"My Job is to Re-Energize Team USA" | Paul Perebijnos on RaiseIt4USA 5

Paul Perebijnos has organized a golf tournament fund raiser for MXdN Team USA to help with expenses and bring back the camaraderie of the past!

As Motocross of Nations at RedBud approaches, there are endless loose ends to be tied. The financial expense of the event is a great one usually incurred by the OEM’s, teams, AMA, and sometimes the riders themselves. Renthal Off-Road Manager, Paul Perebijnos, is organizing a golf tournament to help raise funds for Team U.S.A. It’s an event he hopes will build camaraderie and grow into an annual event. #Raiseit4USA

     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.

 


Vital MX: With MXdN just around the corner, tell us a little bit of background on why this event is so important to you.

Paul Perebijnos: I think it starts out with being a fan of motocross, right? I grew up and started racing in the early nineties. I was a huge Jeremy McGrath fan. I remember Team USA going over to Europe and smoking everybody with McGrath and Lamson and all their new Fox gear and their red, white, and blue stuff. Those were early memories of Motocross of Nations for me. I was racing my whole life. I turned professional at 18 and I started working in the industry as a mechanic at about 22. I got a chance to be a part of Motocross of Nations in the past as a mechanic with Pro Circuit, and with Team Great Britain with DeanO a couple of times. So, I've been through it on that side as well, like preparing bikes and sending them over. I've been at some of these big races like France and other places. I was at St. Jean the last time Team USA won. Just the feeling, the hair on the back of your neck and goose bumps all day long. The feeling that you get, you can't really experience it anywhere else. It's literally the highest. I believe it's the highest level of motocross. I'm passionate about it. I'm obviously an American and this race is important to me. And we have really, really good athletes here. I think we've lost our way a little bit with this race in the past. It's become difficult to attend. I wanted to do something to try to correct that.

Vital MX: You were recently named Team USA Development Consultant. Tell us what that title means and how that came to be.

Paul: It started back in late June. I was at the Snowshoe GNC and I was talking to a good friend of mine, Antti Kallonen. He's the Director of Off-Road Racing at KTM. He puts on a golf event to raise money for Team USA to go to the International Six Days. I always support his event from Renthal because we want that off road community to know that Renthal cares about their really big race. And we want to support Team USA to try to win every year. The North American market is really important to us. That night I couldn't put the idea down. I was like, ‘Why don't we do something like this for Motocross of Nations?’. I think it takes a special person that has a lot of different connections on both sides that understands racing and is accepted into that racing world. I've been a mechanic. I've won a national championship in the past with Dean Wilson. So, a lot of those guys in the pits, under the awnings and the semis are my friends. Since transitioning to working for Pro Taper and now for Renthal, I've learned a whole other side of the industry and how the commerce of the entire industry works and the part that racing plays. I started talking to friends, meaning team managers like Lars Lindstrom, Jeremy Coker, Dan Fahie, Ian Harrison, and Mitch Payton. All these guys will pick up my phone call. I started to take the temperature of Motocross of Nations and Team USA and how everyone felt about it, how it was working. I thought if I don't do it, who will do it? Lars and Jeremy Coker both spoke to Mike Pelletier on behalf of me at RedBud. Then Mike and I started talking. He loved the ideas and simply felt that I had to officially be part of the team for this to work and to officialize the tournament. People needed to see that I was part of this thing and could have some control of the funds and what we were doing with the money that we raised. My job is to re-energize Team USA. The golf tournament that we're putting on after Pala, the #Raiseit4USA Golf Tournament, is one thing we can do in the future. And the other added benefit is I'm going to be another person that is focused on Team USA at RedBud and at future Motocross of Nations. There's a lot of work to be done and a lot of eyes that need to be focused on Team USA. Everyone has other jobs and things to do and I think it's hard. I can be an added person that the race teams and the riders and the team managers know and trust. I could be another set of eyes to help Roger, Christina Denney, and Mike Pelletier and everybody on Team USA so we can try to get our guys working together to be organized, communicate well, and just make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Vital MX: You've been vocal about some decisions in the past and changes you felt need to be made. Has there been any pushback from Roger DeCoster or anyone else? 

Paul: No, not at all. Honestly, I want to thank Roger for being so excepting of me and this idea. He's been awesome. We know each other already through our Renthal relationship. He's been communicative and accepting. In my experience so far everything has been a team decision. I think this is just the start of re-energizing this thing and trying to switch the narrative in the pits a little bit about going to this race. I think it's become a burden for a lot of these teams. It's difficult to go. It's expensive to go. So, my goal is to get people excited about going again and to prioritize this race again. I think it's really important. It's important to our U.S. fans, it's important to our U.S. industry. I mean, the last time we won was 2011. Social media was barely around back then. I want our U.S. riders to feel that feeling and know what it's like to win the biggest motocross race on the planet, because that's really what it is. It's our Olympics of motocross

Vital MX:  You mentioned the team unity and making decisions as a team. I've heard you talk about wanting a neutral compound for the camaraderie and having the guys all under one tent. What are some of the ideas that you want to make sure to implement? 

