GEICO Honda’s Jordon Smith Exclusive InterviewNorth Carolina’s Jordan Smith has raced mostly national events, but moves to the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series for 2015. Smith, who was sidelined for much of the 2014 season due to injury, will pilot a GEICO Honda CRF250R in the 250SX class.
Ultimate MotorCycling’s Andrew Oldar: You have had some bad luck in the past year with injuries. Are you fully healed from all of them?GEICO Honda’s Jordon Smith: Yes, I’m 100 percent healthy right now and 100 percent ready to go race.UMC: You raced at Loretta Lynn’s with an ankle injury. How badly was that hindering your ability to ride at 100 percent? Do you feel that you could have given RJ a run for his money had you been healthy?JS: It was definitely a bad injury and the worst thing about it was that I couldn’t ride prior to the race. I only rode one time leading up to Loretta Lynn’s. I was not physically ready for it and the ankle injury was definitely bothering me a lot. I think I could have made it a little more interesting, in terms of RJ, if I had been 100-percent healthy.UMC: What other riders do you train with down at Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia (MTF)?JS: Joey Sanchez, Keith Tucker and Gavin Faith. That’s just a few of the guys that are down there, but there’s a lot of other fast guys as well.UMC: What do you focus on most when training on the bike?JS: I try to focus on everything really. I focus on how my fitness goes, being smooth, and my technique. You have to be a well-rounded rider to succeed and focus on every aspect of it.UMC: Your style has been likened to that of Justin Barcia, who also trained at MTF as an amateur. Is he someone that you try to emulate or is your style just something that you develop on your own?JS: My style is something I developed on my own. Barcia had always been my favorite rider growing up though, so I don’t know if that has a little bit to do with it. I do ride with him occasionally. He comes down to train with us sometimes at MTF.UMC: How much different is your amateur race bike from your pro race bike?JS: It’s quite a bit different. There are so many more options on the pro bike that we can do to make changes. I just got back from California testing with LaRocco and the guys. There were so many different options of what we wanted to try and were able to do. The pro bike definitely handles a lot better and is much faster.UMC: What do you feel the biggest advantage is for you training at MTF?JS: I think the biggest advantage at MTF is that we have awesome tracks that have been well maintained. We also get to ride with a lot of really fast guys, which creates a race-like atmosphere.UMC: What do you feel your biggest strength is as a rider?JS: I think my aggression as a rider is my biggest strength. I’m not scared to bust out a big jump if I have to or hold it wide open through the corners. I’ll do whatever it takes.”UMC: What are you most looking forward to about your rookie year of Supercross?JS: I am just looking forward to racing in the big stadium with such a big crowd. It’s definitely going to be a lot different than what I’m use to from the amateur level. I’m excited for that aspect of it the most.UMC: What goals have you set out for yourself for the 2015 Supercross series?JS: I am not really trying to set any goals specifically. I just want to go out there as prepared as I can be and try to make it through the whole season healthy. I just want to see what I can do.Photos by Simon Cudby
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.