Interviews 27 Nov 2012

Catching Up: Dan McCoy

MotoOnline.com.au catches up with Dan McCoy as he prepares to tackle the US supercross scene.

After a stellar 2012 Terex Australian Supercross Championship performance aboard his CDR Yamaha, taking the runner-up premier class position behind Jay Marmont, Dan McCoy is on a roll and plans to carry his momentum overseas.

McCoy is currently in some of his best form to date, and the veteran of the sport is certainly aiming to take full advantage of this as he prepares to contend with the world’s best supercross racers.

MotoOnline.com.au caught up with the likeable character to talk about that impressive supercross season, his American dreams and to see what the future holds for him.

Dan McCoy was impressive throughout the 2012 ASX series whilst riding as a guest on the CDR Yamaha team. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

You had a strong 2013 ASX season, finishing second overall behind Jay Marmont in the SX-Open class. Many would say this is some of the best riding we have seen from you to date. Talk about the season as a whole for you, are you satisfied with your efforts?

Yeah for sure it’s definitely one of the strongest seasons I’ve ever had, it was good just to be surrounded by the right people and got on a good bike. Results can come quite easy when you’re with the right people, on the right equipment.

I was really happy to get the results I did, obviously I was so close to the championship, but it was nice to be in the title hunt.

You joined the CDR Yamaha squad for the series aboard the YZ450F. Do you think this played a large role in your performance, being on such a high caliber team and bike?

Yeah for sure, just the professionalism of the team – it’s the most professional team I’ve ever ridden for. Everything that the CDR team guys do is to 100 percent, they’ve got everything covered as a team and I believe that’s what gets Dacka [Craig Dack] his championships.

He’s just narrowed everything down so much and he knows exactly where the effort needs to be put in the most. The development of that bike from 2010 to now with that new bike, it’s come a long way have [Josh] Coppins and Jay [Marmont] winning championships.

Coppins is a really good test rider aswell, so that obviously helps the team and the whole structure of it comes together to try and win races, it’s just a whole package. You’ve got the whole package at the moment and it was great to be a part of it, for sure.

Throughout the ASX series you showed impressive early-race sprint speed, for example, your passing move on Marmont during Newcastle’s main event. Is that something you actually worked on heading into the series?

Yeah it’s definitely something I’ve been working on quite a bit – the first five laps of the main, to just put down the fastest five laps that I can. It obviously has been working.

That race at Newcastle, I was about fifth and I passed Billy [Mackenzie], [Ben] Townley and then Jay. Obviously I had a race plan of possibly getting behind Jay and sitting there for a while, then making a move kind of later in the race if something could have happened, as in the championship.

But I seemed to get past him really quick, I pulled that gap and then I started thinking ‘damn if he just sits there, the championship is just going to be his’. So I started thinking a bit about it and he was back on me.

McCoy has unfinished business in the US to attend to. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

I didn’t really fight for it to keep that position because I wanted to stick behind him and maybe have another go at him and see if something could happen – you know, accidently ran into each other and he might of went down [laughs], you just never know kind of thing.

As soon as Jay got past me, probably a couple of corners later a lapper got between us and he just pulled that three or four bikes on me and I couldn’t really make that back up. But while that was happening, Todd [Waters] had caught up and then did a kamikaze on me in that first turn and we both went down. So yeah, I should have just raced my own race and just checked out.

But it was good, I do have some good speed and I’m actually working on that first five lap speed, I need an extra 15 of them and then I should be pretty right [laughs].

You are currently planning to race six rounds of the 2013 American AMA supercross series. How did that all come about and do you have any details on what you team or brand of bike you will be riding?

It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do for myself. I was there in 2009 and things didn’t work out at all the way I wanted it too, I’ve got three sort of smaller teams that are interested in doing something, but that’s 250 deals not 450.

As much as I’d like to jump on a team and kind of go from there, when you’ve had the career I’ve had up and down so much, with different teams, different bikes and just all these different influences. It just doesn’t help your end result at the end of the day.

So at this stage I’m obviously riding probably at my best of my career, and I still feel like I’ve got a lot of technique and more potential to come. Even on this Yamaha, I’m really finding things that I couldn’t do on other bikes.

So I want to just keep working with this bike and basically I’m just paying it all out of my own pocket. I’ve got no support except from Yamaha Australia who are trying to line me up a bike over there so I have something to race and CDR are letting me take my suspension and some parts here and there.

So hopefully the plan is to have a somewhat close bike to what I was racing here, and obviously I can still go faster with what I’m riding, I’m still not at the full potential as a rider or with the bike.

So I think it’s best for me, my confidence with everything I’ve just done, to stay on the same brand of bike and keep moving forward. I’m probably going to ride for Dacka in supercross next year, I’ve kind of locked that in. So if I can stay on the Yamaha it’s definitely what I want to do – you never know, we’ll see what happens.

McCoy is a big fan of the Yamaha 450 and plans to ride the same model in America. Image: Simon Makker/Makkreative.com.

So your Australian fans should expect to see you riding the west coast based rounds of the series, kicking off at Anaheim 1?

Yeah, the first six rounds of the west coast and I’m just going to try and get there in the middle of December, at the latest. It’s such a massive effort in organising stuff to be able to do it, it’s the hardest part. Once you’re on the start line, as hard as the competition is, it’s probably the easiest and most comfortable part of the whole deal.

Trying to organize licences, I’m trying to buy a motorhome so I’m watching Ebay counting down the hours and the minutes trying to win this motorhome. Trying to line up simple things, like where am I going to get some tools from to work on my bike?

So it’s so many things to organise and I don’t think people realise. I’ve been back and forth to America so many times practicing and I’ve made a lot of friends, which is obviously a massive help.

But obviously to give myself the best chance to race the best in the world, you kind of have to do everything you can in the best way possible.

Finally, heading into 2013, do you have any plans or deals locked in for our Australian motocross and supercross series’?

At this stage I have nothing for motocross in Australia, as much as I want to be part of the series and I’m definitely open to any kind of options. But I would like to stay on the Yamaha, I really like the bike and it suits my riding style.

Everyone’s riding style is different, everyone feels comfortable on different bikes, but I’m really happy with the bike and the geometry of it. Just the overall balance of the bike, it does what I want it to do and it’s starting to show which is nice.

I’d love to be on Dacka’s team, but he’s already got his riders. Worst case, if I’m back after six rounds, which is 9 February, I’ll see if Yamaha will let me keep this bike I’ve got and I’ll go racing out of a van if I have to.

It’s hard for teams to want to put me on because of my recent motocross history. But the last time I was really comfortable was in 2008 when I was riding for Honda, I got on the podium in four races towards the end of the year once I got my shit sorted.

So it’s been hard, I haven’t been on a bike that I’ve have felt that has been capable of winning. So it would be nice to get on this Yamaha to show what I still have outdoors as well.

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