2010 will be here before we know it, and the New Year will again bring with it another epic season of Supercross. Despite the rough economy and a particularly late release of 2010 models from manufacturers, many pro race teams are well into or nearly through with the testing process, giving them just over three weeks of downtime until the season begins in Anaheim.One such team that is simply itching to get to the gate is the MotoConcepts/ Yamaha team, a newly revamped squad of six experienced racers under the tutelage of racer and test rider-turned-team manager Michael Young. With fresh equipment and a host of loyal sponsors behind them, the MotoConcepts team consists of 450cc riders Dan Reardon and Matt Goerke, as well as East Coast 250F competitors Ryan Sipes and Vince Friese and west coast racers Jeff Alessi and Travis Baker. A dynamic group with loads of energy, the team plans to attach the Supercross series with hopes of being in the top ten before moving outdoors and contesting the AMA Motocross series.We recently met up with the MotoConcepts squad for a day of testing at Milestone MX Park’s newly-formed Supercross track, and were able to sit down with Michael Young to discuss the new rider lineup, the 2010 Yamahas and the team’s plan of action leading into another big Supercross season.Dirt Rider: First off, tell us about the new roster of riders you have for 2010.
Michael Young: We have a solid team lined up for 2010! We have a lot of experienced guys and a couple of guys coming into their second or third years of racing, as well as a rookie like Travis Baker who’s coming up straight from amateurs. The lineup started with Dan Reardon, Matt Goerke and Ryan Sipes, who all have a few years under their belts and have shown their talents. I’m excited with what they can do on the new 2010 Yamahas. We have a big team, but all of our riders are solid guys and are putting in a lot of work.DR: In a crazy year full of last minute deals, your riders are enjoying the advantage of having their bikes dialed in relatively early compared with other riders who don’t even know what brand they’ll be on yet. How has that helped the team?
MY: Supercross is definitely coming quickly, without a doubt. A lot of people-and not just us, but other Yamaha teams-were thinking that there was going to be a lot of testing with the new bikes, seeing as both of them are so new. Dan Reardon, for instance, didn’t get over here from Australia and on the Yamahas until literally just a week ago. He got on the bike, and we had a great base setting for him right away. It’s a solid bike out of the box, and we didn’t need to do hardly anything to the bike but some Enzo suspension and some CV4 touch-ups to the motor. We already have great settings and we haven’t needed to do a lot of test days because the guys are really happy. Our 250F riders were all really happy from the get-go, and everybody on the team was excited that we were ahead with our testing. That has allowed the riders to spend more time training whereas we’re normally still testing at this time.DR: What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve run up against as team manager?
MY: Obviously, it’s a little bit of a challenge with it being my first year as a team manager. I think I have a lot of experience as a racer, I’ve spent a lot of time as a test rider and I’ve done my fair share of the business side of the industry, so it’s not new to me. I don’t have any championships under my belt like some of the other team managers do, but I think I know how to run a team. It is a challenge with six guys-some would say that’s a pretty hefty team-and with six riders and six mechanics coming to me, it’s a lot to organize. Everything from travel to test days to training and keeping up on the guys and the everyday needs of the team takes a lot of dedication. Most of that is behind us now, though, as we have all of our sponsors lined up for 2010. We have some who are following MotoConcepts from last year, as well as some new ones for this year. We now have X Brand Goggles, Oneal gear and Shoei helmets this year. We have a lot of new sponsors, and there are a lot of people helping me make this challenge easier.DR: What are your expectations for this year?
MY: I think we have a solid top five team, to be realistic. I’d love to see our guys up on the box and I think Ryan Sipes has a really good chance of that on the East Coast, and Reardon and Goerke have shown that they can do just as well in the 450 class. Reardon showed great results in Australia and the U.S. Open as well as later results last year, and Goerke won a moto a Southwick! All of our riders are confident and love the bikes, and I just want to make it through the entire season with all our guys healthy. This is a big step for MotoConcepts for this year compared to previous years for the team. We’ve made a big jump and have some big riders that are capable of podiums. We want to be a sponge this year and learn everything we can so that we can move on to bigger things in years to come. We don’t plan on stopping here, we plan on being a championship contending team. We don’t have our outdoor lineup set in stone quite yet as far as who will ride which class and whatnot, but we’ll have that finalized pretty soon. Definitely, Goerke and Reardon will be on 450s for the Outdoors. Obviously, Baker will be on a 250F, but where the other guys end up as far as displacement will be announced once we get into Supercross. But overall, I really feel that there are a lot of guys underestimating what MotoConcepts is capable of doing in 2010.DR: What is the overall vibe of the team, and how do you think it will be received with the fans?
MY: I think that we have a wide variety of riders. Sipes and Goerke come from the East Coast and are really cool-Sipes would be happy wearing overalls and cowboy boots-and then you have Friese, Alessi and Baker who are always willing to crack jokes and have a smile on their faces. These guys aren’t rock stars, and I feel that we have a very humble team. They are all very approachable, and we want to not only be the best team on the track but also the best team in the pits. When anyone comes by our truck at Anaheim One and sees the setup they will notice that we have a different look than the other guys. We give our sponsors a lot more love with more sponsorship area, and we really try to look the best. That’s where the MotoConcepts division of the team comes in. Overall, I’m really excited for what we have in store in 2010.Check out http://www.motoconcepts.com/RacingTeam.html for more.