MX Vice: So, Luke, tell us a bit about your background in the sport.
Luke Smith: I have been racing nearly my whole life! I did my first race when I was six on a KTM 50 Pro Junior and, apart from the odd bump in the road here and there, I have basically been riding and racing ever since! Obviously, just like anyone else, it started out as something I just enjoyed and done for some fun on the weekends with my friends. The last few years it’s become more and more serious. I have dedicated my life to it in terms of my training, eating, riding and even leaving my family to move over to England in order to better my racing and chase the goals that I have set for myself within the sport! I treat it like a full-time job whilst working as well to pay for my racing, which is difficult. I know that is what it is going to take to achieve what I want to achieve.
I see most weeks on social media you are out riding on a Wednesday, but what else do you do to get yourself bike fit?
In terms of training, I feel that it is really important to have a good mix of on-the-bike and off-the-bike training, especially during the season. I normally try to do on-the-bike training at least once, sometimes twice per week where possible, and then I have got my racing on the weekends. With off-the-bike training, I do as much of it as I can whether it be before work or around riding/preparing the bike. To be honest I could probably do with a little help and advice on the off-the-bike training side of things, as I feel it can be difficult to know when to train, when to recover, how often to train etc. but for the moment I just try to listen to my body and do as much as I can.
How is your racing season going currently?
This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for me to be honest! I started the year on a 250F Kawasaki, then moved to a 250F KTM and have now got myself a 450F KTM to race. You can probably imagine that at the start of the year I did not expect myself to even be on a KTM never mind an MX1 bike. However, after having a few problems with bikes at the beginning of the year, I was not left with much of a choice but to make the switch to the 450! That being said, I am really happy I did make the switch as I think the bigger bike suits me a lot more and I am feeling more and more comfortable on it every time I ride it. So far, since I moved to MX1, I have managed to score British Championship points in every race I have done and in terms of my riding, I feel like I have so much more to give on the 450F with more time on it. I am really excited about that and looking forward to the remaining races of this season and moving into next year.
What can we expect to see from you next season?
Looking at next year, everything is sort of up in the air at the minute in terms of what I will be able to afford to do and not do! I plan to stay in England again and with a few months of preparation in England before starting next season, I feel I will be in a really good position to start the year as I have never had that before in past years! I hope to continue racing in the likes of the British Championship and MX Nationals, as it is those series that I have set aims and goals for. All being well I will be in a position to continue working towards those!
I would like to stay on a 450 as I feel that the bike definitely suits my riding style a lot more that a 250F does, but in terms of colour I have no idea yet! I really enjoy riding the KTM, but I have never really rode other 450s either. I guess I will just have to see what happens over the next few months.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has stuck by me and supported me throughout this year! There has been a number of times this year things have gone wrong and I thought that I was done for the year, but thanks to everyone who is in my corner I have been able to continue doing what I love and work so hard for and without them it would not have been possible so thank you all very much! Norman Watt Motorcycles Box-it South Midlands , Matt Smith Electrical Putoline UK, KAS Suspension, Moto Shack Custom Graphics, Apico Factory Racing, Malcolm Rathmell Sport, Decade Europe, Motoseat UK, Owkay Clothing, Nutt Travel, NW Plant Hire, DJ Racing and DirtDoll Designs.
Interview: Sophie Mcginn | Lead Image: DCMX