Happy New Year everybody (don’t mind the slight delay, I’m retired, lol),
I hope everyone had a relaxing time with their families over the holidays — I sure did. So after cleaning up the backyard, and returning the empty keg following our New Year’s eve bonfire bash, my wife Kristen and I flew down to California for A1.
Our first stop was Kawasaki’s Irvine, California headquarters for its annual team kick-off. I’ve been to a lot of these over the years but it was great to be inside the race shop again. I was able to catch up with some of the Kawi folks that I don’t get to see very often. The amateur Team Green squad was there, too, so I met a few young guns that will hopefully follow in my footsteps and continue to collect championship trophies for years to come.
(Eleven Supercross championships between the ‘2’ of us. To celebrate this achievement, the guys at Feld Entertainment had McGrath and I ride a hot lap during opening ceremonies in Anaheim.)
For A1, Feld Entertainment asked if Jeremy McGrath and I would bust out a hot lap on the track during opening ceremonies, it was fun. It was good to cruise around a bit, see everyone I hadn’t seen for a while, get back on a Supercross track, blitz some whoops, and show the fans I still got it, haha. Seriously though, over the years I’ve had a lot of fond memories inside Angel Stadium, so it felt good to be back.
Even though my motorcycle racing days are behind me, I still get to be a part of the Kawasaki team as its Brand Ambassador. That means we’re going to attend some races and do some testing. There will probably be some other things I will pitch in with too… as long as it doesn’t mean helping teardown the awning every Saturday night, haha.
I’ve been with Kawasaki my nearly my entire career— even before I turned pro, so I’m happy to continue being part of the family. I’ll do some riding at home when weather permits. After all, gotta keep the blade sharp.
In addition to representing Kawasaki at some of the bigger races, the plan is for me to lend a hand with testing. A lot of times, especially with a new bike like the 2016 KX450F, there are a lot of components that need to be run through. But team guys like Tomac and Hahn don’t necessarily have the time to test everything, since their focus is racing every weekend. That’s where I can help out.
(I’ve had a lot of success inside Angel Stadium, so it was great to blitz some whoops, and see all of my fans again. I’ll be back down for Anaheim 2 this weekend!)
I can do a lot of the pre-testing and get some of the small stuff out of the way. For example, say there are five parts to test. I can try ‘em all and pick the three best, which eliminates a couple items the guys have to try.
After Anaheim, we returned home because my good friend Casey Stoner and his family came to visit. The last time I saw him was at the Argentina MXGP round last year so it was good to catch up, grill some meat, drink some beers, shoot some guns, and just hang out.
Next Stop: Back to California for a photo shoot with Oakley then Anaheim 2 Saturday night. Also, if you’re around Riverside, California Friday evening, stop by Malcolm Smith Motorsports for an autograph, or just to say ‘hey’.
See ya then!