Matthew Hubert, 19
Hometown: Riverside, CA
Sponsors: Dad and Family, Malcolm Smith Motorsports, MCMX, Enzo, Valley Kia Auto, Scott, Bell, TLD, Reno Power, AHM, Sidi, Dunlop
Amongst the nearly 500 Southern Californian racers, that gathered at Milestone MX for the Terra Firma Series opener was 19-year old Matthew Hubert. After spending nearly five-years away from the sport and off of a dirt bike, Matthew made the decision to return back to racing this past year. During his return to motocross, the Riverside resident encountered two separate breaks to his wrist, which lead to carpal-tunnel. However, Matthew delivered some of the best results possible at round one of the 2017 TWMXRS Terra Firma Series, despite the rough path he previously dealt with. After stalling on the opening lap of his first moto, Matthew put his head down and climbed back to the front to grab one of many moto wins. Matthew was awarded the "SPY Breakaway Rider" award for his solid results, despite facing some troubles.
What brings you out to Milestone MX today?
I came out here to have some fun racing the TWMX Race Series.
During one of your opening motos of the day you stalled your bike while battling for the lead. Fortunately, you were able to battle your way through the pack and successfully make the pass for the lead…
We have had electrical problems with my bike before so when I first stalled, I immediately thought the bike just quit on me, which is why I threw my hands up in the air (laughs). Luckily the bike fired back up, I knew I had to just put my head down to get back up to the front. I'm pumped I was able to still come away with the moto win, despite stalling my bike.
Earlier, you had mentioned that you're just coming back from a surgery…
Yes, unfortunately I broke my wrist twice in four months, which resulted in carpal-tunnel. The doctors decided to put a plate in my wrist to strengthen it up, as they were operating to fix the carpal-tunnel. So, hopefully it works well and I can stay away from the wrist injuries.
How did you manage to break the same wrist twice in such a short time period?
I really don’t know (laughs). The first break happened at Pala, when I had a pretty bad crash on a step down. And then, the second break occurred at Milestone when I cased a triple on the SX track. It was a real bummer.
You are just recently returning from a five-year break from motocross, how was the transition back onto a dirt bike?
Well when I first got back on the bike, I was probably a mid-pack "C" class rider. Fortunately, Mike Craig helped me quite-a-bit with returning to racing and regathering my technique.
During those five years you spent away from motocross, were you involved in any other sports?
I played football, which requires almost the opposite type of athleticism that motocross demands. In football, you focus more on sprints and short-time periods of all-out energy usage. Where in motocross you have to spread out your energy usage. Also, you bulk up a lot while playing football, so I had to work most of that off when I began riding again. Since returning back to motocross a year ago I have lost about 25-pounds.
What is your upcoming racing plan?
Well, I was injured and unable to race Mammoth so I plan on going to Dodge and racing that, as well as racing the TWMXRS. If we are able to get the funds together, we would like to race Mini-O's. And if we do well in both events, I'll be moving up to the "A" class and hopefully get the pro points.
Aside from racing motocross, what else do you do?
Motocross is pretty much it (laughs). It's my job, my life consists of training and motocross from sunrise to sunset. Due to the years I took off, I'm playing a game of catch-up, so I put in 110-percent.
How intimidating is it going up against guys that didn’t take that five-year break from riding?
It was real intimidating at first, but I've learned to focus on myself and not worry about everyone else. It's all Mental.
How pumped are you about winning the SPY goodies?
I am so pumped! I only have one pair of goggles so it will be awesome to finally have another pair!