Paul: Mainly our guys spending more time together is going to be important. The golf tournament itself is part of that. I really hope we can get most of Team USA to play a round of golf. So, they can hang out with each other away from the dirt bike track and spend four hours together just hanging out and chatting. It all started to switch years ago when a lot of companies were growing and started developing unified global presences. When riders and bikes of country teams were no longer starting to park together because they had to stay at their rig because that's where all their sponsorship branding was and their suspension tech and all those different things. I want to take a page out of Team France’s book. Every year they create a unified, neutral compound that is specifically for their team. And that's really what a lot of this fundraising event will go to. This year at RedBud is a little bit easier. But we need to be able to afford to pay for something like that at Ernee in France next year as well. I felt it would be too big of an ask to try to get all the bikes to park together. I don't think we need that, but I think we do need a place to go that's highly exclusive, that's comfortable, that's climate controlled, that has catering to where our guys can hang out. We can watch video. We can eat meals together and spend time together away from the noise. And then you go back to your bike, you go back to your semi, you get your bike and go to the starting line and do your job. This is not something that we're contracted to do or our riders have to do. And it's expensive to go.

Vital MX: Many people may think the cost is covered by the AMA or the OEMs. Not the case.

Paul: The AMA does lend some support, but in the grand scheme of things it's not nearly enough to get an entire staff and team overseas or even to RedBud. These riders need a mechanic, they need their team manager, they need a suspension technician, they need their electronics guy in order to show up correct. And we are Team USA. I believe we're the greatest nation in the world and I want to show up correct. The way we show up at the Olympics. I want to have the best gear, the best compound, the best bikes, the best riders. We have a great history in this event. And honestly, we just need to get more organized and have some funding to do it correctly.

Vital MX: In order to do just that, you have a golf tournament and auction set up at Red Hawk Golf Club in Temecula, Ca on September 4th. That’s the day after Pala. Tell us about that and who is involved in organizing.

Paul: Right now it's mostly just me and my wife. This is what I do at Renthal. I launch products, I organize events.  I try to make Renthal the coolest brand in our space. And that's really what this is. It started out as a hashtag which has turned into the name, and the call sign for this event. We have a lot of riders coming. We have a lot of sponsors that continue to come on board. It's being updated daily. My wife is very skilled as far as graphic design goes. She's built the entire website, she's collecting all the funds, she's updating as sponsors come in and creating social media graphics for people to share. We're treating this as a brand and it's a passion project for myself. I've been in this industry my entire life. I think it's a good time to give back, to do something, to organize this. 

Vital MX: You mentioned through text that there were some big developments that came up. What's new? 

Paul: So things are still coming to fruition every single day. Right now I'm really proud of the sponsors that we have. (See below for list of sponsors) We secured a deal with Spot Network TV to broadcast the event live. And they're going to be donating a portion of their viewership to the Team USA Fund. Dubya USA is actually hosting an event at John Anderson's father in law's, Tom White, museum. He's going to be donating all the proceeds of that event to the Team USA Fund. We have a lot of cool prizes. There's going to be an opportunity for you to win stuff just for being entered in the tournament. We have lunch being provided by Holeshot Pizza. They're going to bring their ovens down and set up at the outdoor pavilion that we have at the course and have pizza ready for everyone as they finish their rounds. You'll get a sleeve of Team USA golf balls to commemorate the event. You'll be entered into a drawing for a Raiseit4USA branded Stacyc, you'll get to compete in the putting challenge on the practice putting green for a year supply of Ethika product. We're giving away a $1,000 gift card for Motosport.com. And again, that's just for signing up. And then there's a lot of cool contests on the course as well. We will be giving a nice trophy to the winning team and medals for each player of the top three teams. We're going to have a long drive contest on one of the holes. So, if you drive your ball the longest you'll get a set of custom wheels from Dubya. We have a 'closest to the pin' contest, and you can win a driver, a custom wedge, and a custom putter from Cobra Puma Golf. And we have a couple other long drive and hole in one ideas and prizes that I'm working on. And if one comes to fruition, I'll be very excited to share it because you'll hopefully be able to drive away in something if you're able to sink a hole in one. It's coming together. We can accept 144 golfers. I really hope we can get as many people there as possible. Everything's going to go to Team USA and I hope to be able to pass out some big checks to team managers. Then I hope this thing grows year after year because we're going to need even more money next year to go to France and do it properly. And it's totally wide open to the public. We'd love for you to come out and play if you can. If you can't play, we have a donation link on the website. 

For all the details visit:

RaiseIt4USA.com


Event Sponsors:

Renthal, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, Cobra Puma Golf, Guts Racing, Fly Racing, KTM, Epoxy It, Husqvarna, GasGas, Dubya USA, Honda, 100%, Spot Network, Ethika, Maxima, Zingg Inc, Dunlop, Stacyc, Works Connection

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