MXA INTERVIEW: JUSTIN BOGLE IS STILL SEARCHING FOR A FACTORY RIDE IN 2020
Justin Bogle has had moments of brilliance for the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC KTM team, but he still doesn’t have a ride secured for 2020.
If there is one rider right now that fits the “you are only as good as your last race” slogan it’s Justin Bogle. Coming into the 2019 Supercross season his privateer team suddenly folded leaving him without a ride. It was only due to the misfortune of his friend Benny Bloss that a spot on the Rocky Mountain MC/ATV – KTM – WPS team came about. Bogle’s Supercross beginnings were a bit rough, but by the series end he was top five material. Then, with little outdoor prep, this summer has been some of the same. But still, Justin has shown flashes of brilliance, and has endured through the full season to date. We recently chatted with the eighth placed championship rider to get his thoughts on 2019.
BY JIM KIMBALL
JUSTIN LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR OUTDOOR SEASON SO FAR. GIVE US THE HIGHS AND THE LOWS. The outdoor season so far has not really had many highs. If I am giving myself an honest assessment, it has been pretty average, mediocre, I would say. I have a lot more in the tank. I have just been struggling to make it happen on the weekend so far, but we are still working and trying to get the settings better with the bike and everything figured out with myself. So, we are seeing improvements, whether they are small or not, I am still seeing improvements. But I know that I belong up front and I have been there before so we will keep working until we get back up there. As of right now, I’m top 10 in points which is about where I was in Supercross. I would like to have the same scenario as in Supercross where I kind of gain momentum towards the end of it, start getting it figured out and get some good results.
WAS IT DIFFICULT TO ADAPT TO THE STEEL FRAME ON THE KTM JUST ONE WEEK BEFORE THE SUPERCROSS SEASON STARTED? Yes, coming into Supercross this season, I did not really get to ride too much. I got the call the week of Anaheim, so I didn’t get to do much testing, training or riding coming into Supercross. Then it is tough when you don’t put that big base in during the off season. You know, it is hard to make that up during Supercross to get ready for Outdoors, so just playing catch up with that all season, but I have a plan. It is a two-year plan to get myself back where I am comfortable and where I believe I should be. We are still in the process of that obviously, but yes, there was not a whole lot of testing or prep time for Outdoors either. But it is what it is. I think for all of us, we kind of all deal with that at times. It is tough and there is not a lot of time. No excuses though. We just have to keep working and do better.
IT WAS JUST A COUPLE YEARS AGO THAT YOU TOOK AN OVERALL WIN IN THE 450 CLASS, SO YOU KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. Yes, definitely. You know winning that moto in 2017 at Colorado was incredible, but it was not very fulfilling as I did not back it up. But then a few weeks later, I ended up winning the overall at Budd’s Creek, so that one felt great. It has been a very bumpy road since then, but that was less than two years ago and I won an Outdoor National in the 450 class, so I know I can do it. And I know at the same time, you cannot just talk about it all the time, you have to go out and do it and show results, so that is what I am working for. Like I said, there are no excuses involved, and it really is what it is. Circumstances are what they are. It does not matter what card that was dealt, I have to learn how to play it. I expect a lot out of myself, so that is why I would not say I am happy with being just in the top 10.
HOW ABOUT YOUR FITNESS? DO YOU FEEL STRONG ON THE BIKE? I struggled really bad in Supercross. I think a lot of it was that I was hurt so much in 2018, and I did not ride much. I did not train at all during the off-season. Things were so hectic and crazy and through Supercross, as I said, I was just playing catch-up. It was tough. For Outdoors, we do not have time to get ready, so it could be better, but it also could be a lot worse. You always hear of racing yourself into shape as being a thing, and I never really thought it was. But when there is no other option, it is all you can do. Do as much as you can during the week and use the weekend to really try to keep building, and that is what I had to do all season. That is why I was not putting so much pressure on myself through Supercross. I did not want to put so much pressure on my results, because my plan involves getting a year under my belt to get my sea legs back. So, I am still working, still trying to figure this thing out. Like I said, I have done it before, so I know what it takes. I do know that I can still do it. We will just keep working until it happens.
SOME PEOPE DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW DIFFERENT BIKES ARE SET UP FOR SUPERCROSS AND MOTOCROSS, CAN YOU ELEBORATE ON THE DIFFERENCES? There are certain bikes that you are super comfortable with on Supercross and others on motocross, and sometimes it is a bit of a struggle to get it working in the other discipline. Supercross and motocross are so different these days. They are like different sports, so it is tough when so much focus is put on Supercross. It is tough when you do not have the same amount of time to try to get the bike working for Outdoors, but at the end of the day, we all have the same amount of time and resources at this factory level. I am extremely grateful and thankful for this team, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC and KTM. The KTM is an incredible motorcycle. In the off-season, in the times I did ride my other bike, I was riding with Benny (Bloss) and watching him ride and I am like, “Man, if I could just get this bike, my life would be a lot easier.” You know, I ended up being fortunate enough to get the chance to race this thing, so I am thankful for that. The bike is great, it’s the settings that is a lot on me; just figuring out what I like. You know, I never rode a steel frame KTM in my life before this season, so still trying to get it figured out. You know, you just don’t jump on them and go, not at this level. It is tough to be a podium guy without being comfortable.
AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON, EVERYONE IS THINKING ABOUT CONTRACTS FOR NEXT YEAR. WHERE ARE YOU AT IN ALL OF THAT? As of right now, I don’t know what I am doing for next year. In the past, I have let that scenario, which I have been in the last few years, bother me too much. I have let it stress me out and I worried about it, but this season, I am having a lot of fun. I really enjoy the team I am on and I am really enjoying the people that I have around me, so I am just focusing on what I can control. What I can control is doing as good as I can, working hard, and going out and trying to drill my start. From a good start, will come good finishes and then it will all work itself out. So, I am going to just keep doing as good as I can and let the cards fall how they may, whatever that ends up being. I feel like I gave it everything I had, and it will just end up being what it is, you know? If I was not trying as hard as I could and really busting my butt for this, maybe I could have some stress or regret. As of right now, I am doing everything I can, so, it is what it is.
BESIDES MAYBE FIVE OR SIX 450 GUYS, IT SEEMS LIKE THE POSITION YOU ARE IN FOR NEXT YEAR IS SO PREVALENT AND COMMON. It is unfortunate. We are all deserving, right? But you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you can negotiate for. It is one of my favorite sayings, because it is so true. I have won Outdoors, yes. I have won a Supercross Championship on 250, but whatever. It does not matter at this point right now. Yes, it proves that I can do it, so that is very important, but I understand the position I am in and I understand that it is up to me to control my destiny. I just need to get better finishes, and if I do that everything will work out. can’t complain about it, and I can’t blame anyone or anything. The market is the market. I will do as good as I can and I know I am capable of winning at some juncture in this career of mine, so once I get back to that point, it will all work itself out.