INTERVIEW: Matt Phillips talks ISDE, 2020 racing and Tassie hosting AORC | News
We spoke to former FIM Enduro World Champion Matt Phillips about his return to the International Six Days Enduro and his future in off-road racing.
The event was unorganised from the get-go, I spoke with Pedro Mariano when we first arrived and he explained the troubles with green police and how they really didn’t want the race going ahead. I arrived at the event underdone and carrying some injuries. I had no expectations for my result.
I had my mum turn up late with a Bell helmet after jumping on a plane last minute. I was so grateful to have her there to hang out, we are great mates and she’s a real worker.
Day One I got off the line with a wheelie for the spectators! I caught Jeremy Carpentier pushing his bike back up to the road, not sure he thought it as humorous as I did.
The tests were bland, the usual five meters wide with no obstacles only corners. Reminded me of AORC. I looked at the times and seen all familiar names up the front before scrolling down to find mine around 30 seconds back. Bugger! The guys were right at home out there, a credit to the AORC championship.
My race ended on Day 5 when I hit a good size rock and the bike came to a stop. I had crashed so hard the ECU unplugged itself. Up until then it was really a good day for me. We had a test that involved jumping some ditches, using your brakes and some off-camber corners. I was only around 18 seconds off the leaders time, in my eyes it was my best test of the week and I was happy to put in a respectful time.
What are your plans for next year?
I have been really motivated to come back racing in 2020 and also put my hand up to run an AORC in Tasmania in November as the last round.
At this moment I’ll be sitting out from the racing 2020, breaking my knee and leg this year and not putting any results forward would mean I have to pay to go racing again, just adding insult to injury.
We had a fantastic year this year, riding and helping young Kyron Bacon has really motivated to keep myself in the sport. He’s an awesome young guy to have around so I’m keen to stay in his corner. I think he has the spirit and the right attitude to make it to the top of the sport.
I’m excited for him to head for his first ISDE next year, it should be a good race with good obstacles which will suit technical riders. He’s not WEC technical yet but he doesn’t mind having a crack and doesn’t let a bad moment upset him. Champions attitude.
All things going to plan we should see him head to Europe 2021.
For the full interview plus more insights from the ISDE Portugal check out the full race recap in the next issue of ADB, #485, on sale soon.