With three races under his belt, Travis Preston is slowly finding his groove aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki. Although Mister T hasn’t found himself inside of the top ten just yet, he is excited to be qualifying for Main Events and improving his endurance each week. With the team’s understanding of Travis’ circumstances and situation, he is fortunate enough to ride pressure free, have fun, and regain his speed and ability that he left off with early in the 2007 Supercross season. In typical Travis Preston fashion, he answered the following questions with informative feedback, style, and that good ole’ wit that makes him so personable to the fans.
TW: How is this new ride going for you?
TP: It’s good. It’s a big adjustment from sitting at home. I wasn’t planning on racing Supercross this year. I wasn’t riding Supercross; I was still riding at Perris, but I wasn’t training for Supercross. I got a call from Mike Fisher and now I’m racing so it’s kind of a big change.
TW: Were you riding a Kawasaki before you came back to racing?
TP: Yeah. TransWorld Motocross was kind enough to loan me a KX450f so I rode that for a month and a half before I gave the bike back. Probably two weeks after I returned the bike Kawasaki called me.
TW: How is the new bike for you?
TP: The bike is good! It’s kind of hard, usually we have three months to do testing, and all they did was stiffen the suspension and I just hopped on it. It worked out well.
TW: Is it almost like you’re testing during the race?
TP: Basically. We try to do little things during the week, but at this point with me being off the bike for a year I just need to ride. That’s basically all I’m doing now…just riding.
TW: What was the extent of your injury when you were hurt last year?
TP: I thought it was going to be a rotator cuff, but I wasn’t. I just cracked my humorous at the socket. I had to wait for that to heel and it took two months. After that I had surgery on my shoulder to repair a few minor things. I was out for six or seven months.
TW: Coming into the 2008 season were you under the impression you were still going to be onboard with the Factory Connection team?
TP: Yeah. About a month and a half before the season started they called me to say their sponsor fell through at the last minute and they didn’t have any money. I figured I was going to sit out until the Nationals started or wait for 2009.
TW: Is your deal with Monster Energy/Kawasaki up after the last round in Las Vegas?
TP: Yeah. From there we’ll just see what happens.
TW: Last year you had a Supercross only contract. Do you want to ride the outdoors?
TP: At this point I really like the Kawasaki and I had the TransWorld bike, which I really enjoyed. I feel like outdoors is wh I’m in shape for right now so I would like to ride the outdoors.
TW: What do you want to accomplish with the team once Las Vegas rolls around?
TP: That’s a tough question. Right now I’m just trying to finish the race (laughs). I finish the race, but I have to take little breaks to relax my arms because they pump up so bad. My goal would be getting a good start, riding a consistent race for the entire Main Event, and from their I have no idea because I’ve been thrown into all of this so quickly. My goals change every week. Who knows what my goals will be next week.
TW: Was it pretty nerve-racking lining up for your first race with this team?
TP: I don’t really think of it as a team because everybody has been…(As Travis started to answer the question team manager Mike Fisher walks into the room and gave Travis a very serious look as if he was making sure Travis would brag about how well the team has been to him. Everybody starts laughing.) That’s a good one, Mike! Everybody on the team has been really nice and they all understand my situation. It wasn’t the team putting pressure on me. I don’t care what bike you’re on, only riding Supercross for two days before Anaheim 3, and then showing up at the line ready to race; I was kind of nervous. I wasn’t sure of my ability, my timing, or anything so my first week was kind of sketchy.
TW: Were you excited to make it through that first weekend?
TP: Dude! I was so happy to make the Main Event…so happy (laughs)! Like I said, every weekend I become a little more confident, I have a little more laps in me, so who knows? Hopefully by the end of the season I will be doing a lot better.
TW: A few years ago you and Stewart had a run in at the Toronto Supercross. He made a major mistake and you ended up landing on him. You were obviously up-set with his careless mistake that caused you to pull out of the race. Is it kind of ironic for you to be riding his bike now?
TP: I don’t know. It doesn’t seem to bother me much (laughs). Don’t know how Bubba feels about it, but I’m happy. It’s a good bike and I’m excited to be racing.
TW: As far as your conditioning goes, you mentioned that you could do twelve solid laps before you would start to taper off. How has your conditioning progressed?
TP: I think at Anaheim 3 I had seven laps in me for the Main Event, last weekend I had twelve laps that were consistent before I hit a wall. Once I hit the wall I have to relax for a couple laps. It’s just weird because when I go racing I’m usually in shape. I’ve never raced and been out of shape before so it’s kind of weird.
TW: What are you doing during the week to help you for the weekend?
TP: All I can do is ride. I just work on my laps, keep riding, and working on my endurance.
TW: How is it riding with somebody like Tim Ferry? Are you able to see what he does and learn from that?
TP: He lives in Florida so when I go to the Kawasaki track it’s just me riding with the Pro Circuit guys. As far as not being in the top twenty, I don’t practice with those guys. I actually get to sit down and watch what those guys are doing to where I’m usually riding with the top twenty guys so I can’t see what they’re doing, but it’s a good thing.
I don’t practice with those guys. I actually get to sit down and watch what those guys are doing to where I’m usually riding with the top twenty guys so I can’t see what they’re doing, but it’s a good thing.