Temporary or not, getting the chance to ride a factory bike is a dream come true to any motocross enthusiast. We've even geeked out when we've had the chance to even touch a factory bike. Needless to say, Fredrik Norén was beyond excited when he got the call to fill in for the injured Justin Barcia on a factory Muscle Milk Honda. Though the opportunity is only momentary, it is a dream come true for the young Swedish rider. We recently caught up with Norén out at Milestone MX to talk about the opportunity, and how the transition from privateer to factory rider has been going.
First off, congrats on the new ride! How do you like it?
I love it! It's really cool, and so is the whole team. This is the first time I've ever been on a factory bike, and the feeling is so unreal.
Every kid that grows up racing motocross always dreams about landing a ride on a factory team. For you, you've spent your time as a full privateer. Was this kind of like a dream come true?
Yeah, my dream and goal was to always be on a factory team. Sure, I'm on a factory team right now, but I'm only filling in for a bit. So, I haven't achieved all of my goals yet, but we're working on making that happen. Still, riding this factory bike oftentimes leaves me speechless because I can't believe I got this opportunity.
Coming from being a privateer and doing everything on your own, what is it like to have the support of a factory team?
It's amazing. Compared to what I had to do before as a privateer, it's quite nice because all I have to focus on now is training and riding. I no longer have to worry about working on my bike, taking car of the rig, or even food because everyone on the team does that for me. As a privateer, I found myself wrenching on my bike between motos, as well as everything else.
Does that make it a lot easier?
Oh, yeah! I can stay focused on my riding, and not worry about everything else going on around me.
You had your first ride on the new bike out at Red Bud; what was that experience like? Were you nervous?
I'm not gonna lie. I was a little nervous before the race, but I tried not to think or worry about it too much. The team didn't really put a lot of pressure on me, so I was really happy on that. Plus, it was more of my decision to go to Red Bud and race because I hadn't been on the bike much.
Now that you've had more time on the bike, are you feeling a little bit more relaxed?
Yeah, I feel a lot better. We've been spending a lot of time out at the local tracks in Southern California in order to get me more comfortable on the bike. So, hopefully that helps before we fly out to the next race.
Is it better flying to races?
[Laughs] Yeah! It's nice because I get to play games on my phone, or do whatever else I want. Usually I can't do that because I have to focus on the road.
Do you have any real expectations for yourself?
I guess so because I saw at Red Bud that I was able to pull off some 10th place finishes. So, I'd like to consistently stay up there, and even better myself with each moto. We'll see what happens though!