Dougie Lampkin can ride anything, anywhere, but thankfully when he visited the Red Bull Racing factory in Milton Keynes, the 12 times FIM Trial World Champion opted to travel on foot…
Afternoon Dougie, what feats of two-wheeled awesomeness have you performed today?
Well, actually, I’ve just got back from picking the kids up at school…
That’s good enough for us. How did you enjoy your tour of the Red Bull Racing factory last week?
It was just brilliant: seeing the factory, the car, the design studios, all brilliant. I had the full tour, through the workshops, the design offices, everything. I was very well looked after! Obviously it’s very different to my usual world of motorcycles, and good to get to see that difference.
Anything in particular that you found impressive?
It’s difficult to explain it fully but I think the most impressive thing for me was the way in which new technologies were being developed. Obviously the development of the car and its components is very, very impressive but I was more taken with talking to the guys about how they were trying to develop new ideas rather than just improving on what they already have. It’s very impressive, the amount of work that’s going into new technology way before they can think about using it on the car.
Trials riding is one of the more unusual forms of motorsport, where does it fit in the grand scheme of things?
It is different, and primarily that’s because it’s a motorcycle sport in which speed isn’t involved. I think that’s the thing that separates us from the rest of motorsport.
What inspired you to get into the sport?
It’s the family business! My family’s always been heavily into motorcycling and my father was World Trials Champion in 1975. I’ve always ridden bikes, always performed and managed to turn my hobby into my job – which is brilliant. I had the dream of being World Champion and eventually that came through. I’m very satisfied with what I’ve achieved.
And are you finished for the season now and enjoying a well-earned break?
We ride pretty much all year 'round. But I don’t ride in the championships anymore – these days I’m doing more shows and big international events. That means I tend to be busier in the summer – at least publically. We’re heavily into the preparation for next year, planning what we’re going to do, getting the factory bikes ready. It’s not completely unlike what Red Bull Racing are doing. I guess it’s the same for all sports: not much time to relax; finish one thing and push on to the next one.
What was the highlight of 2012 for you?
I think it’s a combination of two things. Back in May I won the Scottish six-day trial, which is the single-most important event in the trials calendar, and then I finished second in the Erzberg Rodeo Extreme Enduro event. To have two very good results in two completely different disciplines is something that’s really, really pleasing.
And what’s the masterplan for 2013?
The main focus for 2013 is very similar to this year. I’ll do international classic trials races and more extreme enduro events – plus my usual shows and exhibitions throughout the year together with Red Bull. I’m still enjoying riding the bike just as much as I always have and looking forward to new opportunities and new challenges.