Moto Media

Josiah Natzke on racing at Lommel and next, the Junior Worlds

Sunday's Race 2 at Lommel

New Zealand’s Josiah Natzke (CMR Red Bull KTM) gained more race experience competing at the world’s most formidable MX sand track at the weekend than he could ever had imagined.

Lining up against Europe’s top EMX 125cc riders, Josiah dug deep to make most of the opportunity to test his fitness, bike skills, technique and determination on the known ‘beast of a track - Lommel’.

Quoted by MXGP riders as "the hardest track of the year to ride with its deep, loose sand, big ruts which get more treacherous throughout the day"…Max Nagl and Evgeny Bobryshev rate Lommel as "one of the most physically demanding tracks in the world."

Josiah speaks on the experience;

"Everything about the track was challenging. I can’t put into words the extremity of pain I went through while racing both motos. The track was rough, the competition insane. But I got through it and am a better rider than I was before the weekend started."

Used by many MXGP riders as a test venue, practice and training track, Lommel proved to be a beneficial experience for NZ’s 125cc Champion, 15 year old Josiah. Qualifying he was 16th. Race 1 - 5th around the holeshot to finish 16th. Race 2 the next day - 25th for an overall round result of 21st, Josiah remains positive of the experience.

"I haven’t had any experience racing a track like Lommel so I struggled. There is nothing in NZ to train on in comparison to Lommel. If I lived over here and rode it weekly I would learn how to ride it and get better."

On bike performance, tyre selection and line choice Josiah says;

"The bike ran really well. Jetting was spot on. I’m still learning suspension set-up but I’m always learning. I ran Pirelli 410 paddle tyres which were hooking up primo. All I had to do was twist the throttle."

From just two days racing at Lommel Josiah says; "I know what I need to work on for sand so I am better prepared next time."

Looking ahead to Josiah’s main focus FIM Junior World MX Championship, this Sunday August 10th, Natzke remains centered on what he has to do;

"Just get a good qualifying time and then nail my starts like I know how and then just go for it for the whole moto."

Watching MXGP’s Go Pro lap of the Junior World track at Lierneux, Belgium, Josiah feels comfortable the natural terrain will suit him and will be an interesting test; "as no-one has raced it before’. He states "the track looks rocky, the jumps are all man-made with some steep jumps as well."

For Josiah the past few weeks have been preparation for racing this weekend’s Junior World’s… facing challenges, taking on board disappointment and enjoying where he is at in his Motocross career.

Josiah says;

"Just getting into a rhythm and riding like I know how…finding my mojo and going after what I want. Coming 3rd at Loket was pretty huge. Meeting all the people, some pretty well known too. And ahhh, don’t ride a sand track on your first ride over here…and everyone is fast racing so as soon as you fade they all keep coming - haha."

Josiah would like to thank Pirelli, Fox, KTM, Red Bull, Ethika, Marc and Norma Theys, Glen Dempsey, Freddy Raymaekers and BT. Also Mum, Dad and all my family and friends for their support.

Copy courtesy of Sharon Cox at