2023 FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations | Mlimi brothers following closely in dad’s footsteps
Josh and Jono Mlimi
Anyone who has spent any time around a Motocross circuit over the last few years will instantly recognise the name Mlimi.
With a strong racing pedigree inherited from their former racer father, Eury, the Mlimi brothers Joshua (25 years old) – aka Josh - and his younger sibling Jonathan (19) – aka Jono - have now too become household names in South African Motocross racing.
With the FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations just around the corner from 11 - 13 August in Cape Town, Motorsport South Africa’s CEO Adrian Scholtz thought this an ideal time to shine a spotlight on these two talented young riders who are both city boys, born and bred in Johannesburg. They are continuing to shine and live their motocross dream.
- When and how did you first start riding?
Josh : My first memory of riding must have been in 2003, and how that came about was my dad having the passion for motorcycles, so in the beginning my sister and I started out on quad bikes then eventually ventured onto two wheels.
Jono : I started riding in 2010, I had a push bike the previous years so when I got onto a real bike I literally started riding by myself.
- How involved is your dad with your racing?
My dad is still very involved in the racing industry. He plays a big part in the sponsoring of current and upcoming riders and of course he is still helping us out at the track and with our racing.
- And of course with a family of men all obsessed with Motocross – what does your mom do when the guys are spending time around the track?
We definitely outnumber the females in our family, but luckily my mom spends time with our older sister on weekends - whether it’s shopping or all the other fun stuff that ladies take part in.
- What teams do you ride for?
Josh : Husqvarna South Africa, backed by TRP Distributors, Red Bull, Mlimi Racing Co.
Jono : Red Bull KTM, with the help of TRP Distributors, Mlimi Racing Co.
- Looking back what are your main career highlights so far?
Josh : I am most proud of the two South African National titles that I won in 2013 and 2015 and of course receiving my Protea Colours in 2014 and representing South Africa, both on the continent and out for multiple years.
Jono : Definitely winning my 4 SA MX National championships and my two wins in the Motocross of African Nations
- Motocross is a sport known for requiring high levels of physical fitness. What do your training regimes look like?
Josh and Jono: A lot of gym work and saddle time really is what we do to get into shape. In the gym we do weight lifting, cardio, endurance, stretching and warming up.
For our riding time we try to get sprint work done and practice our technique and endurance for the longer races.
- Do you train together as brothers?
Josh and Jono: We do train together - it keeps us both on our toes, and we know how to motivate each other.
- What do you do for fun, to relax?
Josh and Jono: We like to hang out with friends, try new things, go bowling, etc and just bonding as brothers.
- Do you have similar riding styles?
Josh: I’d like to think I have a smoother approach when it comes to style.
Jono: Josh is already bigger than me so the aggressive style works for him. Our styles are very similar however in certain things that we do with the bike.
- You have both once again been selected to represent South Africa in the Motocross of African Nations on 11 - 13 August. What does this event mean to you?
Josh and Jono: This event means a lot to both of us. We get to represent our country at the highest level in the continent competing in the very sport we are highly skilled at. To have this opportunity is a huge honour.
- You have both already been so successful. What are your plans for the next couple of years?
Josh and Jono: We will continue racing at the highest level, traveling internationally for select competitions. We are currently in the process of building a Mlimi Racing Academy for motorsport to give back what the sport has given us. You will need to watch this space to find out more.
- What do you love most about Motocross?
Josh: Motocross has taken me away from a normal life, but in return has taught me so many life lessons that I apply in my daily life. The lessons you learn in the sport can be applied in almost every aspect of your life.
- What would you say to other young South Africans interested in getting involved in Motocross?
Josh and Jono: Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. The sky is the limit. Also, with our Academy launching soon we want to make it easily accessible for those that have the dream, but not necessarily the correct funding and navigation into the sport.
Josh and Jono’s dad Eury is rightfully very proud of the achievements of both his boys. His dream is for both of them to compete professionally overseas, which technically has happened for Josh racing in Europe and in the USA. “It would be amazing for Jono to follow in his brothers footsteps,” says Eury.
And coming from a champion pedigree like Eury, we have no doubt that dream will become a reality. “We absolutely love this sport and competing as a family. It is much more than just riding a bike. Motocross is a family sport in terms of uniting everyone, talking race strategy, nutrition, motivation and so much more. The traveling creates a space for bonding and much needed quality time with loved ones,” finished Eury.
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