Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing's Dubbo SX-Lites winner speaks to MotoOnline.com.au.
After finishing second overall in last year’s Pro Lites Australian Supercross series, Carlton Dry Thor Honda Racing’s Gavin Faith has returned to Australia with the aim of going one step better for the 2012 season.
The 20-year-old Iowan, who now lives at the Millsaps Training Facility in Cairo, Georgia, has started the four-round Terex Australian Supercross Championship with a bang by winning the SX-Lites class at the opening round at Dubbo on Saturday night. We caught up with him to find out what went down.
Welcome back to Australia, man. How does it feel to be back?
Yeah, it feels good! I had a great time here last year and I’m excited to be back racing supercross. It’s starting to get cold back home and it’s warming up here, so it’s great to come back here and make the most of the summer.
Now last year you had a reasonable amount of success during the Super X series. Can you give us a bit of a recap for those playing at home?
Last year was a little rough. I made a lot of mistakes and learnt a lot about racing supercross, but still managed to finish second in the Pro Lites championship behind Matt Moss.
I scored two second-overall finishes at Campbelltown and at the final round at Ipswich, where I lead the main event until the last two laps, before [Mossy] passed me for the win.
I’ve learnt a lot over the past 12 months and I’m back this year to hopefully win the championship.
Well you’ve started on the right foot and got the first win under the belt. How does it feel, especially with this being such a short season?
It’s a big relief, for sure. I was actually pretty nervous at Dubbo, as you don’t really know where you’re at, or how fast you are compared to the other racers. I trained hard to get to this point, but I was still quite anxious behind the gate.
It was a big relief to get the win and it’s the perfect way to start the series. My plan is to go out and gun for the win at each round, but at the same time I’m not going to do something dumb and crash trying. I guess I want to put myself into a position where I can compete for the win at each round.
Has the level of racing stepped up from last year, or is the race pace fairly similar?
A couple of the faster guys have moved out and there are a few new guys that have stepped up from the Under 19s, but I think the pace is similar to last year. It’s always good racing.
You’ve seen two different versions of supercross under Global Action Sports and now IEG. Which do you prefer and why?
I like it better this year, and I’m not just saying that because Yarrive is my team manager. I think it’s more of a show than it was in 2011, which is strictly all racing. It’s great for the fans to have the variety with the freestyle, monster truck and the dancers.
I also like the longer, traditional longer main event as you don’t have to go crazy right off the bat – you can settle into the race and work up as the clock winds down.
In the short, intense races last year you just had to go for it from the start and it was a real gamble, depending on how good your start was.
Where are you based while here in Australia?
Right now I’m staying with Hayden Melross in Young, NSW. He lives at MTF with me in the US and Yarrive is helping him out a bit this year. He’s got a sweet track, so I’ve been living and training with him.
Ben Townley and Ford Dale have been based up in Queensland, so I haven’t had too much to do with them yet, apart from one day of testing with Ford.
Great stuff, thanks for the chat, Gavin. See you at the Island next weekend!
Looking forward to it. See you there.