Catching Up With… Roger Magee

It has been a mixed year for the HM Plant KTMUKteam but it ended on a high with yet another British championship title.

Elliot Banks-Browne took his second MX2 British championship in a row but this time it wasn’t quite as dramatic as 2012. EBB won the title with one moto to go and was over the moon to successfully defend the title – and so were the team.

It was the third British title in two years for team manager Roger Magee and everyone involved with HM Plant KTM. No doubt it makes the long hours and big travel all worthwhile, but it still hasn’t been an easy season.

We spoke with the delighted team manager Roger Magee as they gave out the customary championship T-shirts.

 

Second British championship in a row for Elliot and he got it done in the second race so I am sure you are pleased with that – less nerve wrecking!

Yeah certainly coming into the final race the past few years, it is not really an enjoyable experience. When everything works out ok then yes you can look back on it and say that it was a good year.  To win it two years in a row shows that last year wasn’t a fluke. To win three British championships in two years, we couldn’t ask for any more.

Next year again we will try and do the double at British level and within the next ten days to two weeks we will be able to announce out full set up for both MX1 and MX2 for both world and British next year.

How many riders in each class are you running?

There will be one in MX1 and MX2 in world and British. Then there will be three MX2 riders racing the British and doing EMX2 but if we are in the fortunate circumstances where we have to substitute riders then there will one for each class.

Just going back to today, Steven Clarke was putting a lot of pressure on Elliot in the first two motos, was that ok from the teams perspective?

At the end of the day they are all racers. But at the end of the day it is a team event and as they say there is no I in team. We have proved last year and this year that if you work as a team with your sponsors, with your riders and mechanics then hopefully you get the good result.

Just looking back at the whole year the GPs didn’t go your way, Elliot’s form here in Britain was a lot better than in GPs is there an answer to that?

I certainly don’t have the answer to it. If we go back one year to Teutchenthal, he gave Tommy Searle a run for his money and he would have been first on your team list for this year but for unfortunately whatever reason, things just didn’t happen.  But he has been strong all year in the British championship he has lead it all year from Fatcat so at British level, yes, we can’t ask for any more. But for whatever reason his confidence wasn’t there at the GPs. It is a difficult class but he certainly should have done that bit better.

Is it more difficult that it was 15-20 years ago to jump from British championship to World level?

Yeah it doesn’t help when people like the ACU reduce the times for the British championship events without actually consulting the teams. But there is a groundswell of opinion that it should be back up to 30 minutes next year. Hopefully people listen because if they don’t they won’t have the teams to do it and certainly from a riders preparation point of view we need 30 minute races.

Looking ahead to 2014 are you hoping for better results from the riders on the Grand Prix front?

Yeah we should have the riders that have already been finishing top six in both classes and again we will be supporting Natalie Kane in the Women’s World championship.  I know we have said it for the past two years, but with getting the monkey off her back and winning the British GP, she now knows she has the speed of Fontanesi so we are trying to put a package together for her as well.

It is going to be higher profile as well with running at the same events as the MX1 and MX2 guys and it all helps the overall set up for the team.

The final one is we have got ten year old Curtis Trimble coming in. It will be his first year on 85s so we don’t know what to anticipate but he is itching to get a bike. Hopefully within the next few weeks will sort that out and get the package for him so he has the tools to do his job. We will probably dip the toe in the water and try and do some 85s European events as well.

Interview by Jonathan McCready

Picture by Elliot Spencer

MX Vice Editor || 25

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