Privateer Profile: Matt Goerke

March 12, 2009 2:26pm

The 2009 Eastern Regional supercross series hasn’t gone exactly according to plan for Matt Goerke. Coming into the season, Goerke was a quiet favorite; he has finished on the podium in the past, was coming off a pretty solid season with KTM, and was back on a brand he’s very familiar with. Unfortunately, the Florida native has been plagued by poor starts this season, but his results are improving at every round. The Suzuki City-backed rider is currently 10th in points, and is very optimistic that he’ll be on the podium before season’s end.

Racer X: Matt, what’s up?
Matt Goerke: Not too much. Just getting some gas and getting ready to go riding.

Well, good ride at Daytona, man. You came from the back in the pack!
Yeah, it felt like I was riding good. I wish I could’ve got a start up front, but it’s been the same thing all year; I’ve got to work on my starts. I have to figure out something, because if I get a start I definitely think I can run up there.

It definitely doesn’t seem to be the bike because your teammate, Steven Clarke, pulled the holeshot!
Yeah, it’s not the bike—it’s me! I’m just trying to figure that out. He got the holeshot there, and he got like a top-three start the weekend before in Indy!

Speaking of the weekend before, that wasn’t a very good race for you in Indianapolis.
Oh man, I crashed in the Heat race twice and the second time I bent up my bike so I couldn’t finish. So I had to start all the way on the outside in the LCQ, and I got a horrible start. It’s only four laps and I caught up to third—and I almost got second—but I needed another lap.

That wasn’t the first time you’ve been in the LCQ this year, right?
No, the weekend before in Atlanta I was in the LCQ, too. I actually crashed in the whoops on the first lap there and still caught up to second! At Daytona in the Heat I just tried to stay up so I didn’t have to go to the LCQ again!

Since you’re from Florida, do all of your friends and family come to the Daytona Supercross?
Yeah, there was a bunch of friends and family there—it’s pretty cool. They were all pretty happy with how I finished.

Does that add a lot of pressure?
It has the years before, because I always did horrible, but this year I guess not, because I did pretty good.

You finished inside the top ten at each round, and you’re improving. What’s it going to take to get on the podium or get a win?
Just a better start and I’ll think I’ll be right up there. If I could just ride like myself with a better start...

That class is just so stacked this year…
Yeah, it is! Well, every year it’s stacked!

Yeah, you’re right about that. Last year, you were on KTMs, and now you’re back on Suzukis—a brand you’ve ridden throughout much of your amateur career. How are things going with the Suzuki City team?
Things are going really good! We’ve been getting the bike better every week, so I’m really looking forward to this week in New Orleans.

Yeah, this weekend is sort of a homecoming for Suzuki City, since the shop isn’t that far from New Orleans.
Yeah, we’re doing an open house and autograph signing at the shop on Friday night.

Well, what’s the goal from here on out, Matt?
To get some better starts and get up on the podium!

How about outdoors?
Outdoors, I’ll be moving up to the 450, and I love riding the 450, so I can’t wait for that. I plan on being on the podium a bunch. The fuel-injected RM-Z is awesome, too.

Who would you like to thank, Matt?
Suzuki City, my mom and dad, Gary Bueker, Shane Yeagan, Keith Oelrich, Dr. Edwards, and all of our team sponsors.

Good luck this weekend, Matt.
Thanks! I’m really looking forward to it!