Features 22 Apr 2014

Race Recap: Brock Winston

Husqvarna factory rider reflects on Queensland state victory.

After a self-admitted disappointing start to 2014, Husqvarna Motocross Racing Team’s Brock Winston got his season back on track by winning the Open class at the Queensland Motocross Titles at Coolum over the weekend.

In a field that featured a host of national level talent, the 26-year-old proved to both himself and the rest of the paddock that he has the pace and fitness to run – and beat – some of Australia’s best in the MX1 class.

MotoOnline.com.au caught up with Brock to find out how it all shook out.

Image: fuelfotographyandmedia.

Image: fuelfotographyandmedia.

Congrats on the win, mate. The Open class sounded like it had some pretty big guns in it.

Yeah, it started off stacked. Jake Moss, Kirk Gibbs, Sam Martin, Jacob Wright and a fair few fast local guys were in the class. Moss had a big crash in front of me on the first day and didn’t race the rest of the meeting. He’s fine, but apparently his bike was a bit bent up.

Even though I won, I don’t think I rode that well. I didn’t get a good start all weekend, and I had little crashes in every moto, but still came through to win.

The conditions were the roughest I’ve ever seen at Coolum. The club ripped the track so much the sand was nearly as deep as what you find at Wanneroo in WA. I grew up racing at Coolum and have done a lot of laps around there, but it was nothing like I’ve ever seen before.

Coolum is your home track and you did exceptionally well there last year at the final round of the MX Nationals. Does local knowledge play a big part to mastering Coolum?

Everyone says I must have a lot of local knowledge with the track, but to be honest I don’t ride it like they prep it. If you go there on a practice day or a club race it’s smooth like a road race circuit. It’s pretty rare to ride it when it’s rough, so I don’t think there’s any advantage there.

When it gets rough though, the key is to look around and not stick to one line. Even though the berms seem far away, sometimes you can stay smooth and save energy by railing them instead of always going for the rough inside line.

We heard you gave your trophy away afterward. What happened there?

[Laughs] yeah, the trophy was just this little medallion thing. I was talking to this kid’s mum and she said he would really love a trophy, so I thought it’d be cool to give it to him. The boy rides, but doesn’t race, and he was pretty happy.

I don’t have much room for trophies at my house and I’d rather the money these days. I need to pay the bills!

Classic! No doubt you made that grom’s day. This is your first year on the 450, and on top of that, you’ve joined Craig Anderson’s Berry Sweet Husqvarna team for 2014. How’s it all working out?

It’s been tough and I’ve been struggling. We’re getting the bike settings right now and are going in the right direction, but there’s still work to be done.

Being on an all-new bike in the Husky, we’ve got no real starting point with it and are just learning as we go. Me and Ando have both been scratching our heads on occasions wondering what’s going on, but we’re slowly getting there.

I never rode the KTM 450 SX-F, and we received the bikes quite late in the pre-season, so we’ve had to play a bit of catch-up. The race bike had good power now, but I want more for the start than anything.

That’s what’s let me down this season – I haven’t had a decent start all year. I can ride at a decent pace with what we’ve got, but we’re still working on finding the right formula to get off the gate.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

This year you’ve kinda been hovering around the top 10 at the MX Nationals. Given the fact you’re on an all-new bike and with a new team, are you happy with your results so far?

Not at all. After this weekend I know I have the speed to run way higher up. Sometimes you go through times when you just need to take a step back and take a break for a week to refresh, and that’s what I did before Coolum. I took a week off and went back to work concreting for a week, just to get my mind of it.

And it worked ya know; I came into Coolum hungry and ready to race. I’m not going to do much riding this week before Wonthaggi either. It’s hard to admit, but you get over racing every now and then.

I know my body and what works for me, and when I get into situations like this where I think I’m burning out, I’ve got to take a break to recharge the batteries.

It’s also got to be a good feeling knowing that we’re heading into a bunch of sand-tracks now. Wonthaggi in particular has quite similar soil to Coolum. How do you plan to attack the next few rounds of the championship?

I’m really looking forward to the sand. As much as I’m looking forward to the sand, I don’t know if I’d consider myself a sand specialist. I think fitness comes into play a lot and I know I’m good at picking off riders late in the moto. The 450 guys get more tired and I think that could work in my favour, as my fitness is good at the moment.

I don’t doubt I can run with the top guys, and as long as I can get good starts, I know my results will improve. As long as I keep improving each round I’ll be happy.

Good stuff, mate. Thanks for the chat and all the best for Wonthaggi.

Thanks mate. Looking forward to it.