By Jessica Lee
At every AMA event there are many riders. You have the factory pros that are already noticed and already have a very good thing going for them. Then you also have the amazing privateers that try their hardest to keep up with the factory teams. They spend a lot of money and take a lot of time out of their week to make it to a race. Many young privateers have their parents as their crew chief, mechanic, and support team. These young riders have started out on everything from motocross or dirt track, to just getting on a road race bike and going for it. At this year's AMA races at Road Atlanta, there was one rider who grabbed my attention.
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About 2 months ago I first heard about this young racer who apparently has a lot of talent. Josh Day is only 16, and not only is he good enough to race in the AMA, he's also a sponsored Team Velocity endurance rider for WERA. I knew right then that he was someone I would like to talk to! While I was at Road Atlanta I met up with Josh and his family who are also his crew. Josh had just gotten off his bike after the Saturday Supersport practice. After Josh changed out of his gear I finally got to talk with one of the best up and coming racers!
Jessica: When did you start racing?
Josh Day: I started in the beginning of 2004 and that was my first year. I ran the CCS Series in Florida. I rode a '94 125 just to start with and I won 2 championships; the GP Singles which is the 125 class and the lightweight GP which is against SV's and 650's.
Jessica: What was your first bike that you started out with?
Josh Day: I got a 3 wheeler when I turned two and when I turned four I got a JR 50 that I rode around. Then I got a KX 65 and rode that just at tracks. I never raced or any of that. My dad used to have a bike shop and everyone told me that when I got older I should go and try it and see how I do.
Jessica: You just always knew that you wanted to road race?
Josh Day: Yeah, I always liked it because I went to Daytona every year with my dad. They used to set up a booth and all of that. So, I was just around it all the time.
Jessica: Do you have anything special that you do before a race? Are you superstitious at all?
Josh Day: No not really. I just drink a lot of water.
Jessica: Do you have a pre-race playlist on your Ipod that you listen to?
Josh Day: I just listen to it sometimes, not every time. It's just a couple of songs. It's just some old school rap and stuff and also some rock that I listen to every once and a while.
Jessica: Who are some of your racing idols?
Josh Day: Nicky Hayden is probably everybody's. It would be cool to be like him someday. Hopefully I'll be as good as he is, but in the AMA paddock right now it would probably have to be Ben Spies because he is so determined to win the championship right now.
Jessica: You were saying how you would like to be like Nicky Hayden. Is MotoGP something that you would want to do in the future?
Josh Day: Yeah, I think everyone would want to race MotoGP. It would be a lot of fun to do that.
Jessica: A couple people have said that they would also love to race MotoGP but they want to get a couple AMA championships under their belt first. Is that something that you would want to do?
Josh Day: Of course you would have to conquer America over here first before you move into the world GP. I would be up for the challenge! I just have to try my hardest and ride a lot.
Jessica: You have been training with Jamie James. What has he taught you and how has that effected how you have been riding?
Josh Day: He's helped me a lot with just being really consistent and trying not to be as physical on the bike and staying in one spot longer. If there is a bunch of switchbacks, he's taught me to stay on either the right or left side; whichever side there's more of so it doesn't work you as hard.
Jessica: Has he taught you anything that's different that anyone else you've trained with?
Josh Day: A little but not that much different than what everyone else has said. It's just about the same about being smooth on the brakes and being on the gas.
Jessica: What is your favorite track?
Josh Day: I don't really know. They are all fun but probably right now this one or Daytona.
Jessica: For a whole bunch of other kids who would love to road race, do you have any advice for them?
Josh Day: Talk to your mom and dad. It's also best if you want to start road racing that you start on a 125 and race that for a full year first. It helps you out a lot with learning. They are so easy to ride and to set up.
Jessica: Are there any differences between racing AMA and WERA?
Josh Day: You have to be a lot more consistent and faster in the AMA. We have to try and ride quick every weekend. You also have to sometimes ride beyond your limits in the AMA.
Jessica: Well, Thank you so much Josh for the interview.
Josh Day: Your welcome.
After the interview I realized that Josh has the ambition of a champion. He has the drive to pursue his dreams and knows exactly what he wants. Josh is a racer that everyone needs to keep an eye on. After thinking about it I now wonder, could he be one of the next world champions?
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