AP Photo/Robert E. Klein
How did you get into motocross?
I saw it on TV and I was like, 'man that looks fun, I wanna do that!' My parents have always been really supportive so they bought me a little piece of junk bike. I enjoyed it right off the bat and one thing led to another.
How did you break into the pro scene?
I did local pro class races for about 7 years and then when I was about 17 I got an opportunity to do a professional freestyle event. That's when I totally changed paths, started doing freestyle and turned pro.
What do you have against foam pits?
It's become everybody's easy way out. I agree that really knarly stuff like 360s have to be learned in foam pits but I've heard of people learning flip, one-handers and flip knack-knacks in those pits which are totally baby-step-able tricks. If you don't have the guts to put the time in and learn, then don't do it.
How do you train for flips without using a pit?
You take it one step at a time and don't rush yourself. The main thing about learning on dirt is you progress as you get comfortable. You can usually tell if you will be able to do something after the first time you try it. Even if you're not anywhere close to it, you can tell if you'll get it eventually.
Do you feel more pressure to do well since you captured a gold medal at X Games last summer?
A little bit, but I don't think anybody expects me to get gold. I just think now more people are gonna be watching. I try not to think about it and I try not to put more pressure on myself but I don't wanna let these people down. I don't want people to see me and say, 'Oh man, I thought he was better than that.'