"It Was Just Me Versus Me and Riding the Track" | Ty Masterpool on Thunder Valley 3

Ty Masterpool talked to us about his ride at Thunder Valley, factory opportunities, working with his dad, and more.


Privateer Ty Masterpool has shown the sport numerous times that he has the speed to be successful. This past weekend in Colorado he shocked a few when he came from last to fifth in the first moto and caught and passed some of the best factory riders in the sport in the second moto. We called Ty up to get his thoughts on the race, the possibility of getting factory support, and more.

For the full interview, check out the Vital MX podcast right here. If you're interested in the condensed written version, scroll down just a bit further.

Jamie Guida - Vital MX: Congratulations on a killer ride at Thunder Valley. What's going on?

Ty Masterpool: Not much. I just finished doing some recovery stuff here, but I'm doing good.

Vital MX: We've seen you have great rides, but that ride in particular in Thunder Valley was pretty awesome to watch. In moto 1 they had you 25th at the end of the first lap, but you were farther back than that in the beginning. You rode all the way to fifth and then battled with some of the top factory riders in the series in moto 2. That had to feel awesome.

Ty: Yeah, it was awesome and pretty crazy. I went down in the first corner, so I was dead last. I was probably 15-20 seconds back. I don't know how I got up so fast, and I was moving everywhere around the track, just trying not to follow, picking lines, going anywhere and everywhere. It's still sinking in what I did. I'm really blessed, and it was a really good day.

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Vital MX: You even qualified third and had the speed all day.

Ty: I didn't want to qualify too far up because, being on a full privateer bike, I need to place myself around the factory guys. We had to strategize with the gate pick, but really good qualifying.

Vital MX: The ruts and the black dirt reminded me of your place at the 'His 946 Facility' in Paradise, Texas. 

Ty: The main reason we're based out here in Texas is for the facility and the dirt. We came back to Texas and did some testing in the DG (decomposed granite) dirt. We have multiple varieties of dirt there. We have DG feeling clay, and then we have red clay and sand. We can make it bottomless sand similar to Southwick. We came back there to practice in deep ruts, and we got the suspension tested. I only had one day on the suspension, so we really had to test it in that stuff, but I'm trying to make it as close as it can to race conditions.

Vital MX: Talk about the mental side of coming up through the pack and seeing Cooper Webb, Aaron Plessinger, and Dylan Ferrandis, a former 450 outdoor champion, and having to pass them.

Ty: The biggest thing was trying to focus on myself. It was just me versus me and me against the track. The plan stays the same if I'm in first or last. After watching it, it was pretty crazy. I was bummed that Dylan got me back on the last lap. These guys are so good, and I have a lot of respect for them. So, I was pretty bummed at first, but it's what you expect from those guys. They're super good. I was trying to focus on myself and act like it was another day at home. I felt I should have been standing up a little more and had some small stuff on the last lap, such as staying on the pegs more. I made some small mistakes, but we have all season to work on it. The biggest thing is to keep on improving and be here for the whole season.

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Vital MX: Can you keep this up? What is your program? Are you going to make every round and do the whole thing?

Ty: Yeah, for sure. Shout out to Peter Park, my physical trainer. I've been feeling the best I've ever felt and put on quite a bit of weight. I've finally fully grown into my body. I'm still growing and still maturing that way. I'm still figuring out my body, and I've put on close to 30 pounds this year. The biggest thing as a privateer right now is I only have one bike. We're trying to get more bikes and get everything steadier. I'll be at every round for the remainder of the season, trying to get as many points as possible to qualify for the finals.

Vital MX: You have Sport Clips on your shrouds as your title sponsor. Is this Sport Clips corporate or a local franchise? How does that work?

Ty: It's with corporate. We've been talking to them for a long time, so a big shout-out to Sport Clips. I'm excited to have them on board. We want to bring more outside sponsors into our sport and help it grow. Our sport is one of the coolest sports in the world, and we want to show the world what it is. 

Vital MX: With these results, the, "Give him a factory ride" comments start to come in. Would you even want one, or do you feel better on your own program? What do you want?

