Josiah Natzke Catch-up in Europe

Josiah Natzke Catch-up in Europe

Josiah Natzke has taken on board one of the most important opportunities in his Motocross career heading to Europe under contract with KTM.

At just 16 years of age, Josiah has settled in Europe under the leadership and guidance from 10 x World Champion Stefan Everts as one of 3 chosen riders to represent KTM Europe’s Development Team.

The KTM Europe initiative keenly supports the development of young talented riders, contacting Josiah after he raced in EMX GP and World Junior MX Championships in 2014.

Stefan Everts

KTM Europe

Having gained podium at Czech Republic EMX prior to Junior Worlds, Josiah impressed KTM Europe with Everts commenting: ‘“We first saw him in the summer of 2014 and we could see he had good potential, even if he was not completely fit as a result of some injuries. New Zealand has produced some very good motocross riders and we’re looking forward to having him in the Junior Factory Team.”

Stefan is charged with the development of KTM Junior riders: Jorge Prado of Spain, British rider Conrad Mewse and NZ’s Josiah Natzke.

Stefan Everts: ‘”These KTM Juniors represent a lot of talent. They are potentially also the future of the KTM Factory Racing Team. International competition is getting tougher and standards of racing are becoming more demanding. To be ready for this they need to know their race craft and be physically and mentally prepared to meet those challenges. Taking care of the next generation of top KTM riders is very high on our list of priorities.”

I caught up with Josiah to see how he is settling in, what has training been like under Stefan Everts and how does he intend to make the most of the huge opportunity in front of him.

Josiah: ‘I’m settling in quite well! It’s easier than last time because not everything is so new to me. I’m feeling very fit which is a good positive’.

With first EMX race in Trentino, Italy on April 19th, plus coming off the back of NZ Nationals winning 125cc class- Q: How do you feel your preparation is heading into racing EMX class?

Credit: Mad Max Photography

Credit: Mad Max Photography

Josiah: ‘I feel it’s better than anyone else in my class. I have had 6 months of solid training with BT and we made a lot of progress so I feel I’m ready. The only thing that isn’t there is my sand riding but that’ll come. Luckily my sand races are later on in the year’.

With plenty of challenges ahead, notwithstanding the anticipation of racing under Everts, Josiah is determined he is up to the task.

Josiah: ‘I quite like the new challenge ahead. Mainly racing on sand. I’ll be honest I’m slow in it and not very confident but it’s a challenge that I’m going to tackle with everything I’ve got and I’m determined to get better. Once I get my sand riding good I’ll be a better all-round rider.

‘I just gotta perform and win races, that’s the plan, I’m putting my all into this so I’ll be alright’.

And what is it like to have Stefan as your Team trainer?

Josiah: ‘Yea it’s pretty sick working with Stefan, he certainly knows a lot so I’m learning things every-day. He likes to laugh and joke around a bit which is good!’

EMX GP Pietramurata 19th April

Valkenswaard 26th April

Talavera de la Reina 10th May

Matterley Basin, Winchester 24th May

Villars sous Ecot 31st May

Maggiora 14th June

Lommel 2nd August

Assen 30th August

Reference Everts quote: KTM Europe

Words: Sharon Cox

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