FIVE MINUTES WITH MATT PHILLIPS
Taking three wins on the bounce, Matt Phillips has been on a roll in the Enduro 3 World Championship. Breaking through for his debut senior win on day two in Greece he backed that form up with an impressive double win at round four in Finland. With results like that it’s easy to forget that it’s only Phillips first year up into the senior ranks having won the junior title last year.
Enduro21.com caught up Phillips to congratulate him on a job well done…
Congratulations Matt, you pretty much led the GP of Finland from start to finish!
“Thanks, it’s been a really, really good weekend for me. I wanted to win at least one day in Finland but to win both of them was pretty much a dream come true. It’s my first double win in the senior ranks.”
Finland’s generally a difficult place to get to grips with but you looked very settled from the off, why was that?
“Since the GP of Greece we did a awful lot of testing to be ready for this race and it’s definitely paid off. I felt good in the conditions and was confident of being able to push just that little bit harder. Finland and Sweden is a lot different to the rest of the championship so I’m glad I got my homework done before coming here.”
How has taking a win in Greece and now Finland changed your approach to racing?
“Prior to Greece I was always knocking on the door of a race win but just didn’t really know how to close the deal. Winning in Greece made me realise that I could do it and I came to Finland with the belief that I could do it again. From the off I was trying to win and not settle for second. With three wins on the bounce it’s drummed it home to me that I belong at the front of the pack winning races.”
Having never missed a day on the podium this year it’s kind of easy to forget that you’re still only fresh into the seniors and E3!
“Yeah, it’s been a bit of a steep learning curve but you’ve got to adapt fast at this level. I feel like I’m coping pretty well with it all and have still a bit more to give.”
What’s it like fighting for the title with you’re teammate Ivan?
“It’s good, we both sort of know where the other is at. Running first and second in E3 we’ve been riding together all year. This weekend the trail was hard work and by end of day two we were both exhausted. We knew that neither of us was going to better the other on that final test.”
Next weekend marks the second half of the series and with three wins on the bounce you’ve closed the gap to Ivan to 12 points. You’ve got to be pleased with how the championship is shaping up?
“Of course. Things are looking good at the minute but my focus is just on trying to win races. When you start to think about points then it becomes complicated. Right now I’m going after the win – I’m not settling for second.”