Frid’Eh Update #23 | Josiah Natzke Interview | Brought to You by Canadian Kawasaki

By Billy Rainford

Brought to you by Canadian Kawasaki

Welcome to Week #23 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week brought to you by Canadian Kawasaki. This week definitely got a way from me, so let’s just read an interview with our new friend from New Zealand, #23 Josiah Natzke:

Josiah Natzke
Josiah Natzke from New Zealand is #23 for 2023. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hey, Josiah. We finally got out on the track for Round 1 of the Canadian Nationals last weekend, but first we have to look back at your time down south trying Supercross for the first time. I got to see you a bunch of times and it was interesting to see you learning a new MX discipline. How did it go for you? 

Josiah Natzke: Now that I’m at the end of it, I’m pretty happy with how it went. I didn’t achieve a lot of my goals but I didn’t realize how much learning I had to do, and just how gnarly SX is. I always want more out of results but I got through my first full year healthy and a way better rider. 

What is it that makes racing SX so much different? 

Everything, really. From the whoops and jumps and obstacles, to the racing being so tight and being literally bar to bar while trying to send a rhythm section. Also, trying to learn a track in 8 minutes of free practice and you have no choice but to send the triples first lap. All of it was completely new and didn’t come super natural to me so it took a lot of getting knocked down and just getting back up and trying again.  

Do you feel you left the series ready to do better next season? Will there be a next season? 

100%. My starting point for next season will be where I ended this season. I really started to find my feet the last couple of races, so I’m excited to see what a new season will bring. Yea, there will be a next season. 

Josiah Natzke Detroit Supercross
Josiah raced Supercross for the first time this season for the Canadian Partzilla PRMX team. | Bigwave photo

You’re staying with the Partzilla PRMX team for the summer up here. What are you doing for travel this summer? Are you enjoying the west? What have you done this week? 

I’m just bouncing around this summer. Julien lent me his camper so I’m parked up mainly at the Rempel’s but I’ll spend some time in Quebec as well. 

The west is really cool. I’m staying just south of Calgary while I’m out here. I have some friends from New Zealand who are originally from Canada. And their grandparents are on a ranch here. It’s an epic spot, we’re pretty far off the grid here, real cowboys and Indians kind of set up. Other than that just some riding and head to Kamloops really. 

What are your thoughts on Round 1 as far as the format and track are concerned? There was a lot of talk.

I like the triple crown format. And I like the idea of doing new things. The track layout was really cool I enjoyed it a lot, but obviously the dirt was pretty bad which made it super gnarly. That kind of dirt is super hard to work with. I know the organizers did the best they could do and I don’t have anything bad to say about it. End of the day it is what it is and we got to go racing. Champions show up no matter what. 

Josiah Natzke
Josiah showed up in Canada and won his first 4 motos in the 250 class. | Bigwave photo

You were battling for a podium position but the KTM boys seemed to get away from everyone. Take us through your races.

My races were just consistent really, nothing flashy. I was super uncomfortable on that hard pack stuff; it’s really not my thing but I tried to make it my thing as much as I could. I went 4-4-3 and all day I was getting better. I did better than I thought I would on those conditions.

After practice I was thinking man I’m going to have to work at this.

Can we draw any conclusions for the rest of the summer from those races?

No way. I was riding well below what I can do all day. On that slick hard pack stuff I just couldn’t push the envelope at all.

Have you studied old video of Kamloops? What are your thoughts on the Whispering Pines track?

I’ve seen some GoPros but that’s about it. Looks like a JN kind of track, I’m excited to go race there and the dirt looks really nice with the back drop it’ll be sweet. 

Josiah Natzke
Let’s see what he has for is this week in Kamloops and the rest of the season. | Bigwave photo

I’m on record as picking you for this competitive title this summer. Is my money on the right rider?

Yea, it is. I know what I can do so I’m just going to keep chipping away. 

Is there a track you’re looking forward to?

Gopher Dunes and Deschambault. I had a bike issue last year at Deschambault so I want some redemption. 

Is there a part of Canada your wife is looking forward to? 

She loves it out west here. We’ve heard a lot about it so it’s pretty cool to finally get to see this part of the world. 

OK, it’s time to go racing again! Good luck this weekend and who would you like to thank?

Cheers, bro. The Partzilla PRMX team and my mechanic for keeping the wheels turning always. 

Busy week at the WCAN. See you at Whispering Pines on Sunday.