The privateer talks about his Euro days, 2014 SX, and changes that he’d like to see made in moto.
One sentence from Jimmy Decotis and it is apparent that he is cut from a different mold than most of motocross. An electric personality combined with a Boston accent so thick it probably affects the humidity level in the room, Jimmy D has established an almost cult following in the sport. After what some might call a disastrous stint in the GPs riding for the factory Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, he is back stateside riding his familiar Hondas, and finding time to dust off his trust 125 that made him YouTube famous. We decided to get Jimmy’s perspective on his 2013 season and see what he has planned for the future:
1. Why do you think that the GPs didn't work out for you? You had the speed and the bike, but the finishes just weren't there...
Europe? I never went to Europe. That was James [Decotis]. Someone must’ve signed up the wrong guy. James is slow. Jimmy is fast. They sent James when they should've sent Jimmy (laughs).
Overall, my biggest problem was the race pace outdoors. I didn't race in 2012 due to an ACL injury; I started riding Supercross in October last year and only rode SX for four months. When I got the call, I should've put more thought into whether I was going to actually be ready for a series like that or not. I wasn't, but I wouldn't change a thing. I learned so much about myself as a rider and a person from that whole experience.
2. Compare the PC Kawasaki to your own Honda. Did each have its own advantages or was either one a clear standout over the other?
On the bike deal, the Kawi was a nice machine; motor, suspension everything was good. I needed more time to just adjust to the different chassis and dialing in the suspension. It worked well, but I wasn't that comfortable on the bike and it showed on race day. I wouldn’t say my Honda is better or worse than the Kawi, but having ridden the Honda for multiple years, I'm comfortable with it and I can dial-in the bike better than I could with an unfamiliar brand.
3. So back to the future [see what I did there?]...You're riding both the 250 and 450 in SX next year, correct? You've never raced a 450 as a professional.
Yeah, exactly! I’ll be taking the 450 out for some racing in 2014. Possibly Monster Cup but for sure the west coast on the 450 Honda and east coast on the 250. Same deal as last year with help from High Octane Harley Davidson.
t's cool to see my sponsors stick behind me after such a failure in Europe but some people still see my potential so it's nice to still have some backing. For the 450 though, I want to make all the mains, put in some consistent results and build my confidence and speed for the east coast.
4. How often do people tell you to just race your 125 in pro races?
The amount of people that tell me to race my 125 is crazy. I don't care how good you are on a two-stroke; it’s about 20 horsepower less than a 250f [four-stroke]. I wouldn't have a chance, especially on the Honda 125. We all know those aren't the fastest machines out there. I do appreciate the 125 a lot and I've gained a lot of fans with my videos of it, but get real people. I don’t have a shot at a pro race on that thing. I’ll just make it sing around New England and drop vids for the fans. That's what it's all about!
5. You recently filmed for the upcoming “Moto 5” movie. Talk about what that was like. Is that something you could see yourself doing more often?
Filming video parts is huge for this sport. The way the TV coverage is and how little coverage they give to a guy who's in fifth or sixth is crazy and it's hard for sponsors to step up and pay the bills if they get no exposure! So for me, I make two-stroke videos, I do videos like “The Moto 5,” which I'm pumped they let me be a part of. I feel like I can give my sponsors more exposure through videos, local racing and social media than Supercross because they [SX promoters] don't care as much about the little guys as they do all of the factory guys.
6. I end every interview with this question: What changes would you like to see made in the sport to benefit the riders?
First of all, when Ralph and Jeff are announcing [Supercross], they need to talk about the race and what is actually happening on the track and show more enthusiasm when they’re announcing. Go listen to Art Eckman and those old school announcers, they were so into the race and making the fans sit on the edge of their seat. That's what it's about, putting a show on for the fans.
Another problem in this sport is that they up the entry fees and pro license fees but they don't up the payout? How does that work? I made $750 for fifth place in the 250 main event. Like, really? If it weren't for outside sponsors, this sport would have no chance because the riders would not make any money. I do this sport because I love it and I’ll always do it for that single reason only. But come on, promoters. It would be nice to get paid fairly for what we do. Until this sport has some sort of a union, it will never change.
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