It was one of those days when you can feel the emotion in the air, the feeling of national pride and idea that this was a special moment in British Motocross history. Mel Pocock’s victory in the opening round of the FIM EMX250 Championship was a moment of huge relief and optimism for British Motocross.
Is this young kid the future of Motocross in Great Britain? Can he follow in the footsteps of his training partner and good friend Tommy Searle?
19 year old Pocock has really turned some heads in 2012. Having ridden his first ever Motocross Grand Prix way back in 2008 it would have been easy to look at the friendly redhead with a pinch of salt, just another young kid trying to make it in the big time and finding it tougher than he had hoped.
What many people forget about that 08 season was that Pocock was just 15 years old when he rode his debut GP in Portugal, what we all know now is that his road to 2012 has been a steady one, based on hard work and a little luck, or in many cases bad luck from his team-mates.
Pocock did something no other British rider has ever done when he won the opening round of the FIM EMX250 Championship in St Jean d’Angley in France in June. The first ever British rider to win a round of a European Championship.
Having entered in the opening round of the FIM World MX2 Championship in Valkenswaard, Holland in April and picking up a top ten overall finish all of a sudden the British teenager was the favorite in France, and he didn’t let anyone down.
We caught up to Pocock a couple of weeks later in the Monster Energy Yamaha team truck, and he gave us his emotions on that warm day in France.
Motocross Illustrated: Mel, how did it feel going into that opening round of the EMX250 in France?
Pocock: I was kind of nervous really, because I had done well in Valkenswaard in the FIM World MX2 Championship opening round, getting 10th overall. Everyone was praising me and people were tipping me to win the European round in France and I was like, ok, I have to perform now.
Motocross Illustrated: Obviously you were the biggest name in France. I mean as you mentioned you had done well on the World scene.
Pocock: I looked through the list and I didn’t know any of the names, but I still thought 85 riders and I are meant to be winning this. Once I went out for qualification and I got pole I was like, ok, I can win this. The weight was then off my shoulders.
Motocross Illustrated: How did you weekend go?
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