One week ago, former Phoenix Honda racer Coty Schock had some unfortunate news to share as his time with his former race team had ended and less than two months before the 2024 season is set to kick off. We caught up with the Delaware native to see what was going on and what his rough plan was for the future.
Michael Lindsay – Vital MX: We're checking in with Coty Shock after some news dropped this week to see what is happening. Coty, you posted some bummer news on Monday. Tell me what's up, man.
Coty Schock: To be honest, not a whole lot. I'm just making phone calls and trying to see what's out there. It's a terrible time for this news to come out and be in this situation, but I'm trying to make the best of it now.
Vital MX: As of Monday, you discovered you do not have a ride for next year. We're recording this on November 17th. That is pretty late, even if you're racing East Coast. That puts you about two and a half months out, and that's still not a lot when budgets are set by now. How was it when you received the news? I know some of your situation because you and I are close, but a general fan sitting around may ask, "Hey, how did Coty end up in this situation?" What can you tell us?
Coty: All I can say is it's unfortunate with what happened at Phoenix, and the timing is terrible. As you just said, it's kind of too late. This business can be cutthroat, and I'm being told to try and not take it personally. That's a lot easier said than done when it's my career.
Vital MX: I've known you for a few years and have watched you go from when you and I did the team together, and you were at a real peak and putting yourself up on that world stage to the last couple of years, where you've had it rough. You've had some repeated injuries and things of that nature. So, you've put a lot into this to come back. Coming into this year, we didn't see you race outdoors, and you were dealing with some health stuff. All that's good now. So, you're on track, riding, training, and everything's good. You're getting prepared now for Supercross or were. This puts a little bit of a pause on it. Maybe you can tell people what has gone on with you over the last year and what position you're in right now.
Coty: Yeah, I've gone through a lot in the past year. This year was my rebuild year, and I didn't want to risk anything. I just kind of rode what I felt comfortable with and kept building. Before the '23 Supercross season, I had about five and a half weeks to prepare because when I moved to North Carolina with Phoenix, I had broken my jaw on my second day back on the bike. So, I was out for another six weeks with no nutrition, no working out, nothing. I lost almost 20 pounds. When I got the hardware out of my mouth, I had to completely start from the ground up. I was working my body overtime with riding, training, and trying to recover. That's nearly impossible to do with five and a half weeks to prepare to go racing. It's pretty gnarly. So, this year, I put my body through a lot, and then I ended up getting sick. It was very unfortunate because we were halfway done with the season when I got sick. I was just trying to manage the second half of the season, and my results weren't that great, but my sprint speed was good. I just tried managing the entire time. I ended the season 10th overall. I was very proud of myself for that, and that's kind of where we're at. The most important thing that I'm happy about is I stayed healthy. Yes, I got sick, but at the end of the day, I stayed healthy and was able to let my body recover correctly.
Vital MX: It was a big year for you coming off the previous years before injuries to show people, "Hey, I'm still here. I can put in results every week and do the job. You don't have to worry about that. I can be here week in and week out and do that." So, you were able to accomplish that. You have something to build off of. I know this is still fresh, but where are you mentally? Do you want to ride a 450? A 250? Are there options? Do you think you're going to have to do your own thing? What's the Coty Schock plan?
Coty: Right now, I need to stay on the bike and be sharp. It just so happened to be that ClubMX has a stock 450 that the shop mechanics use whenever they want to go ride, and they're letting me use it to keep riding. This is the best I've ever felt on a bike. As I said, the timing is unfortunate, but I'm very thankful that Club is doing me this favor, and I'm just happy to ride a motorcycle at this point.
Vital MX: It's been about five days since you made the post. People are probably wondering, "Is there an option for Coty?" Is it a matter of putting yourself out there and asking, "Does someone want to help me with bikes?" Is there an option to find a ride, or is it going into plan B, where you may have to do your own thing?
Coty: Right now, it's starting to turn into plan B. I've made some phone calls; honestly, it's too late for the sponsors and teams. Everyone has finished their contracts, as you know. That usually is completed by the end of October. We're now in November, and there's nothing available. So, I am saying, "If you could help me with entry fees, my travel, or anything that gets me to the races, it would be huge. I know what I can do on a bike and have high standards. I know I can be a solid five-to-ten guy and potentially even a podium guy. I've put in a lot of work this off-season. We've already had three weeks of boot camp. Some may say, "It's only three weeks," but you can make a lot of progress in those three weeks when you focus on how you mentally think about things. Right now, I'm mentally strong, and I just need help. Whether that be an opportunity or sponsors. I need it, and I want it, and honestly, I just want to put in the results for everyone to prove that I can do it because I know I can. I just want to be surrounded by people who believe in me like I do.
Vital MX: At this point, the goal is to put something together for 250 East. Would that be your intention?
Coty: Yeah, that would be my attention.
Vital MX: If anybody does have a direction to point you and wants to reach out to see if there's something they can do, how should they get a hold of you?
Coty: They can reach me at CJSchock@yahoo.com or on my socials. My Instagram is CotySchock_, and my Facebook is CJ_Schock. Again, anything would help. I'm just so grateful. Honestly, Club owes me nothing, and until something comes up, you'll know where to find me. That's working my butt off. The facility is insane with what they have to offer. From the tracks, the training guidance to the caliper of riders, etcetera. You name it, Club has it. So, right now, that's the place to be. It's in my best interest to stay on the bike, and that's what they're doing to help me.
Vital MX: We talked about what you've been through. Going way back, you had a banner year putting yourself on the world stage when we worked together in '21. In '20, there were injuries, but you also got hit by a car that off-season. How much you've been through in two years would blow people's minds. After everything you've been through and now this, does this just feel like a big bump in the road? I think you've become pretty mentally strong, considering everything you've been through up to this point.
Coty: Yeah. To be completely honest, when I first got the news, I broke down. Anybody that loses their job would become upset. It took me about five minutes, and I said, "No, I've been through hell and back, and I'm just going to fight through this." It's not the first time I had a fight, and I'll do it again. But no, it'll be all right. I want to move forward with everything. From a year ago to today, I'm leaps and bounds better on a bike. I'm forever thankful for that and just want to show it. I'm just looking for an exciting opportunity. I have something that I'm going to post in a few days, and I'm pretty excited about it. It's something that people have been asking from me for quite a few years now, and it's kind of ironic that all this is happening. I've been working on this for the past two months, and it'll be cool. It'll come out early next week.
Vital MX: Okay, for anybody listening or reading this, stay tuned to Coty's social media to see what the heck it is. I'm talking to him, and I still have no clue what you're talking about, so I'll be as excited to see it with everyone else.