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Surprise package: Stuart Edmonds Interview

Dubliner Stuart Edmonds definitely came in under the radar last weekend but he left as one of the
happiest guys in the paddock.

Only a few weeks after securing a CCR TM deal, the always friendly Edmonds was under pressure to
get adjusted to the bike and perform at a decent level at the first round of the series.

But no-one, including himself, could have expected a seventh overall. It was a stunning result and
one that may just lift Edmonds to a new level with the confidence he has gained.

We spoke to Stuey about his day and discovered just how delighted he is given how much last
minute effort the new team have put it to get him on the start line at Fatcat.

It was a last minute deal to ride with TM was it stressful?

Yea with Rob, he was nice enough to give us a heads up about the deal ending but it was hard for us
all and it was hard for Rob as well.

I managed to get on Revo Talon Kawasaki which was really good. They were really nice to give me
a ride for supercross and they are a brilliant group of guys to work with. We actually tried to get
something sorted for the motocross season but they already had their riders on their team and I
didn’t want to be stepping on anybody’s toes. I wanted to do it right and they are very professional
and they felt the same thing. They didn’t want to take me on unless they could do it 100% but it was
nice that they tried and wanted to help.

Nickie Craigie came along and said he wanted to try do something for me along with Andrew Byrne
from Corcoran chemicals. They wanted me as the main rider and a lot of people have been doing a
lot of work to make it happen. Gavin Craigie, Philip McLaughlin Michael Woodsworth all have been
working really hard to get everything sorted with sponsors. Apico have been really good to me they
have helped out with Arai helmets and Forma boots, Rip and Roll have been back on board to help
with goggles but it has been a stressful time but it has all clicked.

The last week was very stressful because I just didn’t think I was prepared. I was working hard off the
bike but because I hadn’t been on the bike it felt like I wasn’t working hard enough. It has all really
kind of fell into place. Everyone knew I was so stressed coming into the weekend and driving across
there was a lot on my mind because everyone had put so much and I didn’t want to let anyone down
but it has all come together and we still have a lot more to give.

Obviously you were known as a TM rider for most of your career, was it difficult to adjust back?

To be fair getting back on the bike you would swear I had never been off it. I enjoyed it straight
away, it is a mega bike. The 450 has come on a lot since I last rode it. It was maybe three years
ago since I last raced it and there is such a big difference, it is such a nice bike. They have a really
good chassis and a good engine. It is not majorly different to the Suzuki in terms of turning and the
dynamics of the chassis so going from one to the other wasn’t a big difference.

I am still trying to adapt to the bigger bike and the engine. Obviously I was on a 250f the last couple
of years so it’s getting used to the power of the engine again, I’m still a tiny bit aggressive in the
corners, where on the 450 you have to be a bit smoother.

I was on the 450 at the end of last year for the Nations so it was nice to get that bit of time in and I
had a bit of time on Rob’s Suzuki just before Christmas. I am not too far away but I have more work
to put in then I’ll be happy.

Just getting to the races at Fatcat, you got good starts so the engine is no problem!

I think I did two or three practice starts when I first got the bike and I haven’t really been worried
about them. I really surprised myself in the first race. In qualifying I had only got my race bike, it
had only come in a couple of weeks back and I hadn’t got a chance to run the bike in. So we were
running the bike in during qualifying! I couldn’t really put an quick times in, I tried a couple of laps
but obviously not revving the bike too hard in case it would tighten up, so I just literally ran the bike
in and ended up 21st, so I was pleased with that.

When I got that start in the first race I smiled underneath the helmet. If there had been a camera
you would have seen the big grin I had but then I knew I had to work and it took me a few laps to
get into it. But once I got into it we went wel,l then my googles steamed up and a few passed me but
once I took the goggles off it was ok.

The second moto looked really bad, was that some of the worst conditions you’ve had to race in?

I have had some bad conditions in my career between here and being in Ireland but I have to say
that was the one of the toughest races. The first four corners it was just mud and aquaplaning
everywhere and you are holding it wide open to stay ahead of the other riders.

People were falling all over the place then you come over the finish jump and it was just one massive
puddle you couldn’t see the ruts, it was just basically survival of the fittest and making sure you do
every corner perfect and every jump perfect, make sure you aren’t in the wrong gear and don’t go
into the sloppy stuff. It was definitely a hard race but it was the same for everybody.

That gave you good points with the way they configured it for the two races.

Yea I was actually looking at the points and they gave me and Aubin the same points in one race
and that has put me a couple of points behind Nico but I think we should be level or even one point
behind. But I am in seventh place and if you had asked me where I would be happy with on Friday I
would have said I would be happy with a top fifteen.

To come out with what I came out with is a big, big difference and it has kept me smiling all week.

Going into the weekend it wasn’t what anyone expected including yourself, you were probably the
surprise of the weekend in MX1

Yea I didn’t want to go in and get anything less that top fifteen because that would be a waste of my
time and everyone’s time. I knew my fitness was there but I didn’t want to give myself an unrealistic
goal. To come out with seventh and to get sixth in the second race it has put my head on a different
level. I have a whole different approach now to the championship.

A lot of people were saying it was going to be tough this year with the new riders in it, but a lot of
us riders have been working harder and we have stepped up too and people don’t seem to have

Realistically I will be aiming for a top five all year, I will be happy with a top ten but I want to break
into a top five now. I have bettered myself each year and for this year I want to take a bigger step
and set myself a bigger goal because that will make me push harder.

If you are anywhere near the top ten you are riding with “big names”.

Yea I mean Steve Ramon is a top rider and Barragan and Leok still do the GPs. They are all very
intelligent riders and you have the British riders like Brad and Kristian but it’s putting your foot in
and making an imprint that you are there to business and mix it up with the big names. I want to
make my name a big name and be known as a contender.

Is a lot of it just confidence, you have all the skills and technique, does running with those guys at
Fatcat mentally put you on that level and is that the biggest difference?

Yea in the second race I passed Steve Ramon and I was actually quite surprised because he is very
smooth, especially in sand and I was catching Brad, and Brad is an unbelievable rider, so it was
actually quite nice and it gives you that bit of confidence inside and the belief that you can do it.

People say that you can get there but you know yourself that it is a big step to get there. I have had
a bit of belief there and I know I can do it but last weekend has really opened my eyes and knowing
that I have a lot more to give. It is just about pushing on now and showing people what I am able to

I was looking forward to Canada Heights but with the rain and I think I have maybe got a bit of a
chest infection it is maybe better that it was cancelled but no it is a bit of a bummer to be fair. It
hasn’t been a good start to motocross with Hawkstone being cancelled and the first round being a
wet race. It is a good call, it could have been done on Thursday or Friday when we were already on
our way and that is a lot of money wasted.

You have the Red Bulls coming up, your confidence will probably be pretty high for that with a
couple of the GP riders not riding?

Yea I love Landrake and Matt and the guys run a really good show. It is always a pleasure to race
those races. My results have pushed my goals up again so i will be looking to contend for a top three
finish if I can, I got on the podium last year at Culham and I don’t see why I can’t do it again this year.

I just want to say a big thanks to everyone that has helped putting so much effort it including the
CCR TM team, my mechanic Michael, my suspension technician Philip McLaughlin from TAS advance
suspension, Nick and Gavin Craigie and all my sponsors that have helped the team to get us to where
we are.

Interview by Jonathan McCready

MX Vice Editor || 25

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