The early season leader in last year’s MX1 championship before crashing out of contention, Stephen Sword’s dropped down to MX2 for 2013 racing a Buildbase Honda for long-term friend Dave Thorpe.
DT helped steer Swordy’s career when he wasn’t long out of the youth ranks and the 33-year-old Wiltshire-based Scot is looking forward to riding for the three-time world champion again.
Here’s what he’s got to say…
RBPN: First off mate, how are you?
Stephen Sword: “Pretty good thanks – family is all good and life is not too bad…”
RBPN: Steve, you’re back with DT for 2013. You two go back a long way – it must be good to be working with him again?
Stephen Sword: “Yeah, it’s great as always and being busy with the Honda Off Road Centre is cool too.”
RBPN: You’ve dropped back down to MX2 this season – are you ready to lock horns with all those ambitious young guns in the division?
Stephen Sword: “I enjoy the MX2 bike and like you say there are some ambitious young riders. But I will enjoy racing with them and believe I can run their pace.”
RBPN: Your major success has always come on a 125/250F – reckon you can still cut it on a smaller bore bike?
Stephen Sword: “Yeah, I think so. To win you have to believe and I believe I can win.”
RBPN: How’s your training and testing gone?
Stephen Sword: “It’s going good and to be honest I haven’t done a lot of testing. Between training, riding and the off-road schools I’m pretty busy. I’m trying to ease my way into the season – I expect to get faster and stronger as the year goes on.”
RBPN: A Red Bull Pro Nationals crown is the only major domestic title that’s eluded you – how do you rate your chances?
Stephen Sword: “I would love a Red Bull Pro Nationals crown. It won’t be easy but I see me having a great chance.”
RBPN: Who do you think will be your main rivals this season?
Stephen Sword: “There will be a few that can win but again consistency will be the key.”
RBPN: Which track are you most looking forward to racing in this year’s series and why?
Stephen Sword: “Landrake is a great one for me – I enjoy the track and how the lines develop. I’m looking forward to Weston too, that should be something different.”
RBPN: You came out firing on all cylinders at Landrake last year – can we expect more of the same this time around?
Stephen Sword: “Yes, I think so. Last year I was on the 450 so getting out the gate was easy but being on the 250 will be a challenge. I will be pushing for the top step but also have in mind that you need good points at the first round.”
Picture by © Sean Lawless/e22sports