Features 6 Nov 2014

Fast Thoughts: Lawson Bopping

Team Motul Suzuki standout on a variety of topics.

Six months ago, Lawson Bopping’s position as a piece of the Australian racing furniture looked dicey. He’d returned from a semi-successful trip racing supercross in the US, but there were still no MX1 team rides available. But Team Motul Suzuki threw the 25-year-old a lifeline by offering him a supercross deal alongside defending champ Matt Moss, and whaddya know? Boppo has been killing it and sits in second place in the SX1 championship behind his teammate. With his career looking like it’s being revived, MotoOnline caught up with Bopping to get some fast thoughts.

Image: Marc Jones.

Image: Marc Jones.

Joining Motul Pirelli Suzuki for supercross…

Halfway through the MX Nationals I was riding for SIC Racing at just four rounds of the series. I still kinda wanted to do supercross and had a bike at home, but I didn’t really know if I should go for it as a privateer. I hit up Jay Foreman at Suzuki and he said they’d been thinking of adding a second rider, so we kept talking and it all came together after Coolum. I was super-pumped to get a supercross deal. A week after Coolum I got the bike and we did some testing, and for how comfortable I feel on the bike, we didn’t have to change much at all. The new RM-Z450 is one of the best bikes I’ve ever ridden – it’s got plenty of power without being scary, it’s predictable and handles all conditions perfectly.

The need for good results…

Times are tough at the moment and there seem to be less and less rides available every year. I definitely want to be back racing fulltime in 2015 so I’m putting in a big effort during the supercross series and hopefully it all pays off. I’m second equal coming into the last round and I really want to maintain that position. I haven’t signed anything for next year, but there has been a little bit of interest and I’m hoping it all works out.

Being 1-2 in the SX1 championship with Mossy…

If you’d sat me down and told me that I’d be in this position before the first round I would’ve been psyched. I’m happy to be out riding and it’s awesome to know I’m competitive and up the pointy end. The last round at Phillip Island went well even though I was caught in a furst-turn pile-up and finished fourth; I won my head races and was happy with my pace there.
I think racing in the US earlier this year has helped, for sure. It’s tough being a privateer, but it’s awesome to see how fast you can potentially go on a bike. The top guys were 4-5 seconds a lap faster than me, which is hard to believe until you see it first-hand.

Image: Marc Jones.

Image: Marc Jones.

2015 AMA Supercross plans…

I’d love to go back over and race the first six West Coast races again, but I don’t have much money saved up right now. If someone gave me the opportunity I’d jump at it for sure. I’m riding a hell of a lot better than I was this time last year and I was battling glandular fever then too. Since Coolum six or seven weeks ago, I feel so much better than I have all year and I’m sure that if I went to the States next year, I’d be able to improve on my results from this year. Hopefully in a couple weeks’ time I’ll know where I stand as far as a ride goes next year and if I can afford to get back over there.

Heading indoors for the Brisbane finale…

I’m actually really looking forward to Brisbane. I think the last time we raced indoors was in 2009 in Perth, but the last time I raced inside the Entertainment Centre was back in 2007 when Spokes Promotions ran the series. It’s going to be interesting to race around a tight track and see how many T-bones are made out there! I’m excited for it and to finish the season off on a high note.

Life in Braidwood…

I’m about an hour out of Canberra and, to tell the truth, if I had a normal job, I’d move. But I’m on a property and have some great tracks here. I’m glad I get to travel and see all of Australia, but it is always nice to come home where it’s mellow and chilled. There aren’t many people to ride and train with, but I’m not far from the coast where Luke Styke and those boys live.