We find out more about Alex Snow’s motocross career from the very beginning to now with his new team – has he made a good decision?
DBR: To get yourself to where you are now, someone had to teach you – so who taught you to ride and what was your first bike?
AS: My first bike was a Suzuki road bike and I rode that around a field for like two years and then I had a Honda CR85 which I started racing in the small wheels. My dad and most of my family were complete strangers to MX so they had no idea about riding or teaching me so, my uncle taught me the basics and once I started riding a little bit I went with a guy called Rob Herring and he used to do training schools. I saw him about once a month throughout my school boy years. From that, I then got better and got into my career.
DBR: You’ve obviously had your fair share of bikes but which bike has been your favourite and why?
AS: That’s a difficult one! I think most of my bikes have been fun to ride but one that sticks out the most is a 2008 KTM 250F in MX2 – which was the year I won the under 21’s British championships. It was really fun to ride so I enjoyed that a lot and that year I took a step forward in my career.
DBR: Most pro riders have very good mechanics and they try to improve your bikes performance – what is the best thing you’ve ever had done to your bikes that you think has improved your riding performance the most? AS: I think suspension is probably the most important but I’ve always been pretty lucky to have quite good people to set that up for me. I think in 2010, when I did my own privateer thing on a Kawasaki; I worked a lot on my engine and when fuel injection come in I did a lot with fuel mapping and that made a massive difference to my starts. I got a lot of holeshots that year and that turned into good results so, on the modern bikes now, ignition mapping is a real important thing because it makes a massive difference. DBR: In every sport, you always have a favourite and if you could be any rider who would it be and for what reason?
AS: Jesus! It would probably be Ryan Dungey because I just think he is a real cool guy and a cool rider and he has a good style so yes I would probably say Ryan Dungey.
DBR: Motocross is a very competitive sport and everybody has their own rival – Who is your biggest rival on the track?
AS: That’s another tough question… You’ve asked some good ones! I wouldn’t say I have one particular rival but one guy I always gauge myself with is probably Kristian Whatley. Me and him have always raced a lot. We raced against each other at school boys then I beat him in the under 21’s British championships in 2008, then the next year he won the British four-strokes and he beat me and we’ve always been quite close. The last couple of years, he’s had some great results and been that step ahead, especially this year. I do tend to kind of gauge myself on him and in a way with him winning the British championships this year, it’s quite good because it makes me think there was a time when I beat him so if he can do it, why can’t I? So, definitely Whatley I would say.
DBR: Of course, having asked that question we also need to ask, who do you think rivals you on the track
AS: I don’t think he rivals me much because especially this year, he’s been on a different level. I don’t really think anyone in particular. There are guys that I race week in week out and we’re close together. So like Gert Krestinov, Nathan Parker and Jamie Law, we’ve been quite close together for a few years so there’s always that incentive between us four to beat each other. People like Brad Anderson, well everyone is his rival and like I say no one in particular but when you get to the top end of the British championships it’s any man for themselves really.
DBR: Race battles have to be one of the most fun parts of motocross; especially for a spectator but who have you had the best race battles with?
AS: I was thinking about this one and I haven’t really come up with someone but that year where I beat Kristian Whatley when we were both in the under 21s, we had some really close races. Some I sat behind him and waited to make a move and some of the races he did the same back to me and they were quite good races. I’ve had a lot with Gert Krestinov actually, like me and him have always had race battles. Wherever we start, we always seem to find each other on the track at some point over the last three years. At the end of the race, if I’m not just in front of him he’s always just in front of me and we’ve had some races we cross the finish flag side by side. Me and Krestinov have raced each other a lot but it’s been quite fun.
DBR: For every rider, you always have your best moments; what has been your best moment in your race career so far?
AS: There’s always a couple of answers for every question but again I would say winning the under 21’s British championship – it was good! Also, the year before that was good for me because I qualified for my first Grand Prix in 2007 and that year had been quite a bad year so, to go there and qualify at Donington Park made a slight improvement on that year. However, as it stands, winning the under 21s is the biggest moment in my career so far.
DBR: You have been pro for a good few years now and we’ve seen you do some great races but do you think you’ve hit the peak of your career yet?
AS: No way! Not by a long shot – I still feel like I have loads more to give and to show. There have been times where it has been really good but other times I felt like there’s still more to come and I think compared to some other riders I make slow progress. I chip away and slowly improve whereas some riders just jump on and do it all straight away and they either stay like that or they go backwards, whereas I feel like I’m taking small steps forward all the time. With all the hard work and training and stuff, it will help me because I know I’ve still got a long way to go.
DBR: As the 2014 season is getting close, we like to reflect on last season, do you think you showed your full performance last season or was there room for improvement?
AS: That’s a tough question because obviously my injury at the beginning of the season I come back from New Zealand at the start of 2013, I was in the best position I could have been in and then a week before the first British championship I did my shoulder and had to have surgery. I was out for three months. That had wiped out all the training I had done, which I was disappointed about. Come the end of the season, once I got racing, it took me a while to get back to where I needed to be and overall you could say it was a bad year. A couple of races I done I felt like I had give my all, like I was on the podium at Red Bull Pro Nationals and I was very close at the last British championships at Farleigh. I had some good races where I felt like there were things I had learnt and what had happened at the start of the season had finally come through and showed that if I had been there all year I could’ve had a good season.
DBR: After your injury, what advice would you give to all riders to make a quick and full recovery?
AS: Basically, listen to the doctors! Do everything they say and obviously try and see the best doctors you can. Then when you do Physio, do what the Physios tell you and follow that. I think the Physio part of it is important because I had done everything she told me from when I started riding again and that helped make a speedy recovery and the shoulder is totally fine now.
DBR: Do you think next season will be even better than your last season now you’re with your new team?
AS: Yeah! I’m looking forward to it! For the first time, I feel like I am in more of a team environment and working with Dickie (Richard Dye) especially, I feel like we’ve got someone behind the scenes who is very motivating and it’s just good to have someone helping you in every aspect. I feel like the bike’s good, the team is friendly, I get on with Luke Hawkins well, everyone is gelled together good because we spend loads of time together. From a team point of view, it’s going to be a really good year for us, providing the next few months training goes to plan.
DBR: In your new team, what training regimes do you do?
AS: We train together three days a week, Wednesday, Tuesday and Thursday and we do a lot of mountain biking, running, swimming and obviously gym work as well. At the minute, we’re just getting the foundations done and now into the New Year we’ll ride a lot and do the fitness as well. We train a bit on our own at weekends too.
DBR: No pro rider wants their career to end but have you thought about what you will do after your career yet?
AS: Yes and no… As you get older you tend to think about those things a bit more. I do my training schools and stuff at the moment, which I really enjoy so, I would probably continue with them a little bit. To exactly what sort of direction I would go, I’m not too sure. I enjoy the training side of it so it would be nice to be in a position where I work for a team or maybe manage my own team one day, who knows?