MPG / DAILY BREAD / MARCH 8, 2017
Cody Gilmore has been on a hot streak the past couple of weekends as he’s made two main events in a row in Monster Energy Supercross. The Iowa native is looking to make it three on the bounce this coming weekend in Daytona and has built quite a bit of confidence heading into one of his favorite rounds of the series. He’s made three main events so far this year, including the fourth round of the championship in Phoenix, already besting his tally from the previous year of racing in 2016 in which he made a single main event in Detroit. In addition to his successful racing career, Gilmore is beginning to explore new ventures that will keep him occupied for many years to come as his career comes to a close. Gilmore provides MX training back in Nebraska during the summer where he trains a couple of amateur kids and puts on different schools in order to spread his knowledge to the youth of the sport. He’s also doing what he can to help promote the sport and give back to the privateers by putting on the Best of the Midwest MX Series; last year was the inaugural event of the seven round series and it’s aiming to grow with each and every year. We caught up with Cody to chat about making the main event two weekends in a row, attending the inaugural United States Motorcycle Coaching Association summit, and what his plans are for the summer.
You’ve been on a great run of form the past two weekends, making two main events in a row, and you’ve made three so far this year. How does that affect your confidence heading down to Daytona?
Yeah, man. It’s just always good to start makin’ mains and realize you can get in there every weekend. You always kinda wanna prove to yourself after you do the first one that you can make more, so I’m looking forward to Daytona; it’s one of my favorite races of the year just ‘cause it’s different and it’s usually a good time. Yeah, Daytona should be fun and hopefully I can get in the main again, just keep gettin some decent starts, y’know?
What do you like so much about Daytona?
Yeah, I like the track; it’s kind of fun with the sand, I like ridin’ sand a lot. It kinda sucks if it rains or something like that, but it’s just different. I guess to say it’s my absolute favorite, I don’t know about that -- St. Louis is usually pretty fun with the dirt there and stuff. I dunno, it’s just different. The last few years the track has just been really supercrossy compared to how it used to be, but it’s just kinda fun. I raced my last Daytona in 2005 and the track was completely different, so it’s definitely changed up a bit since then. I like the bike week deal too, so it’s a combination of all of that.
You had three weekends in a row in February where you missed the main by just one spot. Was there anything that changed in your preparation heading into Atlanta that solidified you as a main event guy or were you just fed up with getting fifth in the LCQ?
I’d say that would probably be the biggest thing -- it just sucks getting fifth in the LCQ. Making the one in Phoenix and then getting fifth in the LCQ three weekends after that, I just pretty much told myself “You’re either making this thing or you ain’t gettin’ fifth.” You know what I mean? I worked with Buddy Antunez too, I worked with him a couple of years ago, and we worked on a few things -- just gettin’ my starts down better and I think that was probably the biggest thing after Minneapolis gettin’ to work with Budman.
What’s your training program like out in California?
I normally take it pretty easy during the season. I definitely go on road bike rides and that type of thing, nothing too crazy with riding a bunch -- actually, it rained a ton at the beginning of this year and we were only able to ride like once a week. So, that kinda set me back a little bit but mainly I just try to ride twice a week and give myself a few days of recovery after a race. That’s the thing with living out here in California and flying out to the east coast races -- it takes about a full day of travel. You’re usually on the plane on Thursdays and Sundays, so you have a few days to ride during the week, but other than that you don’t get too crazy. About halfway through the season all your main work’s done, you’re just trying to keep your level up and work on little things to get better.
Does the flying back and forth take a lot of out of you after the race?
I don’t think it’s too bad. I think some people really hate flyin’, but I don’t really mind it. Usually I can rest on the plane and get some sleep anyways. It ain’t too bad, but the Thursdays do suck ‘cause you’re waking up pretty early in the mornin’ and you’re not getting there with the time change and everything. It does take a little bit out of ya as opposed to having a quick hour flight or driving to the races, but it’s a lot better than having to drive a van or something like that to every single race, or cross-country every weekend -- from Atlanta, to Toronto, to Florida, they’re all quite a ways apart. I’ve been fortunate enough to have Team PR-MX haul my bike for me to the east coast races, so I can fly. It’s way easier and better to have a structured program when you’re able to fly to the races and don’t have to try and find somewhere to ride during the week and all that stuff.
The starts have been huge for you the past couple of weekends and have really put you in a good position early on, especially in the LCQ’s. How important is it to be able to get out front and just ride your own laps?
Yeah, it’s huge. The starts make up so much in the race. When you’re able to get up front in the heat race and start up there with those guys, you’re kinda able to learn the speed and you learn lines -- that’s one real big thing with racing, like what the front guys run for lines and you can kinda pick that up when you run with them guys. Getting a good start in the LCQ is huge too, ‘cause that first lap is carnage and there are guys going everywhere, so if you can get up front and get yourself away from the battle, so to speak, it definitely helps not havin’ to worry about lookin’ over your shoulder all the time.
You posted a picture on your instagram of you racing amateur day at Minneapolis SX twenty-two years ago on a 50. Was it cool to go back there after all these years finally racing on the big stage now?
