MPG / DAILY BREAD / FEBRUARY 3, 2017
It’s undisputable that Pierce Brown has the speed to perform at the highest level of the amateur motocross ranks. The Red Bull TLD KTM rider has shown flashes of speed throughout the entire 2016 racing season, but just came up short from putting it together at some of the major nationals. Contrarily, he had a stellar weekend at Mammoth in which he never finished off the podium, and he also won a title at the Daytona RCSX. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to count the Utah native out of contention from hoisting the heavy hardware at the major nationals in 2017. He’s started off the year by dominating the Florida Winter Amateur Series, taking an overall victory at every race that he contested. Brown is coming into the new year with a new approach to racing -- to keep things consistent. He’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the B class if he’s able to coordinate his speed and style with consistent results. We caught up with Pierce to chat about the past year of racing, riding through flaming ruts, and what he’s got lined up for 2017.
You’ve started off 2017 with some racing at the Florida Winter Amateur Series, how’s everything been going with that?
Everything’s been going pretty good. I did three of the six (rounds) of the Winter AM Series in Florida; started out with Diamondback and Gatorback, that went pretty good. After that I went to Reddick, I won five out of six motos there. Then I went back to Gatorback and got five out of six wins there, too.
How was the new Diamondback track?
That track is fun, but it got really rough! It’s a good track really. Um...you could kind of tell it was a new track, there were some tree stubs and stuff like that, but other than that it was really good.
So, you’ve been putting in work at MTF getting ready for spring nationals, how’s the preparation going?
It’s been going pretty good down here at MTF. I’m lovin’ it. There’s some fast dudes here like Marcus Phelps, Carter Halpain, and Jaxon Hadlow -- guys like that. They’re on it and they’re pushing me day by day and it’s helping me out a lot.
Down at MTF, you’re always training and putting in motos with the same guys throughout the week, who do you always end up battling with during practice?
Umm, yeah. It’s funny ‘cause everyday it’s different. There’s some days where I’ll wanna shoot myself; I’m three, four seconds off of the guys. But, other days I’ll be running just as fast if not faster than Halpain on a 450, and Marcus Phelps is right there with us. This week’s been pretty good, Halpain has been riding SX all week and he started riding MX again on Wednesday, he’s just trying to get back into the flow. It was me and Marcus really goin’ after it.
What’s your main focus this offseason heading into 2017?
Umm, my main focus is just consistency. I know I have the speed. At Mini-O’s, I had some really fast times in practice, but I got together with -- I think it was Tanner Stack in one of the motos, and I crashed and got knocked out for a while; it was pretty scary. I think just realizing how fast things can change really set my mind in the right direction...just knowing that I have to be on point no matter what.
Could you elaborate a little more on what happened at Mini-O’s?
It was like the second moto of the week...and um, me and Tanner got together off of the double on like the second lap, and I crashed. I got knocked out for two minutes and I compound fractured my collarbone. It took a good two to three weeks to recover, but after that it was all good.
Your whole amateur career you’ve of had a slight disadvantage as you’ve been so tall, always having to ride up a class. You skipped Superminis altogether, etc…you’ve been on the 250 for a while now, but do you finally feel like you’re on a bike that fits your build?
Yeah, exactly. I feel like I’ve always had to ride a class up, a bike size up; I’ve always been racing the older guys, and never really had the chance to win and dominate like all the other guys my age have. But, I feel like it’s helped me out a lot really and it’s made me a better rider. When I look back at it, it’s not too bad. So, it’s pretty nice to settle on the 250 and see what’s gonna happen in ‘17.
So, you were ripping some sleds in Utah over the holidays. What other sort of things do you like to do when you’re not riding or training moto?
Yeah, that was a blast! I don’t really have a lot of down time on moto, I’m normally always riding. So, it was pretty fun to go snowmobiling with my cousin and my uncle, it was like one of the last days I was home. We just figured we’d go up on the mountain and rip some sleds.
You had another minor injury at the Motoplayground Race at Ponca where you sprained your wrist, but you managed to fight through the pain and put in some good rides anyways. How difficult is it to kind of turn your brain off and ride through an injury like that?
Actually, I didn’t even know how bad that injury was at Ponca. But, I was pretty pissed ‘cause me and Lance were going at it for the first half of the rounds. Then the first moto of the second round -- I think it was when I crashed -- we were either gonna pack up and go home or I would have to tough it out through the rest of the races and go back to MTF. So, I chose to fight through it.
This last year at Loretta’s was pretty solid for you, you had two top five finishes overall in both your classes. How did the racing go down at the Ranch?
Umm, it was alright. I was disappointed to say the least. I felt like I should have at least won a moto, but I dunno...I came out safe and showed the speed in some of the motos. Every time I got out on the track, it was a different race. It was pretty challenging, but it was some good racing.
You’ve been with the Red Bull TLD KTM team for some time now. They have a really cool deal where they bring all of the Orange Brigade athletes out to do a camp together twice a year. What was that experience like for you this year?
Yeah, I just signed with the Red Bull TLD KTM team this year, but they’ve been helping me out for quite a while now -- a year or two. The Orange Brigade program has been awesome to me. Every spring and summer we go out for an Orange Brigade camp at Glen Helen, if it’s on the west, and Daxton Bennick’s house when it’s on the east; they have a really good program going, it’s helped me out a lot. Nathan Ramsey is part of the program, whenever we do stuff like that he’ll help us out training-wise, technique-wise...all that kind of stuff. So, it’s all around good training really.
I saw a little highlight on your instagram of a video you did with Pearlescent Media where you were riding and whipping through flames, how cool was that and did you have any close calls?
Oh, that was a blast! I was terrified. I just went out for the day ‘cause I missed riding -- I think ‘cause it rained. So, I just wanted to put my time in and leave and he was like “I’ve got something I want to try with you,” and I was like “Alright, what is it?” And he pulled out a five gallon thing of gas. He put it like in the ruts, in the corners, and everything. It would screw me in the mind so hard; I felt like I had to hit the corners so fast to not feel it. Every time I went through I could feel it on my jersey -- I thought it got caught on my jersey one time, I was pretty scared!
What sort of goals/expectations do you have for yourself heading into the spring nationals and the 2017 season?
I mean, everyone obviously wants to win, but comin’ into the spring nationals I just wanna stay consistent and keep it on two wheels. It feels like every time I go racing, I’m on my head. So, I just wanna start out slow and get ready for the big show at Loretta’s.
/ Words / Lake Kilpatrick
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