Brad Freeman: From Last to EnduroGP Junior World Champ

After missing Finland and being 44 points behind Italian Davide Soreca, the UK’s Brad Freeman made the comeback of the season and clinched the EnduroGP title in the very last test of the season. So, what was the Junior World Champs secret for success?

Hello Brad, how do you feel as Junior World Champion? Did you have time to celebrate this title?
Brad Freeman: “It feels amazing! To say I’m Junior World Champion seems so surreal, but we did it! I’m so proud of our achievements this year; we went from an outsider for the title to being the dominant rider in a pretty short amount of time. And yes, we celebrate a lot! What’s the point in winning if you don’t celebrate it? The only problem was I didn’t expect to win the title and so had no plans at all… maybe that’s why it feels so good?!”

What a year it was! How did you feel when you got injured before Finland?
“It’s being an amazing year, a real breakout year for myself! When I got injured at the start of the year I was devastated, it just felt like I had threw it all away before it had really begun. I remember lying in the hospital in Italy basically crying to my Team Manager (Jarno) saying sorry for ruining the year like that. I told myself… ‘that’s it, the championships gone. Why is this happening to me again?’ He and the team were so good with me, they were patient when I needed it and I definitely would not have won this world championship without them! I think we surprised ourselves this year!”

“Jarno literally just took my helmet and said you can do It!”

2017 FIM Enduro World Championship – Zschopau, Germany

When did you realize exactly that you still had a shot on the Junior title?
“I was gaining back a lot of points in the championship but I still thought it was too far away. We went to Portugal for the last 3 GPs and I said to myself ‘OK, I need to finish ahead on every day from here to win this title.’ On the first day in Portugal I had maybe my worst ride of the championship; I wasn’t focused at all and came away with a 4th place finish. At the end of the day I was so angry… I thought ‘I’ve worked so hard all year for every point and then I go and throw them away like that!’ I said to those close to me I think the championship has gone, but they said no, a lot can happen in the final five days of racing! From this point on I was so focused on winning the World Championship! I rode hard but smarter than before, won the final five days of racing and with it the Junior World Championship!”

You were comfortably leading on Day 2 in Germany, but then lost a lot of seconds in the last lap. What happened exactly?
“On day 2 in Germany it was the dream scenario! I had taken the lead in the World Championship for the first time in my career, and was 30 seconds up with 1 lap remaining to be crowned World Champion! I was just about ready to back the intensity down a little bit and bring it home safely. I started the final enduro test, and after three corners had a stick go inside my rear break lever jamming it on! I thought no, this cannot be happening! I had two options… either stop and try to fix the problem but lose a lot of time or risk it and see what played out. I risked it, I thought after the bad luck I’ve had this year I wasn’t prepared to give this championship away like that. I rode the whole enduro test with the rear brake on and lost I think 15 seconds. I exited the test and the rear brake disc was glowing orange! I’ve never seen anything like that before. I tried to fix the problem with the tools I had but it was impossible, I needed a new system. I left the test for the extreme test and immediately lost my rear brake all together! Now I was just starting to panic… because I knew I would have to ride the extreme test with no brake. I said to my team boss before the test ‘I’m not sure we can do this’, and he literally just took my helmet and said ‘you can do It!’ I made a good time on the test! Only losing 5 seconds, leaving it to a showdown on the final cross times! It might have looked exciting from the outside, but it was worrying times from inside the helmet!”

“I always kept sort of aiming to progress…”

2017 FIM Enduro World Championship, Castelo Branco (POR)

Looking back to last year, did you think you will be able to fight for the World crown the year after?
“Honestly I believed in myself, I always have done… I’m not the most confident rider ever but I’m confident in my own ability. But I knew it was a big step! I remember my first GP in France 2013 was the day Matt PHILLIPS won the Junior Title! I finished 9th in the 125cc, and can remember looking at their celebrations and thinking ‘How can I possibly grow up and go that fast?’ the following year in France was when Matt won the E3 World Title and I won the 125 class… it was actually quite cool to see that I was making progress and so I always kept sort of aiming to progress just like he did! But I definitely didn’t think I could do it within the space of four years. 2016 was a great year for me, but I knew ultimately I need to have these good performances in the World Championship.”

