Conrad Mewse has had a positive start to the season, on the surface, as his speed in practice has blown fans across the globe away. It has been phenomenal. There are still perplexing issues that he faces and, to his credit, he was extremely open and honest when discussing those in this MX Vice interview from the Grand Prix of Trentino.
MX Vice: It just did not come together and did not work out. Speed was good all weekend, like Valkenswaard. There was unreal speed, actually, but for whatever reason it just did not come together.
Conrad Mewse: It has been a very tough weekend for us, obviously following on from Valkenswaard where we did not score any points. We managed to score four this weekend, but still nowhere near where we want to be. We have just been struggling a lot recently. It is nothing to do with speed and fitness. Everything is there, as you can see in the practice sessions and things like that. I never once left the top five.
We are just really struggling mentally at the minute to try and put it together in the races. That is one thing that is very, very difficult to work on. We have not quite figured it out yet, which is the reason why we are in the position we are in, but at the moment if we can get this figured out then I feel like we will be away, because everything else is there. That is just the last piece of the puzzle that we need to put together.
Does it all begin with starts? I feel like if you get out of the gate, everything just kind of fixes itself.
Definitely. It is difficult. If I do get out of the gate one race, then yeah. Who knows what will happen? Maybe I will automatically run that pace and I may stay at the front, but at the minute we have not yet found that out. I am trying to work from the back. If I am being truthfully honest, the starts are not one of my favorite parts of the race. I am either kind of in a top three or I am three from the back. That is something that we are massively struggling with.
It is not something to do with my start technique, the bike or anything. Everything is good. I was just saying to Max [Anstie] a minute ago that you could roll off of the gate and still go around the turn in the middle of the pack, which is obviously a bit further up than where I am at the minute. It is literally just the lack confidence that I am having at the minute and, like I said, we are going to try and sort this out, because this is almost ruining my career a little bit.
This is a big setback for me, but we are just going to keep fighting and trying our hardest each weekend. Like I said, Saturdays we have got dialed in and the practice sessions we have got dialled in. Literally all I need to focus on is just getting to that second turn in a good position and then we will be away.
Is this new? Last year you had the random off-weekends, so was this the reason for that as well? Is this a new thing this year?
It has always been a thing of mine, this has. I have always struggled with it. Just this year has kind of been a bit more frequent than what any other year has. Like I said, this is such a difficult thing to work on. Like just any mental kind of issue, it is difficult to work on. We are going to try our hardest and hopefully we can overcome this, then we will be away and then that will be the final piece of the puzzle.
I am no psychologist, so I cannot help you out, but I just had an idea, because you said this year has been more frequent. Do you reckon it is because of you being unbelievable in practice? You can win based on practice. Do you think you are then going into the race and being like, "I need to do this, because I can do this? This is my time," and all of that?
I think it could be partly that. I was speaking with the team and I am setting such high expectations for myself. I am really, really focusing on that start just to try and get out in front of everybody. In the first race I went over the gate and tried to get back as quick as I could to try to get myself up that start straight, but it was a bit too soon and I wheelied. That was the end of that start. I am just almost trying a bit too hard to get myself out there.
Maybe I am putting high expectations on myself, but I believe that is where I should be and I think the team does as well. We have all got the same goal. I actually sat down to myself earlier and thought, because obviously I want to get a podium. That is my dream. That is everyone in this paddock's dream, but I sat down to myself earlier and said let's just focus on getting inside of the top ten first. I have not had one top-ten finish other than the first race at Matterley.
I think Argentina maybe one race as well in the first race, so let's just try and focus on that first. Let's forget the podium and things like that. It is a long season. There is plenty of time for that to come. Like I said, it is all down to those first couple of turns and that start. If we could just really focus on a starting point: Getting inside that top ten, two solid motos and getting some points on the board.
We work towards the top five and then top four, then hopefully get on the podium one day. I am kind of forgetting about expectations for now. We are going to go back to the drawing board. We have got a month break now, so hopefully Mantova should be a lot better.
I will be a nice guy and take some of the blame off of you. The track obviously did not help, because in Argentina you got sh*t starts and came through really well. It was the same at Matterley and even Valkenswaard. Put you on a different track to this one, which is one-lined and all of that, and obviously today would have gone better anyway.
Yeah, I had exactly the same problem in Argentina and I still managed a ninth on the scorecard. The track did not help this weekend at all. It is not one of my favorite tracks. It is probably a long way down the pecking order for me, but it was quite one-lined today. There were not many good lines. Again, like I said, I cannot put the blame on anything other than me. I just need to really focus on myself and mentally get out that gate and, like I said, to that second turn then we should be away.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX