Josh Gilbert has gone from strength to strength since the beginning of the year and that moto win at Duns, round five of the Maxxis British Championship, serves as proof of that. The incredible amount of progression has not gone unnoticed, so it is hardly surprising that questions are now beginning to be asked about his future. That is also discussed in this exclusive interview from a very wet Scottish event.
MX Vice: It has obviously been a hectic day. So much has happened! You won your first moto and then had an eventful time in the second race, so missed the overall podium. I guess you are still stoked about the first moto win, obviously, but missing the podium is a bit of a sore way to end it all.
Josh Gilbert: Yeah. Highs and lows of motocross, I think! The first race could not have gone any better. I took the holeshot, led every lap and had a comfortable gap. I think for most of the race I had about a fourteen or fifteen-second lead, then the last couple laps I just made it to the end. The longest couple of laps I have ever had, I think, then in the second one the rain was really bad. It came in quite foggy and, personally, I do not think they should have run, but obviously they went ahead with it so we had to kind of get on with it.
Within the first couple corners I got filled in. I went to take my goggles off and as I took them off, I slipped the clutch and ended up looping out. I was buried straight away. I made it quite hard for myself. Then of course I had no goggles on, so coming back through the field… It was a bit hard work with the dirt flicking up and everything. I think I actually got back to about eighth and then I ended up slipping off and getting trapped under the bike. I dropped back to tenth and that is where I ended up finishing. It is a bit frustrating.
I cannot really see at the minute with dirt in my eyes. It is what it is. After having a tenth, I still have not lost hardly anything in the championship. I have caught a little bit up on Conrad [Mewse], but Mel [Pocock] has obviously only closed me in by two points. Overall, it has been a good day.
Were you surprised how easy the first moto win came to you? Winning your first moto ever is always going to be hard, but if there was a dominant way to do it then that was it. It did not really look like you had many troubles.
Yeah. I got close to it at Blaxhall and that was a bit frustrating. I knew it was so close, but I ended up not having it. I nearly matched Conrad in qualifying and then I knew that if I got out of the gate and put some hard couple of laps in at the start I would maybe break away and be able to then control it. That is what I ended up managing to do. I controlled it and the race came quite easy, really.
Obviously, this has been an insane year for you. You came out and shocked everyone, but have now gone even further than that. I guess now is the sort of time you need to look at your future and decide whether you want to go all-in on this, chase MXGP and try to make a career out of it or stick to Britain? Have you kind of put thought into that? If there is a time to go to MXGP, it is now.
Yeah, definitely. We have thought about it. I would have two years in GPs if I was to try that next year. I could have a learning year next year, then try and maybe… I know I would learn the tracks and learn how it all works. The two GPs that I have done, I learned loads. The way that they pass, the intensity and everything really. I would like to do them, but I have kind of also got to think about deal-wise and what works best for us. At the end of the day, I cannot afford to go and pay for every round of the GPs.
Has there been any interest from that point of view? I am sure this team would love to have you back, but has anyone kind of knocked on your door or at least said to you that you are riding well?
Yeah, people have told me I am riding well. I think that I could go into GPs, but not a lot has come about it as of yet. We are still kind of waiting to see what happens. Hopefully it all works out for the good.
Are you doing any more MX2 or EMX250 rounds this year to kind of prove yourself or is that not really in the plans?
No, not really. Kind of because of the budget on the bike and stuff like that. No, we are just going to stick to Britain and hopefully get as good results as possible in this country.
Today was obviously another step forward in your career and another achievement that you have made it to. What is next for you? I guess overall win is what you want next, but is there something else that you have got your eye on?
I did not actually know at the time, but I was in eighth in the race in that last one. I think if I had got one more position I would have had the overall. I went down though and got trapped under the bike and I did not realise that. I was close, but not close enough. Just got to go to the next round and hopefully get two good results and maybe be on the top step of the podium.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: MPS Images