The dominant force in last year’s Red Bull Elite Youth Cup, Josh Gilbert was the first of our 2012 champions when he sewed up the BW85cc title one round early. But the 15-year-old is facing a huge challenge in 2013 when he moves up to the Rookie division aboard a 250F.
We caught up with the 15-year-old from St Dennis inCornwallwho for his new campaign is backed by the Dave Thorpe Honda Off-Road Centre, Bikesport and Fox.
RBPN: How’s your pre-season testing and training gone Josh – been anywhere exotic?
Josh Gilbert: “It’s gone really well. I’ve been physical training with Dickie Dye and also I’ve done a lot of training at home. But just as the season started I was practising and fell off and partially dislocated my shoulder which was a bit of a setback. I haven’t been anywhere exotic but at least I’m used to the cold and wet weather!”
RBPN: How have you found the move up to a 250F?
Josh Gilbert: “The Honda 250F is so much better than my 150F. It’s better for cornering, jumping and I just love the power.”
RBPN: What aspirations are you carrying into the 2013 Red Bull Elite Youth Cup?
Josh Gilbert: “This year is going to be hard and my goal is for top 10 finishes and to progress as the year goes on.”
RBPN: Who do you see as your main rivals this year?
Josh Gilbert: “There are a lot of good riders in the Rookies this year and I know it’s going to be a tough year but I’m ready for it.”
RBPN: The opening round at Landrake is just up the road for you – how important is home advantage?
Josh Gilbert: “It’s great that we don’t have to travel far for the first round and the track at Landrake is awesome but I don’t feel that it’s a big advantage because I don’t get to ride there very often.”
Pictures © Nuno Laranjeira