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Exclusive – Ben Watson talks MXGP and Matterley Basin

Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 rider Ben Watson had a good opening round of the MXGP season in Argentina at the beginning of the month and is now looking ahead to his home GP at Matterley Basin.

We caught up with Ben ahead of the weekend to talk about the first round, his plans for the home GP and finally looking ahead to the remainder of the season. 

Live Motocross: The MXGP season got underway a couple of weeks ago in Argentina, how was it for you and how was the track?

Ben Watson: “The weekend didn’t really go to plan for me. It was only round one but I expected a little bit more from myself. I wasn’t so happy with my riding all weekend but it’s a long season and right now my feeling is good on the bike so I am not worried in anyway. The track is not one for me, last year was a bit of an exception I think and everything just went my way. There is nothing really so technical on this track it’s with more speed than normal. I came away with some ok points so it’s all good.”

Live Motocross: You are currently in 6th in the MX2 Championship following Round one. What are your plans for Matterley?

Ben Watson: “It’s a nineteen round series, there is a long way to go. My position in the Championship is something I won’t even think about for a long time yet, my goal is to focus on my riding and just get some solid points in the bag, work out some weak points I need to develop and come away healthy.”

Live Motocross: Matterley is your home track, how does it feel riding in front of the home crowd

Ben Watson:“It doesn’t change anything that much for me, there is that little bit more motivation and the support of course is much higher than normal. I just try to focus on my job and not so much what is happening around me, but of course I’d love to put on a good show and get a good result for the home crowd. But I don’t add any more pressure to myself just because it’s my home GP.”

Live Motocross: Why should the British people get down to Matterley Basin next weekend for the MXGP?

Ben Watson:“When the date was announced everyone doubted it, they thought it will be a mudder. We know the weather now, and it’s looking like it will be a dry weekend, the track will be in top form and it’s only second round, therefore it’s an opportunity for the crowd to see some riders for the first time in new colours and of course support all the British riders in all the different classes. Then of course we need your guys support, the more motivation on the side of the track the faster we go!”

Live Motocross:This year your on the 2019 YZ250F, how is the bike and set up?

Ben Watson: “It’s a great bike, I am very happy at the moment, I finished the 2018 season on this bike and then the motocross of nations on it. We haven’t changed so much really; just some small differences to 2018 to fine-tune it in a few ways. I’m not the rider who is fussy with my bike but with the 2019 Yamaha YZ250F you really don’t need to do much with it and it’s amazing.”

Live Motocross: What do you think about the MXGP series and the bigger picture for you in your motocross career?

Ben Watson:“That’s my main goal, MXGP. It’s where I see my future, on the 450 bike, I am tall guy and my style it’s more suited to this bike, but with the age rule I have to move to MXGP for the 2021 season. Right now I am fully focused on MX2 and I will try my best to finish my job here and achieve my goals.”

Live Motocross:Have you been doing much training and riding ahead of Matterley?

Ben Watson:“Yes, I am here in the UK now riding some hard pack tracks, not changing anything with my plan because it’s my home GP, just normally I am living in Belgium so we have decided to come to the UK during the week before and do some training here which is nice. I don’t get to ride here in the UK much now so when I can I take advantage of it and enjoy riding some new tracks.”

Live Motocross: What are your plans for the rest of the season and what’s yours and the teams goal for this year in the series?

Ben Watson: “Most of all, to enjoy myself. I enjoyed my year so much in 2018 and was just riding with a smile all the time therefore had some great results and no real stress. I expect a little more from myself but nothing has really changed from the team or me, we know what I can do on a bike so when I am enjoying myself and giving 100% all the time on and off the track it will be going well. I finished fourth in the 2018 World Championship so I just want to improve step by step, I am not saying my goal is to be a World Champion right now but I just want to improve in myself in all aspects.”

Words – Live Motocross

Photos – Yamaha Racing Website

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