Michael Leib, 22
Sponsors: AG Motorsports, Axo, Elet Plast Connect, Dunlop, Malcolm Smith Motorsports, Peter’s Auto Mall, Race So.Cal, Renegade Fuel, Atlas Neck Braces, Autism MX, Aguirre Imaging, Cometic, CV4, Xceldyne, EKS Brand Goggles, Faster USA, Deft Family, GoPro, Hinson Racing, Hot Cams, CWJ, Dedicated Ride CO., K&N Filters, Motion Pro, Moto Seat, Moto Stuff, 2nd Moto Fitness, Race Tech, REC MX, RK/Excel, Seal Savers, Shoei, Sun Star, Tamer, The Factory Metal Works, WPC, Vortex Ignition, Cycra, Injectioneering, Applied, RPM Science and J27.
Michael Leib has been on the hunt for a ride for a few years now and he’s working on his best season yet. Three top ten finished in the West Coast Supercross series-a 9th, a 7th and a career best 6th-has the Southern California native looking more promising than ever. Leib has also spent plenty of time on the European GP circuit, so he has nothing but experience under his belt these days. We spotted Leib at the closing round of the Muscle Milk TWMX 2014 Winter Cup, so we caught up with him to get his input on his racing thus far in the West Coast SX championship and his plans to better himself for the final three rounds.
How did you get into Motocross?
I got into motocross through my dad who was a racer. He basically put me on his motorcycle once they took me home from the hospital after being born.
Thus far into the West Coast Supercross rounds, how have you been feeling?
I definitely haven’t ridden to my full potential yet. I’ve gotten much closer this year than years prior, which I am happy with, so it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve made a few amateurish mistakes that I’m less than happy with, but I can’t wait till Houston, Seattle and Vegas. I’m going to try to leave the West Coast Supercross series the way I want to this year.
Oakland Supercross has been your best finish with a 6th place. You came from the back of the pack to finish almost in the top five, right?
Yeah. The first and second corners I was literally in last place, so to come from dead last and passing my way up to sixth was huge for me. I think if I can start up front I might be able to hang with those guys and ride within the top five and even possibly knock on the podium door. That’s where I expect myself to be!
The little break in between West Coast rounds, what have you been up to?
I’ve been spending more time with my girlfriend and just relaxing a little bit. By now, though, all of that has kind of come and gone. I only gave myself a week off and now I’m back training and I’ve also been doing some outdoor testing.
Do you have a goal set for yourself for these last few West Coast rounds coming up?
Riding to my capability! Honestly, I know it sounds funny, but I need to bring Michael Leib to race day. We all know where I am on a practice track and I just need to bring that with me to the races. That is my ultimate goal for the last three rounds.
Do you do any type of cross training to prep yourself for moto?
I’m pretty into cycling, so I do some of that. I definitely love to snowboard and I think if things didn’t work out for me in motocross when I was younger then I’d probably be heavy into snowboarding now. It’s something I really enjoy and I firmly believe that snowboarding would have been the next thing if motocross had never worked out for me.
So what brings you out to the Muscle Milk TWMX Race Series?
Just looking for a little bit of gate-time. It’s always good to be behind a gate around other riders on a track. Whether it’s local or professional it’s always a good idea to keep your mind fresh on racing.
After all of the injuries and surgeries from motocross, what keeps you coming back to it?
I think what keeps me coming back is that I know my ability level on a dirt bike and I have a lot to prove to everybody including myself. Waking up in the morning with that fact in my head is what keeps me going. Not only that, but I just love to ride my motorcycle. It’s my escape. Those two things alone keep me coming back!