QUICK HIT with…
TEAM SUZUKI’S MIKE WEBB
DB: So Mike Congratulations on the new gig!
Thanks, I’m looking forward to it
DB: First question, how does this affect Suzuki's GNCC
effort and who is going to captain that ship?
Our GNCC effort is solid, Shane Nalley is my race
coordinator and he will step up to keep guiding things along. Our core group
remains the same, with Josh Strang, Shane Nalley and Chris Wolf. We will have
Rodney Smith taking care of a new program we will be starting at the GNCC’s and
we hope to announce that soon.
DB: So, were you shocked about getting asked to head the
Motocross effort for Suzuki? Or, in the same vein-were you stunned that
DeCoster actually left?
I wasn’t shocked, but I was honored that they gave me the
call. As far as Roger, the truth is, he was offered a deal, but he felt that
the offer from another company suited his plans better
DB: It seems to us, that with the economies sluggishness and
Suzuki's trimming the number of machines they've been bringing in, mated to all
of the rumors going around the you guys were getting out of racing that things
in the Dungey camp might have been a bit shaky.
You can’t control the rumor mill, however, Suzuki is
absolutely committed to racing, if we were planning on getting out of the
racing business why did we hire Metty on a 2-year deal to be Ryan’s teammate?
DB: What's your relationship with Dungey, the motocross team
and the men behind the scenes there?
I’m really looking forward to working with Ryan, the goal is
simple and one I have always followed with any rider I have worked with, build
him the best bike possible, surround him with a solid infrastructure and then
let him do his thing. No matter what any body says, when it comes down to it,
Ryan Dungey was the man behind the bars last year, he alone rode the bike; I
don’t recall anybody riding on the back.
DB: How do you see the upcoming Supercross season,
especially with a lot of the injured talent returning?
I think Ryan proved he is the best motocrosser in the world
right now. I don’t care about who was there and who wasn’t there, you have to
be in it to win it, and he was. People can say this guy got hurt and that guy
was out, but Ryan raced every race, perhaps that’s a testament to his ability
to ride at that extreme edge and not step over it and get hurt.
DB: When do you guys start testing for Supercross and is
there any big changes slated for the machine?
We begin testing later this month. Obviously the bike he won
on last year was incredible, but you never settle, you must always look to
DB: You guys have hired Brett Metcalf, thoughts on him?
I’m really stoked on working with Metty; he is such a solid,
hard working athlete, very old school in his approach to his commitment. I
think people love to get behind a humble hero.
DB: Any plan for a Lites program?
We have already announced Bill Keefe and the Rockstar Energy
team will run our Lites program. They will be enjoying the benefit of our team
resources as far as technology and parts are concerned
DB: Any final thoughts or words of wisdom?
I just want to go racing, with Ryan and Metty I believe we
have the top team and our only goal is to continue to win. I also just want to
wish the best and thank the people I worked with in the Suzuki Off Road team
for all of their hard work and commitment over the years. We won a lot of
championships and had some great times. And I know Josh Strang will be at the
top of the off road world for a long time.
Here's a little photo gallery of M. Webb. Always the consummate moto head, Mike loves the track and trail.
Glen Helen, '07 450Z testing.
'09 Gorman I-5 track
Piru MX, 2004
Rodney Smith and Mike testing in the high desert.