Jeremy McGrath | Seat Time

Racing the 2018 Trans Am

INSTAGRAM | @jeremymcgrath

Jeremy McGrath may have hung his professional boots up awhile ago, but he has never wandered too far from the sport. In fact, he’s almost always down to participate in anything that involves two wheels. Recently, we invited him out to race the 2018 Trans Am Vet Classic, an event specifically for riders past the age of 25. McGrath was all for it and loaded up his bikes for Glen Helen. The event actually turned out to be his first time lining up behind a gate in quite some time, but he still rode like the King. After he finished up his motos, we sat down with McGrath to talk about the Trans Am, the current state of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series, and more. 

This Trans Am is a unique event in that it’s for vets only. What are your thoughts and feelings on it? 
I’m psyched! Look, for me these days it’s all about the mellow vibe. I’m not trying to go out and hurt myself, but whatever happens, happens. I ride within my limits and hang out with all my buddies out here. We’re all too old to be worrying about trophies. For me, it’s for good times, campfires, and maybe a few adult beverages. And, of course, watching Supercross.

We had a little rain leading up to the event, but it seems like it worked out alright. 
I think we actually caught Glen Helen at its best ever. Practice was canceled because it rained too much, but at the same time the track today was just perfect. Yeah, it’s a little bumpy here and there, but all in all it’s great. The best part is that they didn’t rip the track. Usually, if Glen Helen is ripped it’s really bad. It’s perfect for all of us old and slow guys.

As far as the number of riders and the level of talent goes, the event was fairly stacked. Of course, there was separation with some of the classes. 
Yeah, that’s a good thing for me! It’s nice to see Villopoto out here, of course. The names don’t really mean much these days because there are guys that ride a whole bunch more than we do. I had a sweet battle with Kris Keefer out there and I know he rides a lot. For me to be able to hang and be able to race and compete with him is fun. Then, of course, there was Mike Sleeter, he’s one of my best buds. It’s been fun. TransWorld is onto something here. There are a lot of old guys that just love riding and love it for the passion more than the speed and trophies. It’s all about having a great weekend. Plus Troy Lee is here, which is awesome. There are a lot of heavy hitters here.

Looking at this year’s Supercross series, it’s been one of the more wild ones in recent years. The topic of discussion right now is the chaotic crashes that happen seemingly every weekend lately. From your perspective, is there anything to it? 
I don’t know, it seems like a freak thing to me. We’ve all been talking about how to fix this stuff for a long time. Last year, we had all of the guys for a long period of time with the exception of Roczen. I think it’s something you’re always going to deal with because you’ve got young guys coming in who are filled with piss and vinegar and the guys who’ve been at it for a couple of years – guys like Anderson, Seely, and Tomac that are well experienced. The young guys want to get in there to mix it up and flex their muscles. The next thing you know, things start happening. It’s hard to say. We’ve said it all along that the 450 is a strong bike with a lot of inertia and when you crash on one you’re going fast. It’s really unfortunate, but it’s just one of those years. To be honest, nobody has been consistent except for Anderson. Musquin’s had his troubles, Tomac has had his, Roczen and Seely are out, it’s been a mixup, but at some point, you feel sad and you have to ask yourself, ‘What do we do to fix it?’ I don’t know if there’s an answer for that.

As far as this event goes, it’s had a pretty good turnout this year and it’s something that looks promising for the future. Do you see yourself continuing to participate in it? 
Yeah, of course! We’re all looking for the new thing and Trans Am is such a cool name. The next thing you need to do is get the real Trans Am, like the Burt Reynolds one. But in all honesty, it’s an ebb and flow, right? Wherever all your boys go, that’s where you’ll go. If Doni and the boys at TransWorld make a fun event, you’ll have us all here.