We spoke to a recent successor and Arenacross 85cc rider Carl Ostermann. He rode his way to a SX85 European Championship and after finishing fourth last year he will be hungry for a podium spot!
AX: You are only 13 years old have just won a huge championship, can you describe how that felt? Is this your biggest achievement to date?
CO: It just feels great, especially as we didn´t expect at all having a chance to win the SX85 European Championship this year. And of course it´s my biggest achievement till today. I am sure that wouldn’t have been possible without my new trainer Seb Tortelli. We started at the beginning of this year and beside my riding skills we worked a lot on my mental strength and that has brought me significantly forward.
AX: You must be a master at coping with the atmosphere and crowds, what do you do pre-race to get yourself in the zone?
CO: Actually, I didn´t have that much pressure in Poland because we didn´t have the European Championship title on the plan. Of course the atmosphere of a sold out SX-Arena is always very impressive but in fact that atmosphere is more a motivation than a burden to me. Just before the race I mostly listen to some music and go through the track in my head.
AX: You were fourth in the AX Tour last year, what are your goals for this year?
CO: Last year I primarily took part in the tour to gain international experience. After winning the European Championship my aim is of course to win the Arenacross Tour 2018. But I know too that there are very strong opponents waiting for me.
AX: How do you balance school and training?
CO: That´s really not easy. When we are on the way my mother prepares the school stuff for me as much as possible and I try to use the time sitting in the car or plane to work on it. But also my school supports me a lot. I am visiting the Bonn International School and they do a great job promoting my athletic career.
AX: What does a typical week look like for you?
Normally I have two to three times training on the bike and two times athletic training per week.
AX: What is your long-term riding goal?
CO: I still have this and next season in the SX85 class but I know too how difficult the change into the SX 2 class will be. Therefore my big aim is to master that challenge and to work my way to the European top in the SX 2 class as fast as possible.
AX: What is it that makes Arenacross special to you?
The amazing atmosphere and the race series itself because to contest for a title in 9 international SX races is unique in Europe and makes the Arenacross series extremely considerable.
AX: What does it mean to you with the AX World Tour Finals being in your home country?
For sure it´s something very special to have a home game within an international racing series. But also the British audience is absolutely amazing; I never felt like a stranger or outsider in the Arenacross tour last year! It´s a little bit like coming home in January.