WHY IS JEREMY SO FAST?
Jeremy McGrath has everyone, from riders to team managers to sponsors to fans scratching their collective heads trying to figure out how to stop the massacre known as the Mac Attack. To get a handle on Jeremys
incredible domination, the MXA wrecking crew asked a diverse group of knowledgeable people (including some of Jeremys own BMX heroes) Why is Jeremy McGrath so fast?
While confidence seems to be the common
denominator in most answers, you need more than confidence to win. These answers give many clues and you can be sure the secret to success is here. If you find it, remember we were the ones who brought it to you
because youll be the next superstar.
PRESTON PETTY--MX PIONEER
I think Jeremy looks at racing much like I did. I was racing against the physics and dynamics of the track. What about the other
riders? Nothing but moving obstacles. If I could get around those moving obstacles, I could concentrate on me and Mother Nature. I talk to riders who say, Man, I have the biggest problem when Im out in front. They
are racing against the wrong thing. Little Jeremy didnt get that fast by looking at other racers. He is out there practicing and looking for ways to go faster around the track...Mother Nature.
BEVO FORTE--SCOTT GOGGLE REP
I think he is that fast because he is so smooth, he is precise at everything he does and I believe now he is in shape. Before he was in shape he was depending more on his talent
and now he has put his talent and training together and thats a pretty hard thing to beat.
STEVE LAMSON--FORMER TEAMMATE
I always think about this question. How does he make up the time? How does he
do it? I think his main thing is that he is so confident and gets good starts. He is really fast on the technical stuff on the track. He is smart. He thinks. If he does get a bad start, he holds back and then makes
his moves and gets up there. I race against Jeremy a lot and try to pick up on stuff. He is really fast in and out of corners, he jumps really low and he puts it together like that around the whole track. Even if it
is a few hundreds of a second in one turn and another turn and another turn, thats all it takes. It is just a little bit here and there, but in a lap, that adds up. Even if it is only a second, thats a twenty second
lead by the end of a race. I think thats it along with the fact he is so confident right now.
I dont know how to say it. Jeremy really enjoys what he is doing and winning is a lot
more fun than losing. Most athletes have up days and down days, but Jeremy is up for every race. Jer has been able to focus on doing the very best that he can do when he has to go to work. I dont know why he wins. I
know he is as dedicated and as focused as anybody else, it is just that he enjoys winning. And he doesnt get down on himself if things dont go his way. He just figures hell work a little harder. I think every time
he goes out there, he believes he is the baddest guy (he believes that in his heart). Hes told me that no matter where he goes in the world, he knows he is the baddest guy there. It has to be a mental thing because
there are a lot of great riders. I think he may just be mentally stronger than the guys hes racing against right now.
DAVID PINGREE--125 RIDER
He has figured out a way to get his mind set before
every race. There is absolutely no anxiety, no fear, nothing. He just knows that every time he goes to the line that he can win. Some guys can do it every once in awhile. They have a perfect ride where they dont
think of anything but the race. You get done and youre like, wow, that was easy. He does it every time he rides. There is just no other explanation. Hes not lucky. You cant do as much as he has done with luck. It is
all mental. It is all up there. Hes got it figured out.
PHIL ALDERTON-YAMAHA OF TROY OWNER
Confidence. He is a great rider, no doubt, but I think the reason he is so dominant is confidence. He has
the other riders mentally beat and he has the races mentally won before he even gets to them. Everybody goes to the line thinking the race is for second and Jeremy goes to the line knowing he is going to win.
LARRY WARD--TEAM KAWASAKI RIDER
I think he is so comfortable and so used to his whole set-up, it gives him confidence. And the more he wins, the more confidence he is going to get. If I go to a local race,
I know that no matter what, if I crash in the first turn, it wont matter, I know I could still win. That is the confidence level he is at at a National race.
RYAN HUGHES--250 GP RIDER
He lets the
race come to him.He doesnt rush it and make mistakes. He doesnt seem to make mistakes. He has a little different riding style than some people but I dont think that is going to make you win every race you enter. It
is more in the head and being in the right place at the right time. He has some good luck on his side.
JOHNNY OMARA--FORMER NATIONAL CHAMP
I dont want to put anybody down but the riders dont seem to
be going after him. Talking about the old school guys, we worked together to bring it to another level. If Wardy or Johnson were winning, wed work on it during the week. If I went home after someone beat me ten
races in a row, I wouldnt be able to sleep. Something would have to be done. I wasnt racing for second. Id rather take myself out and finish last. We were hungry and that is why there were so many winners in my day.
