Jago, the curtain will come up on the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship this weekend with the season opening MXGP of Russia at the majestic Orlyonok circuit near the Black Sea. How are you, where are you and what are you up to?
Hi Eric. I’m good. I’m packing everything and tomorrow morning we’ll be leaving to Russia. It’s a pretty easy day for me. I’m just getting ready. It’s been a really long preseason, so I’m really excited to start again.
First and foremost, how is your left knee? There was recent chatter in the motocross media about the fact that you twisted your knee at the Ernee International in France last weekend?
It’s okay, but for sure it could be better. I crashed during the last preseason race in France and I hurt my knee. It was a really small crash, but I think the bike fell on my knee and I had a lot of pain, so we went to the hospital and they saw that I had stretched my ligament, so for sure it is not the best when you have an injury before the GPs, but we did everything that we could to recover as fast as possible and yeah, we will see how knee is this weekend.
Leading into the MXGP of Russia on Sunday, I know both you and the entire Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team have been preparing.
Yes, the winter preparation was really good this year. We worked a lot on the bike and also worked on the setup of the bike. I think we are, for sure, ready for this beginning phase of the GPs. Now and with this injury it is a little bit of a setback, but for sure we are ready and I have confidence in myself and in my physical condition and I’m real confident in the bike, so all of this is very important and we are very prepared.
You placed third in the 2019 MX2 World Championship and were the runner-up in the MX2 title fight in 2020. What do you think? Can you go out and win the World Championship this year?
Yep, that’s the goal. Last year that was also the goal, but it didn’t happen. I was close but I finished second. Now we have a new championship this year and it is going to be a very long season, so I will try to create and make a really good base at the beginning of this season I can be on top of the game all season. Yeah, we will see. I am excited to start and I will keep working my hardest and hopefully in the end it all pays off.
As you alluded to, nineteen Grands Prix over seven months from June through December. That’s a very long, comprehensive racing season. Plenty of time to warm into it all and find a rhythm, huh?
Yeah, now this weekend is the first GP and then we have one week off and after that we will then have six GPs in a row, so it will be a really long and heavy season and a little bit like last year. Last year was a really special season with the three GPs in one week. For sure all of this is more intense than it was before the Corona virus. It’ll be nice to go back to some of these different countries and different GPs again. Also, I think at most of the GPs they will be allowing fans back in again and that’s a really positive thing. Last year at the places where we did three GPs in one week was nice, but the more traditional calendar like we will have in 2021 is what I like and prefer. This year we will be able to get back to the, let’s say, old calendar and that’s good.