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Interview with Australian Supercross Privateer Taylor Potter

By Michael Bespalov / Mainmoto

Date February 14th 2014


The life of a National Level Privateer Motocross racer can be tough. Australian MX2 class privateer Taylor Potter knows this as well as any other hard working privateer out there. A full-time job five days a week leaves precious little time for training, bike maintenance, track time and sufficient rest and recovery for these privateers, add to that the travel time required to compete in a National series that can cover up to 30,000 Kilometres for a mere 10 Rounds. That’s Aussie Motocross. Add Supercross and you can almost double this figure.

Taylor Potter has been doing exactly this for several years, and is one of the more senior ranked privateers in the Australian MX2 Class. Through hard work and determination (and his own share of adversity through a spinal injury in 2009/10) Potter has seen a steady rise in success with his racing efforts, with regular results in the top ten and most recently a solid Fourth Place Overall finish in the 2013 Australian Supercross Championships, a personal best result and the best result for a privateer in the class, well ahead of many Factory Team Riders.

Prior to this personal best finish in 2013, Potter sold everything he owned, packed up and flew to the US to compete in three rounds of the AMA 250 East Coast SX Series. With Girlfriend Alex as Potters only assistant, the pair quickly adapted to the hectic schedule while handling all duties on the day themselves. Two rounds of racing saw Potter watching the night show from the audience seats after not qualifying, and then an unfortunate crash in the whoops while holding a qualifying position in the LCQ saw Potter once more sidelined for the main event at the Toronto Round.

Potter’s never give-up attitude saw him return to Australia and take the 4th overall in the 2013 Australian SX, and now Taylor is back in the US, with his sights set on racing the full East Coast SX series. With a better bike, better program and more confidence than before, Taylor Potter is back and living the dream again – but this time he wants a piece of glory to take home with him. Mainmoto spoke with Taylor today during his fifteen hour road trip from the Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia to Dallas, Texas for Round 1 East Coast SX.

Taylor, when did you fly out to the US, and where are you based?

I flew out to the US on New Years Eve with my girlfriend Alex around 6 weeks ago. We stayed with some friends in Orlando for a week or so while I shopped around for a truck, and waited for my bikes to arrive from Australia. I am now based at the Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia.


How is the MTF working out for you, do you think that you are benefiting from the access to tracks and training / advice?

The MTF is great, there are two Supercross tracks, one Motocross track, a mechanic, gym, personal trainers and track trainers all at your finger tips. As well as of course the lessons with Colleen Millsaps herself. There is a great MX/SX community that live here. Everyone with the same dedication to training and riding but always having fun as well. The way training works here really suits me, it is structured and pushes you, and a fun environment too. I’m training with some pretty fast guys so it pushes me to go harder and always try to beat my fastest lap time.


Who are you training / riding with?

I have been training with Gavin Faith, Paul Coates and Anthony Rodriguez, but there are some others that join in sometimes. These guys are all super fast! The Coaching I have been getting from Colleen Millsaps has also really helped with my overall speed.


Do you feel like your riding / pace  has  improved over the past 4 weeks ?

Originally the plan was to have a solid 4-5 weeks training at MTF, unfortunately my bikes were held up in customs until only 2 weeks ago, but these things happen you just have to roll with it! I was lucky enough to borrow Hayden Mellross’ bike for a few days prior to getting my bikes which was awesome. My riding has definitely improved since being here, Colleen Millsaps is a great coach especially in the whoops. This was a weak point for me last year but I'm way more confident in them now. My track times and fitness have both improved a lot in the time I have been here.


Was it easy to put it all together (the bike) and come up with a race spec machine in time for you to get enough seat time before this weekend?

This year I'm lucky enough to have both a practise and race bike. The practice bike is my race bike from last year’s Australian Supercross, which XPR built as well. My new race engine arrived last week and I built the race bike by myself in two days, which is something I really enjoy doing. My Girlfriend Alex put the graphics on, The Collective (Aussie Graphics Company) have done such a sick job, it looks solid!! I’m really stoked with it.


How does the bike feel ?

My CRF 250 race bike feels great! The bike feels more like a 450 than a 250 with the power it has! Chad at XPR definitely knows how to build a fast engine! 


How does the 2014 Race Bike compare to your 2013 CRF from Last Year’s Australian Supercross Series?

The Competition Specs in Australia are a lot more restricted and hence the bikes are slower than in the USA. The biggest factor is the race fuel we use in Australia compared to here in the US, makes a massive difference. You are looking at about 4-5 horsepower in difference from my race bike now compared to my race bike in Australia.


How are you feeling about Round One this weekend?

I’m excited about round one! I haven't had the lead up that I had planned, but I'm feeling good about things and just want to give it my absolute best. That’s all I really can do! I have to remember it’s a long series ahead! 


This is not your first time racing the AMA Supercross, do you feel that your 2014 effort will give you the best results in the US to date?

Definitely. Having done half of the East Coast SX races last year really helped me, just getting to know how it all works, what I need to do to qualify and just in general race day is a pretty hectic day as you can imagine. It’s a massive event over here and can be kind overwhelming! I feel this year I'm riding a lot better and I'm loving my Honda, especially with the race engine. My goal for this season is to be making main events and I'm pretty confident I will be able to do that. I learned so much last year and I'm just so excited to be a part of it all again this year and definitely hoping for my best results this season.


 Do you have a mechanic this year?

I don't have a mechanic unfortunately, but my girlfriend Alex pit boards for me and helps me out on race day. She's on the track with me on training days timing my laps and she did it last year so she knows how it all works. 

Last Year you received a fair amount of TV time during the race program at Round 12 in Toronto, with similarities drawn between Chad and Ellie Reed and the Team of yourself and girlfriend Alex, selling everything to get overseas and race the AMA SX, and “live the dream”. Is 2014 less of a “dream” for you and more of a mission?

It’s still more of a dream now than ever, I guess last year I was less prepared than I am this year. It was nice to be compared to Chad and Ellie Reed, Chad is definitely an idol for me and if I get half as far as he has I’ll be happy. While Alex and I are a great team, it would definitely be nice to make the Factory Honda team in Australia this year and hopefully get some more support over in the US.

I have higher expectations for myself this season, my main focus is on making mains every round and just keep improving from there. I love this sport, it’s my whole life, as long as I'm racing I'm always "living the dream".


 Would you like to give any shout outs to your 2014 Race Campaign supporters?

I want to thank all my sponsors in Australia that have continued to support me internationally as well as the support I'm getting here in the US. Honda, Fox, The Collective Family, Mainmoto for support with REC MX, Tokyo Mods, Split-Stream and Raptor Titanium Footpegs, XPR, Kroozetune Suspension, Vortex ignitions, Moto-X Athlete Development, Renegade Fuel, Pirelli, Yoshimura, MTF, Scott, Alpine Stars, and of course my family and  friends I wouldn't be able to do it without their support.


Thanks Taylor, and good luck this Saturday in Texas.

Thanks Guys.