By Geoff Meyer
American racer Jimmy Albertson is one cool kid. Always looking on the positive side, the Martin Honda rider is working hard to improve in what e feels is a very tough series.
After starting the World Championships with a less than impressive 18th overall in Bulgaria, the Honda factory rider looked stronger in round two in Mantova, scoring 9th overall and he even battled with the front pack for some time.
We caught up with Albertson and asked him about his home Grand Prix, set for Glen Helen on May 30.
Albertson: Honestly I thought it was an April fool’s joke. The rumor started in the last couple of days of March. As soon as the AMA National at Glen Helen got cancelled people were saying wouldn’t it be cool if Glen Helen got a GP that would be awesome. When that post came out I thought no way. Then I started hearing from some people there was some truth behind it.
MXlarge: Obviously racing in Europe isn’t anything like racing in America. Tell us about going home?
Albertson: To head back home in May and see my family and friends and race on home soil, it’s great, I can’t wait. It’s a bummer we don’t get to race in Great Britain, but hopefully something will happen, the schedule will change and we will go there. I can’t wait for Glen Helen though, it’s a tough circuit.
MXlarge: Do you think there will be more American’s racing it?
Albertson: I think a lot of Americans will race it; I am just not sure about the very top guys. I highly doubt a lot of the guys will race it, in America they are often worried about racing something they don’t have to and getting hurt. A lot of the top guys are focused on one series and Glen Helen is a high-speed circuit and it has a danger factor, but it’s a very cool place. If you haven’t been there before it is an eye opener.
MXlarge: It would be cool to have a James Stewart or someone like Ryan Dungey.
Albertson: I would be surprised if Stewart didn’t race it to tell you the truth. James Stewart and maybe the Suzuki factory team might. I mean with Roger De Coster being the team manager, he is a GP fan, so I can think he will be helping out. I mean it’s a week off, the riders are already in California, I would say the Suzuki rig will be there, you never know who will show up, I mean when Windham won it the last time and it was in Budds Creek some riders just turned up and raced it. Now it is in Southern California, so it’s close to everyone.
MXlarge: You don’t see a lot of top American guys racing other races. In Europe we have all these National Championship races and Internationals and everyone races them. I mean somebody like Steve Ramon might race 30 or 40 races in the season. American’s run their Supercross series and the Motocross series, but somebody like Stewart might just race 12 times, or even if they do both series they still only do like 27 races.
Albertson: America is a little different to in Europe. In Europe you get a lot of guys going to the Internationals and National championship races that run alongside the Grand Prix series, so you have a lot of races in a season. Plus the fan base here is bigger because a lot of the countries here don’t get the chance to buy a dirt bike, or ride one, so they want to go and see people race. In America a lot of the people have the chance to buy their own bike and if there is a race on the weekend many of these people will be out riding themselves. I guess there is a lot of stuff going on in southern California, a lot of sporting events that are competition to Motocross races. With the GP, all the European riders coming over, I think you will get a lot of fans. People from other states. The GP riders are better known now than in 1999.