Everyone goes through slumps at some time in their career, and the 2009 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series may be Troy Adams' time. In spite of his lack of “on paper” results, the 26-year-old keeps plugging away looking for that turn-around ride to redeem his season. Just hovering outside the top twenty in points, we tracked down the Rockstar Hart and Huntington Honda rider in the Toronto pits to find out what’s going on.
Troy Adams: I haven’t really had a season yet. It’s been that bad. To be honest, I just don’t have an answer for it. I’ve been trying my hardest, training my butt off at home, and doing everything that I should be – on, and off the bike. It just seems like at the races that nothing is starting to come together yet. I think it’s just one of those years. Up until I got injured late last Supercross season, I was doing pretty well, and coming into this season I was feeling very well, and feeling great about the bike - we had done a lot of testing. This year started off decently - I missed a few main events, but then things turned around and I was making them, which is, in itself, an accomplishment this year as there has been lots of big names missing mains. I’ve simply been struggling lately, and I have to pull myself out of the rut that I am in. Hopefully, I can finish out these last few races good, and I’ll be happy with myself. I cannot really salvage the season at this point, but I can salvage some races – and save face a little bit.
I understand that the 2009 CRF450 is quite different than the 2008. You said that you did lots of testing, but has there been a learning curve?
They really did change the whole bike a lot - it sits a lot different as far as the ergonomics and everything. It feels more up and vertical rather than stretched out and long. It’s more compact, and I think some guys have had problems adjusting. But we’ve done a few things to help me and my riding style as far as with suspension, and the way that the bike sits. The changes have been pretty successful, and I was able to go back to my riding style of sitting more on the back of the bike. Overall, I do think that the 2009 is a great bike; it’s really light and nimble, and almost feels like a 250F on the track. For someone my size and weight; if the bike is lighter then that’s a big plus.
Yeah, for sure, and that is one of the problems with this sport in general. You know, that old saying that “you are only as good as your last race” is very true. We really are all trying so hard, and for people to judge us only by our “on paper” results are not the way to judge a rider. By people doing that it makes this a big mental game for a lot of us riders; we don’t know if we will have a job from one year to the next. It makes this a very scary occupation, and it’s really sad that people focus on the results on paper, and not the what the riders or teams are actually doing to compete at this level.
Speaking of teams, how has the Rockstar/Hart and Huntington team changed since its debut 2008 season?
The team has actually changed a lot; although from the outside it may not look all that different. This year, we got a semi, and some more help from bigger sponsors. It’s extremely organized this year, and the guys here really have their act together. With any first-year team, there is always going to be some hiccups and snags, but this year I really cannot say enough about the team. They have done more testing than I thought I would ever do with a privateer team. There are bigger plans for the future, so I really would like to secure my spot here. Also, we have dabbled a little bit with this year with the theme bikes; doing the pink bikes and the chrome bikes - that stuff really catches people’s eyes. There has been some on-line talk about our pits saying that they create a bad image, but that seems to appeal to the masses, and definitely draws the crowd to us.
If I understand correctly, the team is not racing outdoors this summer, but you are.
Well, the Rockstar Hart and Huntington team has only budgeted for Supercross at this time. But I have gone out and done some footwork myself to have my mechanic, Marcus [Shay], and me drive to all the nationals – we’re 90-percent sure of this. Last summer, when I did not race, it was so boring sitting on the couch at home. I never even went to check out a national because I figured that it would be too hard to only watch. This year, we have really been doing some upfront ground work; we even did a little fundraiser to get some gas, hotel, and food money going. We are doing it under Rockstar Hart and Huntington, as they will be supplying the bikes – but it will be up to me and Marcus to get to the races.
Yeah, I am really excited about racing outdoors. As I said, it was very boring last summer. And as you mentioned, outdoors where I really first got my career going. I want to get back to that, even though they are very hot days with 30-minutes-plus-two-lap motos, I miss that. I truly miss that feeling of being so tired that you don’t really want to do anything after a day of motocross. I am looking forward to it, and it will be so awesome being back out there.
Let’s finish with a shout out to your sponsors.
Great. I really want to thank everyone on the Rockstar Hart and Huntington Honda team – they have just done so much. Also, big thanks to my parents, Marcus, Kenny [Watson] the Team Manager, and Carey [Hart], who finds the time to make this all happen. You could not ask for a better atmosphere. They keep the pressure off and make it fun. This is exactly what I was looking for for a long time, and finally found – now I just need to stay here for a while.