MPG / DAILY BREAD / FEBRUARY 7, 2017
Jarrett Frye grew up about ten minutes from one of the most popular tracks on the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross calendar -- Budds Creek. The Maryland native honed his craft on the renowned course from the days of riding his PW50 onward and never looked back. Frye eventually made the move down to Millsaps Training Facility in Cairo, Georgia to continue progressing his skillset as he blazes a trail to the top of the sport. He has turned some heads in recent years -- grabbing overall podiums at Loretta’s, winning titles at Mini-O’s, and earning an invitation to the 2014 Monster Energy Cup as one of the youngest riders in the supermini class; he has now been invited three consecutive years although he missed out on 2015 due to an injury. The MotoSport supported amateur is coming into the crescendo of his supermini career heading into the 2017 spring nationals as he’ll take the step up onto the 125 for Loretta’s this year. Although Frye was able to grab a handful of podiums throughout 2016 as well as a title at JuniorMotoX, he feels that he underperformed and is hungry for more. He’ll be storming into Daytona with an unrivaled determination to go out with a bang in the supermini class. We caught up with Jarrett to chat about what it’s like during a typical day down at MTF, how he feels moving up to the 125, and what to expect from him this upcoming year.
First of all, how old were you when you first started riding and what got you into the sport?
Umm, I started riding when I was four. Pretty much, my brother got a bike and then I wanted to ride, so my dad got me a little PW50 and just started riding it in the backyard, and pretty much been going along ever since.
Do you remember your first race?
I think I was like six when I did my first race. I remember doin’ like a local series back by my house. I ended up actually winning the series a few times and then I pretty much got into the bigger races, started goin’ to Mini-O’s, tryin’ to do Loretta’s and stuff like that. Budds Creek is like ten minutes from my house, so I pretty much grew up ridin’ there.
Are there any riders that you’ve always looked up to or tried to learnfrom their riding style?
Not really. I mean, I always liked Ryan Dungey. I dunno, I really just try to, y’know, be myself out there. When I was growin’ up it was Ricky Carmichael, he was always at the top and winning.
You’ve started off 2017 by doing some races in the Florida Winter Ams, how’s that been going?
It was pretty good, I did two rounds; one at Reddick and one at Gatorback. I ended up winnin’ the supermini class.
You train down at MTF, could you talk a little bit about your program down there and how you’re feeling heading into spring nats?
Yeah, I’m feelin’ pretty good going into spring nationals. I’ve been puttin’ in the work at MTF, hopefully spring nationals go better than they did last year.
What’s a typical ‘day in the life’ down there at MTF for you?
Yeah, most of the time we have gym warm up to get the blood flowing in the morning, stretch and roll, and then we normally ride at 9am and end up finishing at 1pm; we have like a four hour day. Y’know, whatever we’re doing that day: motos, sections, turn track, sprints. After that we eat lunch, then we normally have gym around 2pm, we do our workout, go to school, eat dinner, and that’s pretty much it -- most of the time we just hang out and chill pretty much.
Is there any particular thing that you’re focusing on trying to improve in your training at the moment?
I’m pretty much just trying to clean up mistakes and y’know, pick up the speed a little bit, so I’m goin’ into spring nationals trying to win.
2016 was a decent year for you, you got lots of overall podiums and got a championship at JuniorMotoX, what was there anything that stuck out as the highlight of the year for you?
I mean, not really. Y’know, it wasn’t the best year. I was able to actually get a few podium finishes like you said, but nothing that I was real excited about or real pumped. I didn’t really -- I mean, I won JuniorMotoX, but like that’s not that big of a race.
It was a crazy week at Loretta’s this year with all of the delays, the weather, the track was never the same from one moto to the next…how’d the week at the Ranch go for you?
Ummm, yeah, pretty much it wasn’t too bad of a week, but I had some bike issues. I had some podium finishes, but the week really wasn’t that great -- I actually only had like one mud moto, but it really wasn’t too bad. I ended up gettin’ a moto win, because Kobusch and Shimoda ended up jumpin’ on a yellow flag or medic flag and they got docked, so that bumped me up to first when I actually got third. I got two other thirds, but I had bike issues -- one moto my coil went out on the sight lap, so I didn’t even get to do a lap, another race my clutch ended up breaking -- so it wasn’t the best week.
You’ve been invited to Monster Energy Cup three years
in a row now, is it still just as nerve-wracking sitting on the starting gate in front of the massive crowd as it was the first time you went?
No, not at all! The first year I went I was one of the younger kids and I knew everyone was going in a lot faster than me. Then the second year I ended up getting hurt, so this past year I went in pretty confident ‘cause I was one of the older kids and stuff. I actually qualified third and then in the races I didn’t really -- the first moto I didn’t get a good start, the second moto I ended up goin’ down, so…
What was your take on the elevated start this year?
Yeah, it’s pretty crazy ‘cause I’ve never done a start going downhill like that and it wasn’t a dirt start like on the top, it was a like a (metal) grate; it wasn’t something I was used to. It was pretty crazy goin’ into the first turn -- even sitting on the starting line just seeing all the fans.
You also got a couple overall podium finishes at Mini-O’s, how’d the week of racing go for you down at Gatorback?
Gatorback...I mean, it was alright again. I really didn’t have the greatest year. I got a few podium finishes there. I showed some good speed some motos and other motos I just wasn’t up to speed. But, they had a pretty big wall jump on the SX track and there was only a few guys doin’ it, so it was pretty crazy jumpin’ that.
Are you more of a SX or MX guy?
Ehh, I’d say MX. I haven’t really practiced SX that much, but we’ve been practicing whoops at MTF lately, so I’ve been getting more comfortable every time I ride a SX track.
Do you have any pre-race traditions that you follow from the motorhome to the gate?
No, not at all. I pretty much just go with the flow. Most of the time I don’t really talk to anyone on the gate -- when I’m on the gate I’m pretty much thinkin’ I’m gonna holeshot this race and win, that’s what I normally tell myself.
Where can everyone expect to see you racing in 2017, what classes will you be contesting?
At spring nationals I’m gonna race the supermini class and then after that I’m going 125; I’ve got a 125 now and I’ve been practicing on it, so I’m getting more comfortable on that. Right after spring nationals, I’ll be full time on the 125. I might do the California Classic, but after that I’ll just be training to get ready for Loretta’s!
How’re you feeling on the bigger bike and what’s the transition been like for you?
I’m feelin’ pretty good on it actually. I’m a little big on the supermini right now, so gettin’ on the 125 I have a lot more room and stuff, so it’s a lot better.
What’re your goals/expectations for the season?
Umm, at spring nationals I definitely wanna win the supermini class ‘cause, y’know, I’m the oldest guy in the class now. Goin’ into the 125 class, I pretty much just wanna get on the podium at Loretta’s and show I have what it takes on a bigger bike.
Who would you like to thank?
ANSR, MTF, ProTaper, Factory Connection, Scott, Motoseat, Leatt, FMF, Maxima, MotoSport, Traders Racing, Nihilo Concepts, Bell Helmets, Lynks Racing, 139 Designs, EVS Sports, Norsys Consulting
/ Words / Lake Kilpatrick
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