Matt Walker Interview | The Next Generation of World Cup Racers

Hey Matt. That’s BDS round one done and dusted. How did it go?

Yeah overall it was an amazing weekend, it was my first event with the team so after training all winter it was good to get back to racing. Practice started a bit wet and greasy, mud over the slate was a sketchy combination for most of the track, but throughout the weekend it dried steadily so the race run was done in the best of the conditions but this meant that every run was slightly different and hard to judge how hard you could push in certain sections. Qualifying went well and I put down a generally smooth run with a few mistakes. When it came to finals the track had dried further and a good run secured me third in the Youth Class and the fastest speed trap.

So are you happy with that result?

Oh yeah, going into the event I believed a top 10 result would have been a fair estimate of my chances. As the weekend went on I felt more and more confident with my riding and felt my track pace was good. After a solid qualifying run my expectations had risen and I was keen to make the podium in finals. Taking the third spot was rad as it rounded off a great weekend of racing and has boosted my confidence going into round two in Fort Bill.

It’s a brand new season and also the first time a national has been run here. What do you think of the venue from a racers point of view?

Facilities are great, café, real toilets and showers are rare at DH events, so Adrian Bradley has built a 5 star DH venue and Si Paton (BDS organiser) did good to include it as a round of BDS this year. It’s a top track it is good to see such a gnarly course getting included in the championship.

Describe the track?

Well the weather was superb, it’s the first time I’ve actually been there and been able to hit the jumps on the top straight. The track is fast, gnarly, and very physical. It has got a good range of jumps and technical features, so yeah the track is wild. Having a lung bursting sprint at the end it brings a unique twist to downhill racing, which favours strong and fit racers.

What was the best bit?

The highlight is coming over the massive drop in to the arena jump section lined with crowds of people both sides of the track all heckling and cheering you on as you scrub past, it was hard not to crack a smile even with the pressure of race runs.

What was the worst?

Personally the track had no bad bits, but having been there previously in bad weather the top section is prone to wind which often spoils the flow as you cannot leave the ground for fear of being blown off track. Luckily this weekend we were blessed by the weather and you could hit the top section fully pinned.

So, is the track, in your opinion, national standard?

Hell yeah, it may not be as long as Fort Bill but sections are definitely as gnarly. This sort of track is definitely the way DH should be going.

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