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Catch Up: Luke Burton

Luke Burton is this year’s AMCA MX1 champion. After winning the MX2 title last year, Luke stepped up to MX1 and won in his first year. It wasn’t an easy task! We caught up with Luke to hear his thoughts on how this year’s gone for him…

MX Vice: Luke, it’s obviously been a pretty good year for you. You won the AMCA Championship in the MX1 class a year after winning it in the MX2 last year! How’s this year been for you?

Luke Burton: It’s been an awesome year, considering a few issues I had with myself. I started out the year open minded about the MX1 class, as it’s so strong throughout the field. I turned up to round one at one hundred percent; I did all I could to prepare and I came home with all three moto wins. It went a little downhill for me from there, as I had a crash off the start at the Maxxis and broke my scapular. That made riding my bike almost impossible! I didn’t get any practice in on the bike, so I just worked closely with my trainer Luke Ursell to do all I could to be ready. He heavily strapped my shoulder before the weekend’s racing.

I was like ‘man I can’t move my shoulder with all this on,’ but Luke said it’s the only way you’re going to race. As the week’s went by my shoulder started to feel a lot less painful and I felt like I was making progress again. Then I started to feel really crap in myself only being able to do ten minutes on my bike, as I just felt like I was gassed! I just felt like I was getting worse as the weeks went by, so I made the decision to go and get a blood test. I was told I had glandular fever and it all made sense why I felt like I was getting worse. It felt like a big relief when I was told there was something wrong. After being treated I quickly made progress again, felt very confident on my bike and had loads of good results in the races just past midway in the season.

I was trying to make up for lost bike time riding every weekend at my local track, but unfortunately it bit me in the ass [laughs]!  I crashed in a turn at walking pace and landed on my butt, causing a large haematoma in my right butt cheek. I knew when I picked myself up and sat on my bike something was wrong again! I tried to ride it out at home overnight and the pain become next level. I felt like my butt was going to explode! It was around 2am and I was squealing – it looked like I had a plum in my butt cheek! My fiancé, Amie, said that she had rung me an ambulance. I told Amie to ring them back and cancel it, as there was no way I was getting in an ambulance and losing my dignity.

All jokes aside; I had to have an operation where they cut it open to drain the blood out. I was told they don’t stitch it back up, as it’s a open wound packed with gores and it has to heal from the inside out. I said there was no way, as I had a race coming up and they said it will take six weeks to heal plus seeing a nurse daily to have it cleaned. Going into Brookthrope with a hole in my ass, I was bricking it at the thought of making it any worse. It was an awesome day considering I couldn’t sit in the turns properly. I managed to get third on the box and went home happy.

I had five weeks until the last round of the championship, so I took four of the five weeks off to recover and missed round seven of the Maxxis British Championship. That gave myself a week to be ready for Long Lane. I was actually feeling really refreshed and ready, so I took the top step on the box and took the championship too! Considering the ups and downs throughout the year, I can’t ask for much more than winning the AMCA MX1 Championship!

What was it like having the pressure on you at all times? Obviously you and Gary Gibson were pretty much neck to neck going into the last round!

To be honest with you; I’m not one to feel much pressure as I’m quite mentally strong with the help of Uncle Wag, Mark Jordan, Luke Ursell and my buddy Rhys Meakin. They’re always giving me confidence – there are never any negatives. It was more getting myself ready to race again. You can’t really look around you or you’re not going to move forward.

You’re joining FUS Husqvarna next year. How will things change for you?

Yeah, I’ve moved over to FUS Husqvarna for 2017! My riding and training will still be the same. I’ll just be inside a great, fun and well-run team! It’s a great atmosphere around the FUS guys. There are lots of laughs and jokes, but at the same time it’s very professional!

Which series do you plan to do next year?

AMCA MX1 Championship and possibly the IMBA, if I can get the funding to make it happen!

Do you ride much during the week or do you work full-time?

I work part-time and I also have a training school, so I do get to the track quite a bit. Unfortunately I don’t ride, as I concentrate on training people. I love the training side of work and seeing happy faces leaving the track! I also do training programmes for people in the gym.

Which track was the best for you this year?

There’s no question, as Hawkstone Park is the best track on the map. I enjoy them all though!

Is there anyone you want to thank for the help over the last twelve months?

I’d like to thank Rikki Priest, Ray Lewis, Mark Spencer, Luke Ursell, Decade, 1st MX, SPS suspension, Streads Fitness Centre, CGH imports, Diki Quance Dunlop, Denton engineering, Apex Motocross Track and Rock Oil. But, most of all, my Mum, Dad, fiancé Amie, Uncle Wag, Mark, Jenny Jordan and all my friends and followers. They’re very supportive of my racing!

Interview: Matt Singer | Photos: Matt Singer

MX Vice Editor || 25