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MotoAmerica Junior Cup and Twins Cup Racer - Gus Rodio
This week, our guest is MotoAmerica Junior Cup and Twins Cup racer Gus Rodio, who shares some of his racing plans for 2023, and what he's been up to during the offseason.
MotoAmerica is the OFFICIAL Sponsor of Pit Pass Moto
This episode is brought to you by MotoAmerica. Moto America is the home of AMA Superbike racing and is North America's premier motorcycle road racing series.
Rewatch every round of the 2022 series and revisit all the action with the Moto America Live+ video-on-demand streaming service. Or visit the MotoAmerica YouTube Channel for race highlights and original video content.
Note: Transcript is machine generated and may contain spelling or grammatical errors.
[00:00:17.190] - Dave
Hello everyone. Welcome to Pit Pass Moto, the show that keeps you up to speed on the latest in motorcycling and brings the biggest names in the motorcycle industry right to you. I'm Dave Sulecki.
[00:00:27.690] - Dale
I'm Dale Spangler. And this week, our guest is MotoAmerica Junior Cup and twins cup racer Gus Rodio. This episode of Pit Pass Moto is brought to you by by MotoAmerica. MotoAmerica is the home of AMA Super Bike Racing and is North America's premier motorcycle road racing series. Rewatch every round of the 2022 series and revisit all the actions with the MotoAmerica Live Plus video on demand streaming service. Or visit the MotoAmerica YouTube channel for race highlights and original video content. To view the complete 2023 MotoAmerica race schedule, head over to MotoAmerica.com. And be sure to follow MotoAmerica on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for real time series updates. Well, Dave, welcome back. I know you're out last week, sick. How are you feeling, man? You get back up to speed after Ikeman all that. Seemed like you had a lot going on over the last couple of weeks.
[00:01:22.920] - Dave
Yeah, I did. I appreciate the concern, but no, we're all back and healthy and ready to go. So hopefully the voice sounds good and we can chitchat about all things Moto.
[00:01:33.160] - Dale
Well, I don't know if you caught any of the mini Olympics, which by the way, I have to say before we even start talking about mini Olympics, how cool is it now that they're broadcasting these events, streaming five, 6 hours a day of live coverage of these events. Never thought I'd see the day that amateur races you're able to view from afar, you know, full races. It's been awesome. I was definitely flipped it on while I was working a lot of times last week. And just fun to be able to catch up on the amateur scene and see some old names in the vet classes that I haven't seen for a while. And so the action seemed like it was pretty good and wow, a lot of people though. Amateur racing appears to be alive and well based upon the few drone shots that I saw.
[00:02:14.400] - Dave
Yeah, no doubt. And it kind of reminds you of Loretta Lynn's, but in the wintertime. And I love that daily broadcast too, because you can check in and see what's going on and it's great to have in the background. Better than a talk show radio or something. But anyway, great event and well packed, well attended. I think you've ridden a Gator back in years past, Dale, haven't you?
[00:02:35.760] - Dale
Oh, yeah, winter series used to go down there all the time over the winter and definitely did the Gatorback National a couple of times when it was still on the calendar back in the day. And interesting track, but it looks amazing. Like today it looks like the best I've ever seen. It like the dirt looked really great and just looks like a fun track to ride, even.
[00:02:53.650] - Dave
Yeah, I think the owners have put in the hard work, and they just pack a lot into those four or five days. I actually extended this event one extra day because they had so many entrance to take in and get into what is it, 44 classes, I think I counted. Yeah. That's just insane. So they combine motocross and super, cross into an overall score and run them all week, and danger boy deegan hayden deegan comes out with a 250 and 450 pro sport going one one in all four motors. That's pretty cool, man.
[00:03:22.020] - Dale
Yeah, I guess. Funny. But before I hopped on here, I mean, it just seems like he not only did he dominate the racing, but he's been dominating the conversation right now just because of some people question him coming back. But I believe he had to go earn some points for the road to supercross. And so I think by him racing the mini Olympics, he was able to get two points towards his AMA road to supercross. And so I think he kind of had to. But, yeah, it was definitely the Haydendegan show. I think he ended up winning pretty much every time he threw his leg over the bike and ended up with the silver tire award and the Platinum pipe award. And so he was definitely the dominant rider, that's for sure. I think he got himself in a little bit of trouble there with his smoke show after winning the final moto. Like, everybody's talking all about that for some reason. It's a big deal to smoke the tires after an amateur title.
[00:04:08.130] - Dave
Yes. Used to be what everybody does now. They would win a title or win some major event. But you mentioned the vet riders and civil names. But mike brown just continues to dominate that and own that whole vet vet world everywhere he goes.
