Catching up with...Teddy Maier
Catching up with...Teddy Maier
Interview by Billy Rainford
Photos by James Lissimore
Teddy Maier has become a staple at the Canadian Nationals and we like to consider him another honorary Canadian, so it was exciting to hear that he would be competing in the Westcoast Lites Supercross series this year. With A1 out of the way, we caught up with the Iowa native -- and Canada’s national #3 rider -- to see what he’s been up to and how everything is going.
2009 Canadian MX Champion, Teddy Maier, is racing the West Coast Lites SX series.
Hey, Teddy. How are you doing and where did we catch you this afternoon?
Pretty good. I’m staying at my aunt and uncle’s, here in Riverside (California). It’s pretty nice because they live right in the middle of everything, so it only takes me 10 or 20 minutes to get to practice tracks.
Let’s back up a little bit here, first. What have you been up to since the Montreal Supercross?
Well, I had a deal to ride a Honda over in Germany, so I was busy training for that stuff. I went over there and did a couple races and did pretty good. Then I got this deal to do the Westcoast Lites with ‘Frenchie’ (Luc Caouette) doing the motors, so that was pretty hard to turn down. It was something that I felt I needed to do.
How did this whole thing with Brad Nauditt come up this year?
Actually, I spoke with Frenchie and he said that Brad was looking to put something together and he gave him my number. I talked to him and he said they had a deal with Hyper X Racewear out of Austin, Texas. We chatted back and forth and figured something out that would work and just went from there. I got a practice bike a while ago and started getting comfortable on the 250 again.
Well, that works well for us up here in Canada because Brad is also an honorary Canadian, so you guys will both get lots of love from north of the border.
Oh ya. Thanks.
We all watched it live and saw that you got 13th, but tell us how Anaheim 1 went for you.
It went alright. The track wasn’t the best; it was hard and my gearing didn’t seem right. The track just didn’t flow that well and my suspension was a little bit too stiff. There really wasn’t anything to separate anybody. There were some 35 degree corners and they had to know it was going to get one-lined. It was kind of like an old school track and there really wasn’t anything to it. I still had fun on the track, but I think this coming weekend in Phoenix will be a lot better.
Maier finished 13th in the main event at Anaheim.
Where do you see yourself slotting in? If everything went well, where do you think you could finish?
I’ve been racing overseas the last couple years and doing arenacross, so I’ve kind of been out of the whole supercross thing, chasing the money side of it. I decided to come back and do it again. I know I can do a lot better than what I did last week, but I was happy. I’m not sore or banged up and I did what I wanted to do. I got into the main event and was right around the top 10. With a good start, I think, as the races go on, I’m going to do nothing but get better. You just can’t afford to make one mistake. If you do, you just can’t make that time back up. I think I just need to get good starts and I can run with those guys.
How do you like the Honda?
I like it. It’s comfortable and easy to get used to. I’ve been working with Racetech getting it dialed in. My suspension definitely wasn’t set up for that track last weekend.
Did you get a chance to hang out with Kyle Beaton and Pat O’Connor?
Oh ya, it was like a little Canadian pit area over there where we were. There was Brad, Frenchie, Pat, Beaton…it was nice being around people that you know well. It was fun.
Speaking of Pat, how did the decision come up for you to ride the MX2 class next season?
I don’t know, they just threw the option out there and I thought about it and thought, why not? I really like riding the 250 still and I believe I can do better racing that class. The motos are shorter and it’s not like we’re getting paid a bunch of money to race up there anyway, so anything to make it a bit easier is a big bonus. I think I can do better and maybe make a better living doing it, so I just went with my gut instinct.
Maier will be returning to the MX2 class for 2012.
Do you have any funny Pat O’Connor stories?
I do, but I don’t think I’d be allowed to tell anybody about it.
Were you happy with last summer?
Ya, I broke my collarbone in Germany almost exactly a year ago and I couldn’t ride for 13 or 14 weeks. It was a long time! I got a really late start training, so I really wasn’t ready at all. I found myself pushing too hard during the week and over-pushing myself on the weekends, so I just totally burnt myself out. I got really fatigued after the first couple races and I just struggled from then on out. I did what I wanted to do; I wanted to finish inside the top three. I gave it everything I had to do that.
If I rode the 450 again this year, I think I would be better, but I had the option to ride the 250, so why not?
What do you think about the new rule to allow the 250 two-strokes in with the MX2 class, in the amateur ranks? How would you feel about that rule in the pros?
I don’t know. It’s a tough question. Four-strokes are, obviously, a lot more expensive to maintain, so, for the people that don’t have a whole lot of money, I think it’s better that way.
Would you ride one?
No, the four-strokes are so good, right now. After riding a four-stroke for so long, I couldn’t go back to a two-stroke.
You have a reputation as being rather quiet at the races. Is there anything people should know about Teddy Maier?
Ya, I’m quiet. I’m there to do what I need to do. Sure, I’m there to have fun too, but it’s my job and I take it seriously. I’m just quiet and down to earth, really, that’s about it.
What happens if you end up in the top 10 in the West and someone offers you a great ride for the AMA outdoor nationals?
I don’t know (laughs). I already signed my contract with Jason (Hughes-owner of Leading Edge). Things are really tight down here and it would be really hard to beat the deal I have up in Canada. I like it in Canada and you gotta do what you gotta do.
So, Riverside is home base for you during the whole series?
Ya, I’ll be staying with my aunt and uncle. It sucks because I’m married now and my wife, Chelsey, is back home (in Iowa). She’s a nurse and is really busy working right now. I was home for Christmas and she’s going to come out for a couple races, here and there. I think that’s the toughest thing about doing this, but we knew that it had to be done. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and I finally got a deal to go do it and I wasn’t going to reject it. It’ll work out for her coming out here for her vacation time to San Diego, so we can spend some time and go to Sea World and just hang out together.
Maier has teamed up with fellow Canadian National competitor, Brad Nauditt, to contest the SX series on Hondas.
Who’s your favourite Canadian rider to bang bars with up here?
Oh, I’d have to say, (Bobby) Kiniry. An actual Canadian, I’d have to say Kyle Keast. He’s aggressive yet he’s clean. He’s a good rider and I like racing against him.
Did you see the new Canadian Nationals schedule that Morden is out and Edmonton is back in?
I heard something about it and I like the Edmonton track, so that’s good.
What do you think about the two Saturday races they are going to try at Kamloops and Gopher Dunes?
I think it will be better. That’s one bad thing about going to Canada is I usually fly out on Thursday, get there late Thursday night, and sit around Friday and Saturday. There’s just too much time sitting around. That’s what’s nice about Supercross is that it’s just one day instead of dragging it out for three. I think it will make it better.
Ok, who would you like to thank?
The team: HyperX/Scott/TilLube/FMF/Motoconcepts/Galfer/Motosport/ Sunstar/Renthal; my aunt and uncle for letting me stay with them, for sure. Without them, it would be way too hard; my wife, Chelsey, for putting up with me being gone. It’s hard for me too, but it’s probably even harder for her being at home; my mom and dad, and the rest of my family.
Ok, great. Thanks for talking with us and good luck in Phoenix.
Ya, for sure, thanks, and I’ll talk to you guys later.