Josh Grant | ThreeThree Plus TwoTwo
Read the official Kawasaki press release regarding all of its 2015 race teams, right here.
Ever since Chad Reed founded his TwoTwo Motorsports team, fans have been speculating about who his first-ever teammate might be. Though many (including us) expected it to be a 250-class rider, Reedy shocked many by signing his buddy Josh Grant to race alonside him aboard a similarly prepared Kawasaki KX450F. Grant is a proven front-runner and is fresh off one of his best 450 National seasons yet, including a hugely popular first-moto win at his hometown race at Glen Helen.
JG was cutting some laps aboard his new steed at the Milestone MX Supercross track today, and we jumped at the chance to corner him and talk about his new ride and what the future has in store…
How are you adapting to your new Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki, Josh?
Very easily! [Laughs] I’m kind of getting familiar with the Kawasaki again…there are some similarities between this bike and the Kawasaki I rode for Jeff Ward a few years ago. Getting used to the chassis and the stability in the frame. I’m stoked!
How early did the negotiations with TwoTwo begin?
It had been mentioned at the beginning of the Nationals but it really became reality halfway through the season. That’s when we learned that we would have the support from Kawasaki, plus the budget from sponsors. Still, we didn’t sign anything until right about the end of the season. I’m very happy and excited about this new opportunity.
It must be a nice change of pace to have things wrapped up for next year, this early in the off-season. I know you have had a few stressful fall and winters in the past…
Yes, definitely. For me, I’ve always been battling injuries or something that has held me back, and that has translated into some stress. But I am fresh off a great season with some good finishes and a lot of top-five showings. It was a building year for me, and I think that it showed people that I still have it in me. It’s a pretty good feeling to be signed already so that I am able to focus on nothing but January.
It’s cool to see you as the first rider to join Chad Reed on the team. Many thought it would be a 250-class rider, but here you are; a top-tier 450-class dude…
Yeah I think it’s cool. It hasn’t happened since the Jeremy McGrath days, where a rider on a team was actually racing against the guy who was paying his pay check. [Laughs] But it’s cool. Chad and I have a great relationship and I am excited to see what we can do. There’s a lot of marketability right there, especially with the both of us being the “rad dads” and all. It’s something unique.
You and Chad have always been buddies, right?
Yeah, we’ve always gotten along good. When I am out in Florida I ride and train with him and we also have a lot of fun together, which is important.
Speaking of “rad dads,” you’re a dad times two now…
Yes, our second son Easton is eight weeks old now. It’s crazy. Wyatt just turned four this past weekend, too. We’re cruising!
Oh yeah, talk about that super-legit Ninja Turtle birthday party you threw for Wyatt!
[Laughs] It was pretty rad! I had this idea a while ago because Wyatt is super into Ninja Turtles, so I talked to Ashley about having a party based around that. Initially, I was going to try and find a legit costume to rent and wear myself, but I found these dudes who do parties and stuff. They were out in Pasadena and they came with a Ninja Turtle van and another dude so we had two Ninja Turtles. They brought pizzas and everything. It was cool and Wyatt was stoked.
Getting back to racing, winning the first moto of the season had to feel amazing, especially since Glen Helen is your home track…
Yeah, it was rad. If you saw my reaction right after the checkered flag, you’d know that I was pretty pumped. Obviously, I have done a lot of laps around Glen Helen growing up, but it was cool to go out there and do what I did with a full gate of the fastest riders in the world. Unfortunately I had a crash at the start of the second moto and I couldn’t get back up there, but to be top five on the day with a 1-15 was cool.
Is there any doubt that if there was ever a National at Perris Raceway, you would win?
[Laughs] I’m actually not that big of a fan of Perris! I know I grew up there, but maybe I could win a National there if I was on an 80!
Are there any changes to your personal sponsors this year?
No, Not yet. I’m still cruising. I don’t have everything done yet but I hope to. My Shoei deal is still going strong, and we have a couple new replica models coming out soon.
Your original JG replica was inspired by your tattoos. What is the new one like?
It’s similar. It still has some of the same stuff. I wanted to bring back the feathers and the dream catcher. It will be out in December, just before Christmas. I’m really stoked on them; they look great.
How are things going with HLTN?
Things are going great. Tony Dandrea is running the show and I am not too involved, so that I can focus on other things that I need to. We are excited that people are so into the brand. We made some pretty big changes a couple weeks ago and got some new athletes. Having fun with it! We have Scott Champion and Sunny Garcia, and added Killian Garland who is a surfer and Travis Payne who is a big wave surfer. And most recently we signed Jason Anderson.
Last question. Where do you see yourself in 2015?
I expect to be, obviously, better than where I was because of how comfortable and confident I am at this point in the game. I am going to focus on being ready for Anaheim and I know a great season lies ahead.