The “King of Canadian Motocross,” Jean-Sébastien Roy, wanted nothing more than to win his final Montreal Supercross last Saturday night. He got his wish. Despite entering semi-retirement this summer, only racing some regional events and one CMRC national, the Blackfoot Yamaha rider seemed more than prepared for his final battle. But I guess we shouldn’t have expected anything less from the five-time national champ and four-time (now five-time) Montreal winner. Unfortunately, as most of you know by now, we bid farewell to another motocross and snocross icon, Blair Morgan, that same evening. Morgan suffered a serious spinal injury during Saturday practice, resulting in paralysis from the waist down. He remains in a Montreal hospital, with his wife, Terri, and his good friend, competitor and teammate, JSR, by his side. It’s been a hectic and emotional week for the entire Blackfoot team, but JSR still managed to set aside some time to chat before driving Colton Facciotti to the airport for England.
Racer X: Wow, JSR, that was an incredible ride by you on Saturday in Montreal. What a way to end an illustrious career.
Jean-Sébastien Roy: Yeah, thanks. That was the perfect way to end it; you couldn’t have come up with a better story.
We had talked before the event, and you sounded very confident that you could win your final Montreal Supercross. Did you ever expect it to go this well, pulling the holeshot and leading every lap?
Yes and no. Of course, that has always been my strength, to visualize the race—and I did visualize that. Deep inside I had a few doubts because I had been off racing pretty much the whole summer, except for some local races. I’ve just been practicing and chilling out, for the most part. I was prepared for it, though. I had a lot of time on the bike and I spent a lot of time on the bicycle and working on my cardio. It helped because I was quite nervous riding up front alone. And the air; it’s hard to breathe in that place, too.
So you were nervous?
To be honest, I was nervous, but what helped me out was when I smashed my pipe in the qualifier. The bike had no power, so after that I was pissed off. In my mind, I was like, ‘Well, I have a bad gate pick and I have nothing to lose.’ I was ready to risk it all heading into the first corner, right over the berm if I had to. I was willing to take a chance, but I ended up first into the turn.
What was going through your mind as the laps ticked away and you saw the win was in your grasp?
On the last lap it was a little tough to focus, but I kept just taking it obstacle-to-obstacle and corner-to-corner. I made sure to downshift into first in the final corner so I didn’t stall it. I almost felt like I could fly when I came over the finish because I had no more pressure [laughs]. I felt so relieved. It was a really cool feeling, that’s for sure.
How does this one rank against your other four Montreal wins?
Well, I think this one and my first one [in 1996] were both really exciting and emotional, but for different reasons. I felt like I put forth the best possible effort that I could, and I think that the fans got their money’s worth. I just wanted to make them happy.
What does Montreal mean to you?
For us, it’s bigger than for other Canadian riders because it’s in Quebec and there are 50,000 spectators. It’s just a huge event, right near homes.
Now, who is going to be the next hero of Montreal?
I will work on that in the next 12 months [laughs]. I don’t know. It takes a special person to promote the sport and promote the event, like I have in the past.
Do you see yourself ever building up that desire to race Montreal again?
No, I don’t think so—especially after winning it. Thank you very much, but I don’t want to take any more chances. There are so many things that can happen.
Obviously, this has been an emotional time yourself, Blair and his family, the Blackfoot team, and pretty much everyone in Canadian motocross. What are your best memories of racing against Blair?
Well, I’m actually running late here to get Colton to the airport. Can we continue this interview later on?
Sure, JSR. No problem at all.
Blair has always been a good friend on and off the track. A lot of people compare Blair and I; we’re both about the same age, we have kids and family, and we’ve lived good careers. What happened to Blair could have easily happened to me.