boots up and thought I was done racing. I was going
through some hard times, and I had a friend who had
helped me out in the past who was an investor in the
Jeff Ward Racing Team. They offered me a deal for 2012.
I did not have any other options, so I signed a one-year
deal with the Ward Racing Team. My ACLs were still
torn up, but I took a podium at New Orleans with a second behind Villopoto. Later, I got an outdoor podium at
Steel City. I looked at it as an opportunity to rebuild my
career and put the dark times behind me.
DID THE PHONE START RINGING AGAIN? My
rides sparked interest back at JGR for the 2013–2014
season. They had a couple more years of development
on that new Yamaha, and I felt that the bike had turned
around. And, things started turning around for me as
BUT YOU LEFT JGR TO JOIN CHAD REED’S
PRIVATEER TEAM. I did not know what JGR
Yamaha’s intentions were about renewing my contract for
2015. To me, it seemed like they were holding out to the
last minute to see if I would settle for a lot less money
than I wanted. They took so long that it just pushed me
to go with what I felt was right.
Chad called and said he was building his own team
and wanted another rider. Unfortunately, the next year it
came down to dollars and cents, and I was not able to go
any further there. But, Chad was awesome to work with,
and I had one of the best Supercross seasons I had ever
had. I rode every single Supercross, which I had not done
in a few years. I clipped off a lot of top 5s and top 10s.
Chad and I are still good to this day.
BUT, YOU REBOUNDED TO FILL IN FOR WIL
HAHN AT MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI. Yes,
after the 2015 outdoor season ended, Kawasaki signed me
to fill in. They had just signed Eli Tomac for the following
year, and there was a lot of new stuff for them.
MOST PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT YOU WOULD
REPLACE WIL HAHN PERMANENTLY, BUT THAT
DIDN’T HAPPEN IN 2016. WHAT HAPPENED? I
was banking on riding for them in 2016. With the results
that I had at the end of 2015 when I rode inside the top
10 in the outdoors and killed it at the Glen Helen USGP, I
felt as if I had a spot with them for 2016.
They were thinking the same thing, but the management at Kawasaki was changing at the time, and they
realized that Wil Hahn had another year on his contract.
They could not release him, or sign me, so I was left
without a ride again. After I realized that I was not getting a ride, I waited for something to pop up.
THE 2016 DAYTONA SUPERCROSS PUT YOU
BACK ON THE MAP AGAIN. HOW DID THAT
COME ABOUT? My friend suggested that I race the
Daytona Supercross in March of 2016. I had a Suzuki I
used for film trips. I rode it for about two weeks before
Daytona, and then in Daytona I ended up getting seventh.
It almost felt like a win, especially after going through all
the tough times.
THAT’S NOT THE WHOLE STORY, THOUGH, IS
IT? On our way to Daytona, we stopped to get some
dinner. As we were eating, the Dallas Supercross was on
Josh on the Factory