Todd Kellett had a fantastic season in 2017 with his first overall win in the Maxxis British Motocross MX2 Championship and fifth overall in the series, followed by an incredible second consecutive victory at the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race. But injury has halted the 20-year-old’s winter plans and he’s now in a race to get ready for competing at the British Motocross Festival, the opening round of the Maxxis British championship. We caught up with the Somerset ace to talk about how he’s getting on, and his advice for the junior riders racing on the same grand opening weekend for the British Motocross season, which takes place on March 30 – April 2.
A scary back injury breaking T2 to T7 has certainly thwarted Kellett’s winter training plans, but not his enthusiasm and while he’s been frustrated with the injury, he’s also pleased it wasn’t any worse.
“I crashed on December 13. After the HydroGarden Weston Beach Race I was on a high and I continued riding. I did a few enduros and the final British Enduro Championship round where I finished fourth, which was mega. I didn’t really have any time off from the end of the season to December because I was feeling good, I was in a good place, it was coming good with the bike, and I felt like it was all coming together. I literally signed for Verde Substance KTM on the Monday and I crashed on the Wednesday, which wasn’t ideal! Nevertheless, I’m back on a bike a lot quicker than expected; they said it would be five months, but after more tests it wasn’t as bad as they first thought I don’t think,” said Kellett.
“So yeah, it’s been just over two months now, and it’s been really great to get back on the bike, but I’ve been quite critical of myself and my riding. I feel I’m making more mistakes than I’d like, but it’s to be expected; I’ve got no base settings for the bike, I haven’t got any pre-season stuff at all.”
With 10 hours riding under his belt of the likely 70 or 80 hours he would have had if he hadn’t been injured Kellett has a long way to go to get back on top of his plans, but the KTM-star explained that he’s not too stressed. With a packed schedule doing the Maxxis British Motocross Championship and the European Championship, a positive can be taken that at least the bike-mad southern star has been forced to rest, which ensures there’s less possibility of overall fatigue in the season with his unwillingness to voluntarily put the bike away for a few weeks in the off-season. This guy just loves to ride bikes.
A former racer at the Judd KTM British Youth National Championship, Kellett is passionate when talking about the importance of the junior racers and bringing them to the forefront of people’s minds in the industry. He believes there’s huge benefit to all involved with regards to the British Motocross Festival.
“I think the British Motocross Festival is an incredible idea. My girlfriend’s brother races in the big wheels and I go to quite a few club events and schoolboy stuff. When I was that age all I wanted to do was race and be on my bike. It’s got to be good for them to see people like me going to the junior events, and it’s nice to engage with the youngsters. It’s very relevant – a lot of those kids don’t have a lot of knowledge of the British Motocross Championship riders, it’s mostly World Championship and Supercross because that’s what they see on the internet and TV.”
“They probably don’t know so much about the British guys, so for them to be there at one of the rounds is only going to be a benefit for everyone. I guess they will be aware of the top guys like Conrad Mewse and Graeme Irwin who race the World series, but they don’t realise there’s a lot of British championship guys that could beat those guys– just because they aren’t on the telly doesn’t mean they aren’t fast. It will be an insight for the youths.”
Kellett believes it’s also good for the families of the junior riders as they can see the level of where they’re aspiring to be, while encouraging more people to watch the racing on the Sunday. He believes it’s important to bring the juniors into the spotlight to help them feel like a pro and it will be a benefit should they race at a higher level in the European or World Championship series.
When asked for his advice ahead of the British Motocross Festival Kellett explains it’s important to make the best of the situation and embrace the weekend. He’s looking forward to seeing the juniors race and getting himself back on track against the best pro riders in Great Britain.
“Going to the European Championship last year I was quite nervous, really nervous, so I can understand how the juniors might feel (ahead of the British Motocross Festival). Results are important, but embrace the weekend and learn from it regardless of the result. It can be tough, but it’s an honour to ride on the same track as the pros and also try to learn from the guys in front of you. It’s good to watch, you don’t always get that opportunity at the practice track or a club event to watch the pros in full flow and you can learn a lot from that,” concluded Kellett.
Photos by MPS Images.