In 2009, Matt Georke’s career could not have looked any brighter. The Florida native had claimed the overall victory at Southwick as he filled in for the injured Broc Hepler, and impressed the team enough to earn a full ride for 2010. But a string of injuries kept Georke from logging much time in the saddle, and when Yamaha folded their factory efforts for 2011, Georke was without a ride while on the mend. After spending the winter in Europe, he has returned stateside and has begun the climb back with the help of the Butler Brothers/BTO Sports/JGR race team.
The past few years have been rough and you fell off the radar for a while. How does it feel to be back?
It feels good. I had some bad injuries, I broke my tibia and fibula, then my ankle twice, then shattered my pelvis and crushed my wrist, all within two years. I was out for a while but after coming back, I was getting better each week until New Orleans. I crashed hard there and had a hematoma on my back and could barely walk. I haven’t practiced in two weeks, but I raced Seattle and Salt Lake. I don’t even know I was able to race Seattle, and after practice I wasn’t going to race. But I figured I would try, and I got into the main event and tried my hardest. I didn’t practice at all before Salt Lake, and I felt fast but still tight. At the beginning I was pumped because I was up there and battling for fifth, but I got tight and my back was sore. I’m pumped with the way I was riding, but I just wish I hadn’t of gotten hurt a few weeks ago, because I would have stayed up there. I’ll actually get to practice this week before Las Vegas.
Not to bring up bad memories, but how hard was it to have a factory contract and then have it slip it away? Was it difficult to get over, mentally?
Yeah, and I was hurt badly. I thought about quitting, but there is nothing else I can do. After being injured and starting to heal, I wanted to ride again. Just these past six months, I went to Montreal Supercross and won there, went to Germany and won that series, and then came to the US Supercross and have slowly been getting better. Shoot, by the end of the year, I think I will be at 100 percent again.
Was there a culture shock when you went to Germany? You were over there for quite a while.
Yeah, I just stayed over there for a couple of months. It was different (Laughs). I adjusted to it well. My fiance came with me and my brother was there, too. We adapted pretty well, just made the best of it.
How did your deal with Butler Brothers and BTO come about? Los Angeles was your first race back in the United States.
After Germany, I used the money I had to move to California and was hoping to get a ride. Luckily they called me and gave me a shot. It took me a couple of weeks, I kept crashing in the heats and couldn’t make the mains. But I have made every main since, other than New Orleans when I crashed.
Butler Brothers is a Florida based team, and you are from Florida as well. Isn’t that odd that you got a ride with a team from there while you live north of San Diego?
Yeah, because I did live in Florida and moved because there was only one team from there, and all the rest are in California. And then, I end up on the team from Florida (Laughs).
How is the JGR bike? Did it take long to adapt to it?
The bike is awesome. It only took a few weeks to get used to it because I was used to the Kawasaki.
Are you excited for the Nationals? They have always been your stronger area.
Yeah, but I’m racing the Canadian Nationals. I am excited for that and I hope to go win there. There are fast guys there, but it should be good.