You probably already know that J&P Cycles is sponsoring Joe Kopp and Michael Beck in the Vance and Hines XR1200 Series for the 2011 race season — and we’re proud to be doing so. When an opportunity arose to chat with Joe about his upcoming race in Daytona, we took full advantage of it, and here’s what Smokin Joe had to say:
J&P: So Joe, your first race is right around the corner. What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming season?
Joe: Well, I’ve been getting in shape and riding as much as I can. Unfortunately, I live in Spokane, Washington, so I haven’t had great weather here for practicing. I have been doing some ice racing and some dirt bike riding to prepare, but I really need more time on the asphalt.
J&P: Are you concerned about not having enough time on asphalt?
Joe: Not really. I do better when I am relaxed and can just ride. Everyone knows that I am a dirt track guy, so I don’t feel like I have to prove anything to anyone out there. My goal will be to stay loose and relaxed. That is when I ride my best.
J&P: What do you think about the Daytona track?
Joe: I like it. It suits my style well because it’s high speed. I think everyone will underestimate me because I am a dirt track guy. I may even look a bit out of control on purpose at first. If I scare ’em the first few laps, they’ll think twice before they get too close to me. I like being the dark horse!
J&P: You’re serious about that aren’t you? “Looking out of control on purpose.”
Joe: Yep! I gotta do whatever it takes!
J&P: Who do you think will be your biggest competition there?
Joe: Not sure really. There are some really talented riders in the series. I would expect Michael Barnes and Steve Rapp to be really fast.
J&P: Are you racing the flat track while you’re at Daytona?
Joe: Yes. I will be riding in the singles 450 class. I am still deciding what bike to ride depending on the track conditions, but I am looking forward to that race as well.
J&P: We wish you the best of luck this weekend!
Joe: Thanks! I’m looking forward to it!
You can catch Joe Kopp, Michael Beck, and all of the racing on SPEED TV this weekend. Here’s the Bike Week television schedule:
- AMA Supercross (March 5, 8 p.m. ET, LIVE)
- The Daytona 200 (March 12, 1 p.m. ET, LIVE)
- AMA Pro National Guard SuperBike (March 12, 11 p.m. ET, SDD)
- AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship (March 13, 3 p.m. ET)
Note: SPEED2, the network’s authenticated broadband channel, offers live coverage of AMA Supersport live from Daytona on March 11 at 2:15 p.m. ET and March 12 at 10 a.m. ET.