The 2016 Monster Energy Supercross Series marked Australian Lawson Bopping’s first go at American Supercross. Bopping attended the first six rounds in the 450 class before heading back home for the Australian outdoor nationals, and he accomplished his goals by making four of the six main events. However, shortly after lining up for round one of the Australian Nationals, the Yamaha rider seemingly obtained the Epstein Barr virus, as he was unable to do any sort of physical activity without tremendous exhaustion. Bopping is currently in the states, but just for a few weeks before he heads back home to further his recovery. We caught up with the Australian transplant to see what his plans are for the rest of the year and to see if he’ll be returning to the US for some more racing next year.
You’re a long way from Australia! What have you been up to here in Southern California?
I’m just out here riding for a little bit, but I actually have a friend’s wedding to go to in Hawaii, so I’ll be going over there pretty soon. I’m just out here for three weeks, so I figured I might as well get in a little bit of riding, and I’m actually looking to sell my bike while I’m out here, too. Call it a holiday/riding trip (laughs).
What have you been up to back home in Australia?
I did the first six Supercross races this season, which was great. After that, I just went back home to train for the Australian Nationals. I went into the series feeling pretty good, but after three rounds I began to feel pretty horrible. I had absolutely no energy when I was riding and I was struggling pretty bad, so I went and saw a few doctors to have a few tests done. A few years ago, I fell victim to glandular fever, which is like the Epstein Barr virus. Epstein Barr didn’t show up on my blood tests, but it feels very similar to the glandular fever that I had. I’ve seen so many doctors and I’m still unable to get a straight answer from anyone as far as treatment. I figured the best thing for me to do is let my body rest, so I’ve been doing this for about two months now. It’s been so frustrating. I decided to come out here in part because I knew I still had my bike in my van, and I’ve been wanting to sell it so while doing that I figured this would be a good time to ease back into riding. I’ve started to feel a little better over the last few weeks. I’ve actually planned on seeing a few doctors over here to see if they could point me in the right direction.
As you mentioned, you did the first few rounds of the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross Series. How was your first go at Supercross in America and did you live up to your expectations?
Yeah, I think I did. My goal was just to qualify for a main event and I made it into four mains out of six. It was a great experience and I had some great races. It was tough doing the privateer thing having to buy my own bikes, but the experience was awesome. I spent a lot of my own money, but I could never take back racing Supercross in America. I would absolutely love to come back to do it again, so the plan for me is to get my health right. Again, I’m out here just for a couple of weeks and then My plan is to race Supercross back home since it starts in September.
Is there a big difference between Supercross in Australia versus what we have here in the states?
If I were to compare the Australian Supercross series and the American Supercross series, the series here in the states is on a much larger scale. The tracks are a little bit bigger and the same goes for the crowd, but the series back home isn’t bad at all. It’s actually pretty good! Back when Chad ran the series is when it was really awesome. Again, everything is the same for the most part, just on a smaller scale. The teams aren’t as big, there aren’t as many riders and not as many fans. It’s just like a mini version of Supercross here in the states.
So what are your plans for the rest of the year? As you mentioned, you’re on the mend from possibly the Epstein Barr virus, but if it were up to you what would be your next move?
In a perfect world, I would go home to race Supercross for the DPH race team. Then I’d love to come back here to race a full series of Supercross. I would love to end up on a team that does both Supercross and outdoors. That would be my absolute dream! First and foremost though, I have to get healthy and I will go from there. I’m really pushing to come back here for Supercross in 2017, so if anyone out there wants to put me on a bike please let me know. Rider for hire (laughs)!