[00:04:21.780] - Dale
Does he age?
[00:04:22.590] - Dave
He doesn't. He gets faster. I know he trains in Florida, and he trains riders in Florida for, I think, one of the KTM teams, the huskabarna teams with that. So it's kind of like for him riding at home. But he won every moto in every class in five classes in motocross. So that's got to be some kind of record, right?
[00:04:42.180] - Dale
Yeah, absolutely. It seems like every five to ten years there's like, this vet rider that just seems to dominate everything. I think mike treadwell was one of the guys that was winning titles for a while. They seem to be old pros. John Grewy is another expo from Michigan that's now between him and mike brown. They've pretty much been sweeping everything. What I call it the factory vet riders, if you want to call them that, because they have pretty good support. But what I also notice, though, too, is I'm starting to see more and more like there's more of these second and third generation racers starting to line up like, I think you even called attention to Corey Carston. That's Barry Carston's son, liam Olaf, joe Olaf's kid, who I think he got 2nd, 250 B down there, a writer that wasn't there, but another second generation. Luke nees. Jim. Neese's, son. It's kind of funny how this is happening, you know, Hayden, brian Deegan's son, evan Ferry, Tim Ferry son. So we're starting to see more and more. It's kind of weird for me. It's starting to show my age a little bit, I guess.
[00:05:37.410] - Dale
But it's strange to me when I'm starting to see riders I race with. Their kids are now top amateurs and top pros.
[00:05:44.470] - Dave
Yeah, and it's pretty cool because you get to go out and race with your kid if you're racing the event. May as well bring junior along. That's how my kids got started. They didn't stay with it because they got into other things. But I think that's kind of how it happens, right? You're born into it, so you tend to gravitate towards that sport until it burns out or you make something of it. Like it looks like Hayden Deacon's going to do. He's kind of anointed as the next big thing.
[00:06:09.450] - Dale
Yeah, I think Evan Ferry, too, obviously, his dad was a pretty high level racer. It looks like Evan's on the same path and so, yeah, it's funny to see that. But were there any outstanding rides that you saw throughout the week that really just kind of impressed you? Like one of them? For me, it seemed like I'm seeing a lot more European and South American riders that are showing up at races like these. The mini Olympics to where because the US scene seems to be the place to be for upcoming amateurs turning professional. One rider stood out as this kid named Quentin proved in the Aries I think he's from France riding for the Bud Racing Kawasaki team. And he got second and 450 pro sport. And really impressive though, so it's seen a lot more of these. It's becoming very international, this mini Olympics event.
[00:06:52.450] - Dave
Yeah, I had noticed that myself. But it is a good point. And I always thought that Europe had a pretty good breeding system to bring riders up through MXGP, eventually to where they could go through the tiers. But maybe they're doing it for experience and I think it's probably good experience and it's also, timing wise, probably very good for them because they can come to Florida and ride into good weather where it's probably right now pretty crappy and you're up to go racing. So it kind of makes sense. And it's a good way to get exposure and get seen.
[00:07:20.950] - Dale
Yeah. Overall, though, pretty cool to be able to watch dirt bikes during the holidays, during Thanksgiving. And of course, having been to that event, it's pretty fun to be down there too. All the families get together and eat a meal together on Thursday. And so it's a really fun just family atmosphere, camaraderie, and so pretty cool to be able to flip on the TV and watch Motocross over the Holly. There's no need for football when you've got two wheel racing on television, right?
[00:07:47.110] - Dave
Yeah, I agree. And we've also got two Arena Cross series going kind of simultaneously. I know they kind of collide on the schedule and overlap a little bit, but we've got the ever popular AMA Arena Cross Championship going, and boy, that Kyle Peters is continuing to dominate that whole series as he's done in the past. This kid has had a perfect season in Arena Cross, and he's winning again. So it made me the Kyle Peters Show, this whole arenacross series.
[00:08:17.710] - Dale
Yeah, I think he's going for a record number of championships. But not only that, he came back from a pretty serious injury here in the Spring Supercross. I think he might have crashed, but he broke his neck, and so I had to have multiple surgeries, and so he had a pretty rough road. But, wow, that makes it even more impressive to see that he's back to his winning ways. And I don't know about you, Dave, but one thing that kind of brought up the question, a question I had is apparently the AMA Arena Cross series really isn't part of that road to Supercross anymore. And there's no real reason to actually race that series for points now that they have that road to Supercross. And so, really, this is just its own standalone championship. They've got some good sponsors. I know it's Parts Unlimited and Boost and some of these other brands. Mad TV, I think Ride TV is the other one. They're kind of partnering up to broadcast these and so good racing action. Yeah, it's just kind of changed a little bit because of that. I don't think it really is necessarily a step in the process of becoming a professional supercross racer any longer.
