Whilst all eyes were on the Red Bull KTM team and guys like Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado at the Grand Prix of Czechia, there was another KTM-mounted rider who tasted success. Camden Mc Lellan, a South African rider, raced to the top of the box in EMX85 and actually has a cool story that had to be shared. So, without further ado, here is an exclusive MX Vice interview from Loket.
MX Vice: There was some great racing in EMX85 at Loket. Did the pressure get to you at any point? It seemed like you were very smart in both races.
Camden Mc Lellan: Yes, the racing was great the whole weekend and full of new people to race against. That was also pretty cool. I must say that when I took the lead in moto one I felt a lot of pressure, so just reminded myself to keep pushing and breathe. I knew if I hit my marks I would continue to ride well and be able to take the win too.
Did you believe that you could win going into the weekend? Would you have been happy with just a podium or did you just have one goal on your mind?
I came into the weekend with the same mindset as always… To win! Knowing that I am a hard-pack rider, more than a sand rider, this gave me the confidence as well.
How has the reaction been since the weekend? Are you surprised by the amount of attention and everything that you have been getting? Have any people from the MXGP paddock been in touch?
A smile has not left my face since! We have been approached by many people; media representatives, journalists and team owners for interviews and comments etc. from back home as well as overseas. Not yet by anyone in the paddock, but hopefully soon. I was congratulated by Valentina Ragni, so that was pretty awesome.
What did it feel like racing on an MXGP weekend? The track was obviously prepped for MXGP/MX2 riders, so was there one section that was particularly difficult on an 85?
It was really awesome to think that there may be pro riders watching you and scouts as well. The track was all round pretty hard on the 85. It was really well prepped and made for a lot of fun the whole weekend.
I believe you are currently living in Europe, so how does that work? Have your entire family moved over or are you just making it work with the help of some friends?
We all still live in SA. I spend as much time as I can in Germany living with my trainer, Christoph Selent. Being under the age of sixteen and traveling on a tourist visa, I can only be in Germany for shorts periods at a time so my trips have to be planned around the race calendar. Generally, I am in Germany for three to five weeks at a time. My trainer from SA, Darrel Fitzgerald, put us in contact with Christoph, who started assisting us in the 2017 ADAC series.
Being in Europe is obviously great for motocross. What’s the hardest part about your programme though? How do you find it all?
Yes, the sport is really strong in Europe and that is the reason we decided to race here. Another SA rider was doing the ADAC series in 2016, so that is how we decided Germany was where we needed to be and then after being put in touch with Christoph everything fell into place. The hardest part is leaving all the family and friends behind, but when it all pays off like this it is worth it.
Do you feel like you are at a disadvantage compared to your competition, seeing as you are not living at home and have to learn a new culture?
I do not feel disadvantaged at all, because now I have been in Germany for quite some time so I am used to how everything works and so on. Just the long traveling to races does get tiring, especially if I have flown in on the Thursday and driven to the track on the Friday, raced and then drive all the way back to Germany again. It is also part of the fun.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and then next year? Will the amount of support that you receive increase as you step into EMX125?
For the rest of the year, we are just going to keep doing what we are doing and maybe bring home some more championships. For 2019 I will race the ADAC series and EMX 125 with Kosak Racing Team.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer