More than a week after the final round of the season in the Sparbanken Arena of Lidköping, Sweden, we had a chat with your 2018 Junior World Champion, Kevin GALLAS (D – Husqvarna). The 21 years old rider is talking about his season and his future in the discipline…
More than a week after Sweden, how does it feel to be Junior World Champion?
Kevin GALLAS: “It’s still a bit surreal but all the media and journalists keep asking me about it so it starts to feel real and I have to say it’s one of the best feelings you could think of.”
Taking a look back to your season, you had a mixed start in Poland and then started to dominate from Germany… What happened between these two rounds?
K.G: “I felt pretty good in Poland already, but struggled with the feel on the bike. So I put countless hours on the bike in the very harsh German winter conditions in to feel better on it and it worked. In Germany my level was not a lot higher than in Poland but I just felt more confident while riding. The German fans just hyped me up and the whole atmosphere and racing in front of my friends and family helped me to put a flawless night in. The biggest difference was after Germany when I went back to Spain and kept pushing and working hard every day. I think in Malaga then I showed I was one step ahead.”
From outside, you were above the pack! Did you feel in danger at some point of the season?
K.G: “To be honest I felt I was on the same level as the others in Poland and Germany, I had bad luck and starts in Poland and just a great night in Germany. Like I said starting from Malaga I thought I was one step ahead, I came closer to Alfredo’s and Blake’s times in training and just built up speed and confidence. When you see videos of your opponents in practice it makes you think about if they catch up but I did absolutely everything I could to keep ahead and get that world title.”
German GP was a very special one for you… Home GP, you lost your father few months before and you get your first Hat Trick. What was your feeling when you crossed the line of the last final?
K.G: “It was unbelievable. It was a unique race, my first ever GP win at my home race and with all these nerves and expectations around. I dropped a tear or two but overall it was just one of the most beautiful moments in my life and with the world title for sure a story that I will tell my kids in the future.”
“It may or may not be in 2019, but I am sure I can win in SuperEnduro!”
We’ve heard you made a special promise to your father right before the season…
K.G: “My dad got cancer back last summer. He fought really hard but it got worse and worse. When we realized there will be no chance of him getting healthy I went to visit him and thanked him for everything he did for me his whole life and that I would be forever grateful. I also promised him I would be world champion one day. He just smiled and said that he already knew. When he passed away a few weeks later I just did absolutely everything possible to make that promise come true as fast as possible.”
You’re racing SuperEnduro for two seasons already but public and fans don’t know much about you. Tell us more?
K.G: “I’m 21 years old and I live in Karlsruhe, Germany. I started riding with 4 years old in trials. I competed for many years in national and European championships and was multi time regional champion, got a German junior trials championship in my class in 2007 and was German vice junior and senior champion. I stopped trials at the age of 16 and had nothing to do with motorsports for a couple of years. I bought an enduro bike just for fun at my 18th birthday and then some things came together and I ended up getting in touch with my current main sponsor Grenzgaenger and we started a Team together for the 2016 season. We had no experience in that sport, but we believed in ourselves and last year I finished all major Hard Enduros I entered, including races like Erzbergrodeo, Romaniacs and Megawatt, I got 6th in last year’s SuperEnduro World Championship, without any training and preparations. Now, about two years after we started we got ourselves a World Junior Title. It’s a dream come true for me to race my bike for a living and I couldn’t imagine anything I would like more in my life.”
And now, what’s next for 2019 in Prestige Class?
K.G: “Honestly, I really look forward to next season. All the guys in that class are Idols and role models for the sport. To be one of them and race bar to bar in a crazy sport like SuperEnduro was a dream since I could think of. I will work hard on myself and I don’t only want to compete for top 10s. My goal is to progress from race to race and work my way up to the podium. It may or may not be next year, but I am sure I can win in SuperEnduro!”