Ty: Obviously, I want the factory support. All these factory teams are super good. It's amazing how good they are. I'd love the factory support. 

Vital MX: If factory Kawasaki called tomorrow and said, "We want to bring you on", what do you feel you bring to the table, and what do you need to work on to be better at being on a team of that level?

Ty: The biggest thing is to be loyal to all the sponsors who helped me the last couple of years. I can't just abandon ship on them, but it's my job as an athlete to do the best that I can and make sure I'm working as hard. That's why I'm based out here in Texas. It's my job to make sure that I have all the right tools and the right people in my corner and that I'm doing the best that I can possibly do. That means the best tracks every day, and it's my responsibility. 

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Vital MX: We know you had some support from Star Yamaha, and things didn't work out there. I'd like to get your perspective on what happened.

Ty: I'm still close with those guys. My contract came to an end. It was kind of hard. It was during Covid, and there were a lot of people left without rides and just not enough spots. There were a lot of good amateur guys who went pro in the same year that I did, and I was in a weird spot. That was their decision, but we left on good terms. It was bad timing. 

Vital MX: Your parents were involved with professional skiing or Olympic skiing. Can you give us a little background on their coaching?

Ty: Yeah. If there was a better physical trainer, a better riding coach that I believed in, I would be doing that. I'm with my dad because I believe he's the best. He's coached in multiple Olympics and with Alpine ski racing, snowboarding, and all that stuff. He's been in the Olympics multiple times, and that's his backing. It's not like I'm with him because he's my dad. It's more because that's what we believe is the best. It's honestly really hard having your dad as your coach. He would gladly send me that way if we believed that there was someone better. My mom was a professional snowboarder as well. My dad competed also, and then he became a coach. They don't really talk about it. I have to freaking beg them to talk about stuff. I'm very blessed to have them in my corner.

Vital MX: We've heard rumors that teams have had disagreements with your dad. I'd like to get your side of that to clear the air.

Ty: He wants what's best for me. Once again, it's my job to do my best. Doing things the right way is never the easy way. I'm not based in Texas because I want to be home or I'm homesick. Honestly, I love the lifestyle out in California, but I'm here in Texas because that's where we believe it's the best. 

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Vital MX: I'm gathering the major teams, say, Star or KTM, want you in Florida, or Pro Circuit may want you in California. That's been one of the issues, I guess, because you want to be in Texas. That's where you feel is best, but the teams don't always agree.

Ty: No, I'm always willing to go anywhere. Star has a wonderful place in Florida. I was always willing to go to California. I'm never against that. Clearly, it works. I mean, look at what they're doing. I would love to go to Florida. I'd love to go to California. Any of that. I'm here right now because that's what's best for my program right now. But no, I'm not against that stuff at all.

Vital MX: We also hear rumors that you're not super stoked about doing Supercross. Would you prefer a motocross-only deal?

Ty: No, I actually love Supercross. I had fun this season training in Supercross. Whoops were a struggle for me in my rookie year because I was a small guy, but I love Supercross. I was really bummed I didn't get to show everyone how good I was doing. I was feeling really good; unfortunately, during the first couple of rounds, I was the sickest I've ever been. I lost 13 to 14 pounds. The priority right now is to qualify for these finals and to do that. 

Vital MX: What about options for MXGP or racing in Canada? Have you had any offers, and would that be something you would look at if it was the right deal?

Ty: Yeah, for sure. I'm always interested in all that. I really like MXGP, and we've been talking to them. I've had some offers, but we stayed over here for my development right now. I'm pretty young and have a lot of improvement, and I need to be riding to get time on the bike. 

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Vital MX: Looking back on your career so far, do you feel you missed out on anything? Is there anything that you would like a do-over on?

Ty: Uh, no. All the adversity makes you stronger, so no regrets at all. It's been a rough couple of years, and emotional with some small injuries. It's part of the sport, and I believe in God's plan and the team around me. I've kept my head down, and I keep on working, knowing hard work is going to pay off. 



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