[00:09:14.430] - Dave
Yeah, it used to be I know you had to score one point and that would allow you to get into the Super Cross series, at least for a period of time. That's how they did it. But it used to be the guys that would be coming out of the amateurs would go to Arena Cross, get your feet wet, learn the timing and the jumps and the whoops, and be able to move on to Super Cross level riding. And I see a couple of young riders coming into this AMA series is Caden Braswell, who's actually Kyle Peters teammate on the Phoenix Honda team. He came out of Loretta as one of the hot prospects, and now he's getting into Arena Cross. So he's kind of following that old school process of going from amateur to Arena Cross in the wintertime, which, timing wise, works out really well. It's consecutive, and that sets the tone for next year as he can kind of roll into AMA, Motocross and then Super Cross.
[00:09:59.280] - Dale
Yeah, I think Gage linville is another one too. I actually saw where he was racing at the Mini O's. He was kind of doing double duty where he did Arena Cross and then went straight to the Mini Olympics. Or maybe it was the other way around where he went to the Renacross after. But yeah, it's definitely a different series now nonetheless. They're getting great riders. It's a great step for those going on to Supercross and of course for Kyle Peters. He's making a full on living off of just racing Arena Cross. Of course he'll go on to race Supercross once that starts, but I don't know if David Renacross for us was kind of like part of growing up. That was a way for us to keep racing during the wintertime and so it sort of lost its way a little bit. Instead of just being a regional series, they tried to make it into more of a national thing like they currently are at. But yeah, I mean, the Renacross to me is just such a great way to keep racing all wintertime and this Hoosier series seems to be just as good. And they've got some great riders.
[00:10:53.740] - Dale
Michael Lassie. Grant harlan michael Hicks. So good to see that there's a couple of these series out there, I guess we can call them regional series that give these guys jobs in a way to make money over the wintertime and hopefully they can carry that into their super cost and outdoor series if they're able to make enough money, for sure.
[00:11:11.010] - Dave
And like I say, it's good to at least be able to tune in and watch some racing and catch some results and see who's doing what. And these guys can kind of sharpen their skills for Super Cross. So I'm glad that they have the series now because there was talk that a couple of these seasons, I can remember where they said Arena Cross was going to go away and it actually did in one of the series and then came back. So that means that there's a need. So hopefully these riders are getting their time on the track and they're filling that need. So next thing we want to talk about today, I know, is this is kind of an ongoing thing, but I keep telling the guys in the office that, you know, it's Ken Rockson's world and we just limit it. And if you go to social media, you almost believe it because what is up next for Ken Roxon and what's going on with this guy?
[00:11:56.940] - Dale
I mean, how cool has it been though? I mean, it's certainly kept kind of a pretty quiet silly season. Definitely kept it very interesting. Air quotes. Where will Kenny end up? It seemed like it's just fuel in the internet right now in the silly season. And I mean, he's pretty much ridden every bike that I've seen so far. He's riding the Yamaha at Club MX, Starkfar Pepsuki, the genuine Honda to me, the two most likely scenarios, of course, are the Fire genuine Honda, team Firepower genuine Honda, however that ends up playing out, or the hep Suzuki. And from what I'm seeing, more and more it seems like the hep Suzuki could be a reality. And my thing is, hey, with the way things maybe are going for KTM right now, maybe new isn't always better.
[00:12:38.490] - Dave
Yeah, definitely. And I know they have their struggles, so yeah, it might be avoiding them for that very reason. But there's another player. There were supposedly bikes built by Pro Circuit for him to try the Kawasaki.
[00:12:48.640] - Dale
[00:12:49.170] - Dave
And consider that as a, you know, maybe it's a stretch, but maybe it's a possibility with his Red Bull money that they could pull something together and build a rig and go racing. But they've got what, not even 40 days before the gate drops, so I don't know. There's only one guy who knows for sure and it's Ken Roxton. But if I was going by my gut, I'd probably have to say it's got to be the Honda. Only because he's already there, he's comfortable, he knows that it makes sense. The Hep thing I keep hearing is lucrative for him, so it may come down to money. So if he can't finance this thing himself through Red Bull, then maybe he goes with the hep Suzuki and it's a win win, because if he wins on a Suzuki, suddenly Suzuki is relevant again in the sport. And at the same time Ken looks like the hero because he made the bike win. And if he doesn't, they blame the bike. So Ken can't lose on that deal.
