Photo by: AMA Pro Racing/Dave Hoenig
By: Cory Texter/Associate FT Editor; NMC
NMC: Tell us a little bit about Pomona last weekend. A lot of madness going on around you, but you were right in the thick of things and ended up in 4th. Were you happy with how your night went?
JM: Yes, in the end it was a solid ride for that type of track for me. It was nice going into the race with no pressure this year. I would have really liked to been on the podium, but 4th was a good result.
NMC: Besides the mid-season injury at the All-Star national in Ashland, Ohio, are you happy with how your 2013 season turned out?
JM: Yeah we were able to get a win at the Virginia Mega Mile due to some bad luck on Bryan’s (Smith) part. I would have liked to have been more of a threat on the miles. I felt like I was riding the best Harley in the paddock and was just still a little short on winning a few of them. I had a lot of fun this season and I think we will improve next year.
NMC: You have worked with some great tuners such as Johnny Goad and Brent Armbruster. What was it like working with Kenny Tolbert this year? Are you guys going to continue together in 2014?
JM: Yes that’s the plan. Working with Kenny this year was a lot of fun. Great positive attitude and no pressure in a great environment. The man has tons of knowledge. All of the mechanics you mentioned have their pros and cons. For sure, Kenny has way more pros than cons. I feel like we clicked really good and we need to just get healthy and hungry and we will be solid for next season.
NMC: Brad Baker was on his game this season. What is it going to take to get that number one plate back next season?
JM: Well he had a great season. Even though some of his toughest competitors had some back luck, he brought it every weekend and man, he was solid. We basically just need to get back to our normal routine. Get on the podium consistently and get healthy. I have had those years were every time you get on the bike, you’re the guy to beat. It’s momentum and he got it early and kept it. I felt it was a hard championship for him to win this year being young and on a Harley. With the schedule made up of mostly miles and very few 450 races, it was a horse power and experience type of a year. He over came not only those, but also breaking a bike and the Daytona deal. So hats off to him and his team. He is a solid player and the new guy to beat. Actually, I am going in for surgery again next week because my arm never healed from my crash in Ashland earlier this year. I basically raced the entire season with a broken arm. The only thing keeping it together was the screws and plates, so it’ll be good to finally have that taken care of.
Photo by: Jared Mees
NMC: What are your plans for the next couple months? Any races planned? When does the number one plate officially come off the motorcycles? That itself has to be some motivation for next year..
JM: I can’t wait for next year. The schedule was very disappointing this year. We never felt like we got going and the season lacked a lot of momentum. Before I knew it, the season was over. Usually I’m a little burnt out and ready for the off-season, but with not as many races this year, I don’t feel burnt out at all. I just have to get healthy and see how it plays out. A lot of stuff is in the air with rules and such, but regardless of what goes down we will be ready to rock and roll next season.