At 9:25 on Sunday 13th August, Brad Anderson was presented with the Gold plate and became the European Motocross 300 champion 2017, after dominating the series to win by forty-four points.
As a stream of well-wishers called by his motorhome to congratulate the new champ, we sat down with Ando and a glass of champagne.
DBR.Congratulations Brad, EMX300 champion 2017. How does it feel and how does it compare to your British championships?
Ando.I don’t really know. I felt so tense yesterday, I didn’t feel like myself. I don’t know if I was thinking about the championship or whatever but it was a horrible feeling. I was tight on the bike, I wasn’t doing the big jumps. Ken Dedyker spoke to us and said, ‘what’s wrong with you, are you being a fanny with your age?’. Today I thought I’m gonna prove them wrong, just relax more and try and do the business. With the British championship I was consistent, with this one I have been consistent but it felt more tense now, but I’m just relieved it’s over and done now and I can chill out and have a drink.
DBR. You had us all biting our nails in race1, you were twenty fourth on lap 1 and your championship lead looked in danger but you battled through. Was that age and experience kicking in?
Ando.Everyone says that I always give a hundred percent and with the championship you have to be consistent, so even if I come off or get a bad gate I just push on till the end. I showed that in the first race. I was way back but started moving up, it was hard cos they were weaving about all over the place but I managed to pick them off one by one and got up to fourth. I closed up to third then fell off with 2 laps to go so I thought third was over but I got up and gave it a big push on the last lap and got it. To get third from where I was, I was really happy with that especially when I saw my board (at the start) and knew I was losing points to Kras, I thought it would be much tighter today. After the first race, I knew I just needed to be in the top ten today.
DBR.Kras got another great start today and was leading when his bike stopped. I’m guessing you would rather be racing him for the win than see him stop?
Ando. I was about sixth off the start and worked me ay up to fourth and Kras was pulling us a little bit because I was trying to come through a bit of traffic. Then I seen him on the start straight pushing his bike back and I thought well if he’s out even if I come off I’ve still won it. So, I thought, I’d better get my head down now, I was like a different person, I just clicked when I saw Kras. I passed Dunny for the win on the last lap so to finish on a high like that was outstanding. Even though Dunny got the overall cos he rode really well, it was good to come away with the win. It was unfortunate for Kras with the bike, but it’s just racing. I woulda liked for him to be in it but that’s racing.
DBR.You’re thirty-six now and riding as good, if not better than ever. A lot of people think your style really suits the 2-stroke. Is there more to come from Brad Anderson?
Ando.It’s just when everything clicks and you get on so well with the team. Steve Clitheroe does the tuning and the bike goes really well, I’ve been with my mechanic Chris for a long time, Ady does the bikes through the week and it all just works. When you’re in a good environment it makes you appreciate it more and get your head down and give them something back by winning the championship.
DBR.We’re still drinking champagne from this championship but there’s 1 more round of the Maxxis British Championship coming up, you’re currently third.
Ando. Yeah, 9 points behind Gert (Krestinov), it was fifteen but I’ve been closing slowly. I think I’ve come on stronger through the season rather than all the way through hopefully I can carry that on. And for next year, carry on and hopefully do the 300 again, and the British.
I couldn’t do it without a great team so I want to thank Verde, team owner Adrian Kirk and Nikki, and all my other sponsors. RJS builders, RFX, Malcolm Rathmell Sport, and all the sponsors who give us everything. And my private sponsors who all give a bit to the team and make it possible for me to be here. A big thank you to Chris Muir my mechanic for putting the hours in and all my family. My wife couldn’t come today cos she had her brother’s wedding but it’s all good.