While we were out doing some product testing at Perris Raceway yesterday, Valli Yamaha’s Travis Baker was putting in some laps to prepare himself for the outdoors.
Baker’s Supercross season was off to a shaky start, but he began to find his groove as the season progressed. Two rounds before the season took a break from the West Coast, T-Bake scored the best finish of the season with a sixth place finish. Proving that it wasn’t just a fluke, Baker completed the night at San Diego with another sixth place finish. That was the boost of confidence that he needed before the season took a break, and now he’s anxiously waiting for the return of the West Coast series in a few weeks at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.
Once Baker wrapped up his motos, we sat down with him for a bit to talk about his season thus far, and what the future holds for him.
So, it’s been a couple of weeks since the series left the West Coast, and it looks like you’re now going full-swing with outdoor testing. What’s been going on since San Diego?
Well, after San Diego I took a week off from riding, and just enjoyed my time off for a bit. Once the week was over, though, I’ve been back it, and now I’m actually doing some outdoor testing at Perris Raceway.
Now, does this get you excited for the outdoors?
Definitely! I mean, at the of the day, we’re out here riding dirt bikes. What’s better than that? People can bitch and moan by saying, “Oh, I’m excited about outdoor testing because Supercross was getting boring,” but real men just ride [laughs].
How has the Supercross season been going for you?
Well, at first it was rough. I felt like I was going fast, but there are a lot of top guys on the West Coast that are just going for it, every weekend. At the beginning of the series, I was spending a lot of time on the ground, and you can’t win races when you’re on the ground [laughs]. And I bent my shift lever at Anaheim when I was in fourth place. So, I’ve just been struggling a bit with things like that. I turned things around, though, at the last two rounds, and I got back-to-back sixth place finishes. It definitely was a good way to into the break, and now I’m excited to do some outdoor testing.
Did it take you a while to get accustomed to that Yamaha YZ250F?
Actually, I felt right at home ever since I got on the bike. I spent practically my whole life riding Yamahas, and I only spent a couple of years riding Hondas when I was riding for Troy Lee/Lucas Oil/Honda. So, there wasn’t ever an adjustment period because the bike is still the same from when I got off of it in the amateurs [laughs]. Regardless, the way I see it is that any bike these days is capable of winning races.
Are you ready to step up to the 450 class?
Well, as of right now, I don’t know what I’m going to be riding outdoors. It’s still kind of a mystery, but I’ll figure it out over the next couple of weeks. I’ve just been riding this 450 to help bulk up and make me a bad dude [laughs]!
So, you still could be on a 250 for the outdoors…
I could be on a 250, or I could be on a 450. I don’t know at this point because Chad Lanza, the owner of Valli Yamaha, hasn’t decided yet, but we’ll figure it out pretty soon.