Dave Thorpe interview - CCM and the British scene
Interview Friday 11th March 2010 By Geoff Meyer
With around 40 years experience in the sport the 48 year old Thorpe knows a thing or two about what type of condition the sport is in both in England and on the continent. We just had to ask him.
MXlarge: Dave, despite names like Searle, Mackenzie, Anstie and Simpson not racing on the domestic championships there is still a buzz around the British scene at the moment with an improved Maxxis British Motocross Championship and the Red Bull Pro Nationals.
Thorpe: I think partly because there are not many teams competing in the World Championship, and we have the Maxxis British Championship, the Red Bull Pro Nationals and the Masters series, which allows the riders who are not doing the Grand Prix’s the chance to race most weekends, and put on a good performance, so there is a lot going on in England.
MXlarge: What will the Buildbase CCM team be doing in 2010, which races does your team compete in?
Thorpe: Our team will do mainly the Maxxis British Championship and the MX1 Grand Prix’s, we try and support the Red Bull Nationals as much as we can, we will do the first round this weekend, but some rounds clash with the GP’s, so our priority is of course the GP’s.
MXlarge: What about the Red Bull Pro Nationals, what is your opinion on the series?
Thorpe: Matt and Craig have created a series that is challenging the Maxxis events. I think if the economy stays the way it, it won’t be too long before the teams choose between the Maxxis or the Red Bull. The Red Bull is very good, we are doing something with them today for television, terrestrial telly rather than the satellite stuff. To our sponsors and people that support us that is very important.
MXlarge: The British riders have a good chance to make some good money on their domestic scene don’t they?
Thorpe: I think the boys that do the British Championship and the Red Bull Pro Nationals and also the Masters, there is good prizemoney in there at the top end, and I don’t know how far it goes down. For sure the prizemoney is better now than when I raced.
MXlarge: What is the aim of the CCM team in 2010?
Thorpe: Our aim is to try and win the Maxxis British Championship, which is CCM’s number one goal. Obviously at the Grand Prix’s we want to do better than last year. We are trying to be realistic and obviously MX1 is a very competitive class. The Maxxis is where our focus is.
MXlarge: The word recession won’t go away will it? Some teams have a way of keeping sponsors in tough times.
Thorpe: I think it is difficult all round, I don’t think anyone is finding it easy. It’s all about building a relationship with companies and I think if you have a healthy relationship it will continue through thick and thin, maybe at a different level, but it will survive. We have built a pretty good relationship with Buildbase and we are now trying to repay their commitment to us.
MXlarge: The venue for the Grand Prix of Great Britain has been decided and from all accounts it looks like it will be a great event?
Thorpe: From the rider’s side I hope the circuit will be like Gareth said it will be with a natural terrain circuit. In England we all seem to pull together, we always get a good turnout and the riders and teams try and work with the event. We might all moan and groan, but when push comes to shove we all pull together in the right way and I think that will happen again. It would be nice to have a circuit that is more using the natural terrain. I know it’s a really good facility and for sure it’s going to make for a good Grand Prix.
MXlarge: What about that veteran’s event at Farleigh Castle at the end of the year. You, Eric Geboers and Jeff Leisk all together again. That should be fun; will you race of just watch?
Thorpe: To be fare I am not racing, I have never committed to racing at all. I will go and watch for sure and I was surprised about the level last year and the amount of people, it was a really good days racing. Dave King hasn’t got his cheque book out yet, so I am not racing. I am just joking, as far as I know I am not committed to doing any races in 2010, but I will support their event, because they are good guys and I like the event. I will enjoy watching Leisky and Eric (Geboers) race (smiling). I ride and I get my new CCM shortly, but as far as racing, no, I am 48 years old.
MXlarge: How has the preparation been with the CCM team to date?
Thorpe: We have been working on improving, hooked up with Willy Van Stephen who worked with Molson a while ago and he has the bikes working much better. We finished our engine testing and the riders are happy with that. Both riders are riding the 2009 chassis, but we picked up two 2010 chassis last night, so we will get into those. Life is a test, but it’s a test with a smile on our faces.