRAND PRIX SERIES? Tim Gajser and I are the
young guys who battled for the 2015 Championship.
No one expected that before the season started. In the
future, there will always be some new young riders