Doug Dubach Interview

Nine-time World Vet Champion and four-time World 4-stroke Champion Doug Dubach is a heavy hand in the world of motocross, whether he's winning championships or developing the latest in race performance technology. Along with his busy racing career, Doug is the owner and operator of Dubach Racing Development and is a Team Yamaha test rider. I caught up with Dr. D during his quick appearance at the Dirt Rider 24 Hour. After watching him spin some amazing laps out on the track, we sat down for a short interview. The late afternoon temperature was quickly dropping, so we hopped in his van and cranked up the heater.Age: 40
Hometown: Tustin, CA
Marital Status: Married + three children; A 6-year-old daughter, Rylee, 4-year-old daughter Averee and 7-month-old son, Carter. My daughter, Rylee, was just on the cover of MotoKids riding a Raptor 50. So she was all excited about that. She said, "I'm gonna be more famous than you, Dad!"DR: How old were you when you first started riding?
Dr.D: We rode up and down my street at 8 or 9 on mini bikes, just little lawnmower engines on a frame basically. My first real bike was a 1978 YZ80. My first race was also in '78. I started late by most standards today, it was just a month before my 15th birthday - compared to these kids racing at 4 and 5 today. But I went through the ranks pretty quick. I went from an 80 novice to riding my first 125 pro race in 18 months. I was just chompin' at the bit.How did your first race go?
It was back when it was a 3-moto system. I went 1-1-DNF. My chain fell off, so I didn't finish my 3rd moto. That was on my YZ in the 80 Novice class. It was almost a good day.Any funny stories about when you were first starting to race?
The very first day I rode pro, I forgot my pants and jersey at home so I had to ride practice in jeans and a t-shirt. My dad brought it to me, but by the time I got dressed I missed the first moto start. I began half a lap late but I caught up and got third. And I won the second moto, so I won the over all in my first pro race.How did you forget your gear?
Just too excited. I was thinking about my first day racing pro, and I just walked out of the house while it was lying there on top of the washing machine. At least I had my boots and helmet, but I had washed all my gear so it was sittin' there; nice and clean...and at home!Where are your favorite places to ride?
Cahuilla Creek has been on my favorites lately. It's a nice natural motocross track, not a lot of man-made stuff. 395 Race Town is also a fun track. Those are my two favorites as far as locally. Mammoth is another one of my favorite tracks and Millville, Minnesota as far as one of the Nationals tracks. Honey Lake is a really nice one up in Northern California.Are you partial to West Coast riding?
Just by reason of location. I like a lot of the East Coast tracks. In fact, for several years after I was through racing full time I would still find my way back to a couple of those Nationals on the East Coast just because they were really fun tracks. Their weather makes the tracks a lot more technical with ruts and things. It's something I don't get to ride enough of but I still really enjoy.With this whole mini-bike craze, is Dubach Racing Development designing any products for 50's?
Yes, actually, we make an XR 50 pipe. We haven't jumped in with the triple clamps and all the bells and whistles you can bolt on. We are focusing on exhaust but we have other items for 4-strokes, mainly. We're not going to jump into the whole 50 craze because our basis is motocross or off-road bikes. That's a whole different creature.What is it about 4-strokes that you prefer over 2-strokes?
It's funny, because when I first heard about the 4-stroke coming, I was skeptical, but once I rode it I was like, "Man, this is something that I could really enjoy." It had a much smoother power delivery, so it was a whole new experience. I've been Yamaha's test rider for many years, so I rode the original YZ400 for years before anyone ever saw one. Even though I had never officially raced one, I was instantly a 4-stroke guy. It was a whole new life to riding and sparked another interest in racing again. That bike helped me win a lot of titles. I've won 10 of those White Brothers World Vet titles now. I did maybe 3 or 4 on 2-strokes and the rest have been on 4-strokes.Are you glad to see more 4-strokes in the MX series?
It's good because I think that's where, ultimately, it's all going to go. With the factories pouring all their efforts into that, it is going to be the next generation. It's neat for me because I was one of the pioneers with the whole 4-stroke movement. People scoffed at them early on, but now it's neat to see everyone wanting to be this 4-stroke rider. All these young kids want to boast, "I can ride 4-strokes!" when 5 years ago they laughed and said, "That's something my dad would ride on the trails!" It is just kind of funny to see it come full circle and see everyone realize that they really are race bikes.Who do you think is looking good for the upcoming season? Any favorites?
Anybody on a Yamaha; those are my boys. But Kevin Windham is going fast. I'm sure Ricky Carmichael, when he comes back, is going to be fast also. But I went to Anaheim II last Saturday and there was no denying that Chad Reed was the man. We'll just see. If he can keep that rolling I think that the Supercross title will be back in Yamaha's court.What do you think of the point docking for rough riding?
I don't know. Something should be done because these guys are getting a little bit out of hand. If there's some bumpin' and that going on, hey, that's all part of racing. You know, we all bumped around, but it was always okay as long as you left the guy an option. If I come in and take control of the corner and the guy has a choice of running into me, going off the track or hitting the brakes, then I've given him some options. But if I roll up into a corner, shoot down the inside and just clean him right off his bike, then that, to me, is "I don't have the ability to beat him fair and square, so I'm just going to knock him down." And that sets up for a bad image of the sport.

Giving them a fine doesn't really matter because they all make enough money that they can pay, as long as they get to hold the trophy at the end of the night. It needs to be somehting that these guys will pay attention to. If you deliberately, and it's obvious when you're deliberate, knock someone down, then you should have points taken away, you should have your bike taken away and your TV privileges, too! I saw some of that go on last year with some of the Pro Circuit guys and Preston. Seemed like they went back and forth and they had a lot of ugly stuff. That's starting to get dangerous. Everybody wants to be alive at the end of it!