11 Questions With Taylor Robert
by Joe Colombero
Taylor Robert is one of the most talented off-road racers in America today. He is a rider with almost no weaknesses, with great endurance, massive skills, and the ability to fly and dance over the worst terrain imaginable. Nothing slows him down, sand, mud, rocks, heat, and cold are all playground elements to Robert. Yet, this youngster is only on the threshold of a long career and has already been tagged to contend for the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) title this season.
We sat down with Taylor and talked with him about his goals, sponsors, opponents, and what he loves about off road racing.
1. Let’s start with your sponsors and who you want to thank?
TR: I have a ton of great people behind me. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my family or the Monster Energy Kawasaki Crew. We have a great group of team sponsors that make it possible for our team to perform at the level it does. On a personal level the companies that back me up are Parts Unlimited, Thor, Focus Apparel, Shoei, Alpinestars, Skullcandy, DVS, USWE, and Asterisk.
2. Tell us about your career and how you got here. How did you get started racing motorcycles and rise up so far so fast?
TR: My first race was when I was 4 years old. I didn’t start racing really competitively until I was about 9. From that point on I knew I wanted to race motorcycles for a living. I kept working at it and never gave up, which has enabled me to achieve my goal. I raced all of the amateur nationals until I was 16 which is when I started racing WORCS. I started out in the 125 and 250 A classes and just kind of kept pushing harder every year. 2006 was the first year I did the full WORCS series and I won my first Pro race in 2009. I guess you could say that with a lot of hard work and determination it is definitely possible to go from being and average A rider to a top pro.
3. You won a WORCS Pro 2 title and immediately moved up to the Pro class and made the podium in your first Pro race. Before you did it, did you think it was possible against a field that included Kurt Caselli, Ricky Dietrich, Mike Brown, Bobby Bonds, Bobby Garrison, Justin Soule, Destry Abbott, etc.?
TR: Yeah I won the Pro 2 title one race before the end of the series, so at the last round I bumped myself up to the Pro class. I didn’t really have any specific goals for that race. I just wanted to go out there and see where I lined up with some of the pros. I knew I had the speed to be in the top 5 because I had done that from the Pro2 line before. I didn’t get the win but I did get on the podium in my first try, behind Dietrich and Bonds. It was definitely and awesome experience and gave me a lot of confidence going into my first full year as a pro where I was able to get a few more podiums and my first win.
4. In addition to the WORCS Series what other series and races will you compete in this year?
TR: I am contracted to do WORCS and Endurocross. Last year was my first year doing the whole Endurocross series. It was definitely a learning year for me, but I was still able to accomplish quite a bit. X-Games was the first main event that I ever made which was amazing. Then I was able to finish the year off with a second place at Vegas. That second place was huge for me because now I know I can be on the podium, and it’s always more fun when you are on the box. I am also planning to do ISDE this year in Germany.
5. What do you love about off road racing?
TR: My favorite part about off-road racing is the diversity. We get to ride so much different stuff it is unbelievable. I would get so bored if I had to ride the same couple supercross test tracks every week. I ride so much different stuff every week and mixing it up is what makes riding a motorcycle so fun.
6. What are your goals for this season?
TR: My main goal is to win the WORCS Championship. I am on track to do that and I just want to keep winning races and gain some more points. In Endurocross I want to first of make every main event, and get on the box as much as possible. I know I can do it; I just need to relax and ride like I do when I practice.
7. Who are your toughest opponents?
TR: In the WORCS series my teammates are actually my toughest competition. We have a really strong team this year; Bobby Garrison and Justin Soule are both hauling and proving they have what it takes to win races. Mike Brown is also a guy you can never count out. He has got to be the gnarliest guy I have ever met. I think he is going to be 40 this year is he is still dicing it out with guys half his age. When it comes to Endurocross Taddy is obviously the one everyone wants to beat. Aside from him everyone else is a threat to be on the box, there is a group of really good riders in the Endurocross series and the racing is so unpredictable that you really never know what is going to happen.
8. What would you like people to know about you that has never been printed before?
TR: I have a really strong moto background, as that is basically all I rode from age 4 to 15. I would like to say that my success has come from not riding moto tracks though. I hardly ever ride moto tracks; at most it is once a month. I think the key to being a good off road rider is diversity, and the moto tracks just become to repetitive. On just about any day I would rather go out in the desert with my buddies and ride my rough and rutted corner tracks.
9. You’re still pretty young and seem to enjoy being a racer; do you see yourself racing for a long time, maybe into your 40’s like Destry?
TR: I really look up to Destry and Mike Brown. It really would be a dream come true if I could make this career last as long as theirs have. Riding a motorcycle for a living is one of the best jobs in the world and to do it for as long as they have really is amazing.
10. You’re a hero to many kids coming up, who are your heroes?
TR: My Dad is someone that I really look up to. He has always been there for me and pushed me to go faster. I really admire what he has done in his life as far as going from a redneck Montana kid to owning and running successful businesses. The two racers that I look up to are the guys that I have known and ridden with since I was a little kid, Destry Abbott and Steve Hatch. I have known both of them since I was 7 and from then until now they have always been really cool to me and given me tons of advice to help me improve my career.
11. Final question – anything you’ve always wanted to say or question you’ve wanted to answer about life, racing, etc. – say it here?
TR: I really do believe that if you truly want something and are willing to work for it, you can do anything you want. Along with that nothing happens overnight and the best things in life never come easy.
Robert is currently leading the WORCS Championship points chase after six rounds with 259/3 wins ahead of teammate Bobby Garrison each with 235/2 wins with four rounds left in the series..