Neville Bradshaw “272”
The South African born Neville Bradshaw, the former British MX Champion is back in SA for the full 2016 Monster Energy TRP Motocross Nationals season.In 15′ we saw Neville come in at the 3 Rd round of the series at Rover, PE. He made his presence immediately felt with full backing of his South African Sponsors, Out of Africa/Tintswalo Yamaha team. 2016 sees Nev have a bumper year of racing both in the Maxxis British Championship on-board the” Heads and all Threads Suzuki UK” ‘racing MX 2 and back here is SA , Out of Africa/Tintswalo Yamaha in both MX 1/2.Moto ZA caught up with to hear how the first couple of rounds of the Nationals went for him here in SA.
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Moto ZA: Nev the first round in PE you had a incident with your knee ,at that point you weren’t even sure if you would make it for the 2nd round in C.T. Well glad you did.Give us a run down on the first 2 rounds and if your injury is fully healed up?
NEV : Ja, I would go as far as to say that race day at PE was one of the toughest race days of my career. It started off good with pole position in mx1 and 2nd in mx2.I hadn’t ridden the Yamaha for about a month but felt comfortable pretty much straight away.The first mx2 race of the day in the second turn, I lost the rear end of the bike, but my foot was planted in the sand, and I heard my knee pop, and looked down and my toes were facing outwards, basically the knee dislocated and stretched all the ligaments, tearing the MCL ligament.It really bummed me out as id put a lot of work into the 2016 season, and figured it was pretty much over at the first race.I took a heap of pain killers and decided to try see the day through. I managed to come away with the overall win mx1, I got lucky as Goosen had an issue in race 1. I flew back to the UK on the Monday and saw doctors and physios etc, I continued to race, but in a lot of pain, with limited movement.Then when I returned for the Cape town national I got a cortisone injection on the Thursday, and that’s seemed to mask the pain/inflammation pretty good. Cape town was fun, its the first time i have been to track, and I thought I was really fun. I came away with the mx1 overall and 2nd overall in mx2. On the last lap of the 2nd mx2 race I was having a great race with Anthony, and I caught the knee on the last lap, and the pain was unreal, so that kind of sucked because I could just about ride around, and it looked like id given up on the win. but id say for about 2 weeks now, my knee has been good, I have got my confidence back in turns, and my riding schedule has returned to normal, so things are good on the knee front.
Moto ZA: Just to refresh the SA motocross industry ,when did you leave SA to go and race in Great Britain. What was the decision behind it all to do so in those years?
NEV : My last season racing in South Africa was 2003. racing internationally was always a dream of mine, I got an opportunity to come and race in the UK late 2003, did pretty good at a British championship round, which set me up for a good ride in 2004 and things progressed from there. Things were tough in the start but I kept my head down, and have put some awesome seasons together, a lot more than I ever dreamed possible, looking back I am really pumped I took that chance and how the last 12 years have worked out for me.
Moto ZA:The 2016 season must be a handful for you doing both the British Championships and the SA Nationals Championship series?How are you managing your time training and running your 272 Race School and then most importantly spending quality time with your family?
NEV : Yeah its pretty hectic. I am not doing any schools this season, just concentrating on my own riding and training. The mx2 class in the UK is very tough this season, there’s a lot of pressure to perform in the top 10 you have to be on your game. Racing in South Africa is a lot of fun for me, its a lot more laid back, the weather is awesome, and the tracks are fun and don’t get really rough so mentally/physically it makes it a bit easier. I love the vibe of being around the south African people they have a great outlook on life, work hard and dream big, it gives me motivation to come back racing here with that mind set. I always make time for the family, that’s at the top of my list everyday. Racing motorbikes is what keeps things ticking at the moment, so its all good.
Moto ZA: Here in SA you are sponsored by ,Out of Africa/ Tintswalo Yamaha racing Team. How did it come about that you got a ride in SA and also what made you decide to come and race on Home Soil again after so many years?
NEV : Guy Henley and Warwick Goosen run our team, and its an awesome team to ride for, we go to the races to do well together, but they feel like family to me to be honest, we all have a great time together when I am there. Basically it all came about last year, I tried going privateer here in the UK and things didn’t quite work out, I had a few things fall the wrong way and I was ready to quite racing. I was still riding good and still fit, and still loved riding,so figured it would be a waste to stop racing completely. I put the feelers out come out and race in SA. Grant got in contact, I came out and did a few races, had a great time, and decided to come back for the 2016 season.
