Steve Sommerfeld is an ambitious Aussie with his finger on the trigger. Steve runs a successful FMX athlete management business, works as a judge on the World Freestyle Motocross Championships, and is a damn good FMX rider! After a last minute invite to the Unit invitational, round 3 of the Australian Freestyle Motocross Championships, we caught up with Steve to see how he was feeling about riding in Saturday’s competition.
So Steve, How long has it been since your last FMX contest?
Hi Loko Mag! It’s been a long time actually! November last year I rode the very last Narrogin Revheads competition. Everything went well there, until the rear shock on the bike I borrowed decided to let go when I qualified 3rd. Damn! But after that competition, I came home and crashed not long after when my bike slipped 2nd gear into neutral on the ramp and I went into the back of the landing ramp. So a broken foot for my troubles, and some time off the bike.
Steve in the judging booth with Jason Moriarty (left) and Alvaro Alvaro Dal Farra (right)
How has the preparation been going into round 3 of the AFMXC? Have you managed to get much bike time in?
Well I haven’t had much time on the bike in 2013. And I’ve only had about 2 weeks on my new bike!
I spent some time working in Europe in March and June/July, judging and commentating at Night of the Jumps, helping Josh Sheehan and Clinton Moore at X Games and X-Fighters. I did also get to ride with Alvaro Dal Farra and the Da Boot team in Italy. It wasn’t much riding, but it was awesome to hang out with those guys and get into the Italian culture of Spritz, Prosecco and the best pizza! When I got home, while I was waiting for my new bike, I borrowed Sheeny’s old 2012 CRF450 to ride and got used to the 4 stroke. So now I have had about 2 weeks on my new KTM 250SX and just getting used to riding a 2 stroke again!
Have you been working on any new tricks lately?
Not really. Just getting my old tricks back and trying different take-off combo’s. When I was at the ‘Jambo’ event in Italy, I watched Jey Rouanet doing those big whipped out double nac’s like how Tom Pages’ does them. So I’ve tried working on them, but damn… that’s a hard trick, and I don’t have much to show for the practice yet!!
Do you have a game plan for the event?
Just do the tricks I know how to do, well. It’s a technical course, and there’s a few tricks that might be tough to do, like take-off combo’s, but I will try to put as much variety into my run as I can. I normally like to get a couple of extra jumps in, so I’ll see if I can race this course to help get some extra points.
Who do you see as the ‘guys to beat’ on Saturday?
Joel Brown for sure! Browny is on fire at the moment and he’s got a unique style to keep himself at the top of the podium. But you can’t take anything away from Matt Schubring. Schuie has made what I would say is a relatively ‘safe’ course, for his standards (think of Schuie’s 10-pack!)
We hear the course for round 3 is going to be pretty special. Have you ridden at Schuie’s much in the past? What do you think about the set-up?
I’ve ridden a lot with Schuie over the past 5 years or so. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am without him pretty much making me jump all the crazy jumps he’s built. The course he’s built this time is basically an updated design on his old training compound. The addition of the dirt hit and 110 foot ramp has given the course a ‘bigger’ feel. But the step-on-step-off and double double section is really fun. It will be interesting to see what the other riders think when they turn up on Saturday!! I know I’d be a bit nervous if it was the first time I set eyes on it!
What bike are you riding these days and why?
KTM 250SX It just feels so damn good, and everything about the KTM’s makes me feel excited to ride them. As I mentioned before, I rode Sheeny’s CRF450 for a couple of months, and I did get a feel to the 450, and I almost decided to buy a KTM 450SX-F, but decided I had to go back to my roots and stick to the 2 stroke!
The AFMXC seems to be growing at an alarming rate, the level of riding and the quality of the courses is simply blowing everyone away this year. where do you see the series going in the future?
Man, it’s crazy! Some riders like Browny and Schuie can turn up and throw down a run, which wouldn’t look out of place at X Games, and courses which are better than X Games, I don’t know what else the AFMXC can do without putting the series inside a big stadium and selling it out to a 70,000 strong crowd!
Thanks so much for your time mate, and all the best for Saturday – we can’t wait to see what goes down!