Conrad Mewse interview: World and European champ!
It has been a dream season for young Conrad Mewse. At just 14 years old the Somerset youngster can call himself a European and World champion! But that’s the thing about Mewse, he is so down to earth that he would probably never tell anyone.
Mewse and his close knit team are relaxed and appear to take things in their stride. The mix of hard work alongside some good natured banter seems to be a pretty deadly combination. And a world title followed by the European title in front of his home crowd is proof that formula is working.
Indeed, Mewse appears to have all the ingredients to become one of the great British motocross riders of his generation. He can ride the deep Dutch sand, he enjoys the wet conditions and he can win on regular hard pack. Most importantly Mewse seems to have the ability to perform when the pressure is on and that is maybe his most impressive attribute.
MX Vice caught up with the smiling Mewse over the weekend to discuss his season and then spoke to his coach Justin Morris as well as Britiain’s last world champion Jamie Dobb to get their take on how good they think Mewse can become.
Let’s start with 2012, Matterley Basin last year was pretty good for you but you got that puncture!
The weekend was going perfect and then yeah that puncture happened and I was a bit down about that the rest of the weekend but in the second moto I gave it all I got, I had nothing to lose and I won it.
That was against Hsu and Pootjes who won the world and European titles last year. Did that give you the confidence to know you pace was good coming into 2013?
Yeah obviously they are good riders so my confidence was really high going into 2013 and so far it has been good!
You have Justin Morris in your corner did he come on board last year or how long has he been helping you?
He has been helping for for the last seven or eight years and he has been amazing to me ever since we started. He is such a good trainer and has taught me so much stuff.
Does he train you on and off the bike?
Yea but each person helps me in different parts. We but Paul does my main fitness training, Justin does the motocross and dad and Richard who world on the bike. It’s amazing really.
How many times do you get on o the bike during the week?
We try and get out twice a week on the bike if we can and then racing on the weekends as well.
And you’re still at school?
Yeah they have been really good with me let me have time off when I need it so it’s been really good.
Moving on to the Junior world championship what was the track like and did you like it?
The track was amazing, there were about six or seven lines in each turn and it was so grippy. It was an amazing weekend.
Talk us through your two motos, you were battling one of the Americans for the title?
Yeah in the first one I didn’t have a good start, I pulled back through to second but Sean Cantrell was a bit gone, I caught back up a little bit then dropped back towards the end.
In the second moto we were side by side going through the whoops and his chain snapped. So I was at the front and then the last two laps Hunter Lawrence was behind me but I knew if he won it he wouldn’t win the overall anyway. So I let him go by and followed him the last two laps.
Where you nervous or excited in those last couple of laps knowing you were going to be world champion?
Yeah it was an amazing feeling when the chequered flag came out! It was unbelievable.
So, World and now European Champion, how do you feel?
It’s amazing especially to do it in front of my home crowd, it’s unbelievable.
The last race was wet did that make you more nervous or are you comfortable in the rain?
I quite enjoy the rain, it’s more fun. It’s slow and technical rather than fast. I really enjoyed that last race it was nice to be out there.
You looked in control in all three races is that how it felt?
It is easy to fall off in this stuff but I tried my hardest, put all my effort and it’s all paid off.
Is this your last year in the 85s?
Yeah this is the last year in 85s so next year I am doing EMX125 and the 125 Dutch championship.
Are you doing that with a team or just with yourselves?
We don’t really know at the minute but we will see what happens at the end of the year.
Does doing races like this with the GP riders help you learn the tracks for when you move to MX2?
Yeah it does. It is good to rider alongside these guys because you can learn a lot from them.
Have you plans to do the British championship or are you focusing more on the European stuff?
Yeah I focus more on Europe. I don’t really ride in England as much now but it would be nice to do the odd one next year.
Is that just competition wise the competition is stronger for you in Holland and you also get to learn to ride the sand?
Yeah the tracks over there have some of the deepest sand in the world and there are a lot of quick guys over in Europe. But there is in England as well of course.
In the future are you looking to go to MX2 GPs or go to America?
Yeah I will look to do the MX2 GPs and hopefully win a GP. I don’t know if I will go to America or not.
Justin Morris on Conrad…
What are your thoughts on Conrad as a rider and his talent?
In a nutshell he is the most talented rider I have ever worked with. If a book was going to be written he will be our next world champion. But motocross is a funny game, you can’t relax and you have to keep pushing on and doing everything we are doing really. The passion he has got for the sport is relentless and his desire is amazing. You get a lot of kids who can practice but they can’t race -he races.
He never ceases to amaze me on what he can do. These kids he is racing and I mean the top riders in all the classes not just Conrad, they will be the Herlings and Tixiers of the future. So if you judge yourself on how you are doing now against them and as long as women, cars and beer don’t take over his life he will go on to have a long career.
Does your career, the good rides and the maybe even more so the mistakes help you to teach Conrad the right way of doing things?
Yeah, because I never someone like myself guiding me. The positive thing about myself is that I could have had a better career but I enjoyed life too much and I wasn’t focused all the time. Because I didn’t have that last little bit to say, ‘no, you not going here today, you are going to go for a run.’ I was still top ten in the world but when you are talking about competing with the best riders in the world it’s the little things that matter and as a rider when you can’t be bothered sometimes and there is nobody pushing year you don’t bother. But if there is someone pushing you day in day out then you are going to do it. And hopefully that is what I bring to the occasion here.
We work as a good little unit even down to his grandparents preparing the food, it works out lovely. I hope we stay together for a long time to come, I am very proud of what he is and who is.
Jamie Dobb on Conrad…
The world is his oyster at the moment. He has the right mentality and he has everything he needs to be world champion. But these next couple of year are going to be very important. I have actually just started working with him on the management side. These next couple of years are going to be key in getting him to that next level but hopefully he can continue his winning ways.
Interview by Jonathan McCready
Picture by Elliot Spencer