With all the Covid-19 related restrictions that we’ve all been dealing with now the past year, it has made it almost impossible to get down south this past winter to ride and train. In fact, other than a group of pro riders, there has only been a handful of amateur riders who have been able to get across the Canada/USA border. One of those riders is Ontario Intermediate rider Josh Bryan, who last year solidified himself as one of the premier amateur riders in Canada. For 2021, Josh is looking to pick up right where he left off last year and not only try and find more success at the Walton TransCan, but also to qualify for the prestigious Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Championship in Tennessee later this summer. We caught up with Josh last night as he was fresh off a win in 250B Class at the Birch Creek Loretta Lynn Area qualifier.
MXP: Hey Josh, I guess the first question I’ll ask is where are you right now. On the road somewhere?
JB: Hi Chris, yes I’m just leaving Birch Creek Motorsports Park in Virginia and on my way to Texas. I rode my second area qualifier for the Loretta’s in the 250B, 250B Limited Class, as well as the 450B Limited and Schoolboy 2 Classes.
Sounds like a busy weekend with a lot of riding. Before we talk about how things went at Birch Creek, you’re one of the fortunate Canadians who are down south training. When did you head and down and how long are you planning on staying?
I travelled south back in late December and started training in January. I’m not too sure yet how long I will stay down here but for now, I am going through the Loretta Lynn’s qualifying process.
You and your family have used the WW Ranch track near Jacksonville as your home base for the past two winters. What is about this track and the Club57 training facility that you like?
The owners at WW Ranch treat us like family. It is an amazing facility and it’s in a great location. My trainer at Club57 is Brad Jerominski and he also has an ex-pro rider named Kurtis Manderscheid as his assistant. Brad and Kurtis are very dedicated to this sport and have become mentors to me. They are tough but fair. The riders that train at Club57 are also like family. Brad treats everyone equally no matter what level of rider you are.
That’s great Josh! Good trainers are hard to find so it’s good you found the guys at Club57. Let’s talk about last season for a minute. You made some big strides last year and really put your name on the map in the Canadian moto scene. What do you attribute your success to last year?
I attribute my success last year to hard work and dedication. I also had a lot of support from my family and friends and of course my sponsors. Although motocross is considered an individual sport, it takes a team of people to help make a rider successful. I certainly couldn’t do it without my cherished support system.
What results or results are you most proud of in 2020?
I am most proud of my week at the Walton TransCan. I hit the podium in 5 out of 9 motos and finished top ten in the other four motos. I felt like I rode solid and stayed out of trouble. The TransCan is a tough week with multiple motos on a challenging track. I had a couple of solid years there in the Supermini class so it was great to find success on the big bikes as well.
Last year was also your final year on a two-stroke as now you’re a full-time 250F rider. What it is about your KTM250F that you like?
After riding hard against some of the 250F riders on my 150 two-stroke I found the transition to the 250F much easier than I thought. I feel really comfortable on the KTM 250F and I’m looking forward to racing it on tracks like Walton and Gopher Dunes.
So, you’ve been down south for a few months now, how has the training been going. I’m assuming that Club57 has you on a big strict routine?
The training has been going well. We train on the bike four days a week and in the gym five days a week. We do cardio training on the road bikes a couple of days a week and usually cycle around 35-40 kilometers. We are on a pretty strict training routine but at the same time, it’s fun!
A few weeks ago, you raced the Ricky Carmichael Amateur SX in Daytona, how did the race go?
This was my second year racing RCSX in Daytona and only my second race on the 250F. I had great lap times in practice but struggled with the starts and ended up finishing mid-pack. I rode defensive and needed to be a little more aggressive. It was a great learning experience for me and it was fun to race some of the top riders from the USA.
It must have been cool racing at the most famous Speedway on the planet?
Racing Daytona is one of the most amazing motocross events that I’ve ever been to. It’s exciting and overwhelming all at the same time!
Okay, let’s talk about how things went this past weekend. You and your family travelled to the Birch Creek track in Virginia for a Loretta Lynn’s Qualifier. How did the racing go?
The track conditions were great on Friday and Saturday morning. I finished 5th in the first moto of the 250B limited class but I crashed hard second moto and ended up 23rd. Sadly, that gave me 15th overall, but I was thankful that I didn’t get hurt. Then a huge storm came in and the races were postponed to Sunday. We woke up to a very muddy track on Sunday morning and the conditions were challenging. However, I ended up getting a great start and led the entire 250B moto. It felt great to win, especially with the muddy conditions.
A big win!! That’s great. You must feel great about your riding and training right now?
I feel great and I’m going to keep pushing hard to get to the next level.
So, you’re on your way to Texas for another LL Qualifier. I guess it’s safe to say that you’re doing your best to try and qualify for this iconic race in July?
I’m going to continue to race the qualifiers and the Regionals and see how things go. I would like to race at home as well, but with the border being closed it’s hard. I do plan to race ECAN in Quebec and then the Walton TransCan in August.
Sounds like you have a busy season of racing ahead. Other than racing and riding dirt bikes, what other things do you like to do?
On my days off I like to fish in the pond at WW Ranch, skimboard at the beach, and also play video games with Ayrton Pomeroy. Whenever we have some spare time we like to get on the Fortnite grind (laughs).
Well, travel safely to Texas Josh, and congratulations on the big win in Virginia. Final question, who would you like to thank for supporting your program?
I would like to thank MXP Magazine for this opportunity, FXR Racing, Mission Cycle, Club57, my parents, and also your family for always giving me lots of support and encouragement.