After a considerable amount of time filled with uncertainty, Matt Bisceglia knows what he’s doing for 2017. Signed up as the other 250 rider for the JGRMX Suzuki program, he’ll race the West Coast portion of the Monster Energy Supercross Series. After a recent day of testing at the Suzuki track in Corona, California, we grabbed a few minutes of his time and learned about the details of his new ride and sponsors.
It's been a few weeks since the announcement of your signing to the team. How has the transition been?
It's been good and actually really easy. Being on the 250 side of things with JGR, they are getting a lot of help from Yoshimura and it's easy because I'm working with a lot of the same people that I worked with over the summer. It was an easy transition and I'm pumped on the people I get to continue working with.
Not to speak ill of the team you started 2016 on, but how different is the bike compared to what you rode there? It's the same machine in a way, but at the same time far different.
It's definitely quite a bit different than the team I was on last year. Getting the full-on factory support is huge and budget-wise, being able to spend the money to get what we need is big. I have seen some huge gains over the last couple of weeks with engine testing and things are coming along nicely. It's definitely different than what I had last year.
After eavesdropping on your recap with the team techs, it's crazy to hear how much of a difference little things like components or fluids make. Is it easy to get caught up and maybe lost in testing, or do they keep you on the right track?
As far as testing all of the little things, I'm a pretty good test rider and compared to some riders, I guess I keep up with what things change what on the bike. Little things make big differences, and when you gain a little here and there, it's big in the end.
The last time you and I talked was after the Monster Energy Cup, and while you hoped for a deal like this to come up with the announcement of their Suzuki support and a new 250 team, nothing was confirmed. How soon did everything fall into place after that?
I actually put ink to paper a couple of weeks after Monster Energy Cup and from there things started happening quickly. The got me a good Supercross package to start on a couple of weeks after I signed and from there it's been testing every day. We don't have much time until the season starts, about five and a half weeks, so it's coming up quick. But the gains these guys can make overnight are pretty insane so in the next month we will have a solid package.
The way this deal has been explained is that JGR is the team that will take care of the logistics and Yoshimura provides all of the technical support for the 250 program. So really, you'll spend most of your time here working with Yoshimura guys building the program.
Yeah, JGR is getting a lot of help from Yoshimura. Which is good, because both parties know what they're doing and can build a good bike. They are working together in every way that they can and we will be in a good spot once the year starts and everything gets settled. I'm excited to see where it goes because with the way that everything is working, it's insane. It'll be a good deal.You'll be on the West Coast, right?
Yeah, that's the plan as of now. We are in a time crunch and this is only my fourth day of Supercross. We got a little bit of a late start but it's the cards that we were dealt. These guys will get me up to speed before the season starts and I'll do everything I can to make sure I am ready.
You're probably way more comfortable out here, anyway. The house is out here, everything is close and familiar, and you'll be racing nearby.
Yeah, I do like it out here. I've only spent a month at home in the last year, maybe. I got to go to North Carolina last week and once we get everything established, I'm definitely looking forward to spending some time there. JGR has a legit facility out there and it was mind blowing to see it. Being a Texas guy, North Carolina is more laid back and I enjoy that.
You have a lot of new sponsors with SiDi, Vexea, Suomy. Did all of this come together prior to a race team contract or was it all after the fact?
A few weeks before we signed the JGR deal, I had an idea of what was going to happen. Nothing was set in stone, but we thankfully had an idea and I was able to talk to people. Once I got signed, everything rushed through quickly. I'm pumped on my setup this year and I'm being treated really well, and it's a good group of people. I'm lucky as a 250 rider to pick and choose my gear sponsors, so that's cool because not a lot of guys get to do that.
You'll be on a 250 all year. Will that be a challenge after riding the 450 through last summer?
No, not really. After the last round, I didn't even have a bike. From mid-August until I got back here to California, I rode four times back at home in Texas just to mess around. That time off and coming back to the 250 made the transition a little bit easier. These guys have a 250 that is ripping, so it makes it easier.
Were you ever stressing about all of this?
Yeah, oh yeah. There was a week or two when I didn't think I was going to have a job and didn't think I was going to race anymore. I'm very thankful that this deal came together because there are a lot of guys that don't have rides. I'm lucky this came together as well as it did.