WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MISFIRE
“For 2008 I rode the KTM 250EXC-F, but just couldn’t gel with the bike. My British bike was fantastic, I won the British championship overall again, but my world championship bike just would not run. It was the engine on it – the chassis set-up was fantastic, I could ride it as fast as anybody – but I couldn’t get the power to where I wanted it, it was a bit of a fight that year.
“That led into 2009 – another year where I went backwards. I was transferred to the Husaberg WEC squad – and the ‘Berg was another bike that just wasn’t for me. I could ride it in UK cross-country races and have no issues, but when we went to a British enduro or WEC I’d struggle and struggle, simply unable to get it to turn. I still finished third overall in the British championship, but I wasn’t getting the results I was looking for, I was getting beaten by people that I’d been destroying the year before.
“In all, those two years in the WEC were a let down. I’d won a round of the world junior championship in the US, but that was the only high point. If I’d had another year, on the KTM 450, in the world championship I think we could have done something, but the Berg wasn’t for me.”
“I went back to the British championship for 2010, to ride for Paul Edmondson on the new Suzuki RMX450. A lot of people couldn’t get on with the RMX, stalling it and such, but I seemed to get the bike perfect, found a real good set-up and we got some cracking results, finishing second overall in the British championship and first E2. I had an amazing time with Paul Eddy, he made it a load of fun, he was a great training partner and with that it felt like we were moving forwards again.
“So for 2011 I stayed with Paul, we swapped to KTM and had some cracking bikes and a cracking set-up. We missed out on the overall championship to Greg Evans after I broke down on the second day of the Dyfi Enduro, I got it going again but ended up sixth having lost a minute on the going – and that cost us the championship. But we won the Sprint championship that year, that was back when the Sprints were on a high, some fantastic events.
“We changed brand again for 2012, onto a Honda CRF450. But this bike change didn’t work, it was an okay year, I still managed second overall in the British. I think that year I’d have been better off on the KTM and continuing the journey because we’d had such a good year in 2011, I think we could have done some real damage on a bike we knew.”