Roger De Coster is a five-time World 500cc Motocross Champion: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976. Roger has also won numerous races all over the world, and has helped popularize the sport of supercross and motocross as we all know it today. He has been the Suzuki Supercross/Motocross Team Manager since 1995.
(2008 AMA/FIM Supercross Champion Chad Reed on the left, Roger De Coster on the right)
Amanda: Hi Roger. Thank you for taking some time to talk with us today, I know you are a busy man!
Roger: No problem, anytime!
Amanda: Two of your riders, Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed, are both leading their respective classes in the 2009 AMA/FIM Supercross Series. Ryan is leading the 250 West series, and Chad is leading the 450 Supercross class. Let’s talk about Ryan first – what are your thoughts so far on his season?
Roger: Ryan has seemed to mature in the mental part of his racing and career. For example, at the first round, when we had a lot of bike problems, and on top of that we have had some issues with his clothing agreement, but he was still able to stay focused, and he ended up on the podium. I think that is the biggest difference with Ryan from last year to this year – his mental maturity.
(Ryan Dungey is leading the 250 West Supercross Championship)
Amanda: Let’s talk about Chad now – what do you think of his status so far this season, and progress on the new bike?
Roger: We have obviously been very happy with Chad, and with his results. But, even before those results came he was really good to work with doing testing, and he is really maturing too. He doesn’t let little things distract him. He stays focused and he is determined. And he seems to be happy the way things are going. I think good things started happening in the winter with testing, before the season even started.
Amanda: A lot of people are saying that you and Chad are a great pair!
Roger: (Laughing) Oh yeah!?!?!
Amanda: Yeah! : ) OK, the Supercross Series is heading to Houston this weekend for the first round of ‘East’ races, … your thoughts?
Roger: The interesting point for us this weekend is to see how Nico Izzi does. From what I feel, on the track he has progressed in the whoop sections, where he struggled with that last year. He is still young, only in his second year in supercross. I don’t believe he will win the championship this year, but I do believe he will be on the podium. Who knows … maybe he will surprise me and WIN! That would be GREAT! (laughs) but realistically I think you will see Nico on the podium.
Amanda: So, before I let you go, where are you right now?
Roger: We are working away at the race shop, and Chad and Ryan are headed back home to Florida.
Amanda: Perfect. Thank you, and I’ll see you this weekend!
Roger: Yes, Come by and say ‘Hi!’ See you later Amanda!