By Jim Kimball
Brighton Michigan’s Mitchell Harrison may be one of today’s least known factory 250 riders, but don’t let that fool you! It’s only due to be overlooked by moto winning YamaLube/Star Racing teammates Aaron Plessinger, Dylan Ferrandis and newcomer Justin Cooper. Harrison eventually finished ninth overall in 250 motocross championship points. While his current Yamalube/Star Racing contract is soon over, I have a good feeling that the Brighton. Michigan native will have several offers to select from. Myself being a Michigan native, I am partial to Harrison, however, I am certain I am not the only one flying the Mitchell Harrison flag!
MITCHELL, YOU JUST FINISHED IMPRESSIVELY IN YOUR SOPHOMORE YEAR IN THE 250 CLASS. HOW DO YOU FEEL? I feel like it was alright, but I expected a little bit more out of me, especially in the outdoors. It was a little up and down, but I had a lot of great top tens. I got a podium ride, and some top fives, so I feel that it is doing well. But I wanted more top five performances. Supercross was good this year, because I don’t think the first year went well at all, so that was the major improvement. Overall, I improved, and I learned a lot more, so I am excited for next year to see what I can do.
MAYBE YOU DID NOT CRUSH IT THIS YEAR, BUT YOU WERE CONSISTENTLY IN THE TOP TEN. Yes, my consistency was great. I had some brilliant performances, and I might have opened some eyes, and that is especially what I wanted to do. I wanted to get better and better to contend for the championships, because I feel I am capable of doing that. I put in the work. I feel I am one of the strongest, and one of the hardest working guys out there. Eventually, I will be up there battling for a championship.
YOU MAY HAVE BEEN A BIT UNDER THE RADAR AT STAR YAMAHA, WITH ALL THE BIG NAME GUYS THERE. Yes, there is a bunch of good riders on this team. You got Aaron Plessinger, Colt Nichols, and Dylan Ferrandis, and they all have gotten podiums, and are great riders. Recently we got Justin Cooper, so it is an extraordinary team, and I am really excited to be apart of it. Although, I wish I put in a little more great rides for them, and put them up front, because this is a top 250 team.
WHAT YOUR STATUS IS OR SITUATION IS FOR NEXT YEAR? It is undetermined. I got teams offering me contracts, and it should be good next year. That is all I can really say about that.
SO IT’S BEEN DECIDED THAT YOU WILL NOT BE BACK AT STAR YAMAHA? I am not sure that I am going to be back here, but I hope so. I love the team, and I love the people on the team. I feel like I could give them another great couple of years. As long as I am with them, I will give it 110%, and never stop fighting.
YOU HAD A BREAKOUT RIDE AT RED BUD AND IT SEEMS LIKE YOU ARE RIGHT ON THAT CUSP OF GETTING TO BE A CONSISTENT PODIUM GUY. I feel like if you just get a start, and I got a lot more better starts this summer which showed I am a top five to a podium guy. Everybody is going fast; it depends on each moto.
THE TEAM TRAINS WITH GARETH SWANEPOEL, BUT YOU DO NOT. I was with Swanepoel last year, but I don’t think that is what I need at the moment. I went down to Tallahassee, Florida, training at Climax Motorsports with Dylan Turner, who is my on the bike, and off the bike trainer. He has done wonders with me and I think it has proven by watching me from last season to this season, you can tell and it is an incredible change. I love it down there and, he has helped me out so much.
YOU DID THE U.S. GP LAST YEAR AND DID IT AGAIN THIS YEAR. I love that event. Those are the best racers in the world, and it combines the top racers in the world from the U.S. and European GP’s, so it is nice to see what they have. I love the format that they have over there. It is fun, and there is no stress. It is not all serious, but it is also nice to go out and finish on top, or take podium. I am just going to give it my all like I always do, and we will see where I land.
ONE LAST QUESTION, CAN YOU SAY WHAT YOU LOOK FOR IN A TEAM? If they give it as much effort as I do, that is all I want. Give me a bike that I need to perform, and I think that is all you need in a team, just great support and a decent bike. We will see where I land next season, but whatever team it is going to be on, I am going to give it my all and I am going to put them up front.