Read Steven Clarke’s own take on what went down at Preston Docks MX and watch exclusive GoPro footage – crashes and a great battle with Carlton Husband…
DBR: After Foxhill, you said you would be making a conscious effort to get bike time in the sand ahead of Preston Docks. How have the last few weeks been in preparation?
Steven: “They’ve been really good. I’ve purposely been trying to ride sand as much as possible and I’ve also been over to Belgium for a week of testing. This really helped to fine tune the suspension and improve the handling of the bike. I feel we’ve made headway and I felt really good on the bike coming into this weekend.”
DBR: What did you think to the track?
Steven: “Hats off to the track crew, I thought it was prepped really well. I thought the split sections were cool; they opened up the track and also gave more line options when trying to make passes.”
DBR: You qualified in sixth, just .100 of a second separating you from Watson in fifth. How did qualification go?
Steven: “I know, it was close! To be honest, I didn’t think I had done so well as I’d made a couple of mistakes on my fast lap. My best lap was my last, so I might have been able to improve on that time. I was really happy with sixth though.”
DBR: Can you briefly talk us through each race?
Steven: “I had a great jump from the gate in race one and managed to get the holeshot. Max [Anstie] passed me quickly and then Sterry managed to make a pass half way through the first lap before I’d settled down. From around four laps in I began to suffer from arm pump. I purposely tried to adjust my riding and relax through the middle of the race to let this settle, although I could see Bryan [Mackenzie] catching. Once the arm pump had settled, I put the hammer down to increase the gap so he couldn’t make the pass.”
Steven: “After my first race, my starts could only get worse! It all went on in that first lap. Lenoir nearly ended up riding off the track (39 seconds in footage) and only three corners later I nearly got caught up in Karro and Davidson’s crash (57 seconds in footage). I feel that I made some good passes, had some good battles (including my four lap thrash with Carlton Husband) and rode a solid race. I was happy with my riding and it was nice to feel comfortable on the bike, too.”
Steven: “I knew race three would be the decider for the third step on the podium between me, Watson and Lenoir. I didn’t have such a good start and I struggled to find my rhythm. I really tried to find the smoother lines but I kept making mistakes. I ended up having a small crash when I was chasing Conrad [Mewse] down (12.01 in footage). After that I managed to make a couple of passes to get back into 12th by the finish flag.”
DBR: You’re currently sitting sixth in the championship standings. What are you most looking forward to come the final round and what is your plan of attack?
Steven: “It goes without saying that I want to have three solid results. I’ll keep up my sand riding as I know how much that helps me progress. I think FatCat is a really cool track and they always pull out the stops to prep the track well. I haven’t been up there for a while, so I’m definitely due a visit beforehand! Above all, my main goal is to finish strong… and healthy!”
DBR: You’ve recently confirmed your signing to continue with Apico Husqvarna for 2016. You say the bike really suits you. What is it that you like about the 250 most?
Steven: “I’m already looking forward to 2016! It’s a great team and we have a brilliant bike. Your question’s a tough one because there are so many positives. I’d have to say the power though! It really is unbelievable. It’s a nice easy power to ride with and it suits my riding style.”
DBR: Many thanks for that Steven. Look forward to catching up at the final round in four weeks time on October 4. We’d also like to thank GoPro for the help sourcing a camera this weekend. Feel free to check out www.gopro.com