Catching Up with Josh Cartwright

By Billy Rainford

Florida rider Josh Cartwright will be an American rider on the Canadian PRMX Strikt Kawasaki team this Supercross season. | PRMX photo

#519 Josh Cartwright just won the 450 Pro class in the 2019 Challenge Quebec Provincial Championships. It was his first full MX series competed in as a Pro rider.

The Tennessee/Florida rider also raced the eastern portion of the 2019 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MX Nationals and will now prepare for the 3-round Canadian SX series before tackling the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.

With all this going on, we thought we’d get in touch with the Florida State grad who’s been calling Quebec home for the past couple months.

Josh just won the 450 Pro class in the Challenge Quebec MX series. | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Josh. You just finished your first full professional outdoor championship chase and it was in Quebec. You took the win. I’m really curious what a guy from Tennessee/Florida thought of the series. It must have felt very different to you, or no?

Josh Cartwright: It was such an amazing experience racing the Challenge Quebec Series. The series is put on unbelievably well and organized. They do a three moto format with the first two motos counting for points and then the third moto is the top ten from the first two motos. They line up in a single file like with 10th place starting first and 1st place starting last and race a 5 laps sprint. It is really fun, great for the show and the fans!

It was a little different being in Quebec, especially not knowing any French. I will learn it this year and be ready for next summer!

You were pretty much the guy to beat until a couple old guys showed up — Kaven Benoit and Tim Tremblay. Can you tell us what it was like racing those two Quebec legends? How did those races go?

It was unbelievable racing those two legends! The first “old guy” was against Benoit, the Canadian motocross legend, at his home track in Notre Dame which was such a cool track! I went 1-2-1 in that race with a crash in moto 2. It was really fun racing Kaven and learning from all the experience he has from the sport.

The next “old guy” was against Tim Tremblay, the snowcross legend, at his home track in Desbiens. I raced the Moncton national Saturday then made the 10-hour drive, thanks to Jay-F and Chris, to Desbiens to race the Challenge Quebec Race.

It rained right before our first moto then cleared up right before the gate dropped. Tim got the better of me in that race as we battled in the mud the whole moto. I won the next 2 motos going 2-1-1 for the overall. It was so amazing racing against those two and hope to race them again!

He found himself leading the pack at the Sand Del Lee National in Ottawa this summer. | Bigwave photo

The series took you to some pretty interesting and remote areas! Which track was your favourite and why?

They were all fun tracks on the circuit, but my two favorite tracks were Sanair and GAS Isoud1. Sanair was a full sand track which I excel in and GAS was a fun layout with some big floater jumps.

What was the most interesting place you visited?

One of the coolest places I visited on this circuit was at Tring-Junction. Next to the track were these mining mountains/hills that you were allowed to take your bike and ride all through. They had these isolated water areas where the water was vigorously blue! It was a very cool place to go take some photos!

Racing in Quebec has taken Josh to some interesting places this summer. | Josh Cartwright photo

You’ve been staying in the Montreal area. I’m also very curious to know what you think of the culture there in Quebec. What do you get up to for fun, and doesn’t it feel like you’re in Europe? You must be really enjoying it.

I absolutely love it here Quebec. My parents have joked around saying I’m probably going to move there I love it here so much. The people and the vibe here is like my style and everyone here in Quebec are very generous. I have always wanted to go downhill mountain biking, but we don’t have mountains in Florida to do it. It was one of the first things I went to go do! I don’t know about Europe since I have only been there once when I was younger, but it definitely feels like a foreign place.

You also raced the Rockstar Triple Crown MX Series in the east. Can you take us through how that went for you? You had some really good rides and probably learned a few things, too. What was the highlight for you?

Yes, this year was my first year racing outdoors since 2014 and it was a learning experience for sure. I jumped on the scene getting the holeshot at the first race I did at Sand Del Lee placing 5-5 for 6th. I was consistently around the 5th – 8th position at the rest of the rounds. I wanted to learn from this year in outdoors to become stronger for next year.

What was your most memorable moment from this past summer in Canada?

My most memorable moment would be leading the first moto at Sand Del Lee for my first ever 450 National. It felt good to be up front and I am ready to make it to that next level to stay up front the whole moto.

Josh is a fun-loving guy who knows it’s all business when the gate drops. | Bigwave photo

Now we’re getting ready for the 3-round Supercross series — Montreal, Quebec City, and Hamilton. How are you preparing for this and what’s the goal?

I am very excited for the supercross season to be upon us. I will be training at SMX’s Supercross track to prepare. That is where I have been riding this summer with riders like (Jeremy) McKie and (Christopher) DaSilva. Ohlins sent me some Supercross suspension and it is working tremendously!

And after that you’ll be preparing for Monster Energy AMA Supercross, right? What’s the plan for that series?

450, baby! This year I will be doing all 17 rounds with Team PR-MX in the 450 class. I have always liked riding a 450 and I am a taller guy so I think this will fit me better to take my career to the next level.

Josh has lots of SX experience and will team up with Cade Clason for the Canadian SX Series and likely more. | Bigwave photo

How about your new teammate, Cade Clason? You must be pretty excited to have a guy like him on your team, but will it be competitive between the 2 of you?

I’m pumped to have Cade on the team and I think it will be a great addition to the team. I have been friends with Cade for years from our amateur days so it will be cool to have a good vibe in the pits. Yes, it will be very competitive since we are very similar speed, but I think it will make us both better! We both want to beat each other which will make us both go faster and get great results!

OK, that was great, but we’ll end it there. Good luck with your SX prep and we’ll see you in Montreal on September 14th. Who would you like to thank?

See you there! Thank you to all the great sponsors supporting me and the team!

Team PR-MX, Kawasaki, Pelletier Kawasaki, Strikt Gear, X Brand Goggles, HGS Exhaust, Guts Racing, Rekluse, Ohlins, Addikt Graphic, Blud Lubricants, Hoosier Tire, Fist Handwear, No Toil, ODI Grips, Dirt Tricks, Bud Racing, Pro Wheel, Bondi Engines, Devol Racing, Evans Powersports, Arai, EVS, Ride Engineering, Renegade Fuel, ASV Inventions, Acerbis, TCD Suspension, Premium MX, Kacher, Moto Tape, Bolt Motorcycle Hardware, Atlas Brace, Drew Whitehead Performance, Momentum Tally, SMX, and my mom and dad.