There are still many DT1s and RT1s in use some 44 years later. Although not popular with collectors, they are an inexpensive
The AT1MX ( 125), DT1MX (250) and RT1MX (360) represented Yamaha’s motocross lineup.
to the detriment of the bike’s value today to incorporate a Preston Petty fender or Vesco
want all of the original stuff, especially the stock GYT expansion chamber. Aftermarket Bassani or Hooker pipes are not as valua
Speed and Sport at (570) 784-6831 is a good source for older Yamaha parts.
they have done very well at. We carried things for a
while, but now they have added much more technical
support. Plus, I think they really want to have a global
racing platform where we communicate with Europe and
Japan. It’s somewhat of a triangle now, where we are all
sharing information and equipment. I am very happy with
the direction the team is going. If we can continue this
with the same intensity, then I will be very pleased. —
HONDA’S EFFORTS ON THE WORLD STAGE
HAVE REALLY SHOWN THIS YEAR. Absolutely. In
some ways I would like to pluck Tim Gajser out of the
Grand Prix series to come race in the U.S. It’s not right
to steal him away, though. I know Gautier Paulin wants
to come over and do some races, especially since he is
pretty good at Supercross. We have some joint testing
coming up between our guys and the GP riders. They
will ride our equipment, and we will ride theirs. Maybe
we can get some good information from this that will
be pretty useful. Plus, it will be good to bring the riders
together so that they can hang out and get to know each
other as a team. Even Bobby [Evgeny Bobryshev] has
said that he wants to come over. Everyone has been a
little scared about that [laughter]. We want the
Europeans to come over so that we can work with them.
Those guys take such good care of us when we are
over in Europe for the Motocross des Nations and other
events, so we want to reciprocate.
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO HIRE A RACER? There
is a lot involved. As with any company, you have departmental budgets. I have to stay within those budgets.
My role in all this is to know everyone in the paddock,
and certainly all the riders. When we are interested in a
rider, I approach him and see if he has any interest in us.
Sometimes the rider has an agent that I go through.
Once I determine that there is an interest, then I start
discussing numbers. After that the process goes above
me. I am still involved in the process, but upper
management controls the budgets and everything.
HONDA IS ONE OF THE FEW TEAMS THAT
DOESN’T HAVE AN ENERGY DRINK SPONSOR. IS
THAT A GOOD THING? Honestly, I think that it’s good
and bad. The benefit of being part of a large company
like we are is that we don’t necessarily need a big outside sponsor. Do we want one? Sure! It would be great to
have one. We also want someone who is going to come
in and really fit with the team and have the same values
that Honda has. We are a fairly conservative company.
It would be good to have a big outside sponsor. A lot of
teams that have big outside sponsorships are still learning how to work with those sponsors. In other forms of
racing, like NASCAR or drag racing, the teams wouldn’t
be able to race without outside sponsorships. We are still
trying to figure all this out. It’s very impressive to see
how far the sport has grown, especially in Supercross.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON COLE SEELY
AND TREY CANARD? Cole has great natural talent.
As a Supercross rider, he is already there. He may have
some things that he can improve on as an outdoor rider,
which we already saw in the 250 class. Trey also has a
wealth of talent. Unfortunately, he has often been injured,
and it has been hard for him to complete a season. When
you miss races, it’s hard to win a championship. I’m not
blaming Trey; he has just had a lot of bad luck. The
talent and speed are there. I believe in Cole and Trey. I’m
still quite happy with both of our riders. We have another
Maybe we are living a bit in the past, though. My goal
coming into the team manager position was to turn this
team around. My plan is to win races and champion-
ships, but more so to improve the construction of the
team, the equipment, and move in a positive direction.
If I don’t feel that we are moving in that direction, then
I’ll let someone else take the reins. This is too good of
a team to simply show up at the races and look good.
That’s not what this is about. We live in an environment
where we are judged every weekend by our results. It’s
tough to live in a bubble where everyone looks at you;
where one weekend you can be a hero and a zero the
next. I want to turn this thing around and get it back
to what it used to be. I am really the only one left who
remembers what it used to be.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TURN AROUND
EXACTLY? I want to win races and championships.
That’s the bottom line. We were going in a positive
direction in 2015. We won some Supercrosses, and
people were really impressed with Cole Seely in his
first year on the 450. Unfortunately, Trey got injured,
which took some wind out of our sails. Heading into
the outdoors, I told everyone on our team that we were
going to win the 450 National title. Obviously things
didn’t work out. It all went south for Eli Tomac, but
that’s racing. It certainly showed that our equipment is
able to win races, and I can add to that by saying
that this year was the first in a while that I felt our
equipment was capable of winning.
THE FACTORY HONDA BIKE GOT A BAD RAP
FROM CHAD REED AND JUSTIN BARCIA; WAS
IT DESERVED? I think if Justin rode today’s bike he
would be pleasantly surprised. I can say that we gave
Justin everything that we could. We really tried to make
him happy. Is our bike better now? Yes, by far we have
a much better bike now than when he raced it. It’s all
about timing. Sometimes things click and sometimes they
don’t. When he went to Yamaha, he had some teething
pains at first, but he turned it around.
TALK ABOUT HRC’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE
TEAM. They bring a lot of engineering support. HRC
stepped away for a while to focus on MotoGP, which