Who will ever forget Matt Goerke’s exciting conclusion to his MX1 championship winning season back in 2015? Goerke and Colton Facciotti took their battle right down to the final moto of the year, with Goerke having to come from dead last to hold onto the points lead and the title. Coming into last season with the #1 plate was great for Goerke and his Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha Team, but unfortunately Goerke came into the opening round with a small injury that caused him to fall behind in the points battle early in the series. Sadly, he was not able to recover and would finish the 2016 season in second place. Coming into this summer, Goerke is healthy and ready to win the 2017 MX1 Championship. After a successful winter of training, we caught up with Matt Goerke for this week’s Yamaha Motor Canada MXP Chatter.
MXP: How has the preparation been going so far for 2017?
MG: It’s been going good! I feel really comfortable on the bike right now. We only have a few weeks to go until Round 1 and I’m very excited.
MXP: You raced some AX during the off-season. How did the Amsoil AX Series go for you?
MG: It didn’t go well for me. I was prepared and ready, but I had many bike issues that kept me from doing my best. It’s in the past now, though, so I’m just looking forward to outdoors now!
MXP: You’re a tall rider, was it hard to adjust to the smaller 250F?
MG: Not really, I got used to it pretty quickly and I enjoyed riding it. I actually think it helped my 450 riding as you always have to be aggressive on a 250F. It’s too bad that the AX series didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.
MXP: When did you begin your outdoor training for 2017?
MG: Well, at this level you never really stop training. However, I’ve been hard at it now for a few months.
MXP: Do you feel more prepared for this season than you did last year?
MG: Yes, for sure! I’m healthy and happy, and so far, we have our bike working really well. I feel like we’re a lot more prepared for 2017.
MXP: Last season went pretty good, you ended up second overall. How would you sum up your 2016 season?
MG: It was okay! I had to come from behind a lot. I think I had like six first turn pileups, but we still got second. I was able to get a few wins and finished off the season winning both motos at RJs.
MXP: You rode great in the second half of the series, for sure. Was there one moment that really stood out for you last year?
MG: Gopher Dunes was good, I had to come from so far back in moto two after crashing, but I still managed to win the overall. And then winning the final two motos of the year was great.
MXP: Are you a fan of the opening round track in Kamloops?
MG: Yes, I always like the track in Kamloops. It’s usually very rough and hot outside; it’s a great place to kick off a series.
MXP: We’re starting a new year and you have the big #2 on your bike. Are you really excited to get this series underway?
MG: Yes, I am. As I said, I feel great on the bike and I’m also healthy. I just need a little luck and everything should be good.
MXP: Do you like the tracks in the west?
MG: I’ve always enjoyed the Western tracks, and with a new one in Prince George on the schedule now, that should be cool.
MXP: Yes, as you mentioned, the 2017 series will stop in Prince George for the first time ever. Are you going to miss the track in Nanaimo?
MG: I never minded the Nanaimo track, but yes it should be cool to go somewhere new.
MXP: You also have a new teammate in Tim Tremblay. How has that been going?
MG: I like Tim a lot. He seems really cool!
MXP: Will your strategy be different this year heading into Round 1 than it was in 2016?
MG: For sure, last year I was coming off a torn rotator cuff as the series began. This year I’m 100%, so I’m pretty confident heading into Round 1
MXP: Thanks for doing this Matt. I know I speak for all Canadian race fans when I say that it’s going to be an incredible summer of racing. Best of luck!
PG: Thank you! I can’t wait to get this series going.