Motocross

Burning ambition

Burning ambition

Travis is resting up, getting fit and planning his return to racing… LAST WEEK we made a final decision to by-pass any immediate surgery for my shoulder or knee. The shoulder surgery my doctor was considering would take six months minimum recovery time and honestly that just wasn’t an option. I’ll go under the knife again in the off-season…but so will the majority of my competitors. The way I look at it, everyone is one crash away from a dislocation. When I get my shoulder strong enough to keep it stable and my knee can withstand a substantial impact, I’ll be back. Despite the rumours, Suzuki is behind me 100 per cent and doesn’t want me racing until I have enough stamina and physical health to win. I can’t wait to watch the first East Coast race this weekend but I have to admit there’s something about signing autographs and sitting on the sidelines that doesn’t feel right. There’s no question the fans have been really great to me in the past. It’s just that having one injury after another without any Main Event wins, some people become hard to deal with. When I race, it’s easy to turn negativity into motivation. I thrive off criticism as much as positive reinforcement. The problem at the moment is that I have no opportunity to prove myself and therefore no way to deflect anything. The prospect of sitting next to the world’s greatest MX statistician is almost inevitable. It really doesn’t matter where you sit either – bench racers come a dime a dozen. Some just want to help – and most actually mean well – but all of them seem to be under the impression that falling is something I do for fun and simply staying away from freestyle would cure all my injuries. I wish it were that simple but right now I’m perfectly happy at home, forgetting about what’s gone wrong and focusing solely on what I need to do to win, period. Looking more at the mental aspect of our sport (assuming that you become what you want to become), I found it interesting that none of my true heroes in this sport were very dominant riders. I always looked up to riders like Guy Cooper (never won a single 250 supercross race), Doug Henry (a major spinal injury and a series of broken wrists kept him from winning a SX title), Robbie Reynard (more injuries than Wile E Coyote and has yet to win a single pro championship) and Kevin Windham (faster than the Road Runner but never won a 250 championship). I looked up to these guys for different reasons but most of all they had an ear-to-ear grin every time they sat on a motorcycle. They loved every second of their ‘jobs’ and realised that they’re living the life everyone else wanted to have…except for the guys that were winning. As an amateur, I’d rather crash than place second. I’d rather say I had a concussion while going for the lead than have to say I lost. They say you’re a product of your environment and my family certainly fits the mold. My uncle Al Pastrana played for the Denver Broncos from 1969-’70 and managed to get knocked out more in his two years as quarterback than any other player in his era. My dad couldn’t kneel when he married my mom because he’d recently blown out both knees. My family was so frequently at the hospital that I knew all the orthopedic surgeons in the entire state of Maryland on a first-name basis before I even started to race. This is definitely a habit that I’ll have to break in order to get where I want to go. I can’t wait to stay healthy and win some championships. More adrenaline equals less pain… If it’s burnin’ it’s cookin’, if it’s smokin’ it’s done. By Travis Pastrana, courtesy RacerX