want. I know it is going to be difficult in the beginning, because when
you start at zero, everything is new.
Together, we need to learn, so I don’t
expect any podiums or even top fives
in the beginning. We need to build up
WILL YOU BE DOING ANY
RACES ON THE TM PRIOR TO
THE MXGP SERIES? Yes, I am
going to do the complete German
Championship. It will be seven races
between the GP dates, so I’m going to
be really busy next year. The German
Motocross Championships have
become the second biggest championship after the GPs. It is especially
important to me, as I am German, and
important for TM also.
GETTING BACK TO 2018
WITH TM, WHAT ARE YOUR
EXPECTATIONS? There are not
huge expectations at the beginning
of the series. First of all, it is a new
team. Second, it is a brand-new bike.
Third, we have to test as much as
possible in order to be ready. Fourth,
there are many things to plan out and
many trips to Italy before the racing
begins. Fifth, I was on bigger teams
with KTM, Honda and Husqvarna.
With a smaller team, it is normal to
have less money. Cost-wise, it is a bit
more challenging. We will try to make
it as good as possible and to get some
good results. My contract is for 2018
with an option for 2019.
YOU RACED FOR HRC HONDA
BEFORE HUSQVARNA. HOW
DOES THE TM COMPARE TO
EITHER OF THEM? The Honda felt
physically smaller than either bike,
and the power was not as much as
the Husqvarna. The Husqvarna had
awesome power but felt very much
different from the Honda. The Honda
and TM have aluminum frames, while
the Husqvarna has a steel frame. It is
hard to compare the bikes, because
you race with what you have and
adjust accordingly. But, I can compare
the teams. The TM team is quite a bit
smaller than the Husqvarna or Honda
teams, but that is actually the style
that I prefer. You can work a bit easier and get quicker results. It is very
important as a team that everything
goes well. You need to feel comfortable and have a good relationship
with the team.
YOU DIDN’T LEAVE
HUSKY BECAUSE OF POOR
THE TEAM DOWNSIZED FROM
THREE TO TWO RIDERS. That is
true. They had contracts for 2018 with
Gautier Paulin and Max Anstie, and
my contract was finished after 2017.
So, when they decided to go with
two MXGP riders for 2018, I was out.
There was no place for me anymore.
I don’t think it was because of poor
finishes. Okay, we did have some
problems this year with my starts,
but overall everything was fine. I was
not their top-placed rider, but we had
good results. I don’t think they were
unhappy with me.
CAN YOU TALK MORE ABOUT
2017? In the beginning of the year,
it was very difficult. Actually, I had
a good winter of preparation, but we
got a little lost in some ways. The
team thought, and I thought, we had
prepared really well for the GP season.
Then, coming into the first races, we
recognized that we were not prepared
enough. Quite honestly, I was too
slow at first. Then the season started,
and it was difficult to change some
things on the bike or change parts to
get it better. It took quite some weeks
to find out what the problem was. The
biggest problem was with the metal
grid on the starts. I thought we were
ready for the 2017 season to start, but
in the first two GPs in Indonesia and
Argentina, I was never in the top 15
off the start. If you start 20th, then
you can’t finish in the top five in the
race. It is too difficult to catch up.
THE 450 CLASS IS SO STACKED
THAT IT’S VERY DIFFICULT
TO RECOVER FROM A POOR
START, ISN’T IT? Yeah, that is