Robbie Wageman is back with Team Solitaire for 2024, the same team he rode for in 2022. He has high expectations come next week’s gate drop at Anaheim 1 and like most privateers, has a long-term goal of making it into the SuperMotocross World Finals to make some serious money. Our Matt Rice caught up with him at Feld Motor Sports' SuperMotocross media days to get his thoughts on the new Yamahas, off-season racing and more.
Racer X Online: Take us through the ending of last year. How did supercross go towards the end? What did you do?
Robbie Wageman: Yeah, supercross was pretty good. A little up and down, struggled a bit at the beginning but started getting better towards the end and did a few outdoors, ended up getting hurt, but came back, did a few and then I kind of just ended up taking the rest of the summer off and hanging out. But I'm happy with the way my season went. I’d like to be a little bit better for this following year. But, yeah, ended up doing some overseas racing. So that was fun. So, just been enjoying myself.
Alright. Those off-season races, how were they?
They were rad. Yeah, I went over to Australia, did the Australian Supercross Series, did a couple of the World Supercross stuff as well. Enjoyed myself over there. Got a couple of podiums and a lot of gate drops. So, I think that was good for me, improved on a lot of things. So, I'm excited for the upcoming season.
There hasn’t been much of an off-season for you, but how has it been?
Like I said, I took some of the summer off here, so I did a lot of jet skiing and stuff like that. Never really stopped riding and then I went over to Australia and did the racing. So, it was actually pretty sweet. I'm glad I went over there and did that. I feel like it's helped me a lot more coming into the season.
So, talk about the team, what do you guys got going on and what are your expectations going into 2024.
Yeah, the team's been awesome. Ryan Clark and Chris Elliott over there. They're taking good care of me. Bikes are sick, they're solid. So, just been grooving. I'd like to start out top ten and hopefully just climb the ladder. I'd love to crack a top five. My best finish is seventh. So, I'd love to crack a top five in there.
So, you're gonna do to 250 West? Do you have plans for any outdoors and SMX?
I plan to do as much east coast [450SX] stuff as I can, and do a select few outdoors, you know, the ones that are close enough to drive to. And then I would love to make it into the playoffs for sure. The SMX stuff that's kind of my main goal.
So, basically as far as expectations, they're focused on supercross?
Yeah, our team is technically a 250 West team only and then they're gonna help me out, the semi won't go to the East Coast rounds, but I think they're gonna help me out, like getting there on a 450 and stuff like that. So, I'll do as many east coast stuff as I can. I'd like to just keep racing.
So, you will actually be doing the entire season between 250 and 450?
I'm gonna try, I don't know if I'll do all the east coast ones, but I'll do most of them. There might be a couple that, you know, that are too far to go.
SMX, if you make it in, it's a big payout. How do you feel your chances are?
I think if I have a good supercross season and stuff and do a few outdoors and have good races at outdoors, I could see myself top ten in the SMX. Like, if I can get good starts and just stay up there at the beginning. I could see myself being a top ten dude at the last SMX round. So that's kind of where I'm at right now. It's where I wanna be.
With you and Cole Thompson riding West Coast and then Dominique Thury is gonna do East Coast, how's the team environment?
The team environments rad, like everyone on there is awesome. Me and Cole and even Thury we all get along super well and me and Cole we ride together, we help each other at the track. So, we ride each other's bikes and just learn off of each other. Honestly, I think it's super beneficial.
Have you guys been doing any surfing?
Haven't done any surfing lately. I want to get back out there but just been so busy. I was gone for nearly two months, I've been gone forever I feel like. But it was kind of sick. It's summer in Australia right now. So I kind of had like two summers! All the people I was out there with they have stand ups and boats. So, we were like jet skiing and wake surfing and stuff out there. So that was pretty cool.
How do you like the new Yamahas? You are on the 250 which is a totally new bike.
Yeah, I've had one day on it, but so far, it's been sick, I really like it. So, I'm excited to do some testing on it and test some different clamps and engine mounts and stuff like that. So, I think the new bike would be good for me. Change will be good for me.
What's the biggest difference between the two? Because what did you ride last year, Suzuki? I mean, have you actually been able to compare the previous Yamaha to this year's?
Yeah, I've been riding the last year’s model Yamaha the last couple of months. Like I said, I got one day on the new one and you give and lose a little bit for both, but the new one definitely turns better and feels strong. So, I'm excited to get some more days under my belt on that thing and get going.