We're not sure how many people were looking at Troy Lee Designs Honda's Chris Blose as somebody who would finish inside the top five at both Anaheim 1 and Phoenix, but we're sure it wasn't too many. Blose, who has spent his professional career as a privateer, came through for the TLD team after Jake Moss–Moss was originally slated to ride for the TLD Honda team–broke his neck over the off-season. Now, Blose has a fourth and a fifth place under his belt as we head into Anaheim 2 this weekend, and is clearly making the best of his newfound gig. We caught up with Blose to chat about his two top-five finishes in two weeks and his thoughts on his new ride.
I think it's safe to say that you surprised a lot of people at both Anaheim 1 and Phoenix. Did you surprise yourself, too, or were you shooting for a top five finish at each race?
I knew I had it within myself to do well, and I don't think I surprised myself too much. I do, however, think I surprised a lot of people. I don't think a lot of people were expecting me to have a fourth place finish and a fifth place finish back to back.
You've been on the professional circuit for several years, however, a majority of those years you spent as a privateer…
I think this is my third or fourth year riding professionally. Each year I've been on privateer equipment. The guys at Wonder Warthog have helped me out over the years, but I now have this new ride with Troy Lee Designs Honda.
How did you end up riding for the TLD Honda team?
I was talking with Troy Lee about the opportunity, but they weren't having any of it. They had Jake Moss, which was all they were going to do; he, unfortunately, broke his neck so Troy Lee called me up and asked if I'd like to try out and to see how the bikes were. They ended up liking what I had, so here we are now.
How is your race bike this year compared to what you've ridden in the past?
These bikes are so much better! Mitch Payton from Pro Circuit has been doing an awesome job with our stuff, and everyone on the team is awesome. These bikes are unbelievable… They are more than I can even ask for.
Was a bit nerve-racking for you during the main event at A1?
I knew I had enough speed to run with those guys, but practice didn't go too well. I think I was 11th or 12th fastest, but once the main event started I was able to pick up my pace a lot. So, I knew I could run up front, but at the same time, I was up there running with the top guys in the world. It was definitely a little nerve-racking.
With that fourth place at A1, did that make things easier heading into Phoenix?
That fourth place at Anaheim was definitely a good confidence booster, especially since that is my hometown. I felt good all day long, and I was confident with my speed. I was able to lead a few laps in my heat race and was able to come way with a second place, which added to my confidence coming into the main event. I got a decent start in the main event and was able to pass some people. I ended up finishing fifth, so I was happy.
From here on out, what are your goals and expectations?
I want to be inside the top five at every race. I'd say that's my main goal. Aside from that, I want to get on the podium this year. I know I have the speed to be on the podium, but I just need to get a good start and stay up front.