Why doesnt somebody just take him out (laughter)? But you know, he doesnt let himself get into a position where somebody could take him out. The guy is so on it, he covers his moves really good. When he passes
someone, hell hug the inside. He doesnt leave a door open for someone to come railing in on the next corner. Two turns later, he already has three bike lengths. Everything he does is so calculated. He is thinking a
lot out there.
MIKE KING- MOUNTAIN BIKER CHAMP
He has drive and momentum down the back side of every jump. He is not necessarily the smoothest rider but he does stuff that other people wont do. His
reaction time is great. Hes got great hand/eye coordination, he has his mind and he throws the horsepower to the legs better than anyone. It could be the bike too.
MITCH PAYTON--SPLITFIRE TEAM MANAGER
Jeremy is so fast because he rode for me. Thats the whole reason he is so fast. It seems to work (laughs). No, honestly, I think he has an incredible amount of natural talent. Some people underestimate God given
talents. It doesnt matter if it is a tennis player, a Formula One driver or a motocrosser. You could put someone else on the same equipment and they wont do the same. I think he has good reflexes, good balance,
excellent eyesight and excellent coordination , but nobody is looking at the basic, common skills. It isnt because he has works forks. It isnt because he has a cool shock or a fast engine. The guy has beaten
everyone on a stock motorcycle. He is just really talented. But only half the package is talent, the other half is desire and Jeremy has desire. When you start winning, you think differently. You dont even notice
the guys you are passing because you are focused further down the track.It doesnt take long before the other riders start to give you room they would never give anyone else. There are probably not five guys who
really believe they can beat Jeremy. Period.
TOBY HENDERSON--BMX CHAMP
A focused head, killer support and a background that seems to have turned a lot of people into superstars in my sport -- BMX.
Jeremy uses the techniques he learned in BMX to win today. It is the quick, initial, bam, hes gone. I really think the BMX background did it. The starts and the dicing in the turns that BMX gives you is what Jeremy
is using today. Jeremy has taken a 30 second BMX sprint and turned it into a 30 minute moto.
JOHN TOMAC--MOUNTAIN BIKE CHAMP
Jeremy has a particular riding technique that is one step ahead of
everyone else. He has a way of riding, compressing through the jumps and staying low, that is just faster than the other guys out there. He is the only guy who can do it right now and hes just massacring those guys
because of it. If he shaves a second off every jump, he can relax around the rest of the track. The key to winning that many times is being so much better that you are not being pushed. The other guys are riding at
110% and wrecking and Jeremy is just laughing.
BRIAN LOPES--BMX CHAMP
I dont think any other rider really believes he can beat him. Whether he is jumping a triple or a double or a step-up, hes
always staying lower and catching the backside of the landing better than anyone. On a BMX bike, you want to land front wheel first, right at the top of the landing ramp. The further you land down the ramp, the less
momentum you get off the back side. Guys who overjump and land flat on a BMX bike can get hurt. If a rider comes up short or overshoots a jump on a motorcycle, the twelve inches of travel can save him. On a bicycle,
you have to land perfect and if you dont, youre going over. I think that is the mentality that Jeremy has. He lands every jump perfect, right where he is suppose to land to gain maximum speed.
JEFF SURWALL--FORMER CANADIAN NATIONAL CHAMP
Jeremy enjoys it. Whenever you enjoy what you are doing, you are better than anyone else. He doesnt look at racing as work. He is willing to adjust or adapt to his
competition. If he is weak outdoors, thats what hell practice. He is willing to dig deeper and make changes to be better. If someone else is good at something, Jeremy will go practice until he is better. He has more
confidence than anybody but I still think the key thing is that he enjoys going riding.
DR. JEFF SPENCER--FORMER TEAM HONDA TRAINER
There are several reasons. One, he is extremely talented. Two, I
think his background in BMX at an early age set the tone for how to work with the motorcycle. He was really good with energy conservation. Three, he has a great temperament for racing. He is a good listener to what
people have to say but he is also able to make his own decisions and do what works best for him. To be champion, you have to be able to do that. Four, I think he grew up in a good environment. He has had really
supportive parents and he was around riders like Rick Johnson and Jeff Stanton, who provided insight and guidance. Five, he has been able to maintain the same type of attitude it took to win to keep on winning. So
he has a great deal of adaptability to deal with the adversity of professional sports.