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5 Minutes With... Josh Grant

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JGR/Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant has been fast all year, but one thing or another always seemed to trip him up in the overall standings – whether it be a penalty for jumping on a new flag, or crashes, etc. However, at RedBud, he finally put it all together to take his first-ever 450cc National victory.

Racer X: Obviously you had an unofficial moto win earlier in the season, but that performance you put on at RedBud was pretty dominant, with coming from so far behind in the first moto and catching Chad Reed near the end. Then you killed the second moto...
Josh Grant: I mean, it took a while in the first moto because I didn’t get a very good start, and when I realized I was in like 15th or something in the first corner, I kind of struggled on focusing on where those guys were because they were so far ahead. But I just put my head down and charged through and passed a lot of guys on the first lap, so I looked up and I was in fifth already, so I knew I had time to work my way through those guys. I just tried to ride smooth.

Have you always been strong at RedBud?
I’ve actually podiumed every time, except once, and that time I tied for third place on the day but got fourth. I’ve either been on the podium or tied for third there, so it’s pretty good.

Did you know going in that it was going to be one of your good races?
Yeah, there are a couple tracks I’ve picked that I knew were going to be good. RedBud’s one of them, and it suits my style pretty well with big jumps, rhythms and deep ruts.

How did you feel with your fitness? You were coming on strong at the end of that first moto...
I felt good. Even after the start and coming through the pack, I took like a two-lap break just to see where I was, and then I put a last-minute charge in. Once I did that, it was better for me, and it helped my confidence to know I had that extra little bit in the tank to catch up to those guys, so I went for it.

Now that you’ve had a few days to think about it, has anything hit you about how you look at things in the nationals?
It does change a little bit, like how I race and stuff. I took lines differently this weekend... They were totally different from how I was racing before, and I think that might help me through the rest of the season to focus on being more smooth and fast, and staying that way for 30 minutes.

Sometimes, you look like you’re controlled chaos, but this weekend you looked really smooth and in control.
I just wanted to focus on clean lines that either gained me time or just got me around the track more smoothly.

You’re still quite a long ways out of the championship as far as points are concerned, but we’re only halfway through. Is there any thought in your mind about making a run at the title?
I think so. I think there’s a chance, but at the same time, I’ve got to keep my finishes consistent and just hope Chad has some bad motos, because I’ll need some help to get back into it, I think.

What’s the sign you threw on the podium? What’s that about?
What do you mean?

You know, the little circle and three fingers.
We just call it throwing the bones.

That was a game I played in school...
Yeah, you look at the circle, you get socked in the arm.

Is that what it’s rooted in, or is it something else?
No, it’s kind of something else.

But you’re not going to say...
[Laughs] Everybody here’s laughing at that. But no.

Okay.
I love it [laughs].

You’ve got a couple weeks off, so what are you going to be doing?
Actually, this weekend I’m going to stay up at one of my friends’ places and go ride at Pismo Beach – ride a bit of dunes.

Really? I’ve seen video of that before. Are you planning on making the freestyle guys feel bad about themselves again?
I don’t know, I’m just going to go out and have fun at Pismo, hang out at my buddy’s bachelor party, and come back and I’ll have another week before the race.

What about with X Games coming up? What are you doing there?
From the beginning, I planned on riding Moto X Racing and Best Whip, and I wanted to do Speed & Style, but I heard they cut it out. So once that was taken out of the schedule, I figured I’d just do the other stuff. I just plan on going out and having fun.

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