[00:13:40.680] - Dale
Yeah, for sure. I think Ken could ride up KLR 650 and he'd still be upfront, but maybe not.
[00:13:47.520] - Dave
Well, that's not getting carried away though.
[00:13:49.780] - Dale
Yeah, but no, my favorite scenario, of course, is the Suzuki, because I just think that's going to be the better story. And to give Suzuki, even if they won one race with him riding that bike, it'd be worth it because I feel like it would just put Suzuki back on the map and just kind of say, hey, that doesn't always have to be the most current technology. If you have the skills to pay the bills, you can do it regardless. It's going to be a fun story and gosh, I think Anaheim White can't get her fast enough.
[00:14:14.670] - Dave
Honestly, honestly, what would we be talking about right now? It just comes down to every other day. It's what's Ken going to do today, what's he doing now, what's he riding now? Has anybody seen pictures? So, yeah, it's definitely keeping people entertained up until the gate drops. So I'm sure we'll find out in the next week or two that he's made his decision. He knows where he's going to go and he's pulled his deal together. I'm sure we'll know pretty soon.
[00:14:38.130] - Dale
Definitely. Well, nonetheless, we'll be keeping track of it and looking forward to seeing where he lands and the rest of the pieces that fall into place before a one. And let's go racing, man. I'm ready already. That's not even December yet and I'm ready.
[00:14:53.410] - Dave
I am ready too, man. I'm excited for Supercross, but one last thing I want to touch on. We had a passing this last week, former World champion, threetime 500 CC world Champion Andre Malhurb is a Belgian rider, passed away last week. Young man, I think he was about 60 years old, roughly. So a perennial winner for Honda over the years. Competed against all the greats, only lost, I think, a couple seasons in 500 CC. Only three seasons lost one of them to Brad Lackey, who was the first American 500 CC World Champion. So rest in peace, Andre Mallerb. We want to make a shout out and mention his name. We'd like to give a Pit Pass Moto welcome to Gus Rodio. He is a MotoAmerica Junior Cup and also Twins Cup racer number 96. And he was runner up this season in 2022. And welcome to the show, Gus. We appreciate your time today, man.
[00:15:57.790] - Gus
Yeah, thanks for having me. I've been doing a little bit of research on the podcast and you guys have had a lot of big names on here. So when I got the call to be on, I was like, I really need to jump on this and I'm looking forward to it.
[00:16:10.680] - Dave
Definitely. We just love talking to fast racers like yourself, young guys in the sport that are coming up, too. And your season this year was just a great season for you, unfortunately, and ended it as a tie and you had to go by the tie breaker and lost out the title. But still, man, hold your head up. That was a great year for you. How did it go for you? What was your mindset throughout the season?
[00:16:33.270] - Gus
I was having a lot of fun from the beginning of the year. Our finishes just kept getting better kind of throughout the year and it was a lot of fun. I liked racing with the people I was racing against and we had kind of lost hope for the championship halfway through and our year kind of turned around in a matter of one weekend and we were like, wow, we're still in the fight for this. And coming into Barber, I was in a pretty good spot, so I kind of had everything planned out and I knew what I wanted to do and we just came up one more point throughout the season. We would have had ourselves a championship, but I can't really complain about anything. I was having fun racing motorcycles, spending time with my family, spending time with my friends in the track, and you can't really ask for a better year.
[00:17:19.330] - Dave
Yes, I couldn't agree more. And how cool is that? Because you've got your family and your team around you, they're just feeding that whole vibe. And it seems like your season came down to those races at Laguna and Brainerd where you had big setbacks. As you said, just that one point would have made a difference. How do you set your mind to that? I mean, what's your mindset when you have a down race and then you got like you did it at Monterey, you came back and had a strong race, too. What's in your head when you're thinking about, man, I got to get back on the bike and just hustle? Is it that simple or what's your mindset when you get into that situation?
[00:17:52.760] - Gus
Well, I mean, instantly, from the time when you crash to sliding across the track, tumbling in the dirt, you're always thinking about it's time to pick up the bike and get going. I don't usually throw a hissy fit or anything after a crash because there's just one thing to do and that's get back on the bike and finish the race. So we finished that race in 8th or 11th after the crash, and there was a red flag due to another incident. So it was good that tick the bike back up because had I not, I wouldn't have gotten any points after that red flag. So you always have to plan for anything that can happen in a race. And Brainer race one, I did pick the bike back up, but unfortunately, due to some protest rule, whatever, we didn't get those 8th place points because we did finish that race, but there's a couple of points lost there in the championship and every crash. Sometimes you got to find out where your bike is at and then pick it up and just get going.
