Is there anyone coming up through the ranks in Britain? That question has been asked countless times in recent months and the answer is yes, there is! Step forward Joel Rizzi. Rizzi has made the step up to the 125 for the first time, but is all about pushing forward and gaining as much experience as possible. That’ll start at the first round of the Michelin MX Nationals this weekend.
MX Vice: How excited are you to jump onto a 125 this year? Was staying on a BW85 for another year ever an option or something that you wanted to do?
Joel Rizzi: I’m very excited to be on a 125. I have only just turned thirteen, so I could have raced the EMX85 championship this year, but I spoke with Dad, Mum, the team and RMJ and we decided for me it was better to move up.
Going from an 85 to a 125 is supposed to be easier than going straight to a 250F, but what has it been like? Have there been any struggles?
Not being able to touch the floor is an issue, but when I’m riding I feel great. At first it was hard, as it is heavier and the motos are longer, but I’ve trained harder than ever this winter and I’m already feeling stronger on the bike.
Do you have the next few years planned out? Is there any pressure to perform or is this just a learning year, ahead of a full EMX125 season in 2018?
I want to race MXGP in a few years, but I don’t really think about it. I will probably look to do two years on a 125, but it depends how things go.
Have you ever looked at the top amateurs before you and thought about getting out of Britain? It seems that has been successful for guys like Anstie and Mewse.
I want to race full-time in Europe doing the Europeans, before moving to MX2. After that I want to go to America to race.
Racing the EMX125 class can be a big step, but what experience do you have racing internationally? Do you know what to expect?
I’ve done a few EMX65 races, but I think racing at a GP is going to be very different. From what I see the times in the EMX125 class are all really close. Also the intensity and how they push for the whole thirty minutes too. It will take time to get used to, but that’s what this season is all about. It’s the only way to learn.
Do you feel more pressure, seeing as you have RFX KTM and RMJ behind you, or does it just add to your confidence?
It doesn’t add pressure. The team has a great atmosphere, which helps. Everyone is behind me and helping me achieve my goals. Being on the Pro Academy this year has made me feel way more confident; I’m so much fitter and stronger than before. I think having my teammates around at GPs will help, as they have raced EMX and GPs.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: RFX KTM