MotoOnline.com.au catches up with Matt Moss, Motul Pirelli Suzuki's newest recruit.
Matt Moss won numerous championships in Australia, before heading Stateside to chase his dreams in the American supercross and motocross series for the JDR/J-Star/KTM squad in 2012.
Moss impressed many in America, landing himself a West Coast Supercross Lites Class podium at San Diego in his rookie year before an illness saw him unable to make his mark in the hotly contested Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series.
The New South Wales native then returned home with plans to race the upcoming Terex Australian Supercross Championships, in which many thought would be aboard an orange bike. But a recent announcement that Moss would be returning to his former Suzuki team proved nothing is certain in this sport.
MotoOnline.com.au caught up with Motul Pirelli Suzuki’s latest Pro Open recruit to see how it all happened, hear about his preparations for the upcoming series and his plans for the future.
The news has now broken that you will be back on the Motul Pirelli Suzuki team and stepping up to the 450 class for the Australian Supercross Championships. So how has that been so far? You have been on the bike a week or so now.
Yeah, it’s been good, I think I’ve spent like five days on the bike and all in all it’s been good – the transition has been great. The bike feels really good, we haven’t had the time we wanted, but it’s really good and I think we have a good shot of winning and I’m looking forward to it.
You’ve won a lot of championships with Jay Foreman and the team at Suzuki in the Pro Lites class, so it must be a pretty seamless transition for you to go back to that team even though you’re on a 450 now?
Oh, definitely. Even though I wasn’t riding for them for the last two years, I still stayed in contact and I still talked to Jay, we’re really good friends as well as colleagues. It’s been really easy and it feels like I haven’t even left.
Jay’s really excited to have me back and I can just tell by the way he’s been treating me that he is excited. He knows we’ve won championships and he knows that we can do it on a 450, so I’m loving it.
Is this a supercross-only deal or does it extend into 2013?
I’ll be definitely in for 2013, just negotiating it now. But I definitely will be putting pen to paper soon and definitely will be here for 2013.
How about your American plans, because I know you were hoping to do supercross over there on at least one of the coasts in the Lites. Is that still a possibility or will you focus on the 450 here?
I think it’s still a possibility to maybe go over there and race, but I’m not sure as yet. So I’m just waiting to see what happens, if I’m fighting fit then we might go over there for a couple of rounds. If not, we’ll just be staying here getting ready for motocross and supercross.
We know you were preparing for the supercross season with the JDR Motorsports team, but the question everybody wants to know is, what was the story with the 11th hour change?
Well, I’d been in talks with Jay for a little bit, in talks about next year, and I had been given a supercross only deal off JDR in America. But, just the money, there is no way I could live off that for a whole year because nobody was offering me a supercross ride back here in Australia.
So I was sort of just stuck with what to do and I told JDR “listen, I need to be signed for supercross next year in 2013 [in Australia]”. Obviously they are leaving Australia next year and putting everything forward with America.
So I was sort of left without a ride and had to make the decision to come back here for next year, with a team that was going to be here for next year and start building that relationship. That sort of just made my decision and I was out of contract from September 30th. I kept it quiet, but as soon as that day clicked I made my plans with Suzuki.
As far as racing in the Pro Open class goes, one guy that you will be racing against is your brother Jake. So you guys should have an interesting battle in itself, brothers going up against each other?
Yeah, we’ve had some races before against each other and I look forward to the challenge. We’ve been fighting and racing each other for our whole lives, we both look forward to it and if he wins I’m happy and If I win im happy, and he’s happy aswell.
So I just hope that Jake stays safe, and that I stay safe and we both have a great championship.
Finally, this weekend is Dubbo’s season opener. Where would you rate yourself in preparation at this point. Are you at 100 percent or near there? Because you’ve have limited time on the bike so far.
I’d be close to 100 percent, I’m not going to say I’m 100 percent, but I’ve probably only done two weeks of actual supercross riding. I didn’t want to do testing with KTM, knowing I was going to Suzuki – I didn’t want to put those guys out.
So I didn’t do one day of testing with those guys and I had to find a track up in Newcastle, I had to build a track and all that kind of stuff. So once that sort of stuff rolled around I’ve had two weeks on a supercross track.
But you know, I feel good, the bike feels really good and preparation hasn’t been the best, but I still think we can go to this race meeting in Dubbo and definitely try and win it.