Yeah, it was awesome, man. Minneapolis SX has always been my favorite; it was obviously the first one I went to, it’s a home race for me. I grew up about four hours from Minneapolis in Iowa, so I had a lot of family and friends there which was awesome. It’s definitely cool with the new stadium being there. The Metrodome was always cool and that’s where my first race was, but that new stadium is an awesome place. It’s just cool to be back up there in Minneapolis, and the weather wasn’t too bad either, so I’ll take it for sure.
The new timed main events this year have mixed things up a little bit; in the longer races, it seems like the tracks have really broken down and got gnarly in the latter stages of the main events. Do you feel like the racing has been affected a lot by the changes?
Ehh, it’s hard to tell. I think at the end of the day it’s always gonna be the same guys up front -- no matter if it’s a ten minute race or if it’s a twenty minute race. I personally think it gets a lot less exciting with the longer races where everyone has to pace themselves a little bit more, and things get spread out when the track kinda gets dangerous on some of the softer dirt. It kinda spreads it out I think -- if they were gonna make any changes, I think it would have been cool to do like two ten minute mains like they do in AX or something. I think that would be better for the fans as opposed to making the races even longer. In my opinion, it kinda makes things a little more boring. But, I guess the older school guys would say they like the longer races too, so it just depends. The tracks are definitely getting chewed up a little bit more, so you see guys taking it a little bit easier on the last laps, and I dunno if that’s something fans always wanna see. But, you gotta give credit to Feld and everybody for trying something different, y’know.
How much do you have to adapt your approach, your line choice, and your riding style throughout the main event when the track is showing through to the concrete and getting extremely chewed up like that?
Yeah, that’s kinda been crazy the last few weekends there’s been a lot of concrete showing. Even by the semis, you’re gettin’ down to the concrete a lot and that kind of makes it dangerous. A few weekends ago in Dallas, we were down to the concrete before one of the triples which then you’re spinnin’ going up to a triple...I mean, I think they could get some more dirt and make it a little safer on us guys, but it’s hard to keep up with the track. When they try getting good dirt for the racing, it’s always gonna be a softer compound which is gonna get torn up a little faster, so I guess I’m not gonna complain about that too much. I suppose it’s better than riding on a hard packed, dry, slick track or somethin’ like that. Y’know, the last few laps of the mains when it’s that long of a race and the bikes are powerful like they are, you’re gonna chew up any kind of dirt, so it’s just a part of the game.
You were involved in the inaugural United States Motorcycle Coaching Association summit about a month ago, could you talk a little bit about what’s being put together there and the direction that’s heading in for the future?
Yeah, I mean it’s a really cool deal. Budman’s a part of it, Nate Ramsey, Jeff Emig...and I kinda talked to Buddy a little bit about it -- they’re trying to unite the coaches to where you’d be certified to be a coach and there’d be guidelines, just to make the sport better and safer for new riders coming into it, and for riders that have been racing that want coached. There’s definitely universal things that people need to know and it’s easier to get new people from out of the sport interested in it if there are coaches that are certified, and they know that who they’re hiring is gonna be able to teach them the right and wrong way. It’s definitely something that I wanted to be a part of -- back home in Nebraska during the summer time I do a lot of MX schools and train a couple of kids, so I definitely support it and I think it’s a good deal for sure. They’re moving along with it, that was the first summit and there’s definitely a lot of work left to do. I think it’s gonna be pretty good with the turnout -- they had everyone there from Aldon Baker to (Roger) DeCoster, the people from the manufacturers, Feld, and everyone supporting it. I think it’s definitely a good deal and it should be good if it keeps movin’ in the right direction, and I think they’re having the next workshop in Indianapolis in a few weeks that I’ll be attending, too. They’re building it from there and based on what I’ve seen with the turnout, it should be a cool deal.
Do you have anything put together for outdoors or are you just focusing on your schools?
Yeah, I don’t plan on doing any outdoors; they’re a lot of work for what you get back. I do like a lot of local racing during the summer. I actually put on my own series called the Best of the Midwest MX Series and it goes to tracks in Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri -- it’s a seven race regional series, so last year was our first year doing that and I’m just trying to build that series up with good pro purses, and trying to get the top level riders from the regional area to come together. I wanna put on a good series for them and try to visit the best tracks in the midwest, so that’s definitely gonna keep me busy along with my schools. I’m definitely not gonna count out doing Millville or something like that ‘cause I love that race, but I definitely won’t be doing the full series, that ain’t in the plans. It would take a good full time sponsor for me to be in outdoors. But, with everything I have going on -- it’s getting down to the last few years of my racing -- and I’m just trying to build some other stuff that’ll keep me busy in the years to come, y’know.
Who would you like to thank for helping you out?
Yankton Motorsports / Thunder Ridge MX Park / Race Tech / Strikt / Versus PC / PR-MX / ARLO / BestofmidwestMX.com / Ti Lube / Holirosa / Hotcams / Vertex / Rekluse / Sunstar / Inquire Partners / Sidi / Yoshimura / Abbott MX / Galfer / Just1 / Works Connection / Motion Pro / GTC / Fist Handwear / ODI / SDG / Rebel Supply Co / DT1 Filters / 100% / CWI / Moto XXX / SKVI / Vortex Igni / Bob / Strip Club Sperry
/ Words / Lake Kilpatrick
(Know someone that should be featured?)
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org