Interview: Ricky Carmichael – his career and Triumph coming to MXGP!

Triumph will be running an MX2 bike in the 2024 world championship as they launch into elite level motocross with the help of the America’s greatest, Ricky Carmichael who has been key in developing the machine.

Ricky Carmichael, the greatest in AMA, did you ever see this happening?

“No I didn’t! It’s an incredible experience and an opportunity I am very happy about and excited about. It’s been a long road to get here, to where we are at. The job still isn’t quite completed yet however it’s been a fun experience and never in a million years did I think I would be in this position but it is a great position to be in, certainly.

How much are you riding the bike and how much are you part of the development, do you see the progress and do you enjoy this part of the job?

This article continues below

Yeah I have ridden the bike a lot, it has been many, many years of hard work and progession from day one. I have a lot of hours on the machine. It’s been fun, it has, it really has. So we will see what happens, i think everyone is going to be really excitied, the bike is very, very competitive and I think it is capable of winning.

Have you looked at other manufacturers, or ridden any of those bikes to figure out where Triumph want to take?

I think anything in the motorcycle world you are always lookinh at what your competitors have abd seeing where they perform and where they don’t perform well and having respect for those brands, knowing where they are strong, of course I see other brands and throw my leg over other brands for sure just to get a baseline, I feel like you have to know where they are at, right? Because you have to be better than them or at least try to be better than them so certainly, but I that has been happening for a long time!

Going to the world championship, just the MX2 class to start with , are we going to see you more at world championship events now?!

It just depends, it depends on my schedule with supercross and TV, I would love to attend some MX2 events for sure. I always love going and watching motocross world championship races, they have got some momentum going right now, we will see what happens, it just depends on my schudle outside of Triumph.

You are quite busy, obviously you do the supercross commentary and this Triumph thing, I remember ready you treated motocross as a job in your career, are you enjoying riding more now that then?

This is a lot of fun for me. When I was racing it was a job and I was paid to win where now I love helping and sharing my knowledge and what I have learned throughout the years. It has been a lot of fun and it has been a journey that I enjoyed. Love getting out and riding the bike and testing new parts and pieces.

Do you wish you had been able to enjoy it more, although I’m sure you enjoyed the winning, but more the day to day life of it during your career? Because Cairoli is 37 today going with a number one plate, do you ever think, ‘I maybe could have extended my career if i could have enjoyed the daily ritual?’

This article continues below

I could have extended my career for sure but I also could have gotten hurt and not enjoyed the things I was able to accomplish because no amount of money is worth your health, for sure. I don’t really look back and say, man, I wish I would have raced a little bit more just because of the risk and I was content with what I accomplished, this is a nice mix, whatI am doing right now.

A lot of people always said Kevin Windham was a natural talent and maybe and more talent than you and you were more heart and work ethic, do you feel you had Kevin’s talent or it was your heart and work ethic?

No, he had way more talent than I did, that I ever dreamed of having. I just was able to work a little bit harder than Kevin was but I always had a tremendous amount of respect from him, I learned a lot from Kevin.

Was there a secret to your success in terms of you didn’t get hurt very much but everybody thought you were riding the edge! But to win ten outdoors and five supercross titles – were you riding the edge really?!

That’s the thing, everyone thinks there is some secret answer, I put in my hard work, I rode the edge a lot butI practiced that way and that made me comfortable at the races. There is really no secret.

And MXoN, you have had some great memories and some tough memories does it bring all that flooding back when you are at an event like this? Obviously Red Bud is a pretty awesome facility as well to have it.

This is a great place for the MXoN for sure. I have a lot of great memories, I raced it six times and won it three times so yeah some not great memories but, overall, always fun to represent your country and it’s going to be a mega turnout this weekend, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch these guys race.

Is there more pressure to race for America at the Nations that in an AMA race even against a guy like McGrath. This year it’s Eli’s last motocross race trying to win his first ever Nations and it’s in America. Can you relate to what they go through?

I feel like the MXGP guys in all the countries race a little harder for this race than they might every single weekend unless they are in a championship situation, I think they are going to get the best of everyone, at the end of the day, this race isn’t always about being the fastest, it’s about being the most consistent. As far as which team is going to win, I would love to seethe USA do well. But there is also individual races within the race as well and I want to see guys have a great race, like Cairoli, for example, if this is going to be his last race ever and the same for Eli. It’s not just about the overall win for me this weekend.

Interview: Jonathan McCready