Q&A: Doncaster's Moto3-bound Scott Ogden reflects on breakthrough year on world stage
Scott Ogden has every reason to be excited about 2022 as he prepares to make the step up to the FIM Moto3 World Championship.
The teenage speedstar recently turned 18 and can reflect on a breakthrough year which saw him win on the world stage and be chosen to represent a leading Moto3 team.
Doncaster-born Ogden became the first British motorcyclist to win a race at the FIM Moto3 Junior World Championship since 2013 by claiming victory in Jerez in Spain in August.
He also ended the season with a podium finish and a pole position at the final round in Valencia.
Ogden has signed for the new VisionTrack Honda team run by former MotoGP and British Superbike racer Michael Laverty – and hopes it will be the springboard to a stellar career at the very top of the sport.
He will become the first motorcyclist from Doncaster to line up on a Grand Prix grid since Tony Rogers rode in the 1982 French GP.
Below Ogden shares his thoughts on the 2021 season, how he has matured as a rider and his expectations ahead of moving up to the FIM Moto3 World Championship alongside MotoGP in 2022.
How do you feel you’ve matured as a rider compared to 12 months ago?
The realisation you don’t just have to do the fastest lap time all the time!
All I wanted to do last year was to be as fast as possible every lap – if you can do the lap alone in practice or quali then it’s much easier in a race to do the lap and stick with the bunch.
Off the track I’ve learnt a lot about the bike, the data and how to analyse it, working with a crew chief and becoming more of an all-round professional.
I can articulate better and also react better to changes on the bike – what the team are doing to the set-up and giving them feedback.
What was the highlight of 2021?
The last half of the season I’ve been really happy with my results. Since the podium at Barcelona things started to click a lot more.
Then came the win at Jerez and I felt really good again at Valencia. e
Earlier in the year I qualified 21st and finished 15th and 10th.
This time around it was pole and a fourth and a fifth – I went faster with Turn 1 still wet than I did earlier in the year!
I’m happy with a top six in the standings and the pole at Valenica but Jerez was the big highlight. There’s nothing like winning.”
Next year the world stage with Michel Laverty’s new VisionTrack Honda team in Moto3 beckons...
I’m excited about the opportunity I’ve got for 2022. It’s the next stepping stone towards the main goal of MotoGP.
The intensity in Moto3 is very high – you’re entering the lion’s den!
But the Junior championship has taught me some things.
I expect some criticism but I feel I can progress more as a rider in that championship.
There are all the tactics to consider but this is all part of racing motorbikes.
Obviously I want to do a good job off the track with media and partners and the team, but I don’t want to get involved in politics.
Ideally I’d like to have two years in each class (Moto3 and then Moto2) but there’s not a limit and I’m prepared for the fact it might take more.
What’s the reaction been like since announcing you were going to Moto3?
I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on social media from fans, media and some great names past and present – if they are on-board then other people start following you.
I think it’s giving everyone confidence in the UK the system is working.
What would you say to 14-year-old you if you want to get to world championship level?
You made the decision to leave home in Belton to live in Spain so you could immerse yourself in the Spanish motorcycle racing culture.
It’s got to be your life. Everything you do you have to think: ‘Is this going to make me better on that bike?’
The riders in Spain dedicate their life to it.
They live it, sleep it, breathe it. You have to put your life and soul into it and give it your best shot.
It’s been tough at times with me and my father not really seeing my mum but after the NEC I’ll spend time with them at home.
We’ll get to eat some turkey together at Christmas.
When do you start testing with VisionTrackHonda on the Moto3 bike and how do you feel about all these new circuits you’ve never raced at before?
It all starts when we roll out of the pit box in February with all the other Moto3 teams – that is when it will probably really hit me.
I think there are 18 riders I’ve raced against before on the 2022 Moto3 grid.
I’m part of a big cohort of rookies moving up to it so it makes it more familiar, but of course there are still names I’ve never raced such as Foggia, Garcia, Sasaki etc.
I’ve never been to half the countries we go to.
They’re all exciting but I suppose Silverstone will be special – I enjoy the circuit configuration there and it’s where I won the British Talent Cup title.
Representing Great Britain in front of your home crowd at the British GP will be pretty cool.