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Quinn Amyotte 2023 Tampa SX Interview | Typed

By Billy Rainford

I decided to try a piece of online transcription software called Descript to do the heavy lifting of the podcast interview with #614 Quinn Amyotte after the 2023 Tampa Supercross. It was Quinn’s first AMA Supercross so I wanted to make sure we documented it sufficiently. Here’s our interview from the Monday after the race:

Quinn Amyotte 2023 Tampa Supercross Rock River photo
Quinn Amyotte at the 2023 Tampa Supercross | Rock River photo

Direct Motocross: Well, like I always say, we only get a chance to do these things for the first time once, and it’s Quinn Amyotte’s turn. We kept in close contact during the lead up to this race and during it, but, now we gotta find out what his thoughts are afterwards. Quinn just raced his first-ever 250 East Supercross race there in Tampa last weekend.

Quinn, man, thanks for taking more time with us.

Quinn Amyotte: Hey. Yeah, of course. Thanks, Billy. I definitely had a lot of fun this weekend.

Yeah, man, we’ll talk about details, but you have got to be pretty happy with the way it went other than, well, we’ll talk about your crash too. But you have to be pretty happy.

Yeah, I’m definitely happy. It’s nice to get it in on the first go. So I’m definitely happy with that.

Yeah, for sure. And again, it’s one of those things too, it’s not guaranteed every week. So I mean, you know, you can’t just mail the rest of these in.

No, exactly, exactly. I was right on the bubble. So it was definitely stressful, waiting till all the practices were over and stuff to see if I was gonna make it in. But yeah, I’m happy I got it in .

Yeah, that’s incredible. Just to add to your stress of the first one, ending up 40th, that’s crazy.

Yeah, exactly.

Okay, where are you right now?

I’m back at Luke‘s (Renzland) now.

All right. And you said you’re doing some bike work?

Yeah, so I got a new set of suspension before I raced this weekend, which was a lot different than what I’ve been using and it was a lot better. So I had to bring that back off the race bike. And then got my practice bike all ready to go with that stuff. And then they wanted me running the graphics and everything that I ran on the weekend, so just been doing little stuff like that, getting ready for the week.

Nice. Hey, how did you find that, by the way, going with full-on Supercross suspension? Were you okay turning it and stuff like that? How quickly did you adapt?

Yeah, so, the whole time I’ve been down here I’ve just been riding a Supercross suspension. They made me some at home, which is definitely not stiff enough.

It’s, I mean, I can make it work, but, uh, definitely need a little stiffer. I only had a day-and-a-half and then press day on the suspension, so it was a lot to learn in a short, short amount of time. But, I definitely like it. It’s so much better. Everything’s a lot more forgiving, but like you say, it is a little trickier to turn, but I’ve managed it all right.

Leading up to it, how was your Friday night’s sleep? Did you get any?

Surprisingly, it was good. I wasn’t too nervous, actually. It was weird. I think it was, it was like, it’s going to these races, it’s such a big stage that it’s almost more nerve-wracking in Canada because it’s like, oh man, I gotta do good. I gotta do good. But when you’re here it’s like, well, you know, it goes how it’s gonna go, right?

For sure. I mean, your first one, there’s no expectation It’s a good defence mechanism, too, right? You put no pressure on yourself. You just keep telling yourself, “Hey man, first one, don’t, uh, don’t freak out.” And now, of course, the tension kind of starts building as you go to the next few.

Exactly. Yeah. The first one’s kind of a gimme that one there. You kind of, you take what you get, like you said.

Now, the problem is you made it in your first one. Now you have to make it [every time]!

I know. That’s alright. I’m okay with that.

Quinn will ride 3 rounds of 250 East SX on the Manluk Rock River Yamaha team. | Rock River photo

Well, well first off, I wanna say thanks to Kyle Snelgrove from OGs Moto who was nice enough to kind of go into your pits and find you and do some little interviews throughout the day. So, we appreciate you letting him do that as well. And I thought it was kind of funny as your left eye closed more and more in each video.

Yeah, I know. I’ve been having some troubles with the black eye, but that’s all right. Yeah, it was. It was nice to have the interviews. So many Canadians were reaching out to me and stuff, which was awesome.

So, I definitely felt like I wanted to do those interviews for them and stuff, so thank you for posting ’em and everything.

I won’t be able to be at Arlington, so we’re gonna have to sub someone in for Arlington too.

But no, it was great. We appreciate you taking the time and stuff…and it’s one of those things that when I’m at the races, I never really know whether to just get in the riders’ faces or whether I’m screwing up their concentration and stuff.

It’s always a fine. It doesn’t bother me too much, so I’m totally cool with it.

Okay, well you’re gonna be sorry you said that in Daytona. I’m gonna sit on the back of your bike: “Faster, Quinn.” LOL So you get there, free practice and stuff like that. Who did you walk the track with actually?

