Kade Tinkler is not taking the usual Canadian motocross riders path. At only 16 years old Tinkler is living in Italy and riding a 125 Suzuki in the European 125 championship.
But unlike many higher profile riders from North America, Tinkler seems to be adapting just fine and is taking things in his stride.We spoke to the Montreal native, who began riding motocross at three year old, to see just why a Canadian is racing in the European 125 championship!
How did you end up in Europe?
I came over here because I didn’t have anything else. I was pretty much not riding for three months and didn’t really know what to do.
Did you do much amateur stuff in the USA?
I did Lorrettas in 2009, it was my year. I was showing that I was fast enough. I rode 2011 all in the USA then last year I rode pro in Canada to try and get my feet wet but I didn’t do so good. This year I have been trying to do some European stuff.
How do the find the adjustment to the tracks and riding a 125?
It’s pretty good. I didn’t really need to adjust to anything I hopped on the bike and rode it. The tracks I like, they suit my style plus I love 125s because it is wide open.
Where do you live?
I live in Bologna in Italy it is just above the centre. We have a supercross track there, a good shop so it has been a good year so far.
How do you find living there? I know a lot of the North Americans struggle to get used to everything.
I didn’t really have to get used to anything I just take it as it comes. If somebody says go ride I will go ride. I don’t really say no to anything, I try to do it the way Osborne did it.
Has racing in the EMX125 class helped your speed and experience?
Yeah for sure, you get the best of both worlds. It is kind of like a pre-step to the pros. You get longer motos, in the US it is about six laps so you don’t really get that feeling. But here you get the timed qualifying and the motos so it sets you up for a good jump into the pros.
You have seen a lot of the GP guys ride, was it what you expected?
Yeah in 2012 I was watching GPs and it is kind of what I expected but when you are there it is a lot gnarlier than when you just look on tv. Those guys really all go for it and if you leave a little bit of room they are going for it.
Going forward from here are you looking at going back to the US or Canada or try and do MX2 GPs?
Hopefully I don’t really have any idea of what I want to do, I just want to ride and get as far as I can. That’s what I’m doing right now and hopefully I can ride a 250f next year hopefully in Europe. This is what I have right now and it’s good for me so I’m happy. For sure GPs is the goal right now .
The Canadian riders seem good in Canada but struggle to adapt to the USA and there hasn’t really been any Canadians try to do the World Championship. Is it good for Canadians to see you trying something different?
Yeah for sure. I would tell anybody to go outside Canada. That is how you get more experience and when you go back you have more experience than the other guys. For sure I would tell people to race GPs because I love that style. I don’t think other people want it so much. I think people should come out of Canada and go for it.
Canada and the MXDN seems a bit of a tough topic, what are your thoughts on that?
Well for sure if they send a team I want to be on the team! I am already here and I have a 250 and I could ride the MX2 if they want me too. I haven’t heard anything about a team this year maybe I will give them a call! I don’t know the thing is basically there are only two good teams. KTM have a team and Kawasaki have the other team and they don’t want to put one guy on a Kawi and another on a KTM and the other guy just doing it himself. So you need those guys on the factory teams but half of them are American.
Interview and photo by Jonathan McCready