[00:18:52.620] - Dale
So let's face it, these Junior Cup races are always entertaining. I feel like you never know who's going to win the race until the last lap, maybe even the last corner. I mean, what is your strategy for these guys? I feel like this has got to be such good training for when you get in some of the bigger classes down the road that are usually a little more spread out, whereas Junior Cup is just there's ten of you going at it throughout the whole race. And so I'm just curious to know what is your mindset in that? Do you kind of just save it up to the last couple of laps or I'm just curious to know more about your strategy.
[00:19:21.370] - Gus
My strategy changed drastically over the past couple of years in the Junior Cup. It's basically trial and error for me. Having Mazz as a teammate this year, he was kind of helping me out, and me and the team figured out that our strategy needed to be we needed to be in first, really. We needed to be leading these races because red flags have happened so much. Anything can happen, like I said before. So if you're leading the race, you can kind of rule out anything that's going to happen. Come a red flag, you're the race winner. Come the race finish, you're just that much closer to the front. So towards the end of the season, I just try to lead as much as I could and drafting comes into play. There's a lot of passes made just down the straight away due to drafting, so I'm looking forward to getting on the bigger bikes and there's a lot more room for improvement on the bigger bikes. I feel like I'm really just looking forward to moving up and more competition, more learning, really.
[00:20:19.110] - Dale
So you mentioned your teammate Anthony Maziato, who we've had on the show, one third of the Jersey Boys trio, along with Brandon Posh, who we've also had on the show. So now we've had all three of you on, but I'm curious to know, with having Anthony as your teammate, I imagine that probably helped you quite a bit with your dipping your toes into the Twins Cup class. But also tell me about how did you get this whole rodeo racing thing going on with you and Anthony as teammates? Just curious to know how that came about.
[00:20:49.000] - Gus
So my dad really wanted to get Anthony on the bike this year because he had a really successful season last year. He came into the championship halfway through and I'm pretty sure he finished top five in the championship last year with missing, I think, four rounds, which is pretty crazy. So we knew that he would be up at the front in every race and we knew he'd be a championship contender right away because I don't think there's a championship that Mars has raced throughout his whole career that he wasn't fighting for the championship. So no matter what he races, he's going to be there at the top fighting for it. So really, having Maz on the bike, I'm going to be on that same bike next year. So I have data from every single track on the MotoAmerica schedule that I can go into the first practice. I'll know the gearing, I'll know I'll have a bunch of notes from what Maze struggles were and how he fixed them. So I'll have so much to relate to and it was really a good move for the whole team. Bring him on and I'm looking forward to what he comes up with next year and where he's at because no matter what he's racing, he's going to be fast and he'll be fighting for the championship.
[00:21:58.110] - Dale
So is it true? I think I read where is he one of the people that helped get you into the sport?
[00:22:02.620] - Gus
Yeah, he is. So NJ Mini GP is where I come from, and they're pretty much based out of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Jersey Motorsports Park. So I live in Hamilton, New Jersey, about 30 minutes north of NJMP, and I started riding dirt bikes locally. I got my first bike in 2013. I think or 2014. And I had some friends that raced Njami GP, so I figured we might as well go try it. Put some slicks on my 110. And it turns out that the 110 class was getting pretty big in those years that I started. So my first year was like a learning thing. And then come my second year racing, it just really clicked for me, and I just started winning races and just really developed a love for the sport that I didn't have before. My dad didn't race motorcycles growing up. I have some family down in Texas that they actually raced, and I didn't even know it until I started racing, but they raced CCS down there. And for the most part, my dad, he rode motorcycles growing up, but never raced, never anything like that. So as I learn and progress through the sport, my dad's also learning every weekend.
[00:23:17.970] - Gus
So that's why I really feel like our team in general, we're really progressing through the ranks, and I think soon we'll be at the top.
[00:23:27.560] - Dave
We'd like to take a break from the interview right now and pay some bills, and here's a word from our sponsor. So, this season led to kind of a cool opportunity for you. I saw you got to go and race British Superbike series, and you raced in the Junior SuperSport class, and you did pretty well. You pulled down a P four and a P seven, and you guys kind of painted yourselves as the jersey invasion because it looked like Anthony went over with you. But talking about you on that Kawasaki 600, what was that experience like? And how did you like the bike and the track and just the general overall thing of going to England and racing?
[00:24:04.000] - Gus
So I was in a Junior Super Sport class on the Ninja 400. And then Maz was in Junior Superstock on the ZX Six.
