By Donn Maeda
Along with Zach Osborne, Tyler Bowers is one of the new guys on the Boost Mobile/Yamaha/Troy Racing team. Sporting number 391, Bowers is a highly decorated amateur champion, and big things are expected of the kid from Kentucky. We caught up with Tyler just before he made his Supercross Lites debut in Atlanta.
All the west coast riders were able to get most of their racing out of the way in January and February, but you have had to wait until now. Were there a lot of nerves and excitement building up these last couple months?
(Laughs) There is so much emotion right now. I have been dying to race Supercross forever. I was ready to ride the west coast! Anaheim 1 rolled around and I was wanting to go, but I had to race a couple of the Arenacross races to get some gate time and learn to race with some fast guys. I am here now and ready to do it, though.
You were the stand out guy during unseeded practice today, how are you feeling out there?
I have an awesome bike that I feel great on right now, so I think I should have been the stand out guy during practice. To be honest, I felt a little bit tight out there, so next practice I am going to try to loosen up a little bit, throw a couple whips here and there, and you know, get a little crazy. I think I dropped a second or two off my lap times, so I need to go out and start riding like myself.
Are you based in California right now?
Not right now. I live in Kentucky, so I have been staying there. Ever since west coast started, I have been going out there every once in awhile. I have been going to Chad Ward’s track in Alabama. He has the sickest supercross track there, so I have been riding there a lot.
So you haven’t been spending a lot of time practicing with your teammates?
I have rode with Ryan Morais a little bit, and I rode with Zach Osborne a lot before Anaheim 1. He was hauling butt when we rode together, but unfortunately he got hurt at Anaheim 1. If he wouldn’t have gotten hurt, he would have been up front for sure. I rode with Morais a little bit when I was out in California, and he looked really smooth. He is so smart about everything. He dials everything in perfect, and once race time comes he goes out and does it right.
You don’t do the “chest into the crossbar pad” thing like Osborne, do you?
(Laughs) No not at all! He does so many weird things! The chest in the crossbar pad when he seat bounces is strange, but he also uses his feet in weird ways. He puts one under his shifter and one under the brake pedal when he goes to preload and he’ll pull up with his toes! The kid is weird! I don’t know, though…whatever works for him, right? The kid hauls, but I try to stay away from the shifter. My feet are just too big.
Where do you think you will finish the season out? What are your personal goals?
I just want to live through the season. I want to ride good. I don’t want to say I am going to finish here or there. I feel like I have a lot of confidence, but I need to go out, loosen up, get the nerves going, shake out the cobwebs, and go race.
So you have a pretty strong beard there…tell us about it. Is that a Kentucky thing?
(Laughs) Yeah it’s pretty nice. I have been in Kentucky and growing it forever. I have actually been trimming it though. It was really long last night. I trimmed almost half of it off last night. Chris has been trying to get me to shave it off, but I think I might wait till next week to shave the entire thing.
Is it one of those things where you won’t shave it off until you make the podium?
No, because if I make the podium, I am not shaving it off! It must be a good luck charm, so if I make the podium this weekend it’s staying on for the rest of the series.