The man who made 13 a lucky number, Racer 450 spends a few minutes kicking the dirt with up and coming Pro Rider John Natalie directly after finishing the second moto at Gatorback, MX Round 2 in Florida. By now youíve probably seen him driving over cars or doing heel clickers in videos, now see what he has to say online and in personÖ
R450: You finished last year off well and it seems to be helping you carry momentum into this season.
Yes, I won Southwick and the Southwick Memorial Race, that was great.
R450: Great job, this year seems to be headed in the same direction. Do you see any new changes in the sport this year?
The main changes are people putting their time and effort in to it that didnít seem to care before. Plus, the competition is unbelievable between Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki right now.
|Back at Johnís trailer just after Moto 2 in Gatorback.|
R450: What do you think about the production rules?
I think itís good. Our industry may have gotten stuck in a rut, it was kind of like a high school click: the industry didnít want to let anyone new in, now they have to let the new guys in. Everyone had to prove themselves before and it was hard, now they get more of a chance.
R450: Last month in an interview mechanic Joe Wolters said, ďPeople donít have to buy a new frame to race a dirt bike, people shouldnít have to for an ATVĒ, do you agree with that?
R450: What should happen next in ATV Racing?
We need more non-related companies involved to make the next step. Companies that are already helping promote other sports.
R450: Do you think the sport needs a high performance 250cc class?
I think itís on the way, get the kids starting out in it.
R450: 90cc to 450cc, whatís up with that?
There needs to be something more in between. I was 12 and weighed 165 pounds, a 90 couldnít take it.
|Photo from the Podium at Round 2 in Gatorback.|
R450: What about life away from the sport, are you starting to become recognized more?
Yeah, actually Iím starting to be recognized a lot more outside of racing. A lot of that has come from the videos.
R450: Thatís cool, how long was the huge jump in Huevos 3?
The one with the cars; 136 feet.
R450: Thatís crazy; do you still do a lot of free riding or tricks?
No. It takes a lot of practicing, and if youíre practicing that, youíre not practicing motocross. Right now I have to concentrate on racing. Itís also risky right now.
R450: Do think having that ability helps your racing?
Yes, it helps with control. When you get in a bad situation like bumping tires or landing with your feet off the pegs you know what to do. It actually does throw in a little bit of help.
R450: Is there anything else you would like to say that no one seems to be asking?
One thing I want to throw in is that I want our sport to set a positive example for the kids and teenagers, especially by the pro riders. Iíve seen a lot of things happen over the years that just shouldnít have been seen. Weíve got to keep it clean, a lot of fans look up to the people out there on the track.
R450: We couldnít agree more, is there anyone you would like to thank this season?
Iíd like to thank Gibson, Custom Axis, East Coast ATV, Hardcore, Shift, Scott, Maxxis, Bling Star, TC Engines, Douglas Wheels and everyone else that has been helping out.
R450: Thanks for your time John, this race was great and we wish you luck at Echeconne.
John is one of the friendliest and most approachable Pro ATV Racers in the sport. If you happen to be at the track, let him know youíre a fan. Keep an eye on number 13 this season; we are expecting to see great things all year long. To see John in action check out the Huevos videos from H-Bomb films. More photos of John are also available throughout the Racer 450 web site.