AMA Arenacross Series Interview of the Week - Babbitts Monster Energy Ti Lube Kawasakis Josh Demuth
AURORA, Ill. (March 3, 2010) – In recent weeks, the hottest rider in the 2010 AMA Arenacross Series championship has been Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Ti Lube Kawasaki’s Josh Demuth. Over the last six rounds and eight races, Demuth has three victories and seven podiums. As a result, he is on the heels of AMA Arenacross class points leader and Babbitt’s teammate Tyler Bowers.
Currently, Demuth sits 17 points behind Bowers as the 2010 season approaches the final month of the season this weekend with ArenOcross from Reno’s Livestock & Events Center. Moreover, third Babbitt’s team member Chad Johnson sits just an additional four points behind Demuth and the trio holds a 47-point advantage over the rest of the field.
To say that 2010 has been a memorable year for Babbitt’s Monster Energy/Ti Lube Kawasaki would be an understatement. In addition to holding down the top three positions in the premier class standings and the likelihood of finishing the season that way, the team boasts four podium sweeps eight rounds into the season and has an incredible streak of having at least one rider on the podium in all 12 races.
We caught up with Josh to get his thoughts on his recent run, the performance of his team and the rejuvenation of his career.
Josh, you’re arguably the hottest guy in the series right now with a streak of podiums and some wins. What’s clicked for you over that span and helped you get right back into the title chase?
Everything has just kind of come together. I’m getting a little more used to my bike and we got in a little bit more testing. And to be at the track. I didn’t really race a whole lot last summer because I was pretty much working full time. I think just being able to spend more time on the bike and some personal stuff at home. Good things have been happening with my family – my little ones and my girlfriend and stuff. I don’t know, it’s kind of weird. Everything seems like it came together and things are getting better because of it.
You’ve slowly chipped away at Tyler Bowers’ points lead over the last month or so. You think you’re still in this thing? You think there’s still a chance to win this championship?
Yeah, absolutely. I think I’m like 15 to 18 points back or something like that. Anything can happen. There have been times when I’ve gotten lucky, it doesn’t take much, especially when there are not that many points separating me from Chad (Johnson) and Tyler. I absolutely think I have a chance at him. I’ve been working my butt off here at home and doing everything that I need to do to get ready. I know what I did in the past to win championships so I’m kind of going along those same lines. I’m just going to ride my best and hopefully things work out.
The Babbitt’s team has really been the team to beat this year. What do you think has played into the team’s strength?
Honestly, we just kind of feed off one another. I definitely think that we have the strongest team there. Chad and I have each won our fare share of championships and Tyler is just a great rider. He’s a good kid, he’s strong and he knows what it takes to win. I just think that in the truck we all kind of feed off one another. It’s one of those things that when you get there, you know you’re going to have to do battle with one of your teammates every weekend. So that pushes us when we get back home to really work hard and come out swinging at the races every weekend to see who did the most work at home during the week.
Did you ever think it would come down to just the three of you? The gap you have over the rest of the field is pretty significant.
You know, I didn’t. I expected our team to do really well and I figured that we would be up front but you never can foresee something like the year that we’ve had. It’s been great and all of us have been doing really well. There have been some injuries and riders just having a tough break. I just think that our team did a lot of testing, did a lot of work and we’ve put a lot into it. I think when we get to the track it shows. I know that everyone on our team wants it and they want it bad. We’re putting the extra work in at home and I think it’s showing at the track.
You were a part of the Babbitt’s team several years ago. How has the return been?
It’s great and you know, not much has changed. It’s good. It’s good to be back with people like Denny Bartz and Eddie Babbitt and all those guys. It’s kind of nice to be back. It’s almost like I never left. They’ve always been my friends since I was there last but I wanted to go do supercross and do that part of my life again. It’s nice to come back and know they still want you to be a part of the team and are there to support me.
Has the return of the 450 in the premier class helped the racing?
Oh definitely. I think for our team, it’s helped 100 percent. We’re all quite a bit bigger than the rest of the guys. I know myself; I struggled quite a bit last year with the 250. I’m like 185, 190 pounds so it’s one of those things where I was racing guys like Willard and little Willy Browning and I’m giving up like 40 pounds and just with that I’m giving up three or four horsepower. I think the 450 for me has definitely helped and Chad and Tyler both agree that it’s just a lot easier because teams don’t have to go through as many parts. Everything has just been 10-times easier.
What’s it going to take to beat Tyler? Do you think you can catch him?
Yeah, I do. He’s a great rider and he’s really good like I’ve said. The only advantage I have is that I’ve been there before and I know what it takes – being consistent and just trying to stay up front. I’m doing everything that I need to at home to win. He’s young too so it’s kind of up in the air. Obviously I want all of us to do really well and I want to race against the guys. Both Chad and Tyler are good friends. It’s just fun. I have a good time at the track and I enjoy racing with them. As far as myself, I think I’m doing everything I need to do and more actually. So we’ll just see how it works out. But yeah, I think I always have a chance to win.
You mentioned earlier that things have been going really well for you and your family. Last year you were working full time while competing in the series. Has this season kind of rejuvenated your career?
Yeah, absolutely. There were a few years with injuries and everything when I was looking at quitting. I got a job and it wasn’t like I didn’t like the job and wasn’t happy. It was just one of those things where with everyone (like me), you can’t really get the racing bug out of them. I didn’t want to quit, I was just beat up and wasn’t riding very well so I didn’t really have a choice. I had the opportunity to go race in Arenacross but I was also working full time so I didn’t get a chance to get much practice or go to the gym or anything like I normally would to prepare for the season. This year I got laid off during the summer time and it allowed me to focus back on my racing. I’m wide open again, doing everything that I need to do. I’m riding every day during the week. So yeah, it’s basically made me feel good and makes me want to continue to race. I think we have plans on going to the final five supercross races after the season is over and I’m trying to go look for a ride to go do outdoors. I’m having fun riding and it’s been a long time, but I’m finally healed up enough to where I can ride. So, yeah, it’s been a huge change and it''s rejuvenated my racing.
Advance tickets are available for this weekend’s ArenOcross at the Livestock & Events Center Box Office, Ticketmaster charge by phone and ticketmaster.com. Tickets cost $2 more the day of the race.
Fans in attendance also can take part in the Track Party on Saturday from 5-6 p.m. for the chance to meet the riders and get autographs. Simply recycle any MONSTER ENERGY can at the gate entrance for FREE admission. Must have valid Saturday event ticket to enter.
Tickets for all rounds of the 2010 season can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com and www.arenacross.com.
For more information on the AMA Arenacross Series log on to www.arenacross.com.
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