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Under the Radar: Matiss Karro

Matiss Karro has had a troublesome start to the year, has he not? Although Karro has shown some potential when he gets on the bike, he has been hindered by constant injury woes. But these issues are not exclusive to this season, are they? The Latvian has had a tendency to get hurt very frequently throughout his career. Now, I just hope that he can stay healthy and put in some solid months of riding aboard that STR KTM that he pilots.

Whenever Matiss Karro has been on-track, he has looked very strong; hence why it is slightly disappointing to see him on the injury-list so often. In 2012 Karro shocked me with his speed and ability, to be honest. So I was interested to see how much of a contender he would be in the Maxxis British Championship this year. But he fractured his wrist in the week prior to the first round, which immediately cost him a shot at the title. The most unfortunate part of that pre-season injury was the fact that he had only just returned from his back injury in 2012.

Matiss Karro did return to the series at round three [Lyng] in April. Surprisingly, he got up on the box immediately with three podium finishes to his name – a credible achievement when you consider the amount of time that he had on the bike before that race. Although his title aspirations had evaporated already at that point, at least he proved to himself that he could of (and would of) been in contention had he been healthy. The Latvian would be in the fight for the win from that point onwards, right?

In the weeks following Lyng Matiss Karro fractured his wrist (the same one) again at Agueda, the GP of Portugal. Although the time that he was off of the bike for wasn’t as long as earlier in the year, he still missed out on valuable race-time; Matiss had to miss the following round of the Maxxis British Championship [Milton Park] also. However he returned to the domestic series this past weekend with some success, which further indicates that he could have been in a position to contend for a championship had he stayed injury-free. Unfortunately thus far he has not shown that he can do that, though.

It seemed as though Matiss’ second comeback this year wasn’t going to go as well as the first earlier this year, as he ended the MX1 qualifying session in ninth. Clearly raw speed is not an issue for the STR (Steve Turner Racing) KTM rider, as he managed to acquire second a couple of moments later in the Superpole. In moto one Matiss finished up in second as well (his best finish so far this season) after starting in that position. At the end he was ten seconds behind the eventual race winner, Kristian Whatley.

You could argue that Matiss was certainly the second best rider in the MX1 class on Sunday, as he occupied that position again in moto two. However, this time he chased Nicolas Aubin to the finish; he was just one second down on the fast Frenchman. Following that moto two finish the Latvian was actually in a position to clinch the overall win. In the mixed race Karro had his worst finish of the day, despite setting the fastest lap time. Matiss’ third in the moto gave him an overall finish of second, which proves that he could have been a title contender.

Now, Matiss Karro (and the entire STR KTM team) will head to the French facility of Ernee for the eighth round of the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship. Karro has lined up at just four rounds this year, because of the multiple injuries that he has sustained. However at one of those rounds he posted results on the edge of the top ten. The grand prix of Trentino was the best he has performed this year on the world stage, and the hard-pack soil is similar to what the riders will face at Ernee this weekend. Perhaps we will see the Latvian inside of the top ten?

Words by Lewis Phillips

Image courtesy of Kev Reid

MX Vice Editor || 25

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