Fresh after scoring his second-best result of the 250SX Western Regional season – 13th at Oakland – California’s Scott Champion suffered a crash that caused him to miss Anaheim III and San Diego.
The Strikt/Slaton/Yamaha pilot Champion, who went pro in 2008, is now recovered, and training for the final-three rounds in the 250SX Western Regional Championship. We caught up with him this week, discussing the season so far and the latest Yamaha YZ250F.
Ultimate MotorCycling’s Andrew Oldar: Coming into the series opener at Anaheim 1, did you change your training regimen at all or did you stick to a similar program that you have done in years past?
Strikt/Slaton/Yamaha’s Scott Champion: Yes, I did. In 2012, I came off the couch one month before A1 with a torn ACL. In 2013 and 2014, I signed my deals two weeks before A1 and came into the season very behind. 2015 was the first time I had a few months to get everything dialed with my body, my bike, and my mental game. I was more ready than in the past and showed in the fact that I had my best finish at A1 in the six years I’ve raced there.
UMC: Leading into the second year of the radically redesigned Yamaha YZ250F, have you made any significant changes to the bike from last year?
SC: Yes, we made changes with the suspension and the geometry of the bike compared to last year and feel it has made the bike much better. We really focused on the rear end of the bike.
UMC: The Yamaha YZ250F is quickly becoming the weapon of choice of several racers in the 250 class. What is it about the bike that works so well?
SC: The YZ250F has always been a very comfortable feeling bike. This year the motor package is a lot better than the other manufactures and it really stands out! The bike rips!
UMC: Leading into your second year of the Strikt/Slaton/Yamaha team, what are your thoughts on the team as a whole?
SC: It’s great. In 2014, I was without a bike two weeks before A1. Marty Smith let me come out to try a bike and we felt it was a very good fit. It’s awesome to be back with them for 2015 and they have really stepped it up this year. Our bikes are very good this year and would like to thank Scott at Sherwood Enterprises (SEI), Paul at NewWave, and everyone involved with the Strikt/Slaton/Yamaha Team!
UMC: You had a mid-season practice crash, correct?
SC: Yes, I crashed the Tuesday before A3 and missed two races, but will be back for the last three!
UMC: Of the first four rounds that you raced, what is your opinion of the tracks so far this year?
SC: I thought they were very one-lined and hard to separate yourself from other riders.
UMC: What is it like having Cole Martinez and Zack Freeberg as teammates?
SC: For the most part, we all kind of do our own thing during the week and line up on the weekends.
UMC: Leading into Houston, have you set any goals for yourself for the remainder of the season?
SC: Top ten, and that’s where I should be!
Photo by BrownDogWilson