As we push closer to January and the opening round of AMA Supercross riders and teams are starting their preparations for another chance at glory. The Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha team is no different. One of their marquee riders, Garrett Marchbanks, recently got back in the saddle and he joined the guys on the MotoXpod Show for some insight into his plans and goals.
For the full interview, check out the YouTube video right here. If you're interested in the condensed written version, scroll down just a bit further.
Jamie Guida – Vital MX: You’ve recently got back to training over at ClubMX and had their annual Open House. How was that? Garrett Marchbanks: Oh, man, it's fun. It's a cool experience. There's a lot of people that come and get to watch us train and ride for the day. It's cool to go watch all the young kids ride and even the older vet guys. They get to go ride the big track that we train on and our public track.
Vital MX: So, if Joe Public comes to this event, do they actually get on the track at the same time as you and the other Club riders?
Garrett: If we rider outdoors, yeah. When I was there, when I signed to the team, I tested during the Open House, and I rode with all the general public.
Vital MX: I was wondering because I feel like that would go all bad with your teammate Phil. I could see him running up on a 15-year-old kid on an 85 and give him the throat slit gesture.
Marchbanks: Oh, yeah. I mean, he did that to me when I was there as a 12-year-old. So, I wouldn't be surprised.
Vital MX: You raced the 250 in supercross and then a 450 outdoors. Will you be 450 full time in ’23?
Marchbanks: No, we're staying down on a 250 for supercross. And, outdoors next year is up in the air.
TJ Smith – MotoXpod Show: Is that a team decision or do you prefer the 250 in supercross?
Marchbanks: Honestly, I wouldn't mind jumping to the 450 class. But at the same time, I still have a lot to prove. I just turned 21. I'm still really young. I'd like to get back up there on the podium consistently. I'd like to go for a title in these next three years in the 250 class.
Vital MX: Was there something you learned this season that will progress you into next season?
Marchbanks: Just not getting sick. I got COVID after round two. If you watch Oakland, I faded hard. I could barely do the heat race. A lot of us got it and it just wiped us out. I didn't really feel 100% until A3, and that's when I felt like I got back to my speed again. I won the Heat race and had a killer start. But I hit a rock in the first turn and fell and came from last to fourth again. This year in supercross I had a lot more speed than I did the year prior, but it was crappy luck. Then at Salt Lake, I messed my shoulder up pretty good. I only rode one time during outdoors before Pala. I got one day of training in and then just kind of sent it and hoped for the best.
TJ: Does the SMX playoff situation have any effect on whether you race outdoors on a 450?
Marchbanks: We haven't talked about that. We'll see what we're doing for those rounds. I have no idea.
Vital MX: I would think that would be a big deal for ClubMX to try to get you guys in the playoffs for the SuperMotocross World Championship. I think it's a half million to win for the 250 class.
Marchbanks: Wow. Yeah, that's pretty sweet.
TJ: I think he just decided he's in. You mentioned coming through the pack. Do you put yourself in a different mindset when passing different levels of riders?
Marchbanks: 100%. There were so many rounds I came from damn near last and my starts were terrible. Once you get around 5th or 6th, that's when I noticed it gets pretty hard because you're spending half the race passing dudes and working your way through the pack. And then once you get to that five, six, seven spot they're just hard enough to make it difficult on you. And if you're already tired 10 minutes in and you're just trying to pass a guy, you don't realize how much more energy you use when you're coming from way back.
Scott Thomson – MotoXpod Show: From a rider’s perspective, how do you feel about SMX being one full series?
Marchbanks: I know it’s silly, but the thing I kind of get bummed about is it's messing up my hunting season. We only get a month off out of the whole year to go elk hunt and that's my vacation with my friends and family back home. We saw the news on Instagram and my dad calls me. He goes, “Are you serious? That ruined our hunt for next year”. But I love racing.
Scott: I feel you fit the mold for the ClubMX team. Have you had any other offers and what would it take for you to leave that team?
Garrett: I haven't had big offers from anywhere else. It's amazing here. You get your freedom; you get to go home and we're out here in the middle of nowhere. It reminds me of home. In Southern California you have to travel everywhere. You get the same two test tracks. Brandon Hass is always changing the tracks. We have multiple tracks to train on. If we get bored at supercross we get to maybe ride outdoors once or twice a week on the sand track. I get along with everyone. They come over and hang out up in my cabin on the facility on Sunday. We all watch football together and cookout.
TJ: One of the listeners on YouTube asked if you look at a rider like Kyle Chisholm who has had a long, consistent career and whether you would desire one similar?
Marchbanks: It's hard to look at it that way right now. I'm 21, growing up through the amateur ranks I was a winning kid. When I rode for Mitch Payton, the plan was to get a title over there. It never happened. I trained with Justin Brayton he's a dude that's 36 or 37 now. I've watched him a bit growing up through the years and he's had some great teams and he's had some so-so teams. He's had a very successful career and it's been a very long career also. If my career doesn’t go exactly like I wanted with wins and titles, I want it to be just like Justin Brayton. You just race and race and race and race and make a living out of it. I’ll just keep trucking along. Keep doing my thing. I want to get back on the box where I belong. I know I belong up there with those top three guys in the mix and hopefully make a run at it this year.
Vital MX: I saw you taught a couple of schools recently. Talk about teaching.
Marchbanks: I love teaching kids and even the older guys. It's just something I love to do. A lot of people helped me out as a young kid and for me to go home and have ten, 15, 20 kids out there at a local track in Wyoming. The first one was a huge turnout. My buddies helped me set that up. That's something I'd like to do when I retire. Watching a kid that was struggling at the beginning of the day, and after a three-day camp starts hitting jumps and turning a lot better, it's pretty cool to watch.
Scott: What do you think about being teammates with Jeremy Martin?
Marchbanks: I rode with his brother Alex for a while, and he taught me a lot. Jeremy's a very intense dude in practice, and that's how I am in practice also. It's definitely cool to have someone that's on my level of intensity and will push myself. And I feel like I push him a little bit. I know he's a bad dude on outdoors and it's hard to keep up a little bit. But on supercross, I feel like we had a couple of good battles in 2020 and the past couple of years. We've been pushing each other and it's only day four on supercross. He and I get along super well and I'm excited to work with him this off season and hopefully we push each other and we crush it.