[00:24:15.000] - Dave
Got you. Okay.
[00:24:15.790] - Gus
So it was really awesome. I really liked being in that paddock, and it was my first time racing overseas. So just being in another country, racing, I've never raced for another team in my whole life. So being on a bike that my dad and my main mechanics weren't working on was definitely different for me. And I think it was different for my dad, too. Just not having any bikes to work on at the track, he was kind of going crazy with all the free time, but I really liked it. I liked the BSB paddock and being in another country, everything is different, but once you get to the racetrack, it's all the same, and it's all familiar. I really liked meeting all the other riders that I had never even heard about before in my life. And they're all so fast over there. The competition is so tight. I mean, there was 38 riders in my class, and I think the top 15 were within probably a second and a half. So it's really. Cool. I feel like if we got to do some more races over there, we would be able to pull out a podium and hopefully that opened up some opportunities for me because I really felt like we had a good weekend over there and I had a lot of fun working with a new team, meeting new teammates.
[00:25:31.910] - Gus
It was really cool. I liked it a lot and definitely.
[00:25:34.600] - Dave
Had to give you some great exposure where you're seeing and your results are noticed. So 100% agree. I mean, that's an opportunity to not only learn some writing, but get that valuable exposure that could lead to something else. You never know.
[00:25:48.400] - Gus
Yeah, I think we'll be back over there next year for another wild card. I could be 95% sure that we're going to work on something for next year and come 2024, who knows what could happen. But I'm looking forward to staying in America for next season and the Twins Cup and possibly go back over there and do another wild card.
[00:26:11.350] - Dave
Yeah, I know you were signed up for our Twins Cup for this season. I know obviously you focused on the Junior Cup. But with that in mind, do you have a motorcycle yet in mind? Because I know you're really not necessarily associated with specific brands, so you're kind of wide open and you can pick and choose. Is there something you guys have lined up for 2023?
[00:26:29.830] - Gus
Yeah, so I'm going to be on NASA's bike from last year, the Aprilia Rs 660. That being said, we have all the data port and everything. It would kind of be to switch to a Yamaha for next year would kind of not make sense for us just because it would almost make it even more of a learning year than it has to be. And I've had experience on my own. Aprilia rs 660. I raced at Daytona last year in the Twin Cup and I was battling for fifth with Dom Doyle and I ended up 6th. So I definitely think we should be up there come March. And I'm going to get on the bike as soon as possible come next month and just start putting in lapse and start learning and getting used to the apparently I again, because it has been a couple months since I wrote that and focusing on the 400 for last season that we should have to get used to the applied again. But having been on it before, I think it should be good.
[00:27:28.830] - Dale
So what are you currently up to in preparation for 2023? Because it seems like this is a big transition for you, going from that Junior Cup up to full time Twins Cup. So you're probably riding supermodel. I noticed that it seems to be one of your favorite things to do for practice and for fun. What are you up to right now during this off season?
[00:27:47.980] - Gus
I love supermodo. I started riding Supermodel on a 250 a couple of years ago, and I got an FS 450. And over the past couple of months, me and my mechanic, Rich, we've been building the bike, and we're rebuilding the motor right now. So once that gets all rebuilt and everything, I'm going to head south come the middle of next month, and I'm going to train with Brandon Posh. I've been training with Brandon for probably, like, six years now, and towards the start of it, it was kind of like he was showing me how to ride a motorcycle fast, and now it's like, okay, just watch what I do and try and chase me and try and do as I do, pretty much. So anytime I'm on the same track as Brandon, I'm just trying to replicate what he's doing and trying to chase him, because recently, I haven't rode with him in a few months, and it looks like he found something on the supermoto. So I'm looking forward to getting back down south with him and putting in some more lapse.
[00:28:51.640] - Dale
So what's it like? I'm curious to know. A little piece of trivia for our listeners out there. Your hometown, Hamilton, is the blueberry capital of the world. What's it like growing up there? That's a pretty interesting piece of trivia, my mind.
[00:29:05.590] - Gus
Yeah. When we were going to do, like, a special helmet for NJMP this year, we were thinking about just doing a blueberry, but we ended up doing the Jersey Devil. It's really not anything crazy. It's really sandy out here, so that's why the blueberries grow so well. And there's a lot of farms around here, in my town especially, and a lot of popular blueberry names are in this town, of course, but it's nothing crazy. I mean, I like blueberries, but they're not my favorite.
[00:29:35.710] - Dale
Yeah, it's also, I think, aren't you in the middle of there's a region called the Pine Barrens, too, that's kind of like just tons of trees. It's really actually quite remote in some areas in that part of New Jersey, if I'm not mistaken.
