You have probably heard of Eddie Wade if you follow schoolboy motocross. The 14-year-old won the 85cc world championship last year and now moves up to the EMX125 series with the Jezyk Racing KTM team.
Eddie is British but was born in Spain where his parents have lived for years. Bi-lingual, he skips effortlessly between speaking in English to me and in Spanish to his team.
Unlike some of the young racers in the paddock, Eddie still goes to school full time in Spain and his mum is insistent that his education comes first; good grades or no racing!
His parents have picked the Jezyk Racing team for Eddie because they’re a family-oriented team that don’t put any pressure on him as he moves up to the 125 class. Off the bike Eddie seems like any normal teenager, quite reserved as we start to talk about his first EMX125 race and future plans.
Dirt Bike Rider: Eddie, welcome to the 125 class. You were at Valkenswaard but missed out on qualifying.
Eddie Wade: I broke my collar bone 10 days before, so it was a big ask.
DBR: I think the horrible conditions and freezing temperatures there probably made it worse, but you qualified easily yesterday, sixth in your group then backed that up with seventh in race 1.
EW: Yeah, I got a good jump in race 1, I was in seventh and stayed there all race. I felt a bit tight and wasn’t flowing. In the second race the bike bogged on the start and it was very muddy conditions. I fell of on lap four then caught up to about 24th when the chain seized up.
DBR: Looking at race 1 when it was dry, how did you feel about your pace and racing with the front guys?
EW: It was my first race and I was nervous. I didn’t know where I should be in that class but once I knew I was quick enough to run at the front I wasn’t nervous for the second race, I just got a bad start.
DBR: Race 2 looked like ready-mixed concrete with a lot of overnight watering, did you have to change any lines or anything on track?
EW: No, it was the same lines and it didn’t bother me, but you need a good start in those conditions and I didn’t get one.
DBR: You’re riding for the Spanish Jezyk Racing team, tell us about that.
EW: They’re based in Gerona, we’re in the south of Spain so it’s quite far away. Sometimes we go up there testing but usually I stay at our end. They’ve also got a place in Belgium, so we can leave a bike there and go training whenever we want to.
DBR: After winning the 85cc world championship last year did you get any help from the KTM factory?
EW: Yeah, we signed a one-year deal with them, we met in Belgium. (Mum Sharon says KTM wanted a six-year deal but that would take Eddie up until he is 20 and they felt it was too long.) I get bikes and some kit but not factory engines.
DBR: Was winning the world championship a surprise or did you feel like you could win going into the race?
EW: I knew the track because I’d been there the year before. I was quite nervous but when I set pole in qualifying that was when I knew I could win.
DBR: What’s the biggest difference racing at the MXGP tracks and what’s your aspirations for this year?
EW: I’ve learnt a lot this weekend about how to race here, next weekend hopefully I’ll be in the top five. The bumps are a lot bigger and there tends to be more kickers on the jumps, so you have to be careful, and more ruts.
DBR: What’s your plans for the next few years, to stay on a 125 or move up to EMX250?
EW: It depends how it goes, I don’t really know at the moment. [Mum Sharon steps in and confirms that it’s important that it remains a hobby for now and that the main priority is to enjoy it. It’s a family-oriented team with no pressure and that’s how we want it to stay for now].