STR KTM’s Team Manager, Steve Turner talks about the season to date in both the World and British Championships commenting on the challenges, the highs and the lows of running a world-class motocross team:
You moved Team STR KTM to the Netherlands this season – what was the motivation?
ST: “The move to the Netherlands was primarily driven by logistics. When you’re competing in the World Championship it’s very difficult to run a team from the north of the UK. Most teams are based either in Belgium or the Netherlands which gives them easy access to most of the European venues. It takes around twelve hours to travel from our previous base to the new one, so if we had not made the move we would in effect lose that amount of time each time we drive to a GP and the same on the way back. With the amount of races in the calendar this year we just couldn’t afford to lose that much time.”
How have the 2013 KTM bikes been performing?
ST: “Matiss was on a 350 last year and Jonathan on a Honda so the 2013 KTM 450 SX-F is new to both of them. The bike’s very different to the 2012 model and the riders really like it. It’s lighter, the handling’s much better and the engine is really impressive. Simply put; out of the box, the bike is really strong, even before we start introducing factory parts and our own modifications. The KTM 250 SX-F is also an awesome machine especially with the factory kit added. Adam loves it and looks really comfortable on it.”
With the move, you’ve brought in some new recruits – how’s the team gelling?
ST: “They’re all getting on really well. The only person who was here last year is Matiss so everyone else is new, but they’ve all gelled together and I’m really pleased with the way they have been working as a team. Everyone’s so motivated and eager to do well, which is the way it should be.”
How do you rate your season so far?
ST: “It’s not been as good a start as I would have wanted, particularly with Matiss being injured which has put him on the back foot in both championships. Missing the first round of the British and first two rounds of the World Championship means everybody has had a head start on him, however it is a long season particularly in the GPs with 18 rounds. The problem for us in the British Championship is that one of the scheduled eight rounds has been cancelled, so he has effectively missed one round of seven which makes it really difficult to catch up. Saying that, however he missed the last three rounds last season and still managed to finish fourth in the championship. For this year, I still think we have a chance of a podium but of course we really want to win!
“Jonathan’s start has been somewhat unlucky with too many crashes, just small mistakes costing him places and of course valuable points. He has some hard pack tracks coming up which should suit him and hopefully he will have some good results which will give him confidence and kick-start his season.
“Adam has had one really good race and some average ones, but he’s still very young and has qualified well at each of the first two British Championship rounds which shows he’s got the basic speed necessary. He has a fantastic style and is a natural talent and I’ve absolutely no doubt he’s going to have some great results this season.”
How are your preparations for the next round of the World Championship in Italy going?
ST: Preparations are going well. Jonathan has been back in Spain practicing on hard-pack in preparation for Italy. Matiss has been staying in Holland concentrating on getting bike-fit after his stint off the saddle following his injury. He’s still buzzing from the podium last weekend, so is raring to go.”
Did you, Steve Turner participate in the MX Harlem Shake earlier this year?
ST: No, I tried my very best to get there in time to partake (honest!).
Team STR KTM currently sits in 18th with Jonathan Barragan and 20th with Matiss Karro in the World Championship. In the British Championship, Barragan resides in 5th Karro in 9th with Sterry in 9th in the MX2 class.