5 Minutes With... Matt Goerke

August 29, 2009 was a huge day for Matt Goerke as he took his very first overall win in professional AMA Motocross at Southwick – riding for Team Yamaha as a replacement rider.  The Floridian’s win may have caught some off guard, but it certainly wasn’t a total shocker; after all Goerke was hovering around top five in points on his Suzuki City privateer RM-Z 450 two months earlier, before breaking his leg at Freestone. Realizing an exciting opportunity for their premier rider, Suzuki City kindly let Matt leave for Team Yamaha when they recruited him to fill in for their sidelined team. Likely due to his successful big bike rides, the 23-year-old was earlier picked up by the MotoConcepts (MCRMX) Team, which soon announced they would be Yamaha backed in 2010. While at home in Florida, just before leaving for some last minute testing, we had a chance to talk to Matt to get his take on his special day at Southwick and his outlook for 2010.

  • Goerke debuted his new ride at the U.S. Open
Racer X: Matt, this is probably going back a little bit, but man, you won an AMA Motocross overall this past summer!
Matt Goerke:
Yeah, it was an awesome day.  All that hard work that I had been doing for so long finally paid off in a big way!

Talk more about that day. Here you were on a Factory Yamaha, and on one of your favorite tracks…
First of all, I felt very good in practice and I actually qualified with the second fastest lap time. After that I was just really focusing, and hoping to get somewhere on the podium at the end of the day. In the first moto I got off to a pretty bad start, but I was able to move through the pack pretty quickly and actually caught up to fifth place within a couple laps, but then I crashed.  After I got up and got going again I figured that I had totally ruined my day, but I just kept pushing and pushing, and surprisingly enough I caught back up to sixth where I eventually finished. Then I then missed my gate pick for the start of moto two and had to line up where I was starting on the very far outside, but I jumped out of the gate so fast that I still rounded turn one in about fifth or sixth. After a while I worked my way up to second with Chad [Reed] in front of me. He later crashed, and I went by for the lead. At first I made a couple mistakes for a few laps while I was leading, but then calmed down and rode my own race – and won!

At what point in that second moto did you realize that you had taken the overall win?
I honestly didn’t know until I got up to the podium!

That win was already after you had signed on with the MotoConcepts Team for 2010 right?
Yes, that’s true. Then later when they said that we would be on Yamahas I was pretty pumped – I like the blue bikes!  I avoided all the late silly season stress which was for sure a good thing to miss.

  • Goerke feels much more confident about his chances on the 450.
And now you’ve been riding the all-new Yamaha YZ450F right?
Yes I have, I really love the new 2010, and it’s an especially fun bike to ride. I’m definitely a better rider on the 450. I’ve always felt that I was too big for a 250F. The new 450 certainly has all the power that I need.

At this point in December are you ready for Anaheim 1?
Physically I am definitely ready, I just have a little more testing time to get my bike completely dialed in. Then I will be 100% ready for the series opener.

Obviously you are capable of winning an AMA Motocross national, so where do you see yourself in supercross?
I plan on being a consistent top five guy and getting some podiums. I feel that I am a lot more mature now, and that I have a very solid program going on. I feel like I will do much better in Supercross this next year as I am on the bigger bike now. I want to be top five at the opener, and then in the series as well.

I know that you are busy getting to travel out to California, Matt, so any last words?
I’d just like to add in a big thanks to my mom and dad, Shane Yeagan, Keith Oelerich, and my fiancée Erin for helping me to get here!