One of the most exciting surprises at the start of the season in the Enduro 2 Class, Josep GARCIA (E – KTM) is a young kid with huge goals and a focused mind. We caught up with him by phone two weeks after his home GP in Puerto Lumbreras (Spain), and the KTM rider gave us his impressions about his superb debut in E2, his relationship with Ivan CERVANTES, and his goals for the future…
Hello Josep, what a start to the season!
Josep GARCIA: “Oh yes! It’s a bit surprising for me but I’m enjoying it! I’m very happy and confident with my bike and I feel in very good shape despite my hand injury just before the start of the season. I really hope to keep this rhythm and I will try to win some more days!”
Why did you decide to go directly into the Enduro 2 class after only one season in Junior?
J.G: “I was not the only one to take this decision! After a good end to my 2016 season, when I signed with Fabio FARIOLI and the KTM Factory Racing team, they asked me if I was interested in fighting with the ‘big guys’ in E2. Then I started to think, it is the same track as the Juniors but just the rivals are different and that’s not a big deal… So I said, why not! Of course, the Junior title is interesting and it’s another World title, but E2 has more prestige. I would not go to Enduro 2 if I was not sure that I could fight with the best!”
Did you expect to be so fast and fighting for victories and podiums in your first season in Senior Class?
J.G: “From the start of the year, I felt strong. Finland was a completely different race but it was a very good surprise for me. When you can find the way to be on the podium in that type of race, you can be happy and highly motivated for the remainder of the season. Then, when I came back from there, I trained really hard for the entire month, and right before Spain I was feeling very confident. I wanted to give all I have and you realise that even the small details count…”
“Finland was a great experience for all of us!”
You are currently sitting 2nd overall. Are your goals changing after these first two rounds?
J.G: “Before the season started, I was thinking of it as a kind of learning year for me. I wanted to get a lot of experience this year to be ready and fight for a title very soon in the future. I was looking to score few podiums but then, in Finland everything just clicked for me. I told to myself, “You can already get on the podium, Josep, you have to dream bigger!” Of course, now my goals have changed because I know that I can fight for podiums at each race and also for victories…”
You surprised everyone in the snow of Finland. Did you know that you had the speed and consistency in that type of special and challenging race to fight for a podium place?
J.G: “Finland was a very demanding race, especially on Saturday with more than 12 hours on the bike. But it was a great experience for all of us. It’s the kind of race that makes you realise that, when everything’s clicking perfectly, then you get more confident and you can be faster on the bike. During this Lake Päijänne race, I was not looking for podiums, just scoring valuable points and trying to stay safe for the rest of the season but when I saw the opportunity to score my first Senior podium, I didn’t want to miss it!”
After the retirement of Ivan CERVANTES, it seems that everybody in Spain is now cheering for you…
J.G: “Puerto Lumbreras was amazing for me! The Super Test was so impressive and exciting. Everybody was behind me, pushing for me… It’s an awesome feeling.”
Wasn’t it a lot of pressure for you all weekend long?
J.G: “Pressure?! No! They pushed me a lot and really helped me to get the win on Saturday. It was an extra motivation. Home GP’s like this are so different to the other GP’s. I loved this feeling!”
“Consistency is the key…”
Talking about CERVANTES, we know you have a special relationship with him…
J.G: “What can I say about Ivan…? When I was a child, he was my idol! And I’m still a huge fan of him. I could never imagine having that type of close relationship with Ivan. The guy is amazing and he has a big heart. He is incredible. He helped, and still helps me a lot, not only with the bike or my riding style but also in my life. He gives me a lot of great advice on how to manage my career and my private life… He became an excellent friend and a real mentor for me!”
How does it feel to be a part of the KTM Factory Racing team?
J.G: “First I want to thank the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team. I spent two great seasons with them. But changing team is sometimes good and I’m really happy to have joined the KTM Factory Racing team this year. It was one of my dreams when I was a child… Our manager Fabio FARIOLI is a great guy and my mechanic Cristiano takes a lot of care with my bike, and looks after me too. During the off-season, I also created a good relationship with NAMBO’, SANDERS and WATSON. This team is like a family!”
The Championship is heading to Italy in two weeks, what will be your goal there?
J.G: “I will try to do my best. I will look to stay focused and to be more consistent. I need to be on the podium each day and why not get another win. Consistency is the key at this level. And of course, I’ll look to enjoy my weekend, if you’re not having any fun on the bike, then you cannot get good results…”
Josep GARCIA Digest
First Name: Josep
Born: December, 22nd 1996 in Barcelone
Bike: KTM 250 EXC-F
2013: 3rd of the Spanish National Junior Trophy
2014: 9th in FIM Youth Cup125cc – Junior Spain Champion
2015: 2nd in FIM Youth Cup 125cc – 4the in E1 Spanish Championship
2016: 3rd in Maxxis FIM Enduro Junior World Championship – E1 Spain Champion