Former Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider Scott Simon recently added two championships to his resume after winning both the MX1 and MX2 championships in the Brazilian Championship of Motocross.
Riding with the Pro Tork Kawasaki team, Simon made his return to motocross racing this March after a bad crash kept him away from racing for two years. Simon sat down to talk about getting back in shape, adjusting to a new country, and racing in Brazil.
Monster Energy Kawasaki: You’ve been in Brazil for a while now. Can you talk about how you got down there in the first place?
Scott Simon: "I came down here in 2008 riding for a different team than I am now. I broke both my ankles and my wrist in the second race and I pretty much didn’t ride for almost two years. I went home and just worked. Then I came back down here in August of 2009 to just train some kid."
"I was only going to stay for three weeks and then go back home and go back to school. When I got back down here, the biggest team down here found out that I was back in Brazil."
"They contacted me and asked if I wanted to ride for their team. I told them that I hadn’t ridden for almost two years, but they didn’t care. They wanted to take care of me. It was definitely crazy. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time."
Monster Energy Kawasaki: Where were you at physically when you started training again? Did you have any effects from your injury?
Scott Simon: "I was fully recovered from my injuries. I was in a wheelchair for about six months and was basically a skeleton from not doing anything. By the time I came back down here, I was back to normal, but way out of shape. I was no where near where I needed to be. I still have certain side effects, but nothing that really bothers me when I ride."
"When I started training again, it was really hard to get back into the swing of things. You don’t realize how hard it is to get into shape until you are completely out of shape."
"There were days that I wanted to give up because it was really tough. But then I realized that I wanted to win again and that helped motivate me. For the past year, all I did was eat, sleep, ride and train. I wanted to make sure I gave it all I had and luckily it all paid off."
Monster Energy Kawasaki: Tell us about the series compared to racing here in America.
Scott Simon: "Well one of the difference is that I was able to compete in MX1 and MX2 because they only run one 30-minute moto for each class. It was really hard to get used to the tracks down here because they are as hard as a rock."
"At home we have rougher tracks and they allow you to race really hard. Here, if you ride really hard, you end up on your head because it’s so slippery. It’s really hard to go faster than another guy, but you want to be smart and not crash. Since the race is only one race a weekend and only eight races in a season, you can’t really have a bad race."
Monster Energy Kawasaki: Can you recap your season as a whole?
Scott Simon: "Well in MX1 I won four races out of seven I competed in. There are eight races, but I was so sick the last race, that I sat out of that class because I had enough points to win the championship. I had lost about 10 pounds from being sick and I was really weak. My boss didn’t want me to crash and get hurt over something I didn’t need to do."
"In MX2, I got second place all year long and won only one race. I was just consistent with that class and it got me the championship."
Monster Energy Kawasaki: Was it hard to adjust to living in a different country and being away from friends and family?
Scott Simon: "Being away from everyone doesn’t really bother me. I’ve done it for so long now, it doesn’t seem to get to me. You do learn to block your feels otherwise I probably couldn’t do it. If you start dwelling on the fact you miss family, there is no way you could stay for any length of time."
"As far as the lifestyle and getting adjusted, it was a little hard at first. I didn’t speak any Portuguese at all and the lifestyle was quite different. I had several friends down here that spoke English and that helped."
"My friend that brought me down here the first time really helped me out a ton. He helped me find an apartment and a car. He is a great friend and was really important in getting me the job with Pro Tork. It’s fine now, but he was definitely a big help."
Monster Energy Kawasaki: Do you plan on staying down in Brazil?
Scott Simon: "Well I find out what my plans are for 2011 pretty soon, but I plan on staying down here. I’m just happy I’ve was able to ride Kawasaki’s because that is the brand I grew up racing with and I feel the most comfortable with them."
"I’m very thankful for my roots with Kawasaki and everyone at Team Green for always supporting me. I really feel like they helped me become who I am as a racer and I do owe a lot to them."