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Viðtal við Paul Edmundson

Til þess að koma viðtalinu til ykkar sem fyrst er þessi út gáfa ekki þýdd,vinsamlegast kalli til foreldri varðandi þýðingu. UK Enduro guru Paul Edmonson returns to Europe after a five year spell in the USA racing cross-country events. In his third decade of racing off road, Edmonson will ride for Husqvarna, the Italian manufacturer that has already earned him a World Enduro Titles. We spoke to the man they call „Fast Eddy“ about racing in America, the ISDE, his switch to four stroke machines and his hopes and dreams for 2002 and beyond with Husqvarna. After five years racing in America, what made you decide to leave the „lucrative“ GNCC circuit and return home? Well, firstly for me the most important thing is that I enjoy my racing. The quality of racing GNCC’s in America has gone downhill in the past few years. Secondly,the racing in America is not as lucrative as most people make out. Riders earn abase salary and then they recieve contingencies for each race and bonuses. Most of the money is in the bonuses, and you really have to go balls out and risk a lot to win.I chose to come back to Europe to face new challenges with Husqvarna and I also look forward to developing the new four stroke engine. I am pleased to be based closer to home and my family and get back into racing some good races again. How does the style of racing GNCC’s in America compare with the World Enduro Championships here in Europe? Is it more dangerous?The GNCC’s are quite different to the World Enduro Championships. In order to be commercial, the GNCC organisers have arranged the races whereby there is so many riders of different standards on the track at the one time it is hard to put in a top performance with so many people as obstacles. I have found this to be quite dangerous, as you have people pulling out in front of you in a narrow track and there is nowhere to go. Your result depends so much on your start, as it is difficult to pass other riders on the track once the race has started, especially when it is adusty, cut-up track. The GNCC is like a three hour motocross race, whereas the World Enduro is several five minute special tests throughout a day of controlled trailriding. World Enduro is you against the clock, and GNCC puts rider against rider. I think it is the organisers responsibility to control the conditions of racing to make it safe and fair competition and I think the GNCC have traded the competition for the commercialism. Do you think the standard of racing is higher in America or Europe? As I have mentioned it is difficult to compare GNCC to WEC, as the two are completely different styles of riding. If you compare the American Enduro events(qualifer series) to the World Enduro Championships in Europe, I think the latter isa much higher level of competition. I believe the standard of racing is higher when the competition is run on an equal playing field and with World Enduro it is much more that, than the GNCC series. Shane Watts provides a good example, as hehas won both a 125cc World Enduro title and a US GNCC title. Whilst he is a good rider, the best rider cannot always win in GNCC as there is always a certain level of luck involved. What will you miss about the races in America? About the races? – Nothing at all!About America? – Definately the friends I’ve made over the years. The ISDE has always been a strong event for you, winning 4 class victories andracking up 11 gold medals. Tell us about this years event in Brive La Gaillarde,France. Why didn’t you ride for the UK team? Well basically because I do the ISDE for fun and I pay my own expenses to go thethe ISDE each year. Unlike a normal individual race, I do not have as much controlover the result so I wanted to ride in a small club team – where I knew the riders -David and Juan Knight, were as keen to win as I was. I feel as we are paying out ofour own pocket we should have more control over the way the team is run and with the club team you can do this. And the results? I wanted to get some good results at the ISDE this year to prove that I can still mixit with the Euro guys. Over the first few days, I had difficulty starting at the back of the pack with the clubman riders, as the track had deteriorated a lot by the time we got to it. However this worked to my advantage later in the week and by the end of Day 5, I was 3rd in the 250cc 2 stroke class and fifth overall, only two second behind Jarno Boarno. Unfortunatley on the start of Day 6, I was disqualified for using non-homologated tyres. I was so annoyed, because it wasn’t really anyone’s fault it was just a stupid error that it was in the van in the first place. However I was pleased with my performance towards the end of the week, and I think I have shown that I am more than capable of challenging the top World Enduro riders next year. Why have you chosen to ride for Husqvarna for your return to the World Enduro Championships? Are you pleased to be back riding for the Italian manufacturer and the CH racing team? When I first showed interest in returning to Europe, Husqvarna were the first team to come back to me with an offer. I have ridden Husqvarnas before and I like the way they feel on the track. From my experience in the past with the World Enduro Circuit, I know that a good team is crucial to getting good results. I have worked with Fabrizio Azzalin and the CH Racing Team before and feel confident that they are capable of helping me achieve my best performance. I am also excited about the prospect of developing their new 250 four stroke, and believe we have a good product to work with. In the past you have shown dominance in the two stroke classes, why have you decided to return to Europe and start a new season on a 250 four stroke? Whilst I have enjoyed riding two strokes in the past, the future of Enduro lies in the new four stroke technology. I eventually want to move up to the big bore thumper classes with top riders like – Merriman and Eriksson but as it will be my first year back I thought it wise to take it one step at a time and start in the 250 four stroke class. I am looking forward to the change next year, it can be quite motivating when you not only change teams but also change bikes. You set yourself a challenge and then the determination builds to make it a reality. What are your plans for preparation and training in the lead up to the World Championships? I have been working out at the gym with my mate, Jamie Dobb and his trainer. Over the winter I plan to train every day doing interval training to concentrate my energy into short periods, which will be the main adjustment I need to make from GNCC to Enduro. My first race with the Husqvarna will be this weekend at the final round of the French GNCC series in Angouleme, France. Then, I am hoping to do a couple of indoor enduros in Spain in November on the new Husqvarna TE 250 4stroke. In December, we may do some testing with the CH racing team on the new Husqvarna four strokes. Early next year I would like to get some special test training in with my new teammate, Stefan Merriman before the season starts in February. In the World Enduro Championship, who will be your greatest rival next year? Rumour has it my greatest rival will be Swedish rider Peter Bergvall, runner up to the 250 4 stroke World Enduro title last year. I have also heard than Roman Michalik may also be riding. I really don’t worry too much about the rumours and predictions and just focus on my riding. What other races will you complete throughout the year? At this stage, apart from the seven rounds of the World Enduro Championship, I would like to do the British Enduro Championships, the Lignano beach race in Italy,Gilles Lalay and maybe have a go at some British Motocross races after the WEC has finished. What are your goals for 2002 and beyond? For next year I would like to make a smooth transition back into my racing in Europe and win the World Enduro Title on my Husqvarna TE 250 4 stroke. In the future I would like to win more World Championship titles in the big-bore four stroke classes. Do you have any ambitions to go to Iceland and race there in the enduro series? Maybe in 2002. season.enduro.is are negotiating with some major sponsor´s for that season and they might include me in the program that year.

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