Former world 85cc champ loses Buildbase Honda ride for 2021
After being released by Buildbase Honda, Steven Clarke is the latest name on a growing list of riders searching for a deal for 2021 but the super-experienced 30-year-old isn’t about to lose any sleep over it.
“I haven’t got anything sorted for next year at all,” said Steven, who finished second in this year’s MX Nationals Pro MX2 class. “I’m in talks with a few people but I haven’t got anything solidified as such. It would have been nice to continue with Honda for another year because I thought we had such a good thing going with Tommy [Searle] and Jake [Nicholls]. The whole team gelled and we all got on really well.
“Due to COVID, Honda has had to cut its budgets and me being the last one on the team meant I was the first one to bite the bullet but there are no sour feelings at all – I know the way the world is at the moment.”
The short, stocky Midlands man has never been a rider to lack confidence and he’s even considering going for a unique double next season – whether he finds a team or races independently with support from his family’s CNC Doors business.
“I want to do the British championship – I need to finally check off the #1 plate. I’ve been close before and I was ready for it this year. Everything was lined up and I was healthy and I had a good pre-season training but COVID shut everything down.
“I can’t say too much at the moment but there is talk that I could potentially race AMCA next year as well. They’ve got a really good championship with some great riders and teams – it’s cool. Ideally I’d like to race the ACU and the AMCA and win them both in the same year because that’s never been done before.
“It’s only mid-November so I’m not stressing yet. If it comes to January and I haven’t got a deal sorted you’ll most likely see me on a CNC Doors bike and we’ll go and win anyway. I don’t need a team to win!”
With UK motocross almost completely shut down in 2020, Steven’s used the enforced break to pick up other skills as he begins to look at life after a racing career that’s brought him the 2005 world 85cc crown, an EMX250 title in 2014 and seen him race SX and MX all over the world – from Brisbane to Budds Creek, from Sevlievo to St Louis.
“I’ve been flat-out working for my dad. He’s got the roller shutter door business and through the lockdown when everyone got furloughed I was first reserve on the getting-my-arse-into-work list so I’ve been driving a Sprinter up and down England fixing garage doors!
“My sister has also bought a house to renovate and flip so I’ve been helping there too, mixing concrete and laying slabs – you name it. I’ve learned so much this past 12 months so as terrible as it’s been not being able to race it’s been good for me to learn things that will help me later on in life. It’s good to know something else apart from motocross which is what I’ve spent my whole life doing.
“It’s definitely not fun some days doing the 7am to 7pm graft but it’s humbling and has made me appreciate the life that I’ve been able to lead up until now. It’s put everything into perspective. Motocross is a sport with a short professional lifespan and I’m obviously coming to the end of my career.
“I’ve got a maximum of five years left and even that’s pushing it so I really want to make the most of these last few years. I’m going to check myself off a British championship in MX2 and then I’m going to move up and try and take one off Tommy Searle in MX1.
“Motocross is all I’ve ever done and all I’ve ever known and you sort of become oblivious to the world outside but I’ll be riding until the day I die. I can’t wait to be a full-on AMCA warrior!”