Conrad Mewse concluded his international racing season with 12th position in the FIM MX2 World Championship, but that doesn’t quite tell you the whole story.
The Hitachi ASA KTM UK rider has enjoyed some top-five moto results in Grands Prix, although he has been thwarted with injury throughout the season. The KTM-ace was the man to beat in the MX2 British championship, which he wrapped up with the title at Lyng last weekend and next on his hit list is his adult solo debut at the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race Powered by KTM.
“We started off really strongly – we got up-to fourth in the MX2 World Championship and when I look back on that now it’s a little bit gutting with what’s happened,” explained Mewse. “The British started great with two race wins and I’ve continued my form, although a few injuries have caused me problems in both championships – only niggly ones, but enough to be a problem. At this level you need to be at your best, if you’re at 90 per cent you’re a long way down. It’s such a difficult class.
“When you are running up there it’s a great feeling. Without the injuries maybe we would have been in a different situation. In the British I would have liked to have gone undefeated, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Mewse is a past winner at the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race – in the 65cc and 85cc classes. He’s a very talented rider, but he is yet to take on the gruelling three-hour adult solo race battling the full dune course. Having confirmed that he will compete this year, the 19-year-old young-gun is excited at the prospect and has been making preparations for the event.
“I did it as a junior in the 65cc (2007) and 85cc (2011) classes and I’ve won both of them, but I’ve never done the three-hour race. I’m looking forward to it, experiencing something new again to tick off the bucket list – I’m obviously going there to get a good result, but if I don’t then it’s just a bit of fun at the end of the day. I think it does take experience to get the win, you’ve got to be very smart when coming up to the lapped riders on where to go on the dunes and things like that, as obviously there can be hundreds of people in front of you. It’s a new challenge for me, and I can’t wait to get going.
“I’ll be riding a KTM 350 XC-F – which is exciting for me again as it’s not a bike I’ve ridden before, but I’ve been up-to Dunkirk before the race to get some long motos done and I want to be prepared 100 per cent for it. It’s a bit of a struggle to be ready, as we have had so many races before the event, and there’s only a week to switch the focus. We’ve been checking to see how long a tank will last, and the distance shouldn’t be a problem, as I can hopefully back off the GP pace a little bit and I can ride around all day like that.”
Mewse already has a strategy in mind and has been gathering information from former competitors here. It will be interesting to see how the Grand Prix rider fairs on the sands of Weston-Super-Mare in what is expected to be a bumper weekend.
“You’ve got to be smart with the bike, time the pit-stops well, everything like that and it takes a lot of working out. I’ll certainly be watching a few videos and studying it before we get there. Todd [Kellett] isn’t going to hand too much over [in advice], but I might try and speak to Jeffrey [Herlings] about it – he won it previously and I’ve got a few people who can give me some help. I like the sand,” said Mewse.
Mewse was looking forward to racing team-mate Irwin, although it looks like they will have to wait another year for that to happen. The KTM-ace is looking forward to a great weekend, especially as there is not very long to wait now.
“I’m disappointed Graeme got injured. We’ve got a little battle on at the minute, as we’ve done a few races here and there. Graeme beat me around Weston on a 125cc actually in another event, and I beat him at the Hawkstone International, so it would have been cool to race, as we don’t really get to compete together. Maybe next year we’ll get the chance. It’s a long old race and we are looking forward to it. I’ve not been on a Sunday as the junior races are on a Saturday, so I’ve got no idea what to expect. I can’t wait to get there, to see all the spectators.”