Massachusetts’ Jimmy Decotis has been one of New England’s top prospects since he was racing in the 50cc class, and this year, at 17 years old, he made his pro debut at Unadilla. Decotis went 22-19 there, and then followed up with a 31-14 this past weekend at Budds Creek. With a couple races under his belt, and just a few days away from his home national at Southwick, we thought it was a perfect time to introduce you to #613.
Racer X: Jimmy, you’re coming off two good finishes in your first two pro rounds. How does it feel to have done so well in your first races as a pro? Jimmy Decotis: It feels really good. Coming into this season, my goals were to do Loretta's and actually to podium Loretta's, but it didn't go as I hoped. Then I came into the last few nationals and I just wanted to put my head down and get in. I didn't really care about where I finished. My main goal was to just keep on training and training and be in shape long enough to go from the first minute to the thirtieth as fast as I could the whole time and not worry about where I finished. I've been putting in a lot of work and I've been happy with my finishes.
So, you didn't expect to get 19th in your second moto at Unadilla, did you?
No, absolutely not. Well, I knew I could do it, actually. I tried to ride as strong as I could the whole moto and I ended up falling. I've ended up falling so far every national moto that I've been in, so that's been tough. But I was coming through the pack, and Kenny Germain, my mechanic, had on the pit board that I was 19th and I was right behind Kevin Windham, so that wasn't so bad. I just kept on charging the whole way and I ended up staying right there, so I was happy with that.
It must have felt good to beat Windham, one of the top riders on the national circuit.
Yeah, it was pretty cool. I mean, he's just kind of having fun with it lately, though. I didn't really beatKevin Windham, but I guess I beat Kevin Windham, you could say.
Speaking of beating factory riders, you beat both Tyla Rattray and Tommy Searle in the second moto at Budds Creek. Was it surprising to be ahead of so many accomplished riders?
Well, not really, because that last moto was such a mud moto. I actually thought I could do better than 14th in the mud coming from New England. That's the New England guy's thing; sand and mud. I came into that moto with a good head on and I got a good start. I'm sure he didn't mean to, but Searle actually came into me on the start and I went down, so I was upset about that. Then I saw they threw the red flag, so I was like, "Oh, that's good." It definitely helped my confidence a lot. Coming into Southwick I just want to do the best I can and hopefully get a top 10.
Did having so much experience riding mud in New England definitely helped you in the second moto at Budds?
Oh yeah, of course. New England has helped me a lot. I mean, each weekend we have four 20-minute motos [racing both] the 250 and the 450 class. NESC does a lot with the pro riders to help them get better. Riding with John Dowd and Robby Marshall and Keith Johnson every weekend, it definitely helps me with my confidence and my speed and endurance. New England has pretty much made me who I am.
So knowing how to ride with top pros like John Dowd has helped you transition into riding with a whole pack of guys of that speed?
Oh yeah, of course. I know how Dowdy is, I ride with him every weekend. Dowd has won national motos. He's getting a little old now, but he got a 5th last year at Southwick. He's doing the right things. He's having fun with it, but he's putting in the work. To be able to beat him once and a while on the weekends and to be able to battle with him and Robby Marshall definitely keeps me going.
At only 17 years old, you could have a long future ahead of you in motocross. What are your plans for the next few years?
Well, just to kind of take it week by week. I just want to keep on training during the week. I want to do it kind of how Dowdy did. I want to keep racing until I'm... well, I can't say until I'm 40, because that's a long time away, but just keep on riding and doing my thing. Hopefully, I'll stay healthy and go as long as I possibly can, and when I'm done with the nationals I'll still be right there doing local stuff. I'm planning on doing riding schools when I get older, so that will be good. It’s something to look forward to in the future.
Do you have any plans to ride supercross this winter?
Not that I know of. I'm just kind of doing my own thing for now. My dad's been helping me out a lot and North Racing has been helping me out, but I'm not sure if we're going to move into the Supercross series together. I'm still undecided.
You’ve got Southwick, your home track, coming up this weekend. Do you think it will help to race a track that you’ve got so much experience on?
Oh yeah, of course. The fans will be there cheering me on. I ride there a lot. It's going to be a very big advantage, especially if I get a good lap time and get to my favorite inside gate there and get a good start and run with it.
One of the areas many rookies seem to have trouble with is their conditioning. How do you think your conditioning has been so far?
I think it's been pretty good. I feel like sometimes in the motos I'll pump up and get a little tired, but I think it's my nerves more than anything, because I'm still a little nervous. But I feel pretty good. I feel tired when I get off the track, but during the moto I'm strong and that's what matters. I've been doing better in the second motos which shows that my endurance is up and I have energy for the second motos. Robby Marshall and I have been training together and John Dowd has been helping me with some training tips. So my endurance is definitely there, I just need to keep my head on right and keep on doing good things.
What kind of training have you been doing? Mostly just riding? Or do you do a lot of cardio and lifting also?
We do a lot of cardio stuff. We do circuit training. I don't really road bike too much, but I do stationary bike. I like to run. I think running is one of the harder things for me. I run almost every day, it's one of the toughest things that I think gets me in the best shape, so I do that a lot. Of course, you've got to have fun days; you can't just be working all the time, so we'll go out riding sand pits with all my friends and hit big jumps and that stuff. It's good to keep it fun, but you've got to put in the work too.
What’s the one thing about the nationals that has been the most challenging for you so far?
Mostly the starts. It's tough to get out there. It's tough to be confident on the line. I've got a fast bike and everything, but it's tough to be confident on the line when you're way outside as a privateer. I think if I can pick my starts up and I can stop crashing, I can definitely see myself progressing more and more every weekend.
Who has been helping you out so far this year?
First of all, I have to thank my dad. My dad's done everything for me. I wouldn't even be close to where I am without my father. Also, Keene Motorsports, Dave from North Racing, Ziggy, Mike, and everyone else from Factory Connection, Pro Circuit, Pirelli, DCS Financial Group, Kenny Germain – he has a performance and tuning shop and he's been helping me out – John Dowd, Spectro, JP3 Graphics, my practice-bike mechanic Keith Clickstein, Phantom Choppers, Jeff Dyer, Shoei, Renthal, and John from Scott Goggles.