Every year, a new crop of rookie Supercross racers emerge from the amateur ranks to test their abilities against some of the best in the world. January 7th marked the kickoff of the 2017 racing season, and since then we’ve noticed a number of talented, young racers that have shown some serious potential, and among that group riders was Robbie Wageman. Racing runs in the blood of the Wageman family, as Robbie’s father and older brother are both former Supercross racers, so you can expect a lot from this youngster in the near future. We checked in with the rookie last weekend at the San Diego Supercross after the final timed qualifier to get his take on the big move.
This is your first go at Supercross. How is everything going for you so far?
Everything is going really good; better than I expected, actually. I expected myself to need a lot of time to get used to everything, but last weekend at the season opener I felt really good. I felt great on the bike, great on the track and I had a lot of fun.
Did you bring anything with you to round two that you learned at around one?
Yeah, I definitely brought a few things with me from last weekend. I learned a lot just from watching the top guys. I learned that I needed to pick up my corner speed a little more and most importantly get better starts.
As a motocross racer, you’ve worked your entire life to get to this point in your career. Is it a surreal feeling now that you’re actually here? Is it what you expected?
Yeah, walking through the tunnel at Angel Stadium was a very surreal moment, for me. I’ve always dreamed of racing Supercross professionally, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to race at the Monster Energy Cup the last few years, but it doesn’t compare to racing on an actual Supercross track! The feeling that you get is completely different, and I love it. I’m really excited for what’s to come over the next few weeks.
You’re obviously out here as a privateer, but like most racers you seem to have a tightknit group of people that are always willing to help you out…
Yeah, first and foremost though, is my family. They’ve done and been through some crazy things to get me to this point in my life. Fasthouse is a huge sponsor in my corner because they really take care of me along with Alpinestars and EKS Brand goggles. I even have a few neighbors that are down to help however they can, as well. Yamaha has been gracious enough to help me out, too. All of these people have come together to put together a solid program for my rookie season, and I can honestly say that I’m living the dream.
As a privateer, the traveling aspect of motocross racing is a huge hurtle. Will you be able to attend all of the West Coast rounds?
Yeah, that’s my plan. I should be able to attend all of the West Coast rounds if everything goes as planned.
Like yourself, your older brother RJ is no slouch on a dirt bike, as he was also a pro. Was he able to help you get to this point in your career, as well?
Yeah, absolutely! My dad was another huge factor in getting me here because he was also a professional Supercross racer, as well. My dad could hold his own on a Supercross track and he even landed on the podium a few times, so he knows the sport very well. My brother RJ raced a number of Supercross rounds last year, so he was able to explain to me exactly what I should expect. To have knowledge from two talented riders like them has played a tremendous role in everything that I do.
Since your brother lined up for Supercross just last year was he able to break some things down for you that you maybe wouldn’t have expected?
Yeah, my brother was able to educate me a little further on how I should prepare for everything from the short, sprint-like heat races to the timed main events. He’s been able to help me out in every aspect both on and off the track. He knows what to do to stay mentally strong throughout the whole day and he can tell me how I should expect the track to change over the course of the day. It’s definitely a huge benefit to have him in my corner.
Unfortunately for you racers, Southern California got a good amount of rain throughout the week prior to the race. Were you able to ride at all this week to prepare for round two?
I actually wasn’t able to ride any Supercross. Every track was underwater, so I ended up riding at a rough sand track in the hills just to stay loose for the race. That’s really all that I need because I’m still training throughout the week. I don’t necessarily need five straight days on a Supercross track. I want to keep this as fun as I can so that I don’t burn myself out, and that’s what works best for me. I’m still learning, but I’m not going to take myself too seriously.