Features 19 May 2009

Moto Talk with Matt Moss

Matt Moss is closing down on his rivals in the MX Nationals, taking a clean-sweep in the Pro Lites at a heated round in QLD last weekend.

Moss has dominated the most recent two rounds

Moss has dominated the most recent two rounds

Team Shift Motul Suzuki’s Matt Moss is the one to watch in the Pro Lites class of the Australian MX Nationals right now, winning five of the seven races run so far this season and capitalising on his unmatched raw speed in the class.

Moss, the current Australian Super X Lites Champion, has bounced back from a mechanical DNF in the opening race of the season, catching to within three points of the series lead already in just three rounds.

MotoOnline.com.au spoke to Moss over the telephone to get the rundown on what was one of the most interesting weekends of the season to date up in Queensland on Sunday, where his rivalry with current champ Luke George reached boiling point after George was penalised for cutting the circuit.

You took a clean sweep at Queensland last weekend in Toowoomba, narrowing the gap to just three points in the title chase. Are you satisfied with your season so far?

Yeah, so far I am. I was disappointed at the first round when I had a mechanical problem so I was 24 points down going into Canberra, but now I’ve won four from four races and have narrowed it down the three points now so things are looking good leading into Mackay. I’m happy with my bike, happy with my riding, and I’m pretty happy with the team, so everything’s looking good.

Overall your form has been incredible to date this year, winning five out of the seven motos run so far. Judging by that do you feel as though this championship is yours to lose?

Definitely. As long as I stay on two wheels and don’t have any more dramas with the bike then everything should be pretty good. I think I should have won it last year, well I thought I could have after I came back and won three rounds out of four, so I know I can win races. I just have to make sure my bike stays good and make sure that I’m healthy.

You’ve always had the speed. Is consistency for the Nationals something that you’ve been working on this year?

For sure, I’ve realised that you don’t have to win every single race. Fortunately I have been winning a lot of races but I’ll settle for a second or a third – I just want to be up on the box every single weekend whether it’s first, second, or third. I’ll just be happy to get up there and score good points.

Let’s cut straight to it and speak about the controversy following moto two on the weekend between you and Luke George. There was a heated argument following the race even though you won – what was your take on that whole incident?

Well, going up the hill and back down it was about a 10 second loop where he cut [the track]. I was coming back down and I saw him run off the track because he nearly ran into where I was going to come.

In perfect time he would have been able to turn around and pretty much stop there, he had plenty of time to get back on the track where he ran off, but somehow he just turned in and came straight in behind me, which was second.

The rivalry between Moss and George (background) is intense right now

The rivalry between Moss and George (background) is intense right now

I’ve heard from a lot of the riders that I’ve been talking to that he was behind them and he passed them when they were in 10th, so he would have at least been behind 10th place.

They gave him a 20 second penalty, but that’s nothing, because if you think about it he would have had to pass 10 riders and two of them were doing faster times than him in that last race so I don’t think that he should have got third.

He said that he caught me and passed me, but I lost my head a bit because I was thinking why is this cheating person behind me when he ran off the track, so I had a little crash.

And then I caught back up to him and accidently bumped into him and stalled my bike. He gained 10 seconds and I caught him in two laps and passed him fair and square. So, you know, I’m pretty over him and he’s not a man if he can’t admit that he cheated.

I think it’s pretty slack of Motorcycling Australia to only give him a 20 second penalty because if you do that in America or somewhere you’ll be black flagged out of the race or definitely put back a lot of positions.

You did win the race and the meeting, but he still leads the points chase. Were you mad because any advantage he may have got in the situation could potentially affect the points as the season continues?

Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. What’s to stop me having another DNF and being another 25 points back behind again? There’s no way that he should have been allowed to cut the track, pull into second, and still be able to get third overall whether he did pull 20 seconds or not. I pulled him along because he was in second, so it doesn’t matter because he didn’t have to fight with all the guys back in fifth and sixth.

I think he should have lost a lot more points and the championship lead should be in my hands now – I should be holding the red plate and that’s why I was a bit disappointed in Kevin [Williams’] decision and the Clerk of the Course’s decision. I felt I was treated unfairly and same with a lot of the other riders, I’m sure that there will be a bit of an argument at the next rider’s briefing that’s for sure.

It’s reported that you said you will go and win both motos at the next round – do incidents like this only make you more determined?

It definitely makes me a lot more determined. In Canberra and Toowoomba I didn’t really try too hard, I’m just trying to ride consistent. You know, I know that when I can catch Georgey 10 seconds in two laps and pass him that I’ve got the speed.

If they want to throw down that he’s going to beat me, or that he’s going to extend his points lead when I’ve caught him up around 25 points then he’s talking a lot of shit. I want to show my raw speed in Mackay and go one-one just to shove it back in their face.

The back of Moss has been a fimiliar sight for the Pro Lites field in 2009

The back of Moss has been a fimiliar sight for the Pro Lites field in 2009

You’re the current Super X Lites Champion and also the favourite for this year. If you win both can we expect to see you in America next year with your brother?

I’m going to go to America next year as long as I’m not injured whether I have to pay out of my own pocket or not. I’m just going to race. I’m not chasing money or after the big bucks, I just want to see where I’m at and if I can make a champion of myself. I want to go and try do it.

Well thanks for the time Mossy, and good luck as the season progresses.

Yeah no worries, thanks for that mate.