In MotoOnline.com.au’s second instalment of the Industry Insight guest blog, we got 12-time national motocross and supercross champion Troy Carroll to take us through his transition from pro racer to team manager of the factory Kawasaki Racing Team. Carroll’s on-track career has been a decorated one, with his role behind the scenes set to be just as successful if early results are any indication.
Switching from being a professional racer to team manager has been an easy one, but difficult at the same time. It’s easy in the way that I’m still at the race track and not giving the sport away altogether, but difficult in the way that I expect everything in the way of my riders that I used to do in my career.
I expect the riders on the team to do the things that I used to do, but everybody does everything different and sometimes they don’t do things exactly how I used to do them, so that’s been a little bit difficult.
As far as the day-to-day life goes these days, I’ve got three mechanics on the team and then also have my boss, Kevin Crutcher, to answer to. And now we have Kawasaki onboard, along with three riders in Billy Mackenzie, Cody Mackie and Luke Arbon.
Where it’s different in being a manager compared to being a rider is that I only used to have to look after myself, not six or seven other people as well. That’s something I’ve found a little tricky, but I’m getting better and better at it.
When I first started in the management role I sort of struggled in finding things and know what to do every day, but now there just isn’t enough hours in the days to get everything done.
A usual day consists of speaking with sponsors, making sure the riders are doing everything that they need to be doing to win, and also working with the mechanics.
We’ve got a great infrastructure in the team and all work well together – we’re out there to win races and that’s what I’ve done in my career. Winning is definitely what we’re aiming to achieve.
Starting as a privateer when I started my team helped out a lot. We were in a van and went racing. Starting out with the privateer status and having to work to become a factory team has been a big effort, but it’s all beginning to pay off.
All that we need to do now is start winning championships. Billy won a lot of races this year in the Nationals and Cody went really well until the last round when he broke his collarbone, plus Luke also did good despite having injuries during the year. It’s definitely been a strong season for the team leading into Super X.
Watching my team riders win races or do well is never the same as crossing that finish line yourself, but it is rewarding for the effort that the entire team puts in behind the scenes through the week.
So when we do win races on the weekend it’s like we’ve won them, and I get a drive from that. I feel like every time the boys do win it’s like we’re winning together as a team and that feels really good.
All in all being a team manager has been a great experience though, and it’s something that I hope to continue doing for a long time to come.