Features 22 Nov 2010

Post Race with PJ Larsen

MotoOnline.com.au catches up with Super X Lites class leader PJ Larsen following the New Zealand leg of the series.

It’s unusual for us to conduct our Post Race interview with the man who finished third on the podium over the weekend, but today MotoOnline.com.au decided to catch up with JDR Motorex KTM’s PJ Larsen.

The 20-year-old American entered to New Zealand leg of Super X second in the points and left there with a four-point advantage ahead of defending champion Matt Moss with just two rounds remaining.

MotoOnline.com.au called up Larsen on Monday afternoon to see how his title hopes are shaping up, as well as to reflect on some of the earlier Super X rounds in the series.

American PJ Larsen took over the Lites class series lead with the Auckland victory. Image: Sport The Library.

American PJ Larsen took over the Lites class series lead with the Auckland victory. Image: Sport The Library.

PJ, you’re fresh back from New Zealand’s Super X rounds with a win in Auckland and third in the mud at Dunedin. Things went pretty smoothly for you over there!

Yeah, it was really good. You know, obviously I went over and had a really good weekend in Auckland and made up a lot of points there. I came back to Sydney last week, had some bad weather, and unfortunately wasn’t able to ride in between the races.

I used it as a recovery and then went to Dunedin this weekend, which kind of had Mother Nature call and took on a lot of rain the night before the race. I’m really happy with third place all things considered, minimised the points lost really.

I just made sure I stayed on two wheels, so I’m happy with the way the two weeks went in NZ so I look forward to Sydney.

Right now you have a four-point lead in the series over Mossy and it’s been a great battle so far – what’s the plan to stay ahead of him at the final two rounds?

Oh yeah, you know it’s a small lead so it will come down to the last moto I believe. In all reality I just need to keep getting good starts, be smooth and keep it up on two wheels.

However it falls into place is how it falls into place, so I’m not going to change anything in my program. I just want to take it race by race and do my best.

That mud in Dunedin was ridiculous, so coming out with good points even though you didn’t win had to be a relief…

Yeah, it was definitely a sigh of relief to leave there with the championship lead and that’s all that we were focused on.

We just made sure we made good points because it would have been so easy to make a mistake in the mud at Dunedin and cost yourself a shot at the championship.

Like I said, that was our goal. We dealt with the conditions that we had and did our best.

You’re actually based in Sydney, so will this weekend’s Parramatta round feel like a home round for you in some ways even though your real home is in the U.S?

It’s definitely a bit of a hometown race. I’ve got a few of my friends that I’ve made along the way out here in Australia and they’re all going to come and watch. It is almost like a hometown race for me, so it should be good for the team and I. I’m looking forward to it, for sure.

Larsen maintained his points lead for JDR Motorex KTM in the mud at Dunedin. Image: Sport The Library.

Larsen maintained his points lead for JDR Motorex KTM in the mud at Dunedin. Image: Sport The Library.

That victory at Newcastle to start the season was huge for you on your 20th birthday, so was that the highlight of your season so far?

Yeah, it was good because it was a boost for my confidence and I was happy to win on my 20th birthday. I told everyone my goal was to win for my birthday, so I was happy to get it done!

And obviously the crash in Canberra was a costly one – definite lowlight of the year for you?

That round was definitely the low point of the season for me after I had that crash, which lost me a lot of points. If I could go back and change it I would, but we looked back on it and learned from it. Hopefully we can keep progressing and learning, keep moving forward.

Finally, it’s been confirmed you’re racing West Coast Lites in the AMA for JDR next year. I think you might be coming in as an underdog for the title considering you’ll just have a whole Super X season under your belt. Do you feel as though that’s the case?

I think I’m coming in under the radar, but with the support of the whole JDR Motorsports KTM team I’m really looking forward to the season. We have a good group of people who are all passionate to be involved, so it will be great to get started and see where we are.

I know I’m an underdog coming in, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of it also. It will be good for us all!

Okay man, well thank you and we’ll see you on Saturday at Parramatta!

Perfect, thank you.