Racer X: JT, congrats on winning the German SX title. Is this your first major championship? Jason Thomas: Yeah, it is. This is the first real championship that I’ve won, so it was definitely a big accomplishment for me.
I know you’ve been racing over there for quite a while. How close have you come to winning that championship in the past?
Well, they got rid of the championship series. The promoters had some infighting, and they got rid of the points system. It was unfortunate, because I felt I would’ve been in a position to win championships there before. I’d done really well and felt like I was the best guy at times, but there was never any organization with it. So when they brought it back this year, I knew I had to be ready, and it was always a big goal for me.
How many rounds was the series?
There were four race weekends, so eight nights of racing. The last two weekends, the Sunday race didn’t count for points. I’m not sure why, but it was a total of eight nights.
Who finished second and third in the championship? Cole Siebler finished second, and we were really close going into the last weekend. He was pretty banged up and tried to soldier through it, but he definitely wasn’t 100 percent. It’s not how I wanted to win, but it was kind of out of my control. Kyle Chisholm had such a strong weekend that he got into third by one point, so it was cool having three Americans sweeping the championship.
I’m looking at some photos from that race this past weekend. Did you win a dual-sport bike or something?
Yeah, I actually won a Supermoto bike, but I sold it on Sunday because you can’t really send anything like that back here, because you’ve got to pay tax on it to get it out of the country and there are just a lot of things to deal with. So it’s easier to just try and find someone to buy it.
What else did you win for the championship?
I got a few bonuses, and the purse money was good. More than that, it’s just being able to sit back and know I won—I’m pretty excited about it.
Well, in order to secure the championship in Germany, you had to miss Anaheim 1, and that’s probably the first time you missed A1 in a very long time, right?
Yeah, obviously, it wasn’t very easy on my team for me not to do at Anaheim 1. I feel like I’m the team leader over there, and they were pretty bummed. BTOSports.com is the title sponsor over there this year, and I owe them a huge thanks for letting me do that. It was a huge deal for me to go win that championship, and everybody was really understanding about it, so I’m really grateful for that.
As everyone probably knows by know, your team switched from Honda to Suzuki recently. How has the transition been for you guys?
Honestly, it couldn’t have gone much better. Obviously, when there’s a big change like that, you don’t know what to expect. I was just in a spot last year where I wasn’t really happy with the bike and setup, and I was hoping for a big change, and that’s what we got. Even just looking at my results only, the change from last year to this year, this year has been a lot better. Even when I had a good result last year, I didn’t feel like I was riding up to my potential.
Last year you decided to ride the Eastern Regional Lites series, but this year you’re back on a 450, right?
Yeah, I’ll be lining her up this weekend in Phoenix. I’m pretty excited about my race bike—it’s probably the best bike I’ve ever had.
It seems like you’re firing on all cylinders coming off that championship.
Yeah, I definitely feel like I have a lot of momentum. We were counting this weekend, and I think I did something like 212 laps in Dortmund. We did three starts a night at least, and four on Sunday, so you get a lot of time on the bike. I’m really looking forward to this weekend.
I’m sure you scoured the results from Anaheim and probably watched it on TV. Anything surprise you?
Yeah, I actually stayed up really late in Germany and listened to the webcast. Obviously, Dungey came out and surprised me the most. I didn’t expect him to lead seventeen laps. I was also bummed out for Chad [Reed]. We had spent a lot of time preparing for the season, and I owe a lot to him and Tim Ferry for getting me ready for this title. Speed-wise, I was expecting Bubba to have a little bit more. That was the first time I seen someone put time on Bubba, other than Ricky, maybe.
How about Windham?
Yeah, he was strong. He actually passed up into third, which was pretty incredible. I know he probably wasn’t surprised, but he had to be happy with himself after that race.
Where do you see the #62 BTOSports.com/BBMX/Palmetto Suzuki finishing?
It’s tough to say. I’m just going to take it one step at a time. My bike has been really good on the starts, so that’s what it’s going to take in the heat race to get into the main. If I could get top-fifteen this first weekend, that’d be awesome. I don’t have any real expectations. I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I’m just going to take it one step at a time.
Oh, how’d your fantasy team do?
Not too bad. Actually, it would’ve done really well, but I took Chad. I think I’ll be up there this weekend.
In closing, you want to give anyone a shout-out?
Yeah, definitely. My team in Germany was awesome, and I owe them a huge thanks—Team 20. It was my first year with them and I felt like I came through for them. I’ve honestly never felt pressure like that in my life, so I couldn’t imagine what Chad and James [Stewart] and those guys go through with the pressure here. Also a big thanks to my team here for even letting me do it. Forrest, Vince at BTOSports.com, Fly Racing—it’s a big effort to get a team to the races and for the main 450 guy to miss Anaheim 1. It’s a big deal, but everyone was super cool with it. I’m glad I could at least win the championship and make it worth it.
Will you be defending your #1 plate in Germany next year?
Yes, I’d love to go back and defend it.