[00:29:46.860] - Gus
Yeah, I mean, we probably live on two or three acres, which isn't anything crazy, but the woods on my property goes back all the way into it's, like, state property or whatever, and there's a lot of woods and stuff like that around here. But I like going to tracks and riding dirt bikes. But I do ride my dirt bike in the woods a lot, and that's pretty good training to just kind of go out in the woods and get lost and make little tracks here and there, and it's pretty good training. I ride a lot in the woods around here.
[00:30:18.490] - Dale
Yeah, I think I'm mistaken. National Dural champion came from your neck of the woods to Mike Lafferty, and he probably trained in those tons of trees.
[00:30:26.660] - Gus
Yeah, there's a lot of guys moto guys that come from around here.
[00:30:31.030] - Dale
This may seem like a weird observation, but I noticed that you're talking about having a special painted helmet. You're an HJC athlete, and how cool is it for you as a young up and coming racer to be listed on the HJC website as a sponsored athlete next to the names of Paula Spargo and Brad Binder and Cal Crutchlow? I mean, you got to feel pretty good about that.
[00:30:55.170] - Gus
Yeah, I absolutely love the HJC helmet, and I love the whole company in general, robert and Chris, they're awesome, and they're like friends to me, which is really cool. And we developed a relationship, which is great. And I love the HRC helmet. It's cool what they do with their riders with the program and on the website and everything. And you really feel like a part of the family when you ride with HJC. I love the fact that they give me opportunities to come up with my own designs and really kind of express yourself with the helmet. And their company is one of a kind, for sure.
[00:31:32.860] - Dave
You were talking about riding in the woods near your home. Now, it almost looked like you had a race track on your property because I think I saw a house in the background. Is that true? You got a moto track right there in the yard?
[00:31:42.180] - Gus
I have, like, a woods track, which all the road racers that brandon has a woods track at his house. Mads everybody. And it's a good way to train, just bouncing off trees in the woods. But it's cool because I can make a bunch of different layouts, and, I mean, we have a skid steer here on our property, so I can kind of make tracks, but I don't have any jumps on the property or anything. It's all just single track in the woods and stuff like that.
[00:32:09.420] - Dave
Well, how cool is that? I mean, your dad probably figures the worst he can do is hit a tree with the skit steer, right? So no big deal.
[00:32:15.510] - Gus
Yeah, I was out in the skits deer the other day with the grappler on it, and I was moving trees around it. I had this specific track in mind that I've been wanting to do. So I was just basically running in the trees, knocking them over and grabbing them with the grappler and just moving them, which is kind of crazy.
[00:32:33.070] - Dave
And you're learning some skills at the same time. Nothing wrong with that. So you talked about Supermoto, and I love the videos and the pictures on your Instagram. What is the secret to a good stoppie? Because you do those really well.
[00:32:46.740] - Gus
Thank you. I don't know. Just kind of watched Brandon do them when I was little, and I just like doing them. It's like a wheelie, but a little bit cooler, and they're a lot harder than wheelies, that's for sure. But you just kind of have to you feel it in the lever, really. You kind of move the lever with how the brake pressure you adjust that with how much you want to stop you really. And there's a few times rolling up to the grid this year where I thought I was going to go over the bars and look like an idiot, but luckily we kept it straight up. And Brandon, he does stop. He's going into the corner. And I still have to learn how to get that down, which I've done them a little bit, but those are just a lot of breaks and just simply trying to slow down before the corner that gets that going.
[00:33:37.290] - Dave
Yeah, that's that next level stuff where you kind of float the back end around and drop it like that is next level stuff.
[00:33:44.620] - Gus
Yeah. He's grabbing down shifts while he's stopping into the corner. It's crazy. But, I mean, definitely the fastest way on the track.
[00:33:53.340] - Dave
So I wanted to mention I enjoyed your on track interview where you talked about Kayla Yakov because she's from your region and she kind of grew up you guys, I think, grew up racing together, I'm pretty sure, but you kind of put her in a light of she's an equal competitor. She's as fast as anybody, she fights hard as anybody. And I really liked what you had to say about her as a competitor, being equal to everyone. The fact that she's a girl doesn't matter. So is road racing a good opportunity for women to get into a motorsport? Is it one of the better choices to make? Just seems like I see a lot of girls coming up in the sport more than ever.
