Privateer Profile:  Gannon Audette

Privateer Profile Gannon Audette

October 28, 2011 10:30am
After winning the prestigious 450 A title at Loretta Lynn’s in 2010, Gannon Audette was a hot commodity entering 2011. Signed by DNA Shred Stix/Star Yamaha, Audette was expected to flourish immediately. But like many rookies, it took time for Audette to adjust to the dog-eat-dog world of professional supercross. By season’s end, Audette was beginning to show the speed that garnered him such high prestige when he entered the pro ranks. Finishing inside the top ten in three of the last four rounds of the East Coast SX Series, the writing was on the wall for Audette to carry that momentum outdoors. It never materialized. Audette showed flashes of speed, but struggled with consistency. Signed to a one-year deal, Audette was not re-signed by Star Racing. Wasting little time, Dragon Fuels/AG Motorsports/Cernic’s KTM was quick to pounce on the talented Minnesota native, signing him for the 2012 season. We caught up with Audette earlier this week to talk about his new deal and his expectations for his sophomore season.

Racer X: You recently signed with the Dragon Racing Fuels/AG Motorsports/Cernic’s team. Can you tell us how that came about and your thoughts on the new deal?
Gannon Audette: They called us, I want to say, with three rounds left of the outdoors and we were talking to them. They came up with a good thing and they were really nice to us. I tested the bike and I really liked it. It just went from there. We signed a contract and it’s just really good to be on the team. I’m looking forward to it.

You rode Suzukis for most of your amateur career and then made the switch to Yamahas for your rookie season. What are your thoughts on the KTM?
I like it. The KTM definitely corners really well, and I think I struggled a lot with that last year. I think that kind of hurt me last year. I don’t know, we’ll see, I guess. But I just really like the way it corners and the way it handles. I adapted to it really fast when I got on it. Overall, I think it’s just a really good bike and we’ll see this year.

Audette finished a solid thirteenth overall in the East Coast SX Series despite missing three rounds.
Photo: Simon Cudby

You were on DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing team last year. Were you surprised that you didn’t get re-signed by the team, or did you only have a one-year deal?
Well, you know, it was a one-year deal. But it was my chance to prove myself and they obviously didn’t think I’d proved myself, so I don’t know.

Do you know what coast you’re going to be riding next year?
I will be doing the East Coast again.

Do you know who your teammates will be next season?
I guess my teammate’s going to be Lance Vincent.

You had a steady rookie season, finishing 13th in supercross, and 15th outdoors. Do you think you met your own expectations this year?
A little bit, yeah. I thought my supercross season was pretty good. I was kind of up and down a little bit, but I think that for the most part it was a good season. And then in Vegas, I ended up crashing in practice and knocking myself out and not racing. I really like supercross and I thought I did pretty good in it. I didn’t make it to too many events and then I didn’t race Vegas, so I ended up with 13th. But I thought that was pretty good for being my rookie season. Then the outdoors, I don’t know. I liked it, but I have a lot to do for next year still, so we’ll see. I thought it was an all right year for outdoors and my supercross was pretty good.

You’ve got a year under your belt now. You kind of know what to expect. What are your expectations going into next year?
For sure top ten. I’m really, really hoping to shoot for top ten next year. Even top five in supercross and hopefully some top fives outdoors. Just train and see what you can do and see what it brings you. I definitely want to be in the top ten throughout the whole year, overall, in both motocross and supercross.

Audette showed flashes of speed outdoors, but struggled with his consistency.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

You’re going to have a pretty big layoff seeing as you’re racing the East Coast. What are you going to be doing during this time in between to prepare yourself?
I’ve just been going to the gym and doing bike rides and I think I’m going to be going to [Ricky] Carmichael’s again this year for supercross. I’m just going to go out there and put everything into check that I learned from last year and go from there.

You’re a Minnesota native, as is Ryan Dungey. Has he helped you at all? Have you trained with him much?
Yeah. Last year, I went to [Ricky] Carmichael’s pretty much the whole year and he was my riding partner for supercross and motocross the whole time and it really helped me a lot. He’s really done a lot for me. To spend time and grow up together with him, that’s a really cool thing to have and it’s really fun. I enjoy it.

And now you’re both going to be on the KTM next year. Are you planning on training with him with him this year as well?
Yeah, that’s the plan. We’re going to be down at the farm, me and him, for supercross. So now that we’re both on the KTM, I think it’ll be a fun year.