Josh Spinks has had a turbulent season, which has included a team change, but things have really turned around in the second half. A successful showing at the final round of the EMX250 series, which runs alongside the FIM Motocross World Championship, ensured that this can be labelled as a breakthrough season. Spinks managed to post the second-fastest time in his qualifying session and then back that up with a fourth in moto one. What did he think of his weekend? Well, we tracked him down post-race to find out.
MX Vice: Obviously this was your first race in EMX250. I guess results were not necessarily the focus coming in? It was more about making a splash and getting your name out there? I feel like you have done that, so you must be pretty happy.
Josh Spinks: Yeah. Really, really happy. My first EMX250 ever, so just to qualify was going to be the main goal and then just get some points. But, yeah, it started off really well in qualifying.
Would you say that was the highlight? Obviously the first moto was good. Fourth is, I guess, better than you expected coming in, but I feel like qualifying really put your name on the map.
Yeah, it came as a surprise, really. I went for my first fastest lap and that came up as third, which is a surprise to me if I am honest. Then I went for another lap the second lap in qualifying and that was P1, which was held right until the last lap, and then I finished P2. I was super, super happy with that. I think that set the day up quite nicely.
Second moto obviously you could have finished on the overall podium. I don't know if that maybe played on your mind entering the moto, but just talk us through what happened there.
I would not say in a negative way. I was actually really excited to start today and really try to get on the podium. I worked my way up to second in race two, which at the time was more than good enough for the overall win. I was not aware of that at the time, so I did not feel like I was riding with pressure. I just made a mistake at the base of the steep hill, lost all drive and could not make it to the top. That ended my race right there. Pretty gutted with that but, overall, I’m really, really happy with the speed.
When you saw the rain coming and the track conditions this morning, were you happy? I guess obviously everyone associates British riders with those conditions, so maybe it played right into your hands?
Yeah, nothing new to us. I wasn’t put off by it at all. Yesterday’s race was quite wet. Not as bad as today, but we sort of had a taste today and that went well. But, fortunately, I’m quite a strong build, so I’m quite strong on the bike. I was looking forward to it, really. It is just a shame it turned out as it did race two.
Why now? Obviously, we have had loads of EMX250 rounds in Europe this year. We are late in the year now, the British season has gone and there is nothing after this to necessarily lead into.
I suppose the timing worked for us financially. I started off with a team on a Husqvarna at the start of the season, which went sour. Then we went to sort of a privately-run thing and the budget is tight. I am not going to lie about it. We’ve been focusing on the British Championship and, because this is the final one and it is not too far away from where we are at all, it is not much of a drive. A few of my friends got together and paid for my entry. Just the timing was right for this one.
Have you realized now that this is kind of where you need to be? Are you gutted you have not done more this year?
Yeah, it is all about opportunity. I’d like to do every single round of these. Like I suppose I’ve proved this round, I can be fighting for podiums. But it’s all opportunity and, unfortunately, I’m not in the same boat as a lot of people who I race against.
If you had a choice and it came down to doing the eight British Championship rounds or, say, five of these, what would you choose? What do you think would be most valuable to you as a rider and your career moving forward?
That is a tough call. There are a lot of teams about in this paddock and eyes on the races, so I think that plays into your favor. That is why I am happy that at times this weekend the results and speed was really good. I’d probably choose the European, just for the experience of riding with different riders and the track conditions are much tougher here than we have back home.
From what I understand, your team is kind of based around you. Not your team, as such, but you can lead the direction it goes, so next year are we going to do that?
Yeah, perhaps. We already spoke last night about maybe doing a couple next year. It just depends on my mechanic, because it takes him a few days off work and that obviously comes at a cost. If we can put it all together, we’ll definitely do a couple of rounds. We just need to figure things out and hopefully gain a bit more budget to support us through.
Does that mean you are going to be sticking with the same set-up, bike, group of people and have a bit of stability in your programme heading into the off-season?
Yeah. This will be the first year ever that I’ll be starting the next year on the same bike and equipment. So, definitely committing to the 250F and staying KTM. We have got good set-up as it is and we can try and build on that through the winter. So, we’ll stay with what we are on now and that should lead us good into 2018.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: MPS Images