[00:34:28.540] - Gus
I know a lot of girls that ride moto as well, but I feel like anybody, if they have the determination to win and they want to put in the work, I think you can do anything, to be honest. So whether it's road racing, moto, if a female wants to get into the sport and they truly want to do it, I don't think it matters where they start. I know Kayla, she started in the moto side of things. She raced her bikes before she came and started racing super moto. But I've been racing against her since my first ever NJ Mini GP race. She was also in that race, and she beat me really bad, actually.
[00:35:10.990] - Dale
Yeah, she's awesome, man.
[00:35:12.340] - Gus
I think she beat me by, like, 15, 20 seconds.
[00:35:15.840] - Dave
She is something. And it's cool that you guys are racing together again, too. You guys are going to follow each other throughout your career. I hope you know that it's going to eventually come out. You're going to be in superbike together. I can't wait to see it. It's going to be so cool.
[00:35:28.450] - Gus
Yeah. There's a lot of us that started with NJ Mini GP, like me and my buddy Joe Lamondre. He was in the championship hunt. This year, he finished fourth. But my first ever NJ Mini GP race, he was in that as well. And our friends or our dads are our friends and whatnot. So we've kind of been progressing through the ranks together, and there hasn't been one year since 2015 that we haven't raced against each other.
[00:35:57.810] - Dale
So it must be so many fast New Jersey riders. It's got to be the Blueberries. Or maybe it's cranberries. It's also Cranberry capital, right?
[00:36:07.420] - Gus
Yeah, I don't know Brandon. He's almost in New York. He's way up there. But me and Maz were from the Blueberry capital.
[00:36:15.940] - Dale
So I'm curious to know, going into 2023, what are your immediate goals for 2023, and where exactly are you just going to be? Twins cup only. I'm just curious to know what your specific goals are going in 2023.
[00:36:30.910] - Gus
So, yeah, it's just going to be the MotoAmerica Twins Cup. And my goals are from the start of the season, I just want to get better and better at each round. And depending on how Daytona goes, we'll see hopefully we're fighting for podiums and race wins. That be of course, the goal is to win races because that's what I love doing. That's my goal no matter what I race. So I'm looking forward to progressing through the championship and as the year goes on, just keep getting faster and faster.
[00:36:59.370] - Dale
Now, what about, like, your ultimate goal with racing? Like, where would you ideally see yourself landing as professional? Would that be like world Super Bike or MotoGP or just MotoAmerica.
[00:37:10.660] - Gus
I mean, we've seen a lot of American riders bounce back and forth between World Super Bike and a couple of Moto two riders and stuff like that. So I just want to see where racing takes me. I have my eyes on World Super Bike right now, and I like, I have a few of my favorite riders in that class, so I really think that championship looks like a lot of fun. And that's kind of like our MotoAmerica. They have the Junior Cup, which is the 300 Super Sport, and then they have World Super Sport, which is our Super Sport. So that's kind of like MotoAmerica. But the ultimate goal is to make it to MotoGP. That's what everybody wants to do. And we'll see where racing takes us. And of course, we just want to progress through the ranks no matter how we have to do it and hopefully end up on the world stage someday.
[00:37:57.790] - Dale
Well, we're looking forward to seeing where your career takes you and just you continue to progress and look forward to what 2023 is going to bring you. So where can people follow Gus Rodio online? Go ahead and share some of your if you have a website or some of your social channels, people can follow your racing career.
[00:38:17.290] - Gus
So my Instagram is Gus Rodio, and that's kind of like my main thing right now. Facebook Gus Rodio as well. Gus Rodio racing. But the team in general Rodeo Racing is on Instagram, Facebook, and we have a really good social media program going right now so you can go there and see all the latest stuff about the team and about me and what's going on. So, yeah, that's it.
[00:38:40.410] - Dale
Awesome. Once again, we appreciate your time and looking forward to seeing you get better at those stoppies too. Maybe you'll be the next top rock for the US MotoAmerica series, doing some victory stoppies after you win. So looking forward to seeing it again.
[00:38:56.980] - Gus
I appreciate you guys for having me on.
[00:38:58.830] - Dale
Absolutely. Well, again, thanks so much for your time today, Gus, and looking forward to following your career. Thanks a lot.
[00:39:05.010] - Gus
[00:39:18.560] - Dave
If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow Pit Pass Moto on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. If you have a moment, please rate and review our show. We'd really appreciate it. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit pitpassmoto.com, where you can check out our blog, listen to past episodes, and purchase your own Pit Pass Moto swag.
[00:39:40.630] - Dale
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcast. A special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson and the production team at Wessler Media. I'm Dale Spangler.
[00:39:50.220] - Dave
And I'm Dave Sulecki. See you next week on Pit Pass Moto.