Between the Motos: Bob WeberWednesday, March 19, 2008 | 1:03 AM
Bob Weber is Troy Lee Designs’ vice president of operations and has worked alongside the famous helmet painter and gear manufacturer for more than five years now. He has also been intimately involved with the development and management of TLD’s racing enterprises over the course of his half-decade-plus working at Troy Lee. He’s a passionate man who knows his stuff, and he fills us in on the TLD team’s plans for the remainder of 2008, and on. Bob Weber is the VP of operations at Troy Lee Designs.
Bob Weber: Jeff has re-evaluated his situation, and the series is only eight races this year, and two of those are in combination with X Games [ESPN events], and he decided he was going to make another effort at doing the whole series. He feels strongly that last year could’ve gone a little different if he wouldn’t have had the DNF with a failed gearbox, and he wants to try and win that thing one more time. Jeff is all about putting a program together this year that will allow him to hopefully capture the 450cc Supermoto Championship.
When I talked to him at A Day in the Dirt, he mentioned that he was looking forward to teaching Chris Gosselaar about setting up Supermoto bikes and racing them. So it looks like that’s not really going to be necessary, with Chris not racing Supermoto.
Bob Weber is the VP of operations at Troy Lee Designs.
It’s been pretty well known that Chris was planning to race a 450 for the rest of the year, which may be part of what fueled the rumors that the team may not return for Seattle and Vegas – especially seeing that he wouldn’t be racing Supermoto for the team, and wasn’t running the team graphics back east.
There are also rumors of your team considering going full-time supercross and motocross racing. Is that something that may yet be on the horizon for your team?
I don’t know where that rumor’s coming from. Our agreement with American Honda is that we’re their Supermoto program for American Supermoto, and that is what we’ll do this summer. If this Supermoto series continues to be healthy in the future, I see us continuing in that vein. That being said, obviously we have discussed what the future might evolve to if for any reason there are challenges on the Supermoto side. We’ve developed quite an enterprise and a race facility and a core group of technicians, a race staff, a semi, a truck drive and all of the resources that go along with that. Obviously, we want to keep that program alive and going, so motocross and supercross may at some point be more of the equation, but right now, our plan is what it always has been for this year, which is supercross for the west-coast Lites and Supermoto in the summer time, and then bridge that back to Supercross Lites for the west coast, at the very least, for 2009. But we don’t have a plan decided for what 2009 will hold for the team.
Exactly. Gavin Trippe’s been working very hard to help manage and develop the Supermoto program. He’s gotten two events tied into X Games that are AMA Nationals – or should be. There’s some question with the first one just because of the timing of the whole DMG [Daytona Motorsports Group] situation. But Gavin Trippe has worked very hard to get a series put together and he’s worked hard with the promoters and the individual tracks, race teams, manufacturers, the AMA and now also DMG, so the work that Gavin’s done on behalf of Supermoto – and Troy [Lee] for that matter – along with all of the other interested parties shows that they’re very active in making sure that we have a good season this year. I think there are exciting things happening in Supermoto for this season, in particular with the great exposure that we’re getting from X Games – there’s two of them this year. All of that stuff bodes well for Supermoto this year. Obviously, we did enjoy being at the west coast supercross events. That’s our core business – motocross – and I can venture to say that you’ll see us out there for the long term in some capacity in supercross.
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Check out THE MOTOCROSS OF 40 NATIONSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
The 2013 FIM Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal, Germany, hosted teams from a record forty countries. Here’s how it played out for each of them. Page 90.