MXA INTERVIEW: Drew Gosselaar
By: Xakota Espinoza
Drew Gosselaar is the youngest member of the four brother Gosselaar clan and he has moved up from the amateur ranks and is in his second year riding as a pro. Drew's dad is of course none other than factory Suzuki mechanic Mike Gosselaar who was the man behind Ricky Carmichael's string of wins & titles. Despite reoccurring injuries, he is intent on proving that motorcycles are in his genes and that he can make a name for himself on the national circuit.
MXA: How did your family get so involved in motocross?
Drew: Well my dad was a mechanic for CHP (California Highway Patrol) and then he got offered a job at Honda. All of us always rode, but really started riding and racing a lot when he worked for Honda.
MXA: Is it true your mom worked as the mechanic for you and your three brothers?
Drew: Yeah! She drove me and all my brothers out to the Mini O’s in our truck in 1998 and we met up with my aunt and uncle who came with their motor home to support us. We all raced that weekend, I wasn’t too into racing at that time it was mainly my brother Christopher. She worked on all our bikes and during the awards ceremony Bones Bacon gave her the outstanding mechanics award. It was really funny because she wasn’t expecting it at all, she just got called out and Bones handed her the award.
MXA: How much do your dad and brother help you?
Drew: They help me quite a bit with everything. I try and take as much advice from Chris as I can, especially since I started Supercross, because it’s all new and he had a lot of good advice. He helped me a lot, even though it didn’t do much good this season with me not really being able to race, but hopefully I can use it all next year. My Dads always helped a lot with everything.
MXA: Who works on your bikes?
Drew: My mechanic Billy from KTM works on my bikes. Dad worked on them during the amateurs, but now he’s really busy so he doesn’t really work on my bikes at all. I actually just walked into the garage and my Dad just washed my bike for first time in a long time, it was pretty surprising!
MXA: What was the transition like going from racing amateur to racing pro?
Drew: The biggest transition was that the motos are much longer in pro races. Also there aren’t just three to five fast guys, all the guys you’re racing against are fast. Amateurs only have a handful of fast guys, racing amateur was a lot easier. I never had to train in amateurs, I should’ve and I wish I had because now I have to train ten times harder than I ever had in the past just to stay healthy and fit.
MXA: Do you wish you did more amateur races before turning pro?
Drew: Yes and no. Yes because I don’t know if I was ready to turn pro as early as I did. But no because I hated amateur racing, I mean not always, it had its good and its bad, but it just wasn’t as good.
MXA: What didn’t you like about the amateur races?
Drew: I just didn’t like how it was all set up. The whole ordeal with driving there and getting set up just to do a five-lap race. A lot of the moms and dads there were way too into it. When me and my brothers went out to race it was all for fun, it didn’t really matter how we did. A lot of the other families were really into it, it wasn’t a big thing but then the kids just get burnt out. The races alone just weren’t very good.
MXA: What is your current agreement with MDK KTM, do you have a plan set up with them for the outdoors??
Drew: They’ve just been helping out a lot with everything, I really can’t thank them enough. Especially Casey Lytle, he’s really helped me out a lot. My bike is unbelievable and really fast, they’ve done a lot for me. I am going to be with them for the outdoors, but I’m not sure exactly what the details of the deal will be as of now.
MXA: You rode on 450’s for the outdoors, and now 250’s for the indoors- which do you prefer and why?
Well I prefer 250 indoors especially this year since it’s my first year racing indoors, and for outdoors I like them both, I don’t really have a preference I would race on either.
MXA: Do you prefer racing indoors or outdoors?
Drew: I prefer outdoors because I’m not very comfortable indoors yet. I don’t have much experience indoors. I had surgery last October, so I only had a little over a month to get ready for Supercross, it was pretty tough.
MXA: What’s a typical week like for you? How often do you get to ride and train?
Drew: In the last few weeks my routine has changed a lot because I hurt my shoulder again. I work out and ride my bicycle every day. I try to ride as much as possible, either every day or every other day. I usually do about 3 hours of physical training. Usually I ride Monday through Friday, and workout Monday through Saturday, and take Sunday off. I don’t really just hang out much, usually it’s just all riding and training.
MXA: Do you have a trainer? What do you do to train?
Drew: I did have a trainer, but at the moment I don’t. To train I go to the gym to work out, I do a lot of shoulder exercise to strengthen them as much as possible so that they don’t pop out all the time. And I also ride my road bike.
MXA: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you started racing pro?
Drew: To be more patient, and train a lot harder. Now I know not to expect things to come too easy, I need to train a lot more and be more patient, and then we’ll see how I do outdoors.
MXA: How have you dealt with all the injuries you’ve had this past year?
Drew: It’s been tough. During outdoors every weekend was a problem with my shoulder or something else. It seemed to always be something with my shoulder. It was really frustrating just because something went wrong at every race.
MXA: What exactly happened with your shoulder?
Drew: At the end of ’06 I was riding at Glen Helen for the MXA ride day and I crashed in the mud and tore my rotator cuff. I figured it was just a normal dislocation and took a month and a half off. But ever since then it was getting worse and worse, so finally this past October I had surgery on both my shoulders which put me out for about another two months. My shoulders stayed in for a while but I just recently crashed at the test track and restretched and tore everything again, so I might be looking into surgery again.
MXA: Despite being hurt for majority of the Nationals, which one did you do best in?
Drew: I don’t really have a favorite, since I kept getting hurt. At the second race at Mt. Morris during Saturday qualifiers I hit neutral off a triple and got a concussion and dislocated both of my shoulders. I tried riding Sunday and in fast laps I was the 4th fastest overall, but then I crashed again. I popped my shoulder out again and went to Asterisk but they wouldn’t let me race. I was going really fast that weekend, if I hadn’t of gotten hurt that would’ve been a really good race.
MXA: What do you plan on doing this year to avoid a repeat of last year in terms of crashing and getting injured?
Drew: All the crashes were my fault. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well in the outdoors, I had very really high expectations for myself. I could never pull it together for a race, and I beat myself up about it, and that’s where it hurt me. I’d try too hard or crash, I just wasn’t there mentally. This year I need set reasonable goals.
MXA: You’ve been out the last few races with your shoulder, will you be back to race Seattle?
Drew: No, I’m just trying to focus on getting ready for the outdoors now.
MXA: What are your career goals?
Drew: In this outdoor season I want to get top 10 every moto. I know I have the speed to do better, I just need to focus more and not crash.
MXA: Would you ever want to become a mechanic like your dad?
Drew: I could never become a mechanic, never ever. I see what he does and it just doesn’t seem fun. It’s too much work, I see how much he does, I could never do it.
MXA: What is the best wrench tip your dad has ever given you?
Drew: He’s given me a lot of tips, I couldn’t pick just one. He taught me and all my brothers how to work on our bikes when he went out of town, even though none of us do that anymore since we all have mechanics now. But whenever he was gone we were able to do everything on our own, most kids couldn’t change a filter at our age, but I was working on my bike back when I was riding a PW-50.
MXA: Can you tell me a good Gosselaar family story?
Drew: Every year when we were younger we used to go up to mammoth and camp before the Mammoth motocross, we started going up there when I was about seven or eight and would take our van and three wheel trailer. One year we were camping at the campground below the track, and my dad wasn’t there yet so I was sleeping in the tent with my mom, and my three brothers were sleeping on lawn chairs outside. Christopher had just bought a tent and we put all of the food in it. That night a bear came and walked by the three of them sleeping and ripped open the tent and ate all the food. My brothers were too scared to move or run so they just laid there while the bear was right next to them eating all of our food.
MXA: Who are your sponsors? Has anyone else helped you out a lot?
Drew: Fox, Mada clothing, Scott goggles, MDK/KTM. My parents, and just all the guys at KTM have helped me so much.