CRAIG, WHO HAS
BEEN FLY RACING’S
MOST POPULAR RIDER?
That’s really hard to say,
because we have had so
many great riders. We have
won championships with a
few riders in the 250 class,
but they weren’t really long-term guys with us. I think
that if someone would look
back at us they likely would
think of Andrew Short, as we have been
together for 13 years. Andrew has been
a great ambassador for us. When you say
popular, though, it’s hard not to say Trey
Canard’s name. You also have to look at
Weston Peick. He has been with us for a
long time. His road has been hard, with
him coming up as a full-on blue-collar privateer to where he is at now. He is a true
success story, and he has put in a lot of
grit and hard work to get to where he is
at now. I also want to mention Branden
Jesseman, who was with us when he won
his 250 Supercross Championship. We
have been very fortunate to have the
riders that we have had.
WHAT THOUGHT PROCESS
GOES INTO CHOOSING A RIDER TO
SPONSOR? We want them to be a decent
rider and someone whom people would
want their family and kids to be around.
We like the hard chargers and hard workers who don’t give up. I think that you see
that with our riders. It’s not always about
being on top of the podium and being fast
and all that kind of stuff. Of course, we
want to get some wins, but we are not out
there to have every racer or take every
win. As a company we try to be as professional as possible. We want people to feel
good about what we do, what we sell and
how we treat people. We appreciate our
riders, our dealers and consumers and our
sales reps. We want to give our consumers a good product at a great price.
HOW IMPORTANT IS RIDER
LOYALTY? Signing with anyone for less
than three years doesn’t really make
sense. It’s somewhat like when a rider
switches bike brands every year because
he doesn’t really do justice to the brand.
I feel that it’s the same with gear. Of
course, it has to happen sometimes. We
are very loyal to our racers and like it
when they are loyal back. We feel that it’s
our job to earn that. Sometimes riders get
great opportunities, and we have let a few
go. We always say, “If that’s what is best
for you, then that’s what we want for you.”
We want what’s best for them, and if it’s
also best for us, then it’s a bonus.
By John Basher
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING
WITH JEREMY MCGRATH AT
CHAPARRAL YAMAHA? It was fun.
He was an easy rider to work with.
He was a nice guy and always calm.
Jeremy was so much faster than the
other guys that it seemed like he was
just riding around the track. It honestly
taught me a lot. Working with such a
great rider made me learn so much
more than I had as a racer. Working
with Jeremy really helped, because I
was able to benefit a lot of other riders
I worked with after Jeremy.
OF ALL THE RACERS YOU’VE
WORKED WITH, WHO HAS BEEN
THE BEST TEST RIDER? Chad Reed.
He could always set his bike up. We
would jump around a little bit, but he
always knew what he wanted. He could
feel a lot through the bike, and he could
give pretty good feedback. He was
quirky at times, but he knew what he
wanted. Chad’s bike setup was always
really good. You could take his bike
setup and give it to just about anyone
in the pits and they would think it’s the
best motorcycle ever.
DO MOST TOP PRO RIDERS
KNOW BIKE SETUP? I find that the
better the rider, the less they know
about bike setup. They know what they
want, but they’re going after a feeling.
They might not be able to tell you technically what they want, but they know
the feel they want as far as the balance
of the bike with the way the fork and
shock work. Chad Reed was always
searching for something in the chassis,
which you’re limited to on the motorcycle. Chad had a great feel, and he
could always give you really good feedback on what the bike was doing. Then
the technical guys, whether they were
suspension or motor guys, would work
together to figure it out. That’s where
I came in. I was the mediator between
the rider and the technical staff. I could
speak rider talk and relay it to the technical guys. That’s why I think I had some
success as a manager.
By Jim Kimball