Moto ZA: After all the years of racing experience and racing with some of the top GP riders of your time, achieving British National Championship as well as Arenacross titles. What was your initial thought on the standard of racing here in SA. What did you expect when you came in 2015 or where you always keeping up to date with what is happening here with the racing scene in SA?
Yeah I still kept an eye out on the racing out there. but with social media its become a lot easier to keep a tab on things over the last few years. I knew coming back the guys were going to be quick. no matter where you go in the world, riders are quick in their own environment and on their own tracks, also a lot of riders had international experience like Richie van der Westhuizen
, Sacha Naude
, David Goosen
and Kerim Fitz- Gerald
. The tracks in SA are very technical, and in my opinion breed some of the most technically talented riders in the world. Its not easy to just jump on a different bike when I arrive back, but something I take pride in being able to do. the sport is definitely growing with all the team set ups and sponsors involved in the sport, I was very impressed with the set ups when I came over for the first time in PE last year. the sport definitely seems to be on the up.
Moto ZA: Here In SA you are racing both MX1 and MX2, but in the UK you only run MX 2.How did that decision come about and what do you prefer? From what we are seeing down here is that you seem to be much stronger on a 450?
NEV : Yeah I am an mx2 guy, all my best results over the years have come on the mx2 bike. I really enjoy riding a bike to its full potential, and the aggressiveness on mx2 racing, its an all in kinda deal. I don’t enjoy riding 450s, I train on one here to get strong for the 250f, and also the cost involved keeping a good 250f running as a training bike is not possible any more for most teams. I am a big guy and the 450 Yamaha has a lot of power to play with, so I know power isn’t an issue and I can ride the bike good without riding at 100%. I have won both nationals this year and I think 3 last year in mx1, but for sure mx2 is where my heart lies, I am working hard on winning some mx2 races this year.
Moto ZA: Nev, you are currently running the red plate as the points leader in MX 1 with 2 points up on former MX 2 Champion Anthony Raynard and a 6 points lead on 3rd place, another former MX1 SA Champion Sacha Naude. How do you feel now about the standard of racing thus far for 2016.This could be the year that it goes down all the way to the wire.With all that said the 3rd round will be at BORC in Bloemfontein,when was the last time you raced there and what would your strategy be coming in for that round? Tell us about your sponsors here in SA and how you came about them, there role and what part are they playing to make this all happen for you?
NEV : Yeah the racing is intense this season. In mx1 there’s 6 or 7 guys that can podium or win every weekend. its good because it keeps you working hard. now my knee is feeling better and my riding and confidence is coming better I am really looking forward to getting back racing at Bloemfontein, I can remember it being an awesome venue. I am a hard pack guy, so now we got the sand races out the way I am excited for the rest of the season. I think the last time I raced in Bloem was 2002.
Yeah Warwick and guy are really good guys, I met them last season when I rode for their team. They run a good team, but are also very experienced people that I have learned a lot from about life away from racing, its cool that they’re not motocross 100% of the time. They have some great sponsorship partnerships with Yamaha SA, AMP, TRP, and everyone else that helps our team out.
Moto ZA: Neville , you have had a great career thus far in Motocross, Arenacross and even some Supercross. What is your vision for the future ,will be seeing you around for many more years racing or will you be focusing more on your “272 Race School” in time to come?
NEV : Yeah as I said earlier its been a great run, and a career I am very proud of, its taken a lot of work and dedication, but I wouldn’t change a thing. And do it all over again. The last national in South Africa will be my final race as a professional. I am currently leading the SA mx1 and 3rd in SA mx2, and running 6th in the British mx2 championship, so if I can win a SA championship and finish top 3 in the British mx2 championship it vibe a cracking final season. 2017. I will be focusing full time on my race school, and then who knows what the future holds beyond that.
Moto ZA: A question that always seem to pop up with Moto ZA is ,do you have any hobbies, what music, food do you like, and if Motocross was never an option for Nev, what would you have otherwise aspired to be come in life?
NEV : I am really into cycling, running and triathlon. I enjoying hitting the trails on my BMX, going to the cinema. Motocross in a gnarly sport it pretty much consumes your whole life if you want to be successful. Haha I am not too sure man, drinking Klipdrift and kicking back sounds like a good hobby:)