Max Gerston Interview

EnduroCross ace talks about his off-season, missing the TKO, and what series he plans to race in 2019

Max Gerston
Although he was not wearing his signature cowboy hat, Max Gerston drew a large crowd of fans at the RevLimiter Extreme Enduro. The Beta USA rider is one of the most popular riders in the pits.Shan Moore

Max Gerston is one of the most popular riders on the EnduroCross circuit. The Phoenix native is also one of the top Hard Enduro specialists in America. We caught up with the Beta USA rider at the recent RevLimiter Hard Enduro in Texas to chat about the off-season and what series he plans on racing this year.

How was your off-season?

Unfortunately, off-road doesn’t have much of an off-season. You kind of get off and you get through the holidays a little bit and by the time you’re done eating Thanksgiving dinner, it’s back to training to get ready for the first round of whatever it is. So I didn’t have much of an off-season, but it was good because I took a couple weeks off. By a couple weeks, I just mean of intense training. I let my body heal up because I [sustained] a couple injuries last year, and got my hand the rest of the way healed up. So the off-season was good. I feel really good coming into this season.

You missed Tennessee Knockout (TKO) because of your hand. What happened?

I smashed my finger in between my handlebar and a rock. Luckily I didn’t need surgery or anything, but it was one of the hardest injuries I’ve had to deal with. It was really strange. Luckily I didn’t need surgery because I broke it and then rode back to the truck. When I rode back to the truck, I kind of fixed it myself and then had to let it heal. Getting mobility back into that thing was a nightmare, and I still don’t have full mobility. I can hold onto the handlebars, so that’s all that matters.

RevLimiter Hard Enduro
The Arizona rider was seventh at the RevLimiter Hard Enduro on his Beta 300 RR, saying afterward that the race “was tough but fun.”Shan Moore

What series are you riding this year?

Through Beta, I’m contracted to ride the [2019 AMA Extreme Off-Road State Championship Series], which this is the first round of that, even though it’s not points accumulation. These are basically all state championship races, which seems silly. Then the Tennessee Knockout is a national. It’s kind of silly, but at the same time I think it’s kind of a steppingstone for the series to become a real series. I’m showing up to most of them because I want to be kind of on the forefront of that deal and I want to kind of help push the series. With that being said, I’m contracted to do those races and EnduroCross. Two of these races actually conflict with EnduroCross, but whatever.

But it's not going to hurt you in points, since points don't accumulate for the Extreme series.

Right. That’s the thing, so it doesn’t really matter. Then I’ve actually been racing all the hare scrambles too. I got second at the first round and first at the second round, so I’m actually leading the points chase in the hare scrambles. So I was like, maybe I’ll just continue racing the rest of those too. We’ll see. I’m not contracted to do them, but I can go there and whatever.

Gerston plans on riding the AMA EnduroCross series and AMA Extreme Off-Road State Championship Series. His next race will be at the Wild West Extreme Enduro event on May 4 in Sparks, Nevada.Shan Moore

That's a big step from extreme enduros and EnduroCross to fast hare scramble.

It is. Hare scrambles are kind of my background. That’s kind of what I grew up doing, so I can adapt to those and still do pretty well without me focusing 100 percent there. I will continue to focus 100 percent on EnduroCross and extreme enduros.

EnduroCross doesn't start until halfway into the year, so at what point do you begin training for that? Or do you do that year-round?

It’s funny you should ask that. I’ll probably start training for EnduroCross in the next week or two because that’s going to be starting in July—sooner than usual. I’m going to start getting tuned up on EnduroCross real soon here and I’ll start throwing in a couple days of that every week.

Do you ever go to a motocross track and do any motos?

I do sometimes, but our moto scene in Phoenix is pretty scarce. We have one really good track and it’s like an hour and a half away. I do go there, not as often as I should, but I do hit some motocross every once in a while.

Taylor Robert lives close to you. Do you ever ride with him?

Yeah, Taylor and I train together. He’s like my main training partner. Maybe two or three times a week usually.