It was kept fairly quiet that Jeremy Seewer had dealt with a lung infection in the off-season, which forced him to do absolutely nothing for three weeks and has consequently impacted the way that he has performed at the first three rounds of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship. There are positive signs there though and those are recognised in this exclusive MX Vice interview from Valkenswaard.
MX Vice: I obviously heard a few things in the off-season about your lung infection and all of that. I didn't really know how bad it was but, from Argentina to now, I cannot believe the progress. I feel like you are moving quite quickly from where you were at the start of the season and this is only going forward and in a positive way.
Jeremy Seewer: Really good, yes. It was tough with the lung infection. It took me three weeks. I couldn't ride. The problem is in those three weeks I lost everything. The full capacity of the lung. I lost five or six kilos of my muscles, so you start not very confident. You are really low. In the beginning I went for a walk and I struggled. I couldn't run anymore, just because my breath was gone. That's why I wasn't ready. It's true… I made good progress already now in just a short time.
It's going well. I'm happy in the team. The bike is working well. We have a lot of positive points. For example, my starts. My speed is already back. It's just now I have to bring it the whole moto, especially on a track like here where it's so tough. It's looking good, like you say. I'm happy for the moment and we keep improving. I know I'm not at the limit yet.
Even compared to last year, just watching you on the bike, it looks like you are more aggressive. You can put it where you want it to go. It just looks like the whole set-up fits you a little better. Is that the benefit of being on a factory team or just another year of experience?
It's a bit of everything. It's true what you say. I feel the same way. Now I put the bike where I want to have it. I ride relaxed. I have a good style. No big mistakes. Not on the limit. It's everything. I get used to the YZ450F, of course, but a big point is the team. It's just a lot of experience. It's the same bike, basically, but they know some little things. If I have requests and I say I don't feel well there, they have a solution immediately. They have so much knowledge and that makes the difference from last year where I struggled a bit with that.
Speaking of the little things the team know… After the second race, I saw you under the awning and the whole team were looking at something on the right side of your bike. What was that? Did something happen in the second race?
Not really, but we started to struggle a bit. Not struggle, but the right plastic sometimes gets stuck a bit in the boots. It happens, of course, but we try to find a solution. That's what I mean. The little things about the factory team. They can do big changes quick and they find solutions. This is something really small. It's not really bothering, but still it's a point. That's why we were all looking at it.
What about today with your two motos? Like you said, speed was good. Happy with the results and how everything went?
Not completely. First moto I had a really good start. Good couple of laps. I was fifth for a long time. Got some passes done, but got stuck a bit behind [Ivo] Monticelli. He was riding good in the beginning and then the whole train caught up. We finished from second to eighth within ten seconds, so it's crazy how close we are at the moment. I was the one finishing eighth, just because I struggled a bit with my arms. Just the last ten minutes of the moto I couldn't really push anymore. I missed it.
Second moto bad start, because one guy just crossed and we just went out together. That made me end up in second row. I came from out of the top twenty and I finished sixth with a strong result. I'm looking for top fives at the moment, like I said, but if I would have had the start from the first moto and riding from the second, I would have been top five easy. This is the positive thing. Like I said before, it's going well and I know I'm still not where I want to be.
How close to one hundred percent are you at the moment, if you have to put a number on it?
This is hard to say. The fact is I am one month behind for the moment. I'm getting closer. In Argentina clearly I wasn't sharp. I couldn't push a lap. My lung just wasn't there yet. I had to take it easy. You could see it on my speed, on my results, but now it's coming back. I think we are getting closer, but for the full moto it's still tough.
I'm guessing then Trentino is going to be a little tough again, but Mantova should be good.
Yeah, I think because of the big break in-between I should be fine. How they made the races is perfect for what happened to me, especially also after Argentina we had quite a break so I could push as you could see last week and this week. One more GP now on this level, let's say, or even maybe a bit better and then we have one big break to get ready for the season. I do believe what happened in the winter is not too bad mentally and I'm going to be strong at the end of the season where maybe some others are going to fade a bit because their season was longer. I'm one month behind.
Conditioning, you lost that in the three weeks. I'm guessing you lost out on a bit of testing time too, so you are playing catch up with that as well?
Actually we did a lot of testing last year, so this was quite in the books, but the point is when the season starts you start to get faster and faster and the next race better, everybody does. You have to adjust your suspension and go harder and harder and harder. I was not on my level, or totally not in Argentina, we keep improving this as well, because my riding gets better. I have to adjust my bike to it. That's normal. From this point of view I am a bit behind, but for the rest… Engine, chassis and whatever else we have we tested last year already.
When you are back to one hundred percent, what goals do you have in mind? Obviously last year you were a top-five guy. Never got that podium but, based on what I've seen, I think you are smashing a podium. That's happening no matter what. I'm thinking leading laps as well. This could be really good.
Yeah, top five is the goal. If you say top five in this class, the podium is this close. Even this weekend I finished seventh overall and the podium was literally not far away. [Clement] Desalle was second overall and he finished right in front of me in that second moto, if you compare this kind of thing, so at the moment it's between two and eight. Everybody can do that. For sure it's going to be my goal to end up on the box this year.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX