Thirteen Minutes, Twenty-Six Seconds with Coy Gibbs
By:
Steve

Coy Gibbs opens up

Photos by Lissimore

Pulpmx: Coy, in your eyes how’s the season been so far?

Coy Gibbs: It’s been rough. You’re going to have good seasons and bad seasons. This one’s been tough for us. Obviously Josh getting hurt early on didn’t help anything, so we’re hoping to turn it around going into outdoors.

Talk about going into the season. You hired both guys that you had on the team before already. What were your expectations and have they met them? Obviously Josh has been hurt, but has the plan worked out?

No. I kind of answered that question already Matthes.

To me, there’s some good, some bad in Justin Brayton’s supercross season, how do you look at it?

If I look back on this Supercross season, in the beginning we were close to pulling holeshots, up front, and then we just never really got on a roll. So I think that hurt us. We didn’t carry any momentum into the later part of the season. So, it was a struggle, but we keep on digging. Hopefully we can turn it around here in these last three.

How has the outdoor testing been going?

Outdoor track is up, running. Sprinklers are on. Lots of money going into that, prepping it. Lots of diesel fuel being spent. Josh, he said he’ll start just by goofing around. He just moved to Florida. Just got there yesterday. He’s going to start goofing around doing some trail riding and then he’ll be up the next week. So hopefully he can start pounding it.

 

It hasn't been the easiest season for Coy and his manager Jeremy Albrecht.

As far as the supercross season as a whole, what do you think about it? RV looks pretty good at this point but it’s a deep field; deeper than last year.

It’s definitely stacked this year. Obviously the first one… James is out. When I think of anybody else up there. It’s been great. It’s good to see everybody healthy for once. Every year leading up to this I’ve been involved in it there’s three or four guys that are clipped before the season even starts. I think it’s good for the fans. It’s good for everybody. It’s fun to watch. Obviously we like to be up there. So that will be our goal for next year, to get up there.

Travis Preston is riding Hangtown for you, how did that come about?

Travis came to us…kind of been on us for about a year wanting to run an Outdoor race. So obviously we’re good friends with him. We’ve done a lot of testing with him in the past. He’s helped us out a ton. We decided to give him a run at Hangtown and see how he can do.

What if he goes 1-1?

That would be awesome. I’ll probably sign him on the spot, and he’ll be running the rest of the races. Anything other than that, I don’t know. It’s questionable whether he gets signed or not.

Are both your guys up at the end of the year?

No. Justin has a two-year. Josh will be up at the end of the year.

There’s no secret that Yamaha has a reputation out there as a bike people don’t want to ride. That’s the perception out there but it’s not entirely accurate. How tough did it make it to get guys to ride? We know you talked to Dean Wilson, and Davi left…

One guy probably wrecked it for us the most, obviously. It definitely did not help. It doesn’t help the situation. We feel like the bike’s really good. We feel comfortable. We feel like we put a lot of work into it, hand in hand with Yamaha helping us out. So we’re excited about it. Obviously there’s a new bike coming out. We’re also excited about that. We’ll probably see it about the time you guys see it. Hopefully we can get digging on it and get that going.

 

The season hasn't gone well for returnee Josh Grant as injuries have kept him out of sx.

Did you happen to hear about Chad Reed’s comments about you?

Yeah, he said I was shutting down. I told him I was going to talk to him. I told Chad to let me know next time we’re shutting down.

But why do you think he said that?

I don’t know. I never directly talked to him. He likes to stir it. It’s almost like you cry wolf so many times, sooner or later people are going to stop listening. Seeing how we’re all dumb, we buy right in every time.

You just signed a three-year deal with Yamaha last year, so this is your second year of the new deal? So you’re not going anywhere.

Not unless Chad tells us to shut down… Then we’ll shut down…(laughs).

Weigandt and I were talking in our podcast. You guys started off slow. Hansen and Summey and you wanted to build a program and it’s no secret that you guys have a terrific…

Let me say this: it took us ten years to win a  NASCAR Cup championship. And some people are going to bag on us on the way up, on the way down, whichever direction we’re going, but it took ten years on our car side to win a championship. That’s ten years. That’s a long time. So we’re building. We’ve built a foundation. A lot of people, even people that work for me, they’re not going to be here. They aren’t going to put up with it. They’re not going to do all the hard work to when you get to your goal. But the people that stay here and keep digging, when it does happen, that’s really why you do this. It’s easy to jump around and go from here to there and get on with a rider that can win a championship, but we’re going to sit here and keep building it until we make it.

