Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Precision Concepts, Maxxis Racing’s Justin Morgan has experienced a very mixed start to the season. He’s shown the speed to be a podium contender, but poor starts and ill-timed mechanical troubles have kept him from earning the finishes that his effort has deserved. After suffering a pretty bad crash on the bomb start at the Idaho Hare and Hound, which forced him out of the race, we caught up with Justin to see how his recovery is going.
Precision Concepts: How are you feeling after the crash? How’s the recovery going?
Justin Morgan: The first couple days I was really sore, but I’m getting a lot better. I rode yesterday and I felt about eighty percent, and today I stretched everything out and it’s getting better.
PC: What were the main injuries you suffered from the crash?
JM: I cut up my hands, got a slight concussion, and smashed my arm pretty good, I think it’s called a contusion, there was a bump popping up on my arm that was really swollen. I didn’t know if it was broken, or what was going on, but I’m just really bruised up on my right side.
PC: Do you remember what happened?
JM: Yeah. Off the start, I got a decent jump, the bike started first kick. I was following a couple guys and it got really dusty. Some people were coming in from the left side really fast, from another line, so I cut across a meadow to cut the corner to the gate. I had walked it [the line across the meadow] a few times, had picked out a line without any rocks. I thought I was on that line so I pinned it in fourth gear, but I wasn’t on the line I thought and I hit a big rock, landed in a bunch of rocks, and that was that. It messed the bike up pretty good and it just wasn’t going to happen after that.
PC: How were you feeling coming into the weekend, before all that happened?
JM: I was feeling great. I rode the jetting loop a little bit and the bike was just dialed; I’m getting really comfortable on it. I liked [the terrain] last year, so I just felt really good.
PC: It seems to have been a bit of a tough go for you so far this year, but in your own words, how has the year gone?
JM: It’s been tough trying to get everything lined up the way I’m comfortable, and adjusting to the new team, and I’ve never done Hare Scrambles before, so all of that stuff combined is a lot to deal with, I think, but I’m starting to figure it all out.
PC: Speaking of a lot to deal with, you’re also in the minority of being one of the few top, supported pro riders who has a full-time job [Justin works on a ranch just outside of San Diego during the week], do you ever feel you’re at a disadvantage?
JM: I mean, yeah, it would be and advantage to always be able to work towards getting better at riding. I’m actually getting a little taste of that this week, getting a week off and being able to train [Justin has been staying with David Kamo this week before heading to Redding, CA for the Hare Scramble event this weekend], but I’m not complaining. I like what I do and I have a great job that keeps me in shape and I still have the opportunity to ride a decent amount so I’m very lucky.
PC: It is a physical job. Do you do much training outside of the work?
JM: Not too much. I try to ride mountain bikes and get seat time on the bike as much as possible. That’s what my main training consists of, but it’s something I want to step up a lot, and I’m working really hard to get to a place where I can focus more on training before and after work.
PC: You do have some great riding areas down by you, what’s your favorite kind of riding?
JM: I’d say my favorite type of riding is technical, single-track trails, and anything long and point-to-point where I’m not seeing the same thing twice. I like it to be a surprise.
PC: So would you say the Hare and Hounds, and even the Hare Scrambles to a certain extent, fall into that category somewhat?
JM: Yeah, even at the Hare Scramble you only see it a couple times, and everything’s all new off the start because there’s no practice or anything, so I like it a lot. I think it was a good decision for me to race these two series, to build this year, do the best I can, and I think by the time next year rolls around I’ll be ready to win.
PC: That leads into the next question of what your goals are for the rest of this year.
JM: My goals are to be a consistent podium contender, get a win, and stay healthy. I want to progress with the bike, train hard, and finish the year out really strong.
PC: Thanks for the time Justin, who would you like to thank?
JM: Definitely Robby and Bob [at Precision Concepts] and the whole team for, you know, everything. For giving me the opportunity, helping get my bikes dialed in, and the guidance on the mechanical aspect of everything. Also Bobby Young at San Diego Powerhouse for helping me out with my practice bikes, and my boss Kevin McCarthy for letting me come to these races, take days off, and create my own schedule to accommodate this passion.
Justin will be back in action this weekend in Redding, CA for the fourth round of the West Hare Scrambles Championship.
Upcoming Race Team Events
April 9-10: WHS round 4 | Redding, CA
April 15-17: WORCS round 5 | Sand Hollow, UT
April 23-24: WHS round 5 | Lucerne Valley, CA
April 30-May 1: BIG 6 round 5 | Primm, NV
To view our team’s full schedule for the 2016 season.
The Precision Concepts Race Team would like to thank all of the sponsors involved in our effort: Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, FMF exhaust, Maxxis tires, Renthal Moto, VP Race Fuels, Maxima Oils and Lubricants, Dubya USA, Matrix Concepts, Rekluse Clutch Components, CryoHeat Metal Treatment, Acerbis, DT1 Filters, Braking, RAD Custom Graphics, IMS Products, RK/Excel America, GPR Stabilizer, BRP Moto, Boyesen, MotoSeat, A’ME Grips, Rigid Industries, ARC Levers, NEXT Components, MotoHose, LA Piston Company, SealSavers and ZipTy Racing.