Alright, Brad, first thing, you have to be pretty pumped to have won the VCHSS last weekend with all of the GNCC big names coming to your home series!
Yeah, it was really cool! I won the Grand Championship there last year. I was kind of bummed not being able to do the series again so once Loretta’s was canceled I was pumped because I could do the Virginia race. Everyone at the race was trying to raise money to get people to come out. I started texting Thad and all those guys to get them to come out. It was kind of a catch-22 because it would make it harder for me but it was cool for the series. For the race I was pumped, I got a good start—was about 3rd into the woods and then got around the two guys out front and kind of gapped everyone until Thad caught up around halfway through first lap and stayed that way for pretty much the rest of the of race. The courses are tighter so it’s harder to pass; you really have to think about how you’re going to do it. I ended up getting the win and I was really pumped.
You’re a bit of an Enduro specialist; do you think that helped some with the tighter stuff, even though you guys don’t really race against each other in the National Enduros?
Yeah, it definitely helped me because what I train for is the tighter stuff, and I’ve been doing Virginia races since I was three and we have the Blue Ridge race there twice a year so I’ve probably done it maybe 20 times, so it kind of helped because I knew my surroundings. In the National Enduros it doesn’t matter as much if it’s tight because you’re only catching people in a slower class, rarely do you ever catch someone in the pro line in front of you, but if you do they usually let you by because you have a minute on them already and they’d rather stay behind you and stay on your butt to finish out the test.
With your success this year in the XC2 class in GNCC people have kind of made it seem like you’re a newcomer to the GNCC series, but you actually won the 250A Championship back in 2009, right?
Yeah, 2008 was my first year doing the GNCCs full time, I was kind of getting my feet wet and I got 2nd that year behind Jordan Ashburn. The next year I did the whole season again in 250A and I won a bunch of races but didn’t get the Top Amateur at any of the rounds–that was year Bach and Ashburn were flying–so I didn’t get my name out there that way but I did win the championship.
Then in 2010 we only saw you at two GNCCs, what was up with that?
I ran Georgia and Steele Creek and then I was really trying to focus on the Enduros and winning the Virgina Grand Championship. Since we did both the Enduro and GNCC series the year before we were kind of running out of money so I picked the series I thought I would do better in and then I was able to do the Virginia’s also. We were kind of thinking of doing the same this year, but I did well in both the Enduros and GNCCs so we’re sticking it out.
You race a KTM 250 two-stroke in both the National Enduros and the GNCCs; do you think there’s a benefit to that?
I think it’s nice just not having to switch back and forth, my race bike is the same bike for both series, I change the suspension a little bit but that’s about it. My race bike is my race bike for everything so it’s nice not having to readjust to a new bike every time.
Are you going to be a two-stroke lifer like Russell Bobbitt?
Ha, I don’t know, that’s just kind of what I’ve always ridden. I got a 350 for a little bit but since I do ride tight stuff a lot I think the two-stroke is better in Enduro situations and I also didn’t want to switch back and forth, and I like that I can ride the 2-stroke in XC2, so that was another decision maker. I feel like I’ll ride a 2-stroke until I have to switch, if I switch to a different company or something, I’d switch and learn how to ride it well but I’m content riding it and I love it.
As we mentioned you’ve been on KTM for a while, are you getting some support from them?
I just get one demo bike and I have a parts allowance, I don’t get any bonuses or travel expenses or anything like that. They definitely help me out but it might not be as much as people think it is.
Do you have a full-time job to help cover expenses, it’s got to be tough competing at that level paying for a lot out of pocket.
It’s rough, but I work with Brandon Bolling’s dad doing video stuff when I can. The good thing is when I work with him it’s in the evening so I have time to train and ride. So, yeah, I do work to make money to get to the races but it’s not a full time job schedule and they understand when I have to go to races and stuff so that parts cool.
It was just announced that you’re going to represent the USA on the Junior Trophy Team at this year’s ISDE, are you pumped about that?
I’m really excited about that. To be honest I’ve never even thought about it too much until last year. I was really just going into the two qualifiers at the Texas and Tennesse Enduros to see where I’d be. I didn’t know they were even considering having me do it, then I got the call that they wanted me to be on the team. I thought I might be able to get it but I wasn’t sure and it was a good surprise and I’m really pumped.
You mentioned that you’re using one race bike, how are you going to get a bike over there for the race?
I’m gonna rent a bike when I get over there because, yeah, I don’t have another bike, I only have my race bike and my practice bike and the bike would be gone for 3 months with shipping. So, I’m going to rent a bike and ship a set of suspension and bars and parts from all my sponsors and get it setup how I like once we get over there.
I don’t think a lot of people realize what a big deal the ISDE is to the rest of the world, and how expensive it is for our riders to go; I’m guessing you’re realizing that now. Is there anything you can tell already would be helpful if it were to change for the USA ISDE setup?
It would be huge for the whole country to get involved and back us because it’s kind of the Olympics of off-road racing–the Motocross of Nations of off-road. It’ll be hard to go against other countries that are kind of training just for this. It’d be really nice if someone would back us a little more and support us, I’m not really sure who that would be, but it would be nice. I know I am, and I’m sure everyone else is, paying for this stuff out of our own pocket. It really adds up from flights, to renting a bike, which is like $3,000. It’d be nice to get a little more backing.
Speaking of costs to get over there, you’re selling t-shirts as a fundraiser, where can people get one?
They’re for sale on KTM-Parts.com at: http://www.ktm-parts.com/BBISDE.html
All right, Brad, that’s about all I’ve got. Who would you like to thank for helping you out?
KTM, Appalachian Offroad MC, Fly Racing, Factory Connection, Enduro Engineering, Kenda, FMF, EVS, Clockwork, Arai, Hellion Designs, Bulletproof designs, Ride PG, Renthal, Tire Balls, Mandingo Pickles, Scott USA, Rekluse