Catching Up With Josh Grant

Kit Palmer | May 21, 2010

For Josh Grant, the 2010 racing starts tomorrow at Hangtown. The Joe Gibbs Racing/Muscle Milk/Toyota Yamaha rider will line up on the starting gate for the first time since injuring his shoulder, which required surgery, just days prior to the opening round of the 2010 Supercross Series. Ever since, Grant, who was expected to be a front runner in Supercross, has been sitting idle waiting to get healed up and start racing again. Well, that time has come.Grant was one of the few riders who attended the pre-season press conference yesterday on the steps of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento and, afterwards, got the chance to spin a few laps around the Hangtown track before tomorrow’s opening round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.We got the chance to chat with Grant who says he’s more than ready to get back to business.So, how’s the shoulder?It’s all good, and overall I’m feeling really good, too. I could’ve come back for the last couple of [Supercross] rounds but decided to focus on the outdoors and give myself a good shot at the championship. I did a lot of therapy during my time off and got in a lot of family time, so that part was kind of cool, because we don’t get much time to do that during the season. Having that time off and hang out was cool, but, at the same time, I wanted to be out there racing. But the whole thing for me is to come out and focus on the outdoors.When did you get back on the bike?I started riding again about a month and a half ago, which really isn’t that much time to really test and to really do all of the stuff I wanted to, but it’s enough for me to where I feel like I’m ready.How much riding have you been able to do?Right off the bat, off an injury, you’re always wanting to go ride every single day – when you don’t have an injury, you’re like, “ah, maybe I won’t ride today, I’ll ride tomorrow or whatever,” but when I got released from the doctor to go ride, I was out every day until about a couple of weeks ago, ever since then I’ve been backing it down a little bit and just getting ready.Do you feel as though you’re back to the same form as you were before the injury?About my second week riding, I was like, “all right, I know I have the speed agin.” I know I can ride a dirt bike after being on the sidelines for a couple of months. For me it was mostly getting my physical training up, and that’s what I worked on the whole time I was sitting off with my shoulder. I was doing all cardio. I couldn’t lift anything, I couldn’t do anything with my shoulder, because I was in a sling, so for the most part, I worked on my cardio for about three months, and I think that’s how I prepared myself to come into this season.What’s the toughest part from coming back from an injury?Once you come back from an injury it’s always timing. Your timing is always thrown off a little bit, and just feeling out the bike, because you haven’t ridden that long, it’s just trying to work out the bugs. You know how to ride a motorcycle, God gave you that talent to do it; it’s just getting back on the bike and spending time on it.We know you are an outstanding Supercross rider and are one of the better jumpers out there, but are you as excited about riding the outdoors as you are Supercross?I love the outdoors. It’s the root of our sport and I enjoy it. Supercross is fun, the lights, the flashiness, and the fan all in the stadium. But outdoors is more intense and more fun for me, because it’s a free-for-all. You can hang over the fence with no shirt on and wave everybody on and just have a good time. That’s the root of our sport and that’s what I grew up doing.You really haven’t much time testing the new Yamaha YZ450F. Are you comfortable with the bike yet?We had a couple of weeks before Anaheim when I got to ride it; we tested a little bit before the first Supercross and then I got hurt and had to sit out another couple of months. So I only have about a few months on this bike, but I’m confident in it. The changes they made to it are really good. There are many benefits with the outdoors, now that we have EFI, going to Colorado, we won’t struggle with jetting or any of that stuff, so I think the changes that they did make it a good bike.How do you like the Hangtown track? You’ve had some success here in the past.I had my rookie debut here back in 2005, I was pretty stoked. I like this track – it’s fun and I can’t wait. I’ve had all this fire built under me watching the races this past couple of months. I really like Hangtown, the track is good and they don’t really change it up too much, so you can go right out there and do everything. I went out there Tuesday and got a little track time in and got to check it out. There are a few little changes that they made – they did rip it up and put a lot of sawdust in it. Hangtown normally gets really hard-packed and blue-grooved, so I think could make it even better this year.


Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.