Things are going well for Benny Bloss. After an uncertain start to the 2016 season, the twenty-year-old was hired for a fill-in ride with the Butler Brothers team for a few Supercross races in the 450 class. That turned into a full-time spot with the team during the Nationals, where Bloss was awarded Rookie of the Year honors for the premier class. So it’s no surprise that the team, now titled Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KTM, has decided to keep him on for a unique 250-SX/450-MX deal in 2017. Bloss will compete in Sweden this weekend at an offseason Supercross event and then take on the Monster Energy Cup next week before turning his attention to 250 prep.
We've known that you re-signed with the team for some time. When did everything work out to stay with the team for 2017?
We decided at Unadilla that we were going to do it for next year. The next week we talked about what class and I got the contract before Budds Creek. I'm super happy and like everyone on the team because they are super helpful. I think we can do really good in the 250 class for Supercross and then on the 450 for the Nationals. I'm very excited.
Are you hesitant at all to drop back down to the 250?
Not really. I feel like some people are questioning my size and think that it will hold me back, but I think that it has just as many advantages as it has disadvantages. I'm really excited because last year I learned a lot in the 250 class. Stepping up to the 450 class was huge, to race with the guys that have been there for a long time. It was different to race the 450 class and I think it was a good learning experience. I can only come back next year and be even better.
Looking back at how the year went, you originally planned to be on the Blue Buffalo team, to raced as a privateer, filled in at Rock River Yamaha, and now you have a deal locked in with Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KTM. At any point were you discouraged or thought that if you put in some results everything else would fall into place?
Halfway through the outdoors I had no idea what I would do for 2017. It seems like everyone knows what they're doing before the outdoor season even starts. I tried talking to different teams and no one really gave me positive feedback. I tried to stay positive and my parents did their best to keep me from being stressed, so I put my head down and put in the best results that I could. Everything clicked off and I was really happy, and then I got the opportunity to stay with the team for next year. I couldn't be happier.
Considering it was originally a two-ride deal with the team…
It was actually a one-race deal. For those three Supercross races, I found out on the Tuesday before the race if I was going that weekend. To go from that is crazy.
You're twenty years old and have everything locked in for the 450 class. Has it seemed overwhelming at any point?
Honestly, it hasn't been a problem at all. Being a bigger guy, I rode 450 bikes in the amateur class and it's just racing different guys that go faster. I feel like the 250 class is stacked as well and no matter what class I'm in, I'll do whatever I can to do the best I can. Who is in it or what class it is, I'm not really concerned.
The next two weeks are slammed with a race in Sweden and the Monster Energy Cup. How did the European race come up?
They had a rider get hurt, so they called and asked what I thought. We got it all set up and I'm excited because I've never been to Europe. We're going to do a little sightseeing on Sunday and see what Stockholm is like. Monster Energy Cup is another big race for me and I'll do what I can to get ready.
The Monster Energy Cup will be your last race on the 450 for a while. When do you start preparation on the 250?
I think we start on November 1st. I have until February, so it's quite a long offseason for me. I'll just build as much as I can but not get too crazy. You can go hard with training and I'm working with great people. We have a good plan that we'll stick to and see where it takes us.