Photos by Mike Emery | @emeryphoto
Married man, eh?
Yeah! It doesn't really feel any different out here while I'm riding on the track, but I'm definitely a lot happier. It was exciting, I was ready to do the wedding and it went really well. I'm just super stoked on everything and really happy.
It seems like a great way to take some time and unwind away from dirt bikes.
Yeah, this was a great year but also a long one with a lot of races. So to take some downtime and get married and have some fun was awesome. It was one of the bigger breaks that I have been able to take from the season so it was just nice –a lot of love and happiness, and very enjoyable.
Going from a young Bam Bam to now, is it nice to have that puzzle of home life complete?
100% – It’s nice to just have a solid home base and I've grown a lot over the past couple of years. I all feels awesome, and life is good.
It's crazy to say that only one year ago you didn't even have a secure ride and were on a trial basis filling in for Davi Millsaps when Anaheim rolled around.
Yeah, at this point last year I was just on a trial run with Yamaha and trying to figure my life out. I got this great opportunity last year and made the best of it, and its great that this year everything is in order. I don't have to worry about anything but putting in my time on the bike and my training, and then we go racing. Everything is sorted, and it feels good to be on a good path. Last year was a bit of a rebuilding year, and this year we're ready to be fighting for titles.
Looking back on it, was last year more memorable because of that big turnaround for you?
Yeah it was solid, but I obviously always expect more from myself and wanted to get more wins. It took me until the last race to finally get a win, and that was a bit frustrating. Supercross was pretty good, and I had a little injury there in the middle but I came back from that alright. Outdoors I kind of struggled a bit all year and never got super comfortable to where I wanted, but a win at the last race was cool and overall it was a good year.
And getting over the MXoN loss, was that a pretty tough pill to swallow? It seems like as racers all you can do is call it what it is and move on, right?
Yeah, pretty much. Obviously I was bummed that it didn't go the way we wanted at the race, but in the end it's just a race and you put it behind you and we'll hopefully have another shot at it next year. It's at a sand track, so we'll see. It's going to be interesting!
Results aside, you guys went there and tried your best with pride. Do you think it's hard to understand the pressure that's on you guys?
Yeah a lot of people forget about that, and we definitely tried our hardest. It just didn't happen for us and we weren't the best team this year. We always try our hardest, that's really all that matters.
The funny thing is that it's only been just over a month and everyone has moved on…
Yeah it's crazy, that's how racing is. Everything is a big deal for a little bit, and then it's onto the next race. But we tried our best, were pissed we didn't win, and we'll give it another shot again.
So heading into 2019, the new YZ450F has slight changes but I assume your setup is pretty dialed?
On our end it's pretty much the same, and we figure out little things here or there, but all in all it's good to have a year on the bike. Now we can just put in the time and laps, and pick up speed. Right now everything is in play, and I have Geneva, Switzerland coming up here in a few weeks. That will be fun, and that's my last race of the year. Then it's on to 2019!
You have a new teammate over here, and it's reminiscent of old Stewart days with that #7!
[Laugh] Yeah, it's funny to see that at first. It's cool to have Aaron on board and it's a really solid, motivated, and hard working team right now. We have a lot of guys behind the scenes that are working hard, and having a guy like Aaron on board motivates me and I think I motivate him too. We're having fun and enjoying ourselves right now.
Be careful man, these babies around here are contagious –you might find yourself with a mini Bam Bam soon!
[Laughs] Yup, she’ll get baby fever man! I like kids as well too, and its funny Aaron has his kid here today and it's cool. We're all men now; we're not the young kids anymore. We have kids, wives, and all kinds of stuff over here!
Having fun though…
Totally, having lots of fun!