Let’s talk about the Beta Boano team. From the outside, it looks more as a family than a simple Enduro team…
B.F: “It’s just one big family! They’re all a great bunch of people and a big reason why I won the World Championship! I signed with the team in the knowledge that they had a good bike, but mainly what they have done with riders before and how they have helped them to grow up. I went out to Italy training this winter actually living in my van, where I became good friends with my teammate Matteo CAVALLO and actually started living in his home! I can’t thank him and his family enough, they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and I’ll forever be in debt for what they did for me! Everyone just gets on so well, I’ve got a great relationship with my mechanic and I think that’s what sets us apart from others… we’re a very serious team, but we have a lot of laughs along the way which I think is so important!”

What are your plans for next year?
“My plans for next year have changed maybe five times throughout the course of 2017! I have kind of been waiting to see what was going to happen this year with the championship and where we finished but with winning the title in my first year it blown it wide open! I think I will go senior now as it’s the natural progression, and inside I also feel like I’m ready for it and ultimately that’s the best time to go. I’ll be staying with Beta Boano again and I think that’s going to help me a lot in my first year in senior! But really, I just want to keep progressing as a rider and keep having fun! I’ve had more fun this year than any other, and that shows in my results. I just want to have a good winter behind me and I’ll show up ready for the start of 2018 season!”

2017 FIM Enduro World Championship – Zschopau, Germany

The Deets

Name: Brad Freeman
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of Birth: July, 5th 1996
Place of Birth: Rugeley
Bike: Beta 300 RR
Number: 12S

Season by Season Top Results
2011: Fast Eddy Hare & Hound Youth Champion – GBXC Hare & Hound Youth Champion – Youth British Extreme Enduro Champion
2012: 125cc British Sprint Enduro Champion – Fast Eddy Hare & Hound Pro Champion – GBXC Hare & Hound Pro Champion – Youth British Extreme Enduro Champion
2013: 125cc British Sprint Enduro Champion – Expert Overall British Enduro Champion – Expert E1 British Enduro Champion – Expert National Off-Road Champion
2014: Under 20 European Enduro Champion – 5th Overall European Enduro Championship – 125cc British Enduro Champion – 4th Overall British Enduro Championship – Vice Under19 British Sprint Enduro Champion
2016: Overall European Enduro Champion – 4th Overall British Enduro Championship – 2nd Overall British E2 Championship
2017: Junior World Champion

Wilde Ride – On Air Now!

Trying to switch into the world of moto is tough, just ask anyone who has tried!
This new Kiwi made show, now airing on TVNZ on Demand, tackles just that challenge, as a young girl makes the move from horses to dirt bikes after suffering a family tragedy.

Look out for our very own Broxy in the dirt bike sequences, along with a few other well known icons of the Kiwi Moto scene!

The cast of Wilde Ride

Check out the trailer below, and if it catches your fancy you can watch the series on demand right now, on TVNZ on Demand.

Scott Prospect Goggles: Chris Goes Prospecting!

The new Scott Prospect Goggle just made its way into DRD HQ, so we thought it only right to check it out in full detail.

After one year of success, Scott is pushing the limits of goggle design again one step further. The new Prospect 2018 line has a bunch of stuff you are looking for in a goggle. Great features, maximum field of vision, fashionable colour ways for your unmissable look and much more.

The Frame

The Scott Lens Lock System features four locking pins that go through the lens. No matter which impact, it guarantees that the lens is not popping out. In addition, a thicker lens material (1mm) is used to make the lens even more resistant than before. For changing the lens, you simply need to open the four tabs (two at the top, two at the bottom) to remove the lens from the frame in seconds.

The Outriggers

The Prospect has two pivoting outriggers that adapt to any helmet shape and size. The resulting pressure created by the goggle on the rider’s face provides a complete and consistent seal.

The Foam 

Scott’s 3-Layer Face Foam incorporates two layers of foam and one layer of fleece. The first layer maximises sweat retention and provides cushioning from the frame, the second layer ensures a precise comfortable face fit and the third layer acts as barrier between the goggle and rider’s face.

