The second and final part of MXP’s interview with Canadian off-road racer, Brian “Wojo” Wojnarowski. You can read the first part here.
By Danny Brault
So your season is all wrapped up now? No more races?
Yeah, it’s all done. There’s a race this weekend, an enduro, but I’m going to Monster Cup. The race was rescheduled from the summer, but I already booked off work and have the championship won already so I don’t need to go.
What do you feel were your highlights this summer?
There was a rainy and wet event in Parry Sound where I rode really well. I’m really happy with my riding at the Corduroy. Friday was okay, but Saturday was strong and Sunday was steady. I raced some Trials events and felt like I did well in those. I’ve only ever done a dozen Trials races in my life. I didn’t have any schedule conflicts, so I could race some trials on Saturday and off-road on Sunday. I get whacked in Trials, those guys are quite a bit better.
What are you like compared to Jordan Szoke?
I’m in the same class but he’s way better than I am at Trials. For the most part, I’m doing most of the same sections he’s doing but I score more points than he does. Jonathan English goes good. They are better, but that’s fine because it gives me something to work towards.
I’m sure Trials helps in off-road, probably even in motocross too.
It all helps each other to be an all around good rider. I take pride in being a well rounded guy. I’m far from the best motocross guy, but I’m okay and some guys are better at trials, but all of it helps me out with off-road stuff. I think it’s cool to be half decent at every discipline.
Did you win everything in Ontario off-road racing this year?
Yep, I won pretty much everything in Cross Country and Enduro. Zach (Lewis) beat me in the tie breaker in WEC series. Nathan Bles beat me last year in the WEC stuff; he’s really good and he beat me at Walton and Gopher Dunes. I had nothing for him. He was strong at those tracks.
Well, Bles would be pretty quick on the Walton and Gopher motocross sections.
Maybe, you never know. I paid my $50, he paid his $50 and kicked my ass .
What’s it like these days going racing? Do you plan to keep at it for a while?
Yeah, it’s great now. We take my kid, who is racing, and the whole family in a camping trailer. It’s different and I like it. It’s a nice family weekend together. I have friends with wives and kids who come as well with their trailers. The kids race in the morning, adults in the afternoon and it works out well. It’s actually better than years ago when it was just me leaving for the weekend. I hope to keep doing it for a while. I love riding and racing. As long as it keeps being fun, I will keep doing it. As long as Yamaha and Machine Racing keep helping me. I enjoy training, staying in shape, and riding. Overall it’s a way I get to do what I love. I don’t have to spend too much to go racing and I’m lucky that way. I’d like to keep it going as long as I can. I’d like to get an attack bike too, like a 600. I’ve never done road racing so that’s something I wouldn’t mind trying out. Mosport is close by.
Oh, I wanted to bring up Gopher Dunes 2012 when you qualified for the MX1 class. What was that experience like? Not too many off-road riders can say they’ve qualified for off-road and motocross pro events.
I raced in 2012 and then the next year in the little bike class on my 250 two-stroke. I didn’t qualify that second time, which pissed me off, but anyways. Those were the only two. Honestly, it was a lot of fun racing the National. I love the format; you do some practice, two 30 minute motos and then you were done. The only motocross I remember is going early in the morning, couple laps of practice, some motos and waiting around all day. I was tired at the National; you race, pack up and go home. I wish motocross was more like that. Then on top of that there is racing against all the really fast guys.
What’s tougher: 30 minutes plus two at Gopher Dunes or three days at the Corduroy?
It’s completely different. From my experience, racing the Gopher Dunes National was tougher. With Corduroy Enduro, I know what to expect. I didn’t know what to expect at Gopher; both are tough, one is shorter, higher heart rate and The Cord is more like intervals. It’s no different than if you took a motocross guy; they would think the off-road stuff is tougher because they’re not used to it. Having not raced motocross in a long time, it took a while to get comfortable jumping and riding beside guys for extended periods of time. In enduro, you’re riding maybe beside one guy for short periods. At Gopher, there was always someone on top of you, passing you, or you’re erasing someone, or Goerke is lapping you for the 8th time. The motocross guys ride so aggressive and intense, going off jumps close together. It’s not what I’m used to riding off-road.
It’s a cool experience qualifying for a pro national. Not a lot of people have done it.
It was a hot and challenging day, that’s for sure. If anything else, it was a great work out. The other option was to sit on the sidelines and drink beer .
Okay, before I let you go, who is going to win the Monster Energy Cup?
I’m not sure of everyone who is going. I thought Stewart was caught up with performance enhancing drugs, I’m not sure if it applies for the Monster Cup. If he’s not going, I think (Justin) Barcia because the start is so important in that race and I think he’ll get a good start. (Eli) Tomac’s starts are awful.
Good choice. Give a shout out to the folks helping you this year and then you can go back to work.
Yes, for sure. Yamaha Motor Canada and Machine Racing have been helping so much for the longest time. A big thanks to them. LGS suspension, AME Grips, OrthoFlex, Podium Grafix, PerformX, Mongoose Machine, Rekluse, Atlas, GYTR, Forma Boots, and 100%. All of them are a pleasure to deal with and their support makes a different in my riding and results.