At the end of the 2009 motocross season in New England, I watched a young kid named Josh Clark win NESC motos over names like John Dowd, Tony Lorusso, and Keith Johnson. Over the next month I talked to his family and lined up a tryout for him with the Warthog team. Josh was an easy rider for the Warthog team to help, because his work ethic is at the level of the top pros. One of the things I tell people about Clark is he has all the pieces of the puzzle to make it in the pro ranks. His attitude, training, progression, focus, and drive make him a team manager’s dream.
Since October he has been learning to ride supercross from scratch and progressing at a rapid rate. Coming into the 2010 supercross series, Clark’s goal was to make the night show then up his goals once they are achieved. Last week at San Francisco he made his first main event by finishing fourth in the heat race, beating a lot of factory-supported riders. Confidence and believing you belong at that level is very powerful, and Clark has a very supportive family watching from home in Connecticut, unable to attend the races at this time. They must have been so proud seeing him on Speed channel last week. Clark is a true privateer chasing a dream and accomplishing his goals. His goal is to get on a factory-supported team by next year and I believe he will.
Josh Clark: Thanks! The day went good, I mean, I had a good feeling going into it and just went out there and did what I had to do, which was go out, be calm and ride like I know how to ride.
How do you think your year has gone so far?
I think my supercross season as gone awesome for my first year; making all the night shows and getting a fourth in my heat at San Francisco which put me in the main. Each week I’m progressing more and more. Now my goal is a top fifteen in San Diego.
I know you train very hard. Take me through a normal day for you.
Well, my trainer works us really hard. We wake up every morning, five days a week, around 7:00 a.m. and usually go for a run, with a cardio workout video. Then we go out to the track, and work on all kinds of different drills, like standing up, no brakes, no clutch. Doing that makes us challenge ourselves, making me more comfortable with different situations. I’ve always trained hard and when I train I put in the extra bit every time to feel like I’m more prepared on race day.
How did if feel running up front in your heat and beating a lot of good guys?
Honestly, it didn’t feel any different cause I just ran my race and rode the pace they were running. It felt unbelievable to finish that race and look back and see how many big guys I beat. Know I know I belong up there and am capable of running their speed.
Now that you know you can run up there what are your goals?
I don’t want to set to high of standards, just because I want to focus on one day, one weekend at a time. Now that I know I can make a main, I believe I can finish top fifteen and better.
What would you say is the hardest thing for you in supercross?
Well, at first it was the whoops, which still is a weakness, but my trainer has been really good in working with me and getting my confidence up in the whoops. In the heat races I was getting a little intimated at first, but now I’m very comfortable and don’t let anyone push me around. When I go to the line, I know I want it more than anyone and truly believe I’m going to progress into a top ten rider.
So what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Well, I’m finishing out the next couple rounds and then I’m planning on racing Indy and Daytona in the 450 class. I think it will be good because I want to get all the experience I can. I’m getting better every time and the experience is helping so much with my confidence.
He’s so proud of me, ever since I put a leg over a motorcycle. When I called him after I made the main, it sounded like he was going to cry. He’s so proud and how far I have come.
I know it’s still very early, but what are your plans for the nationals?
As of right now I’m planning on doing all the Nationals in the 450 class. I’m in the best of shape I have ever been in right now, I’m feeling very confident with myself, and I plan on being in the top ten.
Now that you have qualified for a national and a supercross, do you feel like you belong at this level?
Absolutely. I mean, I’m not scared, I know I belong here and can run with those guys. A lot of people complain about the bike, but isn’t about the bike; I had a stock motor when I made the main at San Francisco. Once I get to the top ten, I believe all my hard work will pay off and doors will open up for me. Then I will have a faster bike and starts will be easier. I try to never complain because I’m just so thankful in being at this level. I also think people complain about the bikes and whatnot because they are looking for excuses, instead of admitting they aren’t doing their homework right or riding bad. But back to the question, I truly believe I belong here now and know I’m just beginning.
Well, good luck with the rest of the season! Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Thanks, Chris, I appreciate it. I would like to thank my mom, dad and grandparents for being there for me since day one. I’d also like to thank Confused Clothing, Warthog Racing, Fly, DeVol, DeCal Works, Longshot Racing, Jardine, Xpro, H.A. Latham movers, Vortex, Dunlop tires, and all the positive people that are cheering for me.