Gared Steinke was a fan favourite in Lucas Oil Professional Motocross a yr in the past, qualifying within the 250 Class seven occasions whereas driving a Husqvarna 125. In case you attended a race final yr, you possibly can attest to the curiosity the California native generated.
Steinke hoped to compete in all 12 Nationals once more this yr, however he sustained a shoulder harm on the remaining spherical of Amsoil Arenacross and was simply cleared to trip. We caught up with Stank Dawg earlier than his season debut at Washougal to see how his shoulder is recovering, driving the Alta, and extra.
Racer X: The final time I noticed you was Vegas Arenacross. You went down within the whoops. What occurred?
Gared Steinke: Received a little bit squirrelly within the whoops. I used to be skimming all of them day after which the warmth race final lap I made a decision to attempt to soar one and it wasn’t superb for me. I hit the deck and did an AC separation, dislocated my shoulder. Simply getting again into motion. Doing bodily remedy. Received the OK from the doc to start out driving about two weeks in the past and ridden about 4 or 5 occasions earlier than Washougal Nationwide. Simply going to go on the market and do all the things we are able to.
How’s it feeling, the shoulder?
It feels actually good, truly. Everybody says shoulders and knees are one of many worst accidents you possibly can have as a motocross racer, however if you happen to do the bodily remedy just like the physician tells you to do and also you keep on it and keep very optimistic with the bodily remedy, it feels simply pretty much as good because it did earlier than.
You raced Thursday at Portal Worldwide Raceway?
Yup. It was the primary time I rode the 250 two-stroke because you crashed her out right here on the Prime Weapons race. It was a reasonably contemporary bike, 250 two-stroke KTM. Scott Russell from Motorsport Hillsboro, he all the time hooks me up and rolled it proper off the showroom ground for me once more and let me have at it at Thursday Night time Motocross. Got here out of there with a fourth. I believe I had the pace to run with the highest three, however simply out of form and received drained round lap 5. It’s a couple of 20-lap predominant occasion, so I didn’t have the endurance to run the highest three tempo.
You additionally raced the Alta final evening, proper?
Yeah, I did. I rode it for the primary time in apply. Received two practices on it after which went out and raced it. It’s a one-moto format and I raced the Alta. It’s an enormous eye-opening expertise to your common motocross racer who’s used to a two-stroke or a four-stroke. A lot of noise, after which hopping on that bike being fully electrical, no sound or nothing. So, it’s a little bit completely different, however I loved it. Simply making an attempt one thing completely different, one thing new.
How was the ability band? How did all of it really feel?
Truthfully, I’d say the mid and the highest finish is simply as quick as a 250F, however on the underside finish it didn’t really feel prefer it had a lot backside finish, which is comprehensible as a result of it’s electrical which is type of all or nothing. However the largest factor I seen is it does nonetheless have a throttle management. You possibly can nonetheless roll the throttle on it and it’ll nonetheless observe by the corners good and throughout. Everybody’s largest complain about it was it’s heavy. Once I received on it, it didn’t really feel a lot heavier than a 250F. One other factor I actually loved is how well-balanced it was hitting the jumps. It didn’t really feel front-end heavy or rear-end heavy. It type of simply felt regular, like a standard bike.
Had been you operating common brakes, common moto setup? I do know you are able to do handlebars and different stuff.
Yeah, it was simply all inventory. Inventory brakes, inventory handlebars. Type of bizarre not having a clutch and no shifter, but it surely was throughout a enjoyable expertise.
How’d you do in that one?
I received second. I used to be earlier than the Hill Grasp Class and I received beat by a man on a 450.
So, this might be your first Nationwide. Had been you planning on doing all of the Nationals earlier than you bought harm?
Yeah, I used to be planning on doing all of the Nationals. Had it set as much as the place I used to be going to do each single one, then the shoulder at Vegas set me again. Simply received the OK two weeks in the past to start out driving. Washougal, Unadilla for certain, then see if I can’t work out any extra of them from there.
So, you’re going to be driving the smoker?
Yeah, driving the Husky 125. Similar bike as final yr, simply all freshened up. Jim Hasker from Hasker Racing’s received the motor all tuned up, good and pristine.
Who’s going to be wrenching for you?
Proper now, nobody. I received nobody on the market.
Solo wrench sesh?
Solo wrench sesh. Possibly if one in every of my buddies doesn’t qualify or one thing he’ll go on the market and assist me, or possibly one in every of my buddies that we’re staying at his home tonight. Possibly he’ll come out and assist me.
However you’re not driving to Unadilla, proper? You bought any person taking it over there for you?
Yeah, somebody’s taking the bike and I’m flying over there, fortunately. That’s an extended haul.
What about subsequent yr? What’s within the works?
Proper now, I’m doing arenacross for certain once more. I’ve gotten a couple of provides from Rockstar Yamaha workforce for arenacross, after which additionally Jay Joplin, he’s a Husky workforce proper now. I received a suggestion from him too. We’re nonetheless open within the air, however probably it’ll be for Joplin Racing.
How was the Workforce Babbitt’s for you?
That was an superior expertise. Denny Bartree’s a cool man. He’s been within the enterprise a very long time as a workforce supervisor. That entire program they’ve over there’s actually, actually stable. I used to be grateful to have Tyler Verba as my mechanic. He’s throughout a fantastic mechanic. He is aware of the bike in and out. He went to highschool for it. He’s probably the greatest mechanics that I’ve truly received to expertise working with. Hopefully I can keep off the bottom and end two, 30-minute motos and hopefully rating some factors at Washougal.