Jo Shimoda is off to a good start in his return to Honda. Shimoda turned pro with the defunct GEICO Honda in 2019, then raced with the team in 2020 before it had to close the doors on the race shop. Now, after three years with Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, Shimoda is back on a CRF250R. His made his public debut in his return to red over the weekend at the Paris Supercross and claimed the Prince of Paris (250cc) honors by winning the event overall. After the race, our Steve Matthes caught up to the #30 for his take on his maiden overseas one-off event.
Racer X: Jo Shimoda, Honda [HRC] debut. Really couldn't ask for a better performance. You had a couple of bad starts that hurt you from winning [the individual races]. But dude, I don't know if you put a wheel wrong, like at any point. It was great.
Jo Shimoda: Yeah, I'm honestly, I'm really stoked on how everything went. Yeah, speaking of the start. So, I think I got four holeshot out of six, only [didn’t get] two of them. I mean, I messed up really, really like messed up. But no, honestly surprising how like the bike handles. I have no stress on the whoops, which I never had that feeling. So, honestly, like I'm surprising myself, right? [Laughs] So, no, it was really cool.
Do you like coming here? Did you like Paris?
Yeah, Paris awesome. I think the event's just [a] different vibe. So, I enjoyed it.
And this was from what I understand, this was Hunter's bike from the [Motocross of] Nations, right? So, put your suspension on it, put your clamps on it, like how far off was it of the bike you've been riding or is it, was it the same?
Yeah, like you said that we started off Hunter's base. Obviously, like everyone's riding differently. So, we did some test days, week after week and just a small improvement, little percentage every week. I mean, I think looking back to the race now, for sure there is some stuff that I need to be a little more consistent. But no, it seems to be, like I'm telling everyone the first impression when I rode it, came so natural. So, that's the thing I loved.
And Lars [Lindstrom] was saying on my show when he came in, you're going to ride West is the plan?
I mean, at this point like, yeah, why not, right?
I mean, you want to peak when you're ready, right? Have you done many of these before these off-season races? I don't feel like you have, but have you done anything like this?
No, never. Yeah, first time.
So, I was gonna say, what do you think of how many times you have to race and then you have the super pole? Like it's a lot, right?
Yes. Yeah. On first day I felt really, really good. So, after first day, the race ends at like 11:30 I slept at 2 a.m. woke up at like 7:30. In the morning, I felt like complete shit. Like, it was hard for me to even wake up! But yeah, I mean, last moto I was honestly like so tired, felt a little bit sick. I did three espresso shots plus Arma fire and almost lost my front end on the double! [Laughs] So…
Wow. Were you like vibrating or? [Laughs]
I just had to, you know? But yeah, I just didn’t want to throw it away. So, yeah.
And you won a pit bike?
Yeah, that's what I heard. [Laughs]
How are you gonna get it back?
I guess they're gonna ship it to me, but I don't know if I will ride them. But yeah, that's cool.
It's cool. Hey, congratulations, man. Great debut on ride red and, yeah, I look forward to seeing you doing more winning, right? Come Anaheim?
Yeah. See you guys there. I'll be training hard and hopefully I can do some great things out there.