How did you get into Supercross and Motocross?
With most things at a young age it was my dad who introduced me to the sport. He loved being on a bike but never had the opportunity as a kid. So, this was Dad having that chance.
How did your mum feel about it all?
Well, to this day, I don’t think my mum has ever watched me race. I know she wants to but she just worries. I don’t blame her though, as we do compete in one of the most dangerous sports in the world! My dad on the other hand loves it and has been to most races even many of them overseas.
You started racing when you were just five years old, right?
Yeah, most kids start on a little 50cc bike and that’s exactly what I started on. Pretty much as soon as I could pedal a bike I was riding a motorbike.
Tell us about landing your first bike sponsor at 12.
At 12 years old the only thing I wanted to do was keep riding — the sponsor saw something in me and took a chance. I didn’t realise at the time but this sponsor really helped me get to the events and became imperative to my growth within the sport.
When did you know you wanted to do it full time?
Just after I turned 17 I felt something click in me. My results until that point weren’t bad, but they weren’t great. I had the urge to do whatever it took to make it to the top.
And that you have. You’ve actually taken out a few Australian Supercross titles since then.
Yeah, the first one is easy, well easier than defending a title anyway. Pressure plays a big role in every sport. The ones that can control their emotions generally end up on top. Each title had been completely different. A season never goes perfectly so making the best of a bad day really plays a huge influence in a title. Out of them all, my last 450 title was my favourite.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Up about 5.30am to do some sort of cardio work for up to an hour, then I indulge in pretty much the exact same breakfast everyday — six eggs, one piece of toast with peanut butter, a bowl of oats and the all-important coffee. Then I head to the track, spend the day riding, go back home and get ready for the next day of riding and then head to the gym for one-and-a-half hours. The program constantly changes — it’s one way of keeping it fresh and not getting too bored.
Why, in 2012 (aged 26) did you retire?
I was burnt out. There are many of us from all walks of life “living the dream” and I was doing exactly that. But even the best jobs in the world have their bad days and it got to the point where I had to step back. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore and this was the est decision I could have made.
So why did you return to the sport last year?
I had spent over two years off a bike when a friend convinced me to do a small race. I didn’t even have a competitive licence! After this event there was something inside me I couldn’t shake. I loved competing. I rang that friend a week later and told them they had no idea what they’d done. I couldn’t resist the going back.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Coming out of retirement last year and winning the national title. A lot of people didn’t think it could be done and a lot of people didn’t want it to. We got it done, though, and I’m proud of that. This year will bring a lot of pressure as I am defending my title.
How do motocross men fair with the ladies?
The only thing I’ll say is that the Australian accent, in a different country racing bikes, is nearly unfair to everyone else in that bar.
How did you go posing for this fashion shoot?
This is my first ever fashion shoot, so it was a bit daunting but it went so smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised with the results and it felt great wearing all those fantastic suits by designers like Lagerfeld and Trenery. I particularly loved the Academy Brand for a more casual vibe, it’s a really good quality lifestyle brand and I plan to wear it more often.
Describe your fashion sense.
There is nothing better than a perfectly tailored suit, but in Queensland it’s not always practical. My style would be closest to a smart street wear.
What is the most embarrassing item in your wardrobe?
Probably a T-shirt of my boxer dog on the front with his tooth hanging out.
Quality! What is the last item of clothing you chucked out?
All the single socks I had. I swear there was about 12 of them!
Finally, what’s one piece of clothing you can’t live without?
I have this brand of underwear called Happy Socks and they are crazy comfortable.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY JUSTIN AVELING STYLING BY EMMA COTTERILL
For the full article grab the May 2016 issue of MAXIM Australia.
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