Roll Off System

For the 2018 collection Scott launches its brand new WFS50 – a larger and more fine-tuned roll off system to once again define the standard for this market. The Scott Prospect is the only MX goggle compatible with Scott`s revolutionary roll off system: WFS50.

Check out some future issues of DRD Magazine and see the Scott Prospect in action. And we will tell you all about our thoughts on the Prospect, too!

How To Clean Your Moto Kicks

Yeah, we know it’s not rocket science, but we bet that most of you are doing it wrong, just like we were…

Who’d have thought something as simple cleaning your boots would require a bit of research? Well, after a recent visit to Alpinestars importer, Crown Kiwi Enterprises, it became obvious that many of us have always been doing it wrong! And considering boots aren’t the cheapest items we buy to protect us, it makes sense to know how to do it properly to make them last longer and keep protecting you.

Step 1

Put the water blaster away. No, seriously, don’t even think about using the higher pressure of a jet washer to clean your boots. Okay, we all know it’s the quickest and easiest way to get mud and crap off our boots, but the damage it’s doing is enough to make you cry. Especially if you’re wanting to hang onto your boots for a decent length of time. If you’re a rock ‘n’ roll superstar and you change your boots with your gear, well, then go for it. But for the rest of us, the water blaster is a no, no.

Step 2

Don’t be a bloke – read the instructions. Every set of boots will come with their own set of suggested cleaning instructions. Don’t be an egg and throw them in the rubbish, take a look. Once you’ve done that, you’ll probably already know what the next step is.

Step 3

Be nice and gentle. We know that motocross boots are designed to take the hard knocks, but that doesn’t mean they need any more abuse than what they already receive when they’re on your feet. Use running water, a sponge, and, if you really must, some mild soap to get the mud and dirt off. Do not use the chemicals and detergents that you put on your bike, as the chemicals soak in and can damage the materials. A hose is fine for delivering the water, but nothing more than that. And use a soft sponge, not the thing your mum uses to scour all the burnt bits from her pans after you decided to attempt a midnight fry-up.

Step 4

With the boots clean, if you don’t fancy the saggy-ankle look, get the boot lined up correctly, do up all the buckles, and leave the boot to dry on its SIDE. Yep, don’t put them upside down, right way up or at an angle. Lay them on their side to dry, otherwise the weight of the wet leather can cause the body of the boot to compress down, therefore giving you bulging ankles. Also, if you put the soles down and there’s water at the bottom, that’s going to stink real fast. So, don’t do it. Oh, and if you’re one of those rich guys who own a set of boots with an internal bootie, take it out and let that dry separately.

Step 5

Now that the boots and nice and dry, it’s time to give them some love. A good quality beeswax leather protector rubbed into the leather bits will not only make the boots supple but also add a bit of waterproofing, which is always a result when there’s rivers to cross. And if the buckles tend to stick, add a bit of CRC to the clips. It’ll make ’em feel like new again.

Step 6

If you’re storing your boots for a while, put them somewhere nice that doesn’t get too hot, too cold, or damp. You don’t want mouldy boots when you finally decide to check how they’re doing, so stick them back in the box they came in and put them somewhere dry and ventilated.

Follow these tips and not only will you have great looking boots, you’ll also save yourself some cash by not having to replace them so often. 

 

2018 CRF450R: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

The 2017 CRF450R was a mean machine, but for 2018 Honda have answered our cries and made the mean machine a little bit friendlier, without losing any of the animal.

 

“The 2017 CRF450R made serious waves last year, and not just because it was all-new. There was no doubt that it had serious potential for awesomeness, it just needed some tweaking. Also, that electric start definitely needed to come on the standard machine.

“Well, we got our wish as the 2018 machine received both of those things, so we were hanging out to discover whether it could finally swamp its competition, like it used to in the days of old….”

Check out the next issue of DRD Magazine – in stores Monday – for Broxy’s full review of the new 2018 Honda CRF450R.

Also in issue 148 of DRD, Broxy teaches us how to wheelie like a boss, Mitch goes off script with Gas Gas’s EC 300, and we take a blast on KTM’s MXGP machines! All this, plus all your favourite dirt news.