MX2 Contenders – Olsen and Watson

Courtesy of Youthstream Media Service Team

While the 2020 MX2 Championship won’t be starting for another three months, the expectations for who will become the new MX2 World champion is already into overdrive. Two riders who should be fighting for the MX2 championship among others might be Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Thomas Olsen and Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha’s Ben Watson. We decided to ask these two riders what they expect from the new season.

Olsen has had a quiet off-season so far. A trip to Thailand for a holiday, and now finally back on the bike in preparation for round one of the championship at Matterley Basin in England at the beginning of March.

“At the moment it is just full focus on what we are doing,” Olsen said. “The winter period is super important, and it lays down the foundation for the season. It is important to get the riding in and get the good preparation. Mentally it is a big deal, but I haven’t felt it yet and maybe I will, but last year I was in that position (leading the championship) and I think I took it pretty well. I didn’t crumble under pressure or anything like that. I have won championships before like the Europeans and it isn’t like I haven’t been in a winning position before; I will take that with me in my backpack in 2020. It is great confidence to bring in, but it is a new season, and everyone has improved, and they all want those Grand Prix wins. Sure, experience is important, and leading laps, that is something I would have liked to have done more. It can be different to lead a race, something you need to maybe get used to, but I think everyone is really hungry for a GP win.”

As for Watson, he knows as well as anyone that the MX2 class will be loaded with talent, from the regular guys, to the new younger riders coming up from the EMX class. What he also knows is that Olsen might be the man to beat.

“There will be guys coming up from the EMX,” Watson said. “Look at Vialle this year, nobody expected him to do what he did in his first year, so there will be younger guys who might be in the mix. From the last few years, you see the steps in everyone. I see with Olsen, he hasn’t made big steps, but he has been twice third and one time second in the World, so you can’t knock that. He has very consistent stats so far and I’m sure he will be strong all season. You need to concentrate on yourself and show some good speed. Some of us will have to move up to 450 in 2021 also.”

So now, as both Olsen and Watson work through their off-season preparation, you can be sure that other MX2 contenders like Tom Vialle, Jago Geerts and Jed Beaton will also be doing their home-work and training as hard as possible to arrive in England in early March with their confidence high and their hopes even higher. Author:  Geoff Meyer

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