America’s number one trainer, Aldon Baker, made a rare trip outside the USA and took in the Paris supercross to keep an eye on his riders, Marvin Musquin and Zach Osborne.
The South African also took the time to speak to Paul Malin during the broadcast and had some interesting things to say.
He began with explaining why he ended up in Paris. “Typically I don’t come (to off-season races) because I have other riders back in Florida,” admitted Baker. “I’m glad I’ve come it’s a huge atmosphere, Marvin is their main guy. He has to come out and not make those mistakes – I think the races are his to lose.”
Baker also revealed what he looks for in the riders he works for and what he looks to improve. “Each rider has their own strengths and weaknesses, I haven’t had a rider who has it all in every area.” explained Aldon. “First of all you need that desire and ten for more the job is to find the weaknesses and fix the areas. I need a rider that is prepared to trust in the program be committed. It comes down to more the structure, discipline and accountability. I feel that is the key to keeping that way. I try to look for the ingredients in riders that have that and stick to that.”
Interestingly, the word accountability is the same word used by Zach Osborne during out chat after the MXoN when we quizzed the 250 supercross and National champ on what Aldon brings to his programme. Zach said: “Just riding with the faster guys and being under the gun every day (at Aldon Baker’s) and the accountability that that brings with it would be the biggest thing I would say.”
You can read the full interview with Zach here.
But what makes Baker’s program better than what the rider are already doing before they join up? Aldon thinks it’s a mixture of work ethic and structured riding.
“I think my programme do we try to do more in all areas. For sure, I think it’s the work ethic that counts. I think the guy that puts in the most is the guy that more than likely is going to be the champion. The main focus is going to be the riding.”
Baker will take on a new rider this year, new Red Bull KTM signing Broc Tickle, and he believes Tickle has the ingredients to be even better. Baker commented: “Broc Tickle has taken Ryan Dungey’s place. That is a guy I feel has the ability, he has the team and it is my job to piece that together.”
Tickle, known for his fitness and consistency, will be an interesting rider to watch this year as Aldon looks to bring the American to the next level alongside his existing trio of Musquin, Anderson and Osborne, three elite level guys who will be going for wins and titles.
Another interesting aspect is Baker will have all four racing against each other in the 450 Nationals – nearly half of the expected top ten, which could make for some interesting dynamics at the Baker factory during the week!