Travis Preston’s supercross season this year has been quite a ride. It all started at Anaheim one, when Bubba, Thain and Gosselaar fell in the 125 main. Travis went on to win the race, along with the fans at Anaheim giving a memorable speech. Now, the young man finds himself in second place with three races left. The talent packed 125 western division of the EA Sports Supercross series will be one to watch as Travis tries to take the title he has wanted for a very long time. As crazy as this season has been he just might do it.
TransWorld Motocross: In the down time for the western region 125 series what have you been doing?
Travis Preston: I’ve been meditating and getting ready. I have a big break. It’s something like six weeks, I need to stay focused and try to win Houston.
TWMX: I don’t know if you are aware, but you have made a lot of fans with those podium speeches of yours.
TP: I’ve had some people come up and ask me how come I changed my number from 199 and they ask me why I am riding a Honda (laughter). A lot of people get me confused with Travis Pastrana. I am Travis Preston not Travis Pastrana. I can see how my podium speeches make some believe I am Pastrana, if the fans like them it’s cool.
TWMX: Are you trying to be funny on the podium? It seems like you are being sarcastic with Jamie (Little) when she is interviewing you.
TP: I am being a little sarcastic, I am really not that funny and if I try to be funny I won’t be funny so I just say whatever I want and usually it’s something sarcastic. No I’m not funny, my girlfriend tells me all the time I am not funny. I am never going to get on the podium and try to be funny. I just want to be myself. If people find me funny then that’s cool and if they don’t, just don’t boo me.
TWMX: Tell the readers about yourself. I am sure a lot of fans want to know who Travis Preston is.
TP: I was born in Santa Ana, CA. which is right by Anaheim Stadium. When I was 10 or 11 I moved up to Hesperia CA. Hesperia is in the dirty desert, we moved there to pursue my racing career. It was a lot easier to ride up in the desert. I could shoot out of my bedroom and ride out of the house. So that worked out really good. My amateur career kind of wasn’t good. I grew up riding with guys like Kevin Windham, Kevin was winning and I was getting fourths and fifths. I never got any free bikes during my amateur career. Things haven’t started going good till lately so I am pumped.
TWMX: How old are you now?
TP: I’m 24
TWMX: How is everything on your new team? Factory Connection has really assembled quite a 125 squad this year. Your team is a force now.
TP: It’s awesome. Rick has put a lot of effort into the team this year. Honda has really helped the team out more than they ever have. Their 125 program this year is huge. We are doing a lot of testing, and they really want to do good this year. Everyone is just working so hard to make it happen, from the truck driver to the mechanics and its just paying off. Everyone on this team is really focused. Everyone has a deep desire to win.
TWMX: You hear a lot of people talking about how slow the CR125 is, yet your team is so competitive on the machines. Is it the support from Honda, or the fact that there are great riders on them?
TP: You saw what Chris and I rode last year, and the results. This year, you can see the difference in the results. The 2002 CR125 is so good this year. I want to ride it all the time. Even my practice bike is so fast. I just can’t say enough good things about the bike. Honda does a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I rode my bike stock for a month and a half and I love the thing.
TWMX: Looking forward to the outdoor nationals, do you consider yourself a better supercross rider or a better outdoor rider?
TP: I don’t know because I have always considered myself a better outdoor rider. I think I am a better outdoor rider, but my results in supercross this year have been good. I can’t wait to see what I am capable of doing outside; I am really looking forward to it.
TWMX: What do you do when the seasons over and you want to get away from motocross? Do you golf or something?
TP: I love to go snowboarding, but I have not got to do much of that this year. Right when the snow season is here I have to start testing. I like to wakeboard, when we get done with racing in September, the air and water is still warm enough. When those things aren’t happening I will just ride bicycles, BMX mostly. Racing for me has been full time this year. When I am not racing or testing I am sitting on the couch resting from all the riding. So that’s it, I lead a boring life.
TWMX: You have to give your body a rest though, look at all the things you put it through your constantly going.
TP: Some people don’t understand, they think “Oh you just ride motorcycles so what do you do for a living?” They just don’t know I put in 10 hour days; I live in the desert and have to drive an hour each way to the test track. Then, my trainer lives in Murrieta and that is 30 minutes more south of where the test track is. I am waking up at seven in the morning and after I do everything I am getting home at seven at night! I do this three days a week. I get two days off Thursdays and Sundays. Those days are set aside for traveling.
TWMX: You are second in points right now. Anything is possible. You have got to be thinking about being consistent in the next few rounds. What is your strategy?
TP: I am exited about going to Texas I really like it there. They have big stadiums and the tracks are hard packed so it’s like riding at home. I can’t count on Bubba having bad luck. I am just going to ride the best I can and try to win those last three races. We will see what happens.
TWMX: Have you been watching Roncada? He is sticking his wheel in all over the place. I think he is getting into some guys heads. He has been making some good moves out there. Could you see yourself being in that position?
TP: If I am in back of Bubba, hell yeah I am going to show him my front wheel. I have been watching Roncada do that. Every corner where he can, he shows his wheel and every rider he has done that to he has passed. Sure you don’t like it, and if he was doing that to me I would want to beat him up but that is what racing is about, mixing it up not playing follow the leader.