Rookie sensation Matt Walker’s time is up at Pro Circuit. Matt is not taking things lying down though; today he was out testing with KTM at Lake Elsinore Motocross Park. Matt is a super nice guy from the peach tree state, Georgia. The skinny kid looked right at home on the orange machine. Recently he has hired the same trainer that works with Ezra Lusk and is already reaping the benefits. His first Supercross win ever was earned fair and square this year in Houston. We pulled him out of the orange box van to find out what’s up.
TransWorld Motocross: How long have you been testing the KTM?
Matt Walker: Today is my first day. I have only been riding the bike for an hour. It’s a great bike and I love it. Basically my deal with Kawasaki was for Supercross only. If I did well in Supercross they were going to take me to the Nationals. I guess I did not do well enough. I don’t have a ride right now. Pro Circuit had too many guys and they did not have a spot on the team for me. Now I am trying to work things out with KTM, hopefully I’ll do well enough today for these guys, so they will put me on for the year.
TWMX: Are you resentful or bitter for what Pro Circuit did? Or, do you look at it like, Hey, that’s a part of racing?
MW: No, I respect Pro Circuit. They are standing behind the riders they hired from the beginning; Mike Brown, Shea Bentley, Bobby Bonds and they just signed Sorby. Unfortunately, Bonds and Bentley are hurt and they don’t know when they are going to be back. They are not going to put me in there and have to put one of their main guys out. It’s business and I understand it. I wish they had a spot for me on the team, but I have to move on.
TWMX: Are there other prospects for you as far as finding a new ride?
MW: No, this is it. I have a deal with Kawasaki if I want to race the first three Nationals, but I would be on my own after that. I am trying to look out for my future and if KTM wants to step up and give me a deal for the Nationals, I’m probably going to take it. Judging on how the bike was today, I think we may have a future.
TWMX: You really looked fast out there today! Were you getting some good lap times?
MW: I feel really good on the KTM. I thought it was going to be difficult to adjust to it, but it feels great. The KTM is so fast! We are still working on some things so maybe by the end of the day we will be even faster.
TWMX: I can appreciate your attitude. I was just rapping with Donn Maeda, and I was telling him that a guy like Matt Walker might not have all the pieces to the puzzle, but he is hungry, determined, and willing to do what it takes. Your determination overrides so many of the things you might be lacking…
MW: Thanks. I have been plagued with some bad teams in the past, and I never really had the equipment, and now I do. I have always had the heart to do the best I could. I hired a personal trainer (the same guy that works with Ezra Lusk). It is finally all coming together this year. I got my first Supercross win, and I know I can beat those guys and they know I can beat them. I am getting the respect I deserve now, maybe not from the media, but I am getting it from my competition. I am going to keep on pushing and hopefully, I can do well in the Nationals and get a win outdoors as well.
TWMX: What do you do in your spare time when you are not training or riding?
MW: My girlfriend and I just bought a house. I want to get my lawn looking good, so sometimes I go out and just water the grass. Watering the grass is soothing and takes my mind off of everything. I love to go out and ride my bicycle. I am totally into riding it around my house. I get too caught up in racing and what people think about me that I forget about the little things like watering the grass. Having the best looking lawn on the block, that means a lot to me. I have been taking that kind of stuff for granted. I am just happy to be making a good living doing what I like to do. It feels ggood.
TWMX: Any encouraging words for the struggling racer that is trying to make a living racing motocross?
MW: I think I took the wrong road a couple of times in my past. The main thing that got me straight was my girlfriend. Everybody says that, that is the wrong thing to do, but she has set me straight a lot of times. I don’t go out and party, that’s not the life. A motocross professional should be putting everything into his racing, not worrying about going out to the clubs after the race to be cool. Just always believe in yourself, if you know that you can do it, then you can do it.