As you know I’ve raced with the Italian Flite team for a couple of years but this year things have changed. Unfortunately the team has decided to withdraw from racing but thankfully Husaberg have stepped in to help me out. Their support has been incredible and they’re really behind the hard enduro scene and believe in what we’re doing.
With that in mind they’ve set up a Husaberg Extreme Enduro Factory team of which I’m a part. It’s great to become a factory rider and with the Tough One marking the official debut of the squad it means that I’ll get to race at home with my new team first. Having won the race for the last two years, I’m hungry to complete the hat-trick. Over the last 12 months I feel that I’ve continually stepped up my riding. Every race I enter, I believe I can win and coming into this season my goal is to try and win them all. That might sound like a big target to set but I feel that it’s a realistic one to try and achieve.
However, I’m not stupid – I know it’s not going to be easy.
Hard enduro is on the up and the depth of talent continues to grow. There’s some fast young guns coming through the ranks and they’re pushing the old guys like me to the max. But by trying to keep one step ahead of them is what keeps me motivated. A few weeks back I raced the Tough One’s Little Brother, which was held in the same venue as the where the Tough One will be. Mostly, I viewed it as good test session, but like I said earlier, every race I enter I still want to win.
All was good during the first 30 minutes and I was holding off Jonny Walker for the lead. Unfortunately, I clipped a rock with my front wheel and it bent my disc. A lap later, my rear disc began to fade and pretty soon I had no stopping power. Trying to get down some of those hills with no brakes was a bit of a mission but I was determined to carry on.
Even though I managed to finish as runner up to Jonny I was still annoyed with myself for making that silly mistake. I felt I was fast enough to win but that mistake cost me any chance of doing so.
But in hindsight maybe losing wasn’t such a bad thing after all. I think it’s made me want to prove myself even more. At the TOLB the top guys were pushing hard to win so now I know what sort of speed they’ve got and what I’ve got to do to match them. After a couple of weeks rest during Christmas I feel like my batteries are fully charged and I’m ready to go racing again. I’m ready to hit the track and get the season started. And what better way to do it than fight for the win at my home race at the Tough One…
See you there!