GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle Interview
After winning three AMA Amateur National Motocross titles in 2011, and the 250SX East Regional Supercross Championship in 2014, 22-year-old Justin Bogle is moving up to the premier class for 2016. Sticking with the GEICO Honda team, Bogle is taking the spot vacated by Eli Tomac, who has moved to Kawasaki.
Ultimate MotorCycling Editor Don Williams spoke with Bogle in the GEICO Honda semi about his preparations for the 2016 Supercross series, his expectations, and the experience he gained racing 450s in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series at the end of last year.
Read our Trey Canard Interview
UMC: What is the most challenging thing about moving up to 450s for 2016?
Justin Bogle: Probably just staying healthy for more rounds. It’s double the season from what I’m accustomed to. 17 rounds, staying healthy, and obviously the talent pool is very deep; it’s the best guys in the world. Everything else is the same. Bigger dirt bike–whatever–so far, so good, on that front. I really like the bike, so I’m not too stressed out on that. More races and different competitors–that’s it.
UMC: Did you have a master plan to move up to 450s this year, or did the opportunity just present itself?
JB: It just kind of happened. It wasn’t dead set that I had to move up this year, but winning the championship in 2014 kind of wrote that in stone for me. You get a year to defend, and then you have to move up. I guess I’ve known since then. The opportunity that I have with the GEICO Honda situation and more support from Honda is awesome. I ended up in the best place for me, comfort-wise, and bike-wise, team-wise, all that. I’m happy with the situation. As far as dead-set plan on moving up, in my mind I wanted to move up for sure. I enjoy 450s more.
UMC: Are there any issues in setting up a 450 that are different from a 250?
JB: The only difference–I haven’t gotten to test too much, just getting my deal done recently–is a lot more power. The bikes are very fast. Riding one on a supercross track, you have to learn how to finesse it and be a little bit more careful in certain situations. That’s about it, really. Everything else is similar. I set up the bike how I normally would–nothing too different.
UMC: How much did the rounds on the 450 in motocross in 2015 help you? What did that reveal to you that you didn’t know?
JB: I think the last few rounds of the outdoors will help for sure. Just getting to know the environment, the people I’m racing against, the bike, the team, it helped a lot, actually. Comfort-wise, coming in I don’t feel like a rookie because I’ve raced, so I may not have raced a 450 in supercross, but I have raced a 450 with the same team, the same sponsors, all that stuff.
UMC: Are you totally healed from your injuries?
JB: I took some time off after the last round of outdoors and let the body heal because it’s been a rough season for me. I’ve had to suck it up and tough it out for supercross, and then injuring myself again at Hangtown.
UMC: The Hangtown incident was clearly not your fault [a crashing Jessy Nelson inadvertently slammed Bogle off the track].
JB: It was a bummer. Things happen. It’s racing. You can’t control everything, so you just keep it moving and focus on what I can do. It’s always a bummer when it goes down like that, for sure.
UMC: What expectations do you have for yourself?
JB: I don’t want to come in and throw a number on it, because that just complicates things. I want to progress every weekend and be healthy at all the rounds. Obviously, I’m very confident in myself, and in supercross, as well. My whole situation and inner circle is intact from the last few years; I have the same people working with me. My end goal is that I want to be up front. I get good starts, so by the end of this thing, hopefully staying healthy, progressing each weekend as the series goes on, and I could end up being a contender. That’s the goal.
UMC: Do you anticipate winning any races?
JB: I would love to. I think that if things go right I could make it happen. If I didn’t think that, I shouldn’t be riding–I shouldn’t be racing professionally. I think I’m capable of doing it. I don’t want to come in and talk crazy like I’m going to win a championship and do all this crazy stuff, but I believe that I can be a contender, and be in the front half of the field.
Race photography by Simon Cudby
Paddock photography by Don Williams
2016 Supercross Schedule
|January 9||Angel Stadium||Anaheim|
|January 16||Petco Park||San Diego|
|January 23||Angel Stadium||Anaheim|
|January 30||O.Co Coliseum||Oakland|
|February 6||University of Phoenix Stadium||Glendale, AZ|
|February 13||Petco Park||San Diego|
|February 20||AT&T Stadium||Arlington|
|February 27||Georgia Dome||Atlanta|
|March 5||Daytona International Speedway||Daytona Beach|
|March 12||Rogers Centre||Toronto|
|March 19||Ford Field||Detroit|
|April 2||Levi’s Stadium||Santa Clara, CA|
|April 9||Lucas Oil Stadium||Indianapolis|
|April 16||Edward Jones Dome||St. Louis|
|April 23||Gillette Stadium||Foxboro, MA|
|April 30||MetLife Stadium||East Rutherford, NJ|
|May 7||Sam Boyd Stadium||Las Vegas|