That was my question. So you’re not frustrated…

Obviously we’re competitive. We don’t want to run bad. So yeah, it is frustrating, but that’s the part that drives you and makes you keep going.

We were talking about you went out there and spent big money on Stewart and you’ve tried going smaller, now you’re recycling riders which is sort of unheard of. And it hasn’t worked out to be a title.

I think there definitely is frustration. Any time you’re in a competition and you’re not winning, then you’re frustrated. So yeah, it’s been five years of a lot of hard work. Definitely some frustration. We’ve had some good moments. But it takes a long time to win in motor sports. You’re not going to come here and battle with Factory Honda year one and go win something. I think that’s a pipe dream. So I think there’s always been a long-term plan. And we’ll just keep digging along. The hardest part is making financial sense of paying someone a ton of money. It doesn’t financially work out. It’s difficult to play that game and to plug in the pieces when a lot of times you can’t afford them.

What would you change in the sport, Supercross or Motocross? I always like talking to you about this because you have good ideas, you have an outside perspective. We laugh and joke about things, but really, what would help you?

I think what would help us all is obviously we all fight to be mainstream. I’ve heard of some races in some locations that I think I will help out a ton. They hit the heart of the mainstream media. Hopefully those work out. But when I go in to sell sponsorship and I have to educate the whole time, that really hurts. When you go in to sell car sponsorship, they know all their information. They know everything, all the stats, demographics, everything. So when we get to the point where we can go in and sell and not educate in the first meeting… Because it’s hard to get these meetings. To get two, almost impossible. So I think when we’ve reach that point… And you can’t really point the finger anywhere. We’re all responsible for it. We all need to do it. Media, you name it. Sanctioning bodies, how we advertise the sport, the teams, how we represent ourselves… It’s all our responsibilities.

 

No, JGR Yamaha is not folding up shop. It took them ten years to win a NASCAR title and they're in it for the long haul.

Justin Brayton loves it here. I think this will be his third year now for you guys and he's into the North Carolina life, you guys really seem to work well with each other.

Justin is an awesome guy. He does everything off the track he’s supposed to do. There’s never any arguments. He’s competitive, he works hard, he’s in shape. Obviously we didn’t run the way we… He’ll say the same thing, I’m sure. We’re not where we need to be this year. I know that’s a frustration for all of us. We live it together. Hopefully come Outdoors and next year we’ll start collecting and he’ll start running up front where he needs to be.

I get a sense that he’s family with you guys.

I think any of the guys we had in the past, even Davi and Hansen and Summey, and all the guys we’ve had in the past, they all come up and say hi. We have a good family atmosphere. We try to take care of each other.

I loved your idea of getting the guys in North Carolina and training with your guys…

I don’t really do that anymore.

I know; that’s what I’m getting at. I love that idea. It seemed like a great idea, like a football program, bonding. You keep track of them. But you’re not doing that anymore. Why? And talk about that a little bit. Was it a bad idea?

I think it’s a great idea.

You’re the only guy to do it ever.

I think it would work, but I’m sick of fighting the fight. It’s their careers. If they want to be out of shape and not train. Not saying that any guys I have now do that, but in the future or in the past, so be it. Then you’ll fail. It’s your life, your livelihood. We keep going.

So basically the riders were fighting your program, your idea of that?

Yeah, if they’re not going to buy into it it’s pointless. It could be 100% what they need but if they don’t buy into it it’s absolutely pointless. So that was my frustration with it. And it got to the point where you’re like, all right, forget it. Why am I paying for a trainer? Why do I do all this stuff that you’re not going to take advantage of?

So many teams just say “See you on Saturday” and I loved your approach where you’re like, “No, Monday, Tuesday, we’re going to be here with you”.

I think it is the proper approach. I think it could work. Unfortunately the environment that we have currently does not promote that in our sport. It’s individual, I do my own thing, not going to listen to anybody, independent type person. And that’s just the culture we’ve created over here. I don’t think it’s the right way to do it. I think you can do it 100 different ways. My personal opinion is live in the same place, train with the same people, being with mechanics every day… It works better. But I’ve bailed on it. Maybe someday down the road we’ll pick it back up, but I’m over it.

Do you offer Davi another year if you had to do it over?

I offered Davi another year.

I thought you didn’t?

I offered him a year and a half. I was going to re-sign him after Supercross, for a year and a half. And at that point in time he didn’t have an agent so I was dealing directly with Davi and Ezra, and put the offer on the table. He wanted a two-year; I gave him a year and a half. He wanted a full two-year deal and I wasn’t willing to do that.

Pretty big surprise though for everybody. How he’s doing.

He got 2nd last year.

 

Thanks for doing this.