Photos and words by Mike Emery | @emeryphoto
Josh Grant is in a really good place at this point in his career, and you can tell by his general demeanor on and off the bike. Coming into his second contract year at Monster Energy Kawasaki and riding for the same familiar companies as last year, he’s now healthy again and ready to come out swinging this weekend at the Monster Energy Cup. We sat down with him after his final day of prep and caught up…
It's been a while, Josh – we finally caught up with you today as you were completing your final Monster Energy Cup prep. Have you gotten in some solid Supercross testing?
I've probably been on the bike a good solid three or four weeks. After my surgery I did a couple rides outdoors –one day at Milestone and another day at Pala. I was just trying to get in the flow, they weren't big days obviously because coming off the knee I had to take it day by day. But the last few weeks have been pretty good, riding about three days a week.
Going back to the knee injury, was that from the Southwick crash?
Yeah, I mean I kind of started feeling it a little before Southwick. I had some issues going on in there and it wasn't really feeling comfortable, and then at Southwick it's different because you don't really have that loose dirt when you plant your foot –it kind of sticks in the sand. I just had a crash in practice, not even that bad, but I kind of flipped the other way and landed a little weird. I felt my knee pop and I knew right then it was going to be a hard day. Then we kind of just pulled the trigger on it and I got it fixed.
Was it just an arthroscopic surgery?
Yeah, it was pretty minor. They went in and cleaned it out –I had a lot of bone spurs, and a flap stuck over that they had to shave off.
That has to be nice to get that done and out of the way.
Yeah, I kind of talked to the team and this sport is going more toward Supercross, and that is what's valued more. They wanted me healthy for the Monster Energy Cup; you know it's a big deal for Monster to have me healthy for that, so we just made those choices then to make sure we were good for next year.
You have to be in a pretty good spot right now, as you've got basically all the same sponsors coming into the new season.
Yeah, everything is the same. Shoei helmets, Alpinestars boots, FLY gear, Monster Energy Kawasaki bike, and all the sponsors with the team –it's all really consistent so it's cool. I'm on the same setup that we ended up with last year, because the bike hasn't changed much. I was able to kind of just pick up where we left off in Vegas –I'm actually running my Vegas setup from last year.
With this little time off did you get proper time to reset and recharge the batteries?
Yeah, really the only time as racers that we get time off is if you're injured or whatever. I had about eight weeks off and just used it to recharge.
Outside of racing, you still have other things to keep you busy like HLTN and the family. Everything going well with all that?
Yeah, it's all a juggling act but the main focus is obviously still racing. But we are having a lot of win with HLTN, and it's doing really well. We have some good opportunities coming up next year that we're really excited about, so hopefully we can keep the ball rolling and have some more fun.
Right on –so talking Monster Energy Cup, I saw you had that downward slope starting gate setup that you were practicing on, that was cool.
Yeah I think it's cool, obviously I would like to see it like it was last year where it started out at the top of the stadium. That would be really cool, but they are back to the split gate. Hopefully it drops at the same time, I know they had issues with that the last time and it kind of screwed me out of a truck…but it's all good! (Laughs)
Do you strategize any different coming in with all the little things like the Joker lane and the holeshot incentives?
I think it's just another race for us, and the main goal is to be ready for January. I think it's cool to ride with those guys and kind of get the adrenaline pumping a little bit. It gives you some motivation for the rest of the off-season coming into January. Yeah, I feel like it's going to be a fun race.