Racer X: Can you give us a brief history on your team?
Gregg Lynk: I actually took over ownership of this Suzuki program a few years ago, and Fun Center has been a huge sponsor in the program, and they’ve been onboard for the last three years as well. Before that, I ran the program for Buddy Antunez with Suzuki, and before that with Honda, so I’ve been in it for quite a while as a team manager.
So we heard there was a bit of a hullabaloo around your team when it got out that Suzuki may stop paying contingency money altogether for 2009... Can you take us through what that was like for you guys?
Nothing has been finalized yet. That was really a premature release done by someone at Suzuki, and it actually kind of got in the wrong hands. Nothing has been finalized over at Suzuki. I spoke with someone over there yesterday about the situation, and nothing has been finalized yet regarding what they’re going to do with contingency and what they’re going to do with some of their race programs, including the Fun Center Suzuki program. It’s all still kind of up in the air. We’re actually going to go racing regardless. We really hope that Suzuki’s going to back us. They’ve always been great to us and helped us out a ton in the past, and hopefully they’ll continue to help us out.
Do you plan to continue to do just west-coast supercross this year?
Our team started out doing Arenacross, and last year, since the BooKoo Arenacross Series didn’t run, Cole [Gress, at Suzuki] said, “You know what? I really need another program on the west coast for Supercross.” So we decided to do that. We’ve got a lot of great sponsors that are still behind us, too, with Fun Center out of Durango, Colorado, and we have a lot of new sponsors as well, including Freestyle: The Movie, with Corbin Bleu. They’re helping us out, sponsorship-wise. Cole Seely, one of our riders, he taught Corbin Bleu how to ride for the movie, so they’re jumping on board and sponsoring the team this year. So we’ve got a lot of great sponsors still behind us – Fly and 661, and quite a few of the others we had last year.
The economic troubles surely caused most of this misunderstanding, so how has the sponsor acquisition been otherwise in this economic climate?
It’s actually been really good. I’ve hired back the same mechanics that I’ve had for several years, and everybody is extremely hard-working and everybody gets along really well. We’re just carrying on with business as usual, really. We’ve been doing a lot of testing with motors and suspension, and we’re focused on one goal, which is being prepared for Anaheim I.
How has the landscape changed in your time doing this?
It’s been huge. I really got into this with Suzuki back in 1993 with Greg Rand out of Ohio, and I’ve kind of been with Suzuki since then. The landscape has changed a lot, and I’m really kind of bummed out about the way the economy is now, because last year was the first year that I had been to a supercross in a long time, and I really enjoyed it. The changes that have taken place have just elevated the sport so much since I had been there working for Branden Jesseman in 2000. It was just unreal. It’s great to see it thriving like that, and like I said, with the economy like it is, it’s a real bummer for everybody involved.
Do you find yourself fielding a lot of calls from riders and stuff looking for help?
Definitely. It seems like every year, we get more and more, but this year especially, it seemed like there were a lot of riders calling and looking for rides that just couldn’t find rides. It’s unfortunate. There are quite a few teams that weren’t going to go racing this year, so it opened up a situation where riders didn’t have a place to go.
It must be tough to turn down so many guys like that...
Definitely, and there are still quite a few good riders that are still looking for rides, you know? It’s definitely unfortunate for those guys. I feel bad for them, for sure.
But one way or the other, you guys are hitting the track at Anaheim I.
For sure. One way or the other, we’re going to do it. I have contracts with all of these riders and all of these mechanics, and we’re going to go racing.
What sponsors would you like to thank?
I’d like to thank Fun Center, Suzuki, Fly Racing, 10-10 Clothing, Freestyle: The Movie, 661, Sunline, Pirelli, Torco, Factory Effex, Wiseco, Motion Pro, K&N Filters, Lynk’s Racing, Boyesen, CB4 Products, Hinson Clutch Components, Millenium Technologies, Pro Circuit, Pro-Tek, Restore-X, RG3 Suspension, RK Chains, Scott USA, TCR Wheels, VP Racing Fuels and Works Connection.