FIVE MINUTES WITH... STEVEN CLARKE
The Stourbridge man has returned to UK motocross after Australian and US Supercross, having linked up with the HM Plant KTM UK team.
Something of a journeyman racer despite only being 23, Steven Clarke has raced all over the world already. The Stourbridge man has returned to UK motocross after Australian and US Supercross, having linked up with the HM Plant KTM UK team.
Usually riding MX2 in the Maxxis British Championship, Clarke is competing the EMX250 class at the Matterley Basin MXGP this weekend and we caught up with him
How’s your 2013 season been so far?
Well, it’s been a bit up and down if I’m honest. I had some really good results when I first came back to the UK, then some silly incidents – like a flat tyre at Hawkstone; which doesn’t happen very often on a sand track. Then I got taken out into a fence at Foxhills when I was on for the overall win and then back on the podium at Desert Martin.
But it’s gone by really quick. I didn’t come back to the UK until mid April from America (East Coast Supercross), so I missed the beginning of the series and everyone was already in a groove and I’ve just been playing catch up since.
How’s HM Plant KTM UK team treating you?
They’re great. I love the environment; the whole set-up. Everyone gets along and I think I fit in quite well. I would love to get something sorted with them for next year.
How’s your British Grand Prix going so far?
I’m feeling quite good in EMX250 at the moment. In qualifying practice the bike and I were feeling really good, but I didn’t get a fast lap in, what with a few people in my way. I think I proved a point in my heat race by going from something like 25th to 3rd, setting one of the fastest lap times and jumping the quad - which nobody here had done at that point (Friday).
I’m looking forward to it. The aim is a podium, top step of course, but anything more than a podium would be great.
You like what they’ve done at Matterley Basin?
Obviously there have been some changes since I last came here in 2006, back when I was 16, but the track is wicked. Just a shame we don’t go out today (Saturday) as the track looks prime!
What do you like about the KTM 250 SX-F?
You mean what don’t I like? The answer would be nothing. It’s a futuristic, next-level bike; that’s the way I’d describe it. The brakes are better than any of the competitors, the electric start saves 30 second in a crash and the power in the engine is something else. Everyone knows the KTM is quickest bike on track by far and I’ve proved that in the Maxxis British championship with a couple of podiums on a bog-standard bike with even a stock exhaust fitted.
What do you do when you’re not racing?
Train! Motocross is my life. Has been since day one. My mum and dad have supported me so much to get me all over the world to achieve my dreams.
You’re always smiling. Do you smile as much as this when you’re away from the track?
What you see is what you get from me. I think some people in the paddock think I’m putting on an act by laughing and smiling all the time, but everyday I can wake up and say ‘I race a motorbike for a living’ is a good day. Until that’s over, I’m not going to stop smiling.