As evidenced by the change in seasons that bring overcast skies, cool temperatures, and moist dirt to the local Southern California test tracks, the Supercross off-season has begun. And riders, along with team personnel, are already busy testing and preparing for the fast-approaching 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.
After making his professional debut at Unadilla this past season, GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia has already begun his preparation for his rookie Supercross season. Being excited to get to Supercross, though, rather than wait until the 2014 bikes were ready, he headed to California two weeks before his scheduled time to begin turning laps and getting comfortable on a tight jump-riddled Supercross track. With five days at the team's new test facility at Milestone Raceway under his belt, Bisceglia is looking forward to the real work of testing and training for next year. Between motos, we caught up with rookie to get his thoughts on getting acquainted with Supercross, racing next season, and his goals.
How has it been to begin riding Supercross?
This is my fifth day of riding Supercross so far. I'm feeling really good and I'm actually surprised with how comfortable I'm feeling already. I feel like it actually suits me really well, even though I've only ridden it a little bit. I've gotten everything down pretty good—between the rhythm sections, the whoops, and the jumps. I'm feeling really comfortable, and I'm carrying my corners through, but I'm just having fun right now, which is important. We were supposed to be out here during the first of November, but I was itching to start riding Supercross, so we came out here a couple weeks early to get a head start. I'm getting the hang of it now, I'm feeling really good, and I'm having a lot of fun. Like I said, having fun is really important, and for only having four or five days on the Supercross track, I'm feeling really good.
A lot of amateur riders get a chance to ride Supercross a little bit growing up, but have you had a chance to get on a Supercross track before these past few weeks?
No, I haven't. I know a lot of amateurs do when they prepare for Monster Cup or Mini O's, but the last two years—2011 and 2012—I was hurt right before Monster Cup and wasn't able to do it. I had no reason to get onto a Supercross track until now, because Mini O's isn't really Supercross; it just has a couple of big jumps and a little whoop section. Until now, I've never really had a legitimate reason to ride a Supercross track. Except for one short day last year, these last five days is all I've really ridden Supercross. I have no experience, which is the reason I came out early.
What has been the biggest challenge you've faced with riding Supercross?
It took me the first day or two in order to figure out how fast I needed to hit all of the jumps. I actually had to follow Zach Osborne off both of the triples. It's intimidating the first time you get on the track, because you can't see the landing. I've watched Supercross enough, though, to know that you hit them in second gear on a 250, giving it everything it has. Besides having to follow Zach off the jumps, casing a couple triples, and casing a few rhythm sections, I have gotten it down pretty good. The first day I was here, I didn't hit the whoops, but since then, I've started hitting everything. It's going good.
You mentioned that Osborne helped tow you off the jumps, but have all the other riders on the team been pretty helpful for you?
Yeah, all of my teammates are cool. I'm glad to have teammates that will help me. They haven't just helped me with Supercross, they also helped me when I rode the last three Nationals. They gave me a bunch of advice, which is what they're doing now. I've been riding with Osborne and Wil Hahn. We're all friends and they've helped me out quite a bit. It's really cool for a teammate to do that, especially one that I'm going to be racing against.
What's your plan for the next few weeks? Do you get your 2014 bike soon?
I came out here early to get used to Supercross, but in the next couple of weeks, I should be on a '14. I'm just going to start testing, putting the hammer down, and start training. Right now, I'm just having fun doing shorter sprint motos to get my endurance up, but in a couple weeks it's going to start getting serious.
It's probably too soon to even ask this question, but when the season gets underway, will we see you on the East or West Coast?
I think that right now the plan is to do East, but since it's three months away, anything can happen. I'd like to do East, because I'm pretty sure the first round is at Dallas and I'd have a lot of friends and family there, which would be a lot of fun. That would be ideal for me to race East Coast and go out there and do well in my hometown. That would be super cool, so hopefully that's the plan. Also, being the rookie, I don't have any experience, and racing the East Coast I'd get a little more time to test and prepare.