Seventeen-year-old South African Wade Young has kept himself busy since this year’s ErzbergRodeo. Opting to stay in Europe, the Husaberg rider contested two rounds of the Enduro World Championship in Romania and Greece before turning his attention towards the upcoming Red Bull Romaniacs.
Delivering some promising results on his EWC debut, Young is a rider very much on top form. Hoping to translate that pace across to the Hard Enduro scene, he feels fit and ready for his debut ride at the longest and toughest race on the Hard Enduro calendar…
Wade, how have you enjoyed these past two weeks racing in the Enduro World Championship?
“Honestly, it’s been great. Racing in the EWC is something that I’ve been building towards for quite some time. It was my first time racing with these guys and it’s given me a realistic understanding of where I’m at.”
Are you happy with how you performed?
“I knew it would be tough to jump into this class in the middle of the season. They’ve been racing at this level all year so I had a bit of catching up to do. My goal was to score points and I’ve finished in the points every day. Ideally I would have liked to break into the top ten, but coming to the EWC was all about learning something knew. I’ve improved a lot and really enjoyed the experience – it’s been a lot of fun.”
What’s it like working with the Husaberg Factory Team?
“Racing under the factory awning has been a brilliant experience. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like that. From the mechanics, support crew to their chef, everybody has gone out of their way to ensure I had everything I needed all of the time. Getting a taste of how the team operates has been an amazing eye opener and I’d love to return on a full-time basis in the future.”
Returning to Hard Enduro, next weekend will see you race the Red Bull Romaniacs. Are you looking forward to the change of pace?
“After two weeks racing the EWC in Romania and Greece I feel ready to return to Hard Enduro. I’ve never been to the Red Bull Romaniacs so I don’t know what to expect but you can be sure there will be some pulling and
pushing involved. I’ve watched some videos from the previous years and the riding looks really good. Earlier this year I also raced the King of the Hill in Romania so it’s given me a bit of an idea of what the race will be like.”
What goals have you set for yourself?
“Because I won the Roof of Africa I think people expect a lot more of me. My aim is to finish. I’m still new to all of this. I’m only 17 years old so I’ve got a lot to learn. Like I said the most important objective is to finish the race and gain as much experience as I can. It’s not until you actually start the race that you get an idea of where you fit in. Hopefully day one goes well and I finish in a good position. If I can do that then it should give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the week.”
Do you think your recent EWC training will be of help?
“I think fitting those races into my Hard Enduro schedule was perfect timing for me. I’m riding well and my bike fitness is probably the best it’s been all year. I feel like my speed had gone up a level. Hopefully my hill climbing technique is up to scratch and I’ll be able to give the race my best shot.”
The Red Bull Romaniacs relies a lot on GPS navigation. Are you confident with following GPS?
“Actually I believe the Romaniacs uses a similar system to the Roof of Africa and the tracks are better marked in Romania so I’m feeling ok about it. Not having to learn how to read GPS will be a big help for me.”
With four days of tough trails planned are you looking forward to getting the opportunity to ride alongside other Husaberg riders like Graham Jarvis and Alfredo Gomez?
“Of course. That’s one of the good things about it. Getting to constantly ride with world-class riders is helping me to improve all of the time. Most of my riding is self-taught but by riding with guys like Jarvis and Gomez I can learn a lot. I picked up a lot of tips chasing Jarvis at the King of the Hill. Hopefully I can put them into practice next week and get a good result.”