Following an extended break with a wrist injury, Conrad Mewse returned to racing at the final round of the 2019 Maxxis British Championship over the weekend. A couple of thirds were secured – despite the fact that he had only ridden a handful of times before the event – and served as a reminder of just how good he could be when healthy. Mewse discussed his successful return, injury and off-season plans in this exclusive MX Vice interview.
MX Vice: It has been a while. You have effectively had a year off, I guess, as far as seasons go. To come out, run the speed of the winners, the speed of the champion and kind of show that with a couple more weeks you'll be right there… I feel like this whole thing was just positive.
Conrad Mewse: Yeah. I'm very happy about the weekend. If you would have told us a week ago that we were even going to be back on the bike now, I wouldn't have believed you. I have ridden a handful of times up until here, and not one has been a thirty-minute moto. To come here today and do two thirds, I'm over the moon with that. Like I said, we are at fifty or sixty percent at the minute. I've ridden five times in six months. It was a long time out. This is where we are now, stood on the podium in second place at a British Championship. I couldn't be any happier with that at the minute. Hopefully we press on from here.
What was the point in coming here? It would have been easy enough to just sit at home and continue practicing. Was it important to kind of come here and just get that first one out of the way? I guess this will make the beginning of next year a bit easier.
Yeah. I didn't want to go to next year with no races under my belt. I have missed nearly all year this year. If I were not to do this weekend then, like you said, it would have been almost a year out of racing. I came here and felt it was important to do it. I'm glad I have come here now to see where I'm at, and things like that. I'm more than happy with how it went. We go from here now.
How did this all work out then? Around the time of Lommel I heard that the wrist and hand was f**ked basically. It was going to be a long time. Then the next thing I know you are back on the bike. Did you get good news, or did things go faster than expected?
No, we just kind of got on with it. They said when I went in for the surgery, "You are not going to be able to get back on a bike for at least nine months." That would have put us to February or March next year. We have just got on with it. We have got our head down with physio and things like that. My wrist is nowhere near good now. It's not good, that's for sure. I certainly haven't got two good wrists. I've got no movement, but we are getting through it.
I've got two new All-Sport Dynamics wrist braces, which are really helping me. I wouldn't be able to ride without them at the minute. We are getting on with it. It's nice to be back at a race. I was in a lot of pain today. That was probably one of the toughest races I've ever had out there. I'm about to go through some serious pain. Like I said, we got on with it and here we are now stood second on the box. I couldn't be happier.
Is that movement in your wrist going to come back gradually, or is this it now and that is what you have got to deal with?
The surgeon said I'm for sure never going to get the same wrist as what I have on my left hand, but I've got to go back I think in a week's time and have another op to have the screw out. We are not quite finished yet. I'll go back and get that screw out. I'm hoping that when I get that screw out, I'll be able to get more movement than at the minute. That is what I'm struggling with, the screw in my scaphoid. That needs to come out.
Once that's out, I think we should be good to go. We should be good to push physio, push riding and push training. Up until now for the last six months we have only been able to do so much. It's only been the last week or two where I've actually been able to kind of… Well, I'm not even lifting the same weight in my right hand as what I am my left hand. We are struggling a little bit with what we can do, but we came here and made the most out of it and that's all that matters.
There is nothing that's going to stop you getting in a full off-season and doing everything you need to do though, right?
No. I'll have a solid off-season this year. Like I said, for the last few weeks I've managed to train really hard up until this race. I felt physically we were in a good condition. The fading out there is nothing to do with my physical state. It was purely because I was struggling to hold on. Before I came here, I had not done one thirty-minute moto. To come here today and do a qualifying and then two thirties, it was very tough on my wrist. We got through it. We are going to have a solid off-season, that's for sure. The wrist is done now. That's in the past. No more excuses and we get on with it.
In a weird way, was this time off almost good for you? Was it a bit of a refresh and kind of just a good way to refocus your mind a little bit?
Time off the bike is good. Maybe not that long, but time off the bike certainly is good. I managed to get myself to a few GPs and watch the races from the other side of the fence. It was important, I think. You see a lot of things that you don't see when you are riding around. When I went and watched the race, I managed to see what the race was like at the front and I haven't seen that for a while. It was quite interesting.
The injury obviously wasn't good, but we have gained a lot of positives out of it. We have turned a lot of corners. I think that's the most important thing. I'm just excited to see what this holds, especially after six months off the bike and then we are here already. I'm excited to have a really good off-season and then come into next year with a really good head and a great physical state.
It's going to be one of those weird things anyway. Every MX2 rider went into this year thinking [Jorge] Prado is hard to beat whereas going into next year, it could be anyone's. What's the difference between you and [Thomas] Olsen? You and [Tom] Vialle? Who knows what's going to happen? That's a different way of going into the season.
Yeah, definitely. Next year is going to be very interesting. I know we say this every year, but I think you know who is going to be up there. I think anyone in the top ten is going to get a race win. I think it's going to be a great season. It's going to be the guy that works the hardest and the guy who wants it the most. That's the guy who's going to come out on top. Hopefully like I said we can put a really solid off-season together and we can fight at the front next year. That's been my goal for years, to get podiums in GPs. Just because we have had this little setback, I ain't done yet. I'm looking forward to coming back and I'm putting on a strong performance next year.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX