Video: McGrath on Emig – cocky and arrogant

Jeremy McGrath says his rival Jeff Emig in the mid 90s was “cocky and arrogant” as he talks to Gypsy Tales about his career.

“We get along fine now. But all those years he was really arrogant, I thought, really cocky, and I fricken hated that, I was like, ‘no way dude.’ I can’t stand that some doesn’t give me respect, not thay I demand respect but don’t disrespect me.”

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Interestingly, Jeff Emig told us at the WSX thay it was McGrath who had the confidence and he was the one who lacked it!

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Emig said on trying to battle McGrath in Supercross…”It was just a big confidence thing. One thing about racing supercross as opposed to motocross, is there is a certain ego, swagger and undying confidence (you need) in yourself. Some athletes have it and even if they have a bad day, they think they can still go win. And you have other riders who are having a really good day and they are doubting themselves. I think the riders that are the former, can just never lose that confidence and belief in themselves, they are the ones that excel at supercross.

“I think I suffered from some of that, I doubted myself at times and once I learned not to doubt myself…and let’s be fair, Jeremy McGrath has gone down in history as the greatest pure supercross rider ever. His win record, his championship record is second to none.

“To me there were multiple nights I would go home from the race really disappointed. But, on the flip side of that is when I was able to win some races and eventually win the premier supercross class title in America, it was really satisfying. To know you beat the best during his prime has a lot of value.”

Outdoor title battle 96 going into the last round with McGrath

There was no doubt in my mind (he would win that final round). You just have that feeling, at that point it was a tug of war and he passed me on the first lap and I was like, ‘nope, this ain’t gonna happen.’

It was like a tug of war and I pulled the number one plate towards me. I knew at that point that I had broke him and that I was going to do whatever it took to win that day, I was going to do it. I spent the rest of the day with him just off my shoulder and balanced out the risk/reward and did what it took to win.

How the 96 MX and 97 SX titles compared

Supercross was different. That 96 MX championship was a big hurdle, a big obstacle to get over. When I won the supercross title I was in a bit if disbelief to be honest with you. Winning the supercross title felt like a pay-off to all the sponsors but the motocross title to me really in my heart held a lot of value.