How do you think Atlanta might go? Has there been anything or anyone out there that you’ve been able to gauge yourself off of?
You know I’ve been riding with all of the guys out at ClubMX and we’ve got a good group of guys down there to gauge off of. I also went down to Florida and did a little bit of riding one week. I still definitely have the speed to be in the mix with everybody. Also, over the last month, I’ve really just kind of put myself through a little boot camp to try to be as ready as I can physically to last the whole 20. However, doing that on a practice track with a couple of guys that you’re comfortable riding with and doing that up against the best riders in the world, t’s a little bit different. My expectations are that I just don’t want to go there and make myself look dumb. That’s been the fear driving me to go out and mountain bike and ride laps and train and stuff because I don’t want to look dumb. I feel good. I definitely want to be in the mains and hopefully, I can be battling to try and grab the top 10. Just getting in the main events with this deep of a field is a success. Anything beyond that is just going to be icing on the cake.
Just who has stepped in and stepped up to help get you to Atlanta Motor Speedway to compete in the Monster Energy Supercross Series?
I’ll be on a 450 and I still get some help from Yamaha. Monster Energy is always keeping me out there. I was able to get a new sponsor with Mountain Motorsports. They are a big dealership out here on the East Coast. I think they have 10 dealerships, all in the Southeast. They’ve stepped up and really helped the program and that’s why it made sense to hit these Atlanta rounds because it is all local to them. That was huge. I’ve got Fox and all kinds of people helping me out in getting the bike where it needs to be. Enzo, Pro Circuit has helped me and the list goes on.
That’s awesome, Josh. It’s a story. It’s something different for all of us to keep an eye on, isn’t it?
That’s it, you know? Going out there and racing the whole series is a great thing to do, but it’s a grind. By this point in the series, most guys kind of find their place and they kind of get forgotten. For me, I think I can get out there and make some noise and mix it up with some guys and just have a really good time. Like I said, I just want to test myself and see if I’ve still got the skills to be out there. With racing, you get to that point where you’re a little bit burned out from all the years and all the injuries and all that stuff, but now the desire to go racing and the desire to do good still burns in me, but just in a more lightened and playful way, you know? It’s fun and it’s rewarding. Hopefully, when we show up it Atlanta it is as fun as it sounds on paper right now.
How will your equipment be? Will you have a good race bike beneath you?
I’m super happy with my bike. The Yamahas are so good stock when it comes to the power and all that stuff. I’ve been on Yamaha ever since they called me back in 2018 to fill in for Cooper Webb and Justin Barcia when they were injured, so I’ve got really good settings. Like I said, Ross Maeda at Enzo has given me a really good suspension. Mitch [Payton] at Pro Circuit is still helping me out with clamps and pipes and all that stuff. I really like it. I’m super happy with the bike. It’s my own program and I’ve had to spend a lot of extra hours making sure it is going to be good and making sure I like it, but as I said, at h point in my career it is really rewarding to go do that stuff that I didn’t really do before. I had the luxury to not learn when I was younger and had all these factory people helping me out.
Man, I must be getting old. I first met you when you were a mini cycle star and now here we are in 2021 and you’re about to compete in your 15th year of supercross!
Well, I had about six years missing in the middle of that between injuries and then I took some time off to work alongside you over there at Monster Energy, so yeah, from the time that I had my first outdoor race back in 2006 up to where we are here now in 2021, I’ve been racing supercross and it is just as fun as ever!