Interview Steve HOLCOMBE (GB Beta)
"In Italy, I felt a
A week after his EnduroGP title, we had a chat
with Steve HOLCOMBE (GB Beta) about his 2017
season, his relationship with Beta and what he
expects for 2018
Hello Steve, what a year it was! With this
new EnduroGP Class, did you think you could win by
a so big margin?
Steve HOLCOMBE: "If I'm honest looking
back to the start of the year, I didn't think I
was in a position to fight for the overall title
at all, let alone win by 48points. I didn't have a
particularly great pre season, or I wasn't where I
expected myself to be in training and at races so
I was a little nervous and down on confidence
heading into the season. It was a great decision
to head over to Finland to ride and train with the
help of Petteri SILVAN and my Finnish friends. I
learnt a lot about snow riding in a short period
of time and that helped me gain some confidence
for the first GP. I got a decent result there and
then before we knew it we were in Spain. To finish
so close to PHILLIPS both days and miss out on the
win both days by less than 2 seconds was very
frustrating. I took a lot of energy from that race
and worked hard for the teams home GP in Italy.
That's where my season changed, from there on I
felt a different rider. With me moving onto the
2018 bike as well as taking the points lead into
Hungary, the rest of the year couldn't of gone
Where do you think you improved the most
during this year?
S.H: "With my riding, it's definitely
been in dry dusty conditions. As we all know I
thrive in and enjoy a lot the wet muddy conditions
but that's not great when the majority of the
races are hot and dusty. I spent a lot of time
away from home this year but it's paid off
massively. Mentally I've really improved the way I
deal with pressure. Throughout my riding career I
would say I've had a strong mind, I owe a lot of
that to my parents. I was always left to get on
with my riding win or loose and was never pushed
to make a certain result, luckily as well that's
how team Beta is. Racing is about what you can do,
I work my best when I'm in control of my
decisions, win or loose.
"I would've loved to clinch the title
Maybe next year!
to 2015, did you ever imagine that you would
become two times World Champion two years after?
S.H: "Not a chance. I still don't believe
it's true now! My 2015 season was a massive
rollercoaster. Coming into the year and not
choosing to race in Chile, to winning a day at the
second GP in Portugal then traveling home to get
back to work the next day. 2015 was a year of what
could've been, if I raced in Chile I believe I
would be a three time champion. However things
don't always go to plan and I'm very thankful for
the opportunities that arose from that year and
the Boano team and I wouldn't have it any other
How did you manage your season, GP after GP?
S.H: "I can't give away too much detail as I
believe this is something I've really managed to
get right this year. However the pressure of
taking the points lead has been the hardest thing
to manage, the expectation in my own mind to prove
I was worthy has been hard to deal with. Because I
received the plate through default of Matty's
mechanical issue in Italy, I didn't think I earned
the right to wear it. It's not until after the
German GP that I knew in my own mind that I do
deserve it and I do deserve to stand on top the
podium as the EnduroGP Champion.
How particular it was to race in front of your
audience at Hawkstone Park?
S.H: "It was unreal! More unreal to win Day 1
and to be leading Day 2 comfortably before we had
our set back. I remember watching the last GP in
2008 in Wales; I was 14 years old and was just in
awe of these great riders battling the terrain up
there. It's been a dream to race at home and more
of one to win. I would've loved to clinch the
title there. Maybe next year!
"Beta is a very family orientated
A quick word on your team. It seems you have
a special relationship with your manager Fabrizio
S.H: "I certainly couldn't achieve what I
have in these past two years without the team and
the bike. I have a great relationship with my
mechanic and the other mechanics within the team.
It's great that we have fun away and at the races
but when it comes to it, we all do our jobs to the
highest standard. DINI is not only the team
manager but has also been my out rider for the
season. It's very important for us to have a
trusting relationship and we do, he's helped give
me confidence this year in line choice and bike
set up. I've had great advice and support from
Steve PLAIN who travelled to some GP's this year,
it's been great to have his support and guidance.
Me and Alex (SALVINI) get on great too, him and
his family have been very supportive over the last
two years allowing me into their home and for me
to train with him. I'm very grateful for all they
have done for me. Also the guys that don't always
come to the races and are working back at the
factory, Beta is a very family orientated company
and I feel very at home here.
Looking to 2018, will you change bike or
stay with the 300cc?
S.H: "Currently, I would like to stay
with the 300. We have such a good bike right now
and I'm excited as Beta and myself have ways to
further improve it. I'm looking forward to seeing
what we can do in the coming months.
bet your goal for 2018 are the Class title and the
EnduroGP (outright) title?
S.H: "Definitely! I know what I'm capable
of and so does everyone else. The plan now is to
enjoy this off season, understand what we've
learnt and how we can improve, then start planning
for 2018. I can't wait!
Steve HOLCOMBE Digest
Nickname: The Exmoor Beast
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of Birth: May, 16th 1994
Place of Birth: South Molton
Bike: Beta 300 RR
Race Number: 70
2011: BEC Clubman Champion
2012: BEC Expert Champion BSEC U19 Champion
2014: Junior E1 European Champion BEC E1
Champion 3rd BSEC Elite
2015: 3rd EWC Junior W2C Champion 2nd BEC
2016: E3 World Champion
2017: EnduroGP World Champion