The highly anticipated National Motocross Championship kicks off for Husqvarna Racing in Cape Town tomorrow. Representing the prestigious team is South Africa’s rising motocross star Neil van der Vyver. The rider lines up as favourite for the Pro Mini title after a nail-biting three-way battle last season that came right down to the wire, proving that he has plenty of grit to go with his raw talent.
On his trusty Husqvarna TC 85, the young gun will be expecting nothing less than to add the Pro Mini title to his already long-list of accolades. We catch up with Van der Vyver ahead of the event:
The first round of the season gives you the home ground advantage. What your thoughts about this event?
I’m so excited to have a home race! This is the first national here in two years. I know the track so well – I’ve been riding here since I was 5 years old. There’s nothing as exciting as having a race in your backyard. I can’t wait to show everybody the hard work I’ve been putting in over the off season.
You came so close to snatching a national title last year. What are the greatest lessons from last season that could help you get your hands on those titles in 2022?
I did come so close, but there were little, silly mistakes throughout the season that cost me the championship. I plan on minimizing those this time and learning from the little errors that held me back. I want to win that title this season and the fight starts tomorrow!
Tell us about your weapon of choice this season. Why could your Husqvarna TC 85 be the winning 2022 machine?
It’s the best bike out there, and it’s matched by the great mechanics that support me. I really love the suspension setup – this machine literally gives me everything I need to deliver the best possible results.
Give us some insight into the kind of training you’ve been doing leading to the start of this season. Is there anything new you’ve been working on?
I have a training programme that I follow. I’ve been spending a lot of time riding lately – there’s no better feeling knowing that you’re coming into the first round fully prepared. Something I’ve placed extra focus on this off season is also my fitness – I believe it’s something that will give me that extra edge this season.
What are your short term goals with the Husqvarna Racing team?
It’s as simple as winning as many races and championships as I can. The team has had my back since day one and the best way that I can give back to them is by winning titles.
What are your bigger, long term goals as a motocross rider?
My longer term goal is to race overseas someday and have a career as a professional motocross racer. I try not to think too far ahead for now, and rather place all my focus on doing the best I can with the opportunity I’ve been given to race locally with Husqvarna Racing.
Published by: Fred Fensham
Picture Caption: Young gun Neil van der Vyver.