Catching Up With Katherine Prumm

The name Katherine Prumm should ring a bell for American fans of women’s motocross, as the likable New Zealander traveled to the United States last year to contest the first four rounds of the AMA/WMA Women’s Motocross National Championship Series. During her stay, Prumm proved to be the most consistently fast rider on the track and looked set to earn her first WMA championship. When she failed to show at the final two rounds, however, the championship went to defending champ Jessica Patterson and left a big “what if? looming over the series. We caught up with Prumm shortly after she scored a solid win at the FIM Women’s Motocross Cup at the Uddevalla GP of Sweden…

TWMX: First off, congratulations on your win today!

PRUMM: It was pretty good, thanks!

You got a pretty terrible start in that first moto, didn’t you?

Oh yeah! I was only a little slow off the line, but Stephanie Laier was coming into me and we bumped, and Livia Lancelot was also coming across so I had to slam on the brakes real quick. They ended up coming together in front of me, but I started terribly since I hit the brakes. I started in 10th place and it was a hard track to pass on, so starting up front would have definitely made my job easier.

And I understand you were already a little travel weary, right?

Yeah. I raced in Australia last weekend. After the race, I flew back home to New Zealand and then the next morning took a 36-hour straight flight here to Europe. You could say that I am a little worn out! (laughs)

So last year, you came to America to contest some of the WMA Championship with great success, but you didn’t show up for the last couple of rounds. What happened?

At the start of last year, we planned out our season and made the decision to come to Europe to race the FIM Women’s Motocross Cup. I also planned on racing in America, but only at the first two WMA rounds. They kind of went better than I expected, so I decided to make the trip back for the third and fourth rounds and they went pretty well to, except that I wrecked my ACL at round four. I just couldn’t get funding to come back and do the fifth and sixth rounds, even though I had the points lead. I was very disappointed about that. It was hard just sitting at home and watching the championship disappear. I think we would have had a great battle, but who knows. It sounds like she is riding really well, so it would have been nice to go back and battle with her again this year.

You are the defending Women’s Cup Champion. Tell us about that…

Well, last year was the first year for that and the series was only two races. This year it is three, but there is talk of it becoming a proper World Championship next year and being expanded to eight rounds. I hope that happens!

Having raced in Europe and in the United States, how would you compare the two series?

I think both series are good. In Europe the set up is much better though, because we get the whole deal: timed qualifying, good long practice sessions and full 30-minute-plus-two-lap motos on Sunday with the guys, when the track is good and rough. It’s just better organized. It would be awesome to see the AMA run the women as a proper series on Sunday with the men. As it is they are squeezed into Saturday morning with short motos and one last minute moto at the end of the day with whatever time is left.

How would you compare the depth of the fields in Europe versus the United States?

I think they are about equal. Jessica Patterson is the fastest American and definitely the fastest chick over there. I’d say that the top half of the field is a little bit quicker in Europe, as far as overall speed and depth goes, though. As far as us being professionals though, it’s a little hard to wrap my arms around that term since nonee of us are making a living off of racing. I know that I’m not. Everything in women’s motocross is still very amateur.

Do you have any plans on returning to the United States?

Definitely. If I can get a ride over there I would love to come back and challenge the entire series. Travel expenses and having a good bike and a good set-up at the races to work out of are the biggest challenges. But if I could ever make a little money so that I could afford the travel expenses, I would love to do it!