So, I walked in with my mechanic Myles and the team. It’s intimidating walking it, honestly. Once you get on the bike, everything’s a lot different. So you walk it and it’s like, oh man, this looks huge. And then you get on the bike and it’s not that bad.

Okay, well take us through it. It looked like pretty dark dirt and was pretty overcast. Was it tough to see? Was it okay during the day?

No, it was good. It was overcast and it was nice, actually, because usually Tampa has a problem with drying out throughout the day and qualifying and stuff, and it gets real sketchy, apparently. So it was good that it was overcast and the track stayed good all morning and then it kind of rained a bit throughout the night.

But honestly, every time I raced in the night program, it didn’t rain at all. So I was first heat and then it rained during the second heat and then it stopped raining for the LCQ and stuff. So I got super lucky with it and the track was like perfect all night. It guess it kind of needed that raid. And those guys know what they’re doing with those tracks, so they probably figured it all out perfectly. But yeah, it was awesome all night.

Okay, perfect. Okay, well take us through your day, starting with free practice. I can’t remember when you crashed and hit your face. Take us through free practice and the crash and what happened.

Yeah, so free practice was all right. I kind of just took the time to figure it all out and stuff. And then it was actually in the first qualifier that I crashed. I just came over the dragon’s back and then I didn’t get enough for the second-last whoop and then grabbed all of the last whoop and instantly I knew I was gonna go over the bars, so I kind of just jumped off quickly, which definitely helped because if I had tried to ride it out, it probably would’ve been a lot worse.

But I definitely hit into that next face pretty hard and hurt my shoulder and gave my head a ring and stuff. So luckily we had a good amount of time before the next qualifier to rest up and stuff, and then I figured I’d go for it. I wasn’t gonna not go for it. So, I went out and I think crashing took away some nerves. I was like, well, that was probably the worst thing that could have happened. Well, we already got that outta the way and then yeah, just went for the rest of it.

And second qualifier felt really good. They groomed the track up after all the first stuff. So all the transitions and stuff were a lot better after they groomed it again.

And I just felt a lot better. My bike was brand new, so I think every time I rode it it broke in more and I think that helped a lot. Like, by the time the LCQ came around, my bike felt the best it felt all day. So I think that helped a lot. And then, yeah, just got in, sent a couple good lap times through the second qualifying and made it into the night show.

And the heat race I was pretty nervous, honestly. I went into the first turn and was like, well, here we go. Kind of just figured out. Honestly, I held back quite a bit in the heat race. I just wanted to come out alive, just wanted to get through that first race.

And then in the LCQ I felt a lot more comfortable and actually was able to race and felt pretty good for most of it. I was around the 10th place spot, and then I fell off the track in the sand lost a spot or two. So it was all right.

But other than that, yeah, I can’t complain. It was an awesome time. I learned so much, and now that I’ve got a couple races under my belt, I’m excited now for Texas.

Like everybody says, I mean, I’m sure you’ve spoken to tons of people who’ve done a few of these and the first thing is obviously the nerves and then it’s just progression. Then the key is learning and track fast to get a good qualifying time to get a good gate pick. And then you gotta get starts, obviously.

I found you on the line as the gate dropped for that heat and it was like oh, he’s gonna go for it, but hen you kind of backed off a little bit and kinda had to feel your way through that first turn and through the first rhythm section.

Yeah, exactly. I definitely didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if it was gonna be like bar-banging every single turn or what it was gonna be. So everyone definitely played it pretty safe and I just didn’t know what to expect. Everyone’s a really good rider, so everyone has really good spatial awareness and stuff, so it’s not as sketchy as I was expecting it to be. So I’m definitely gonna go forward a little more next time.

And then the second one, I mean, sorry, the LCQ, you ended up right behind our old friend Logan Leitzel out there. You ended up with him. Did you battle with him a little bit?

No, I had a pretty good gap on him. I was right behind my teammate Jesse Flock and then, like I said, when I went off the track in the sand, he got by me. I passed him back down the straightaway and then he kind of cut underneath me in the turn and then the last lap came out and I just had nothing for him on that last lap.

So yeah, we battled the last lap, which was fun. And then gave each other props after the racing stuff. So that was cool.

Okay, so you were ahead of him, went down, he got by, but you caught him again. He’s gonna love hearing this. So you closed right in on him like he was standing still? Haha

Yeah, no, not at all. Not at all. I got going right behind him. I was right on him when I got back on the track and stuff, so I wouldn’t say I caught back up to him. I like, I like racing with people that are clean and stuff, so it was nice. Oh, that’s awesome.

We will throw in that your best lap time was a bit quicker than Logan’s.

Was it? Didn’t know that.

It’s hard to make Logan mad, so I’m doing my part.

Oh, there you go. Same as me.

So then the night is done. Did you watch the, obviously you went inside and watched the mains?

No, I didn’t, actually. I was back at the rig doing bike work.

You didn’t watch the mains?

It was raining and stuff and I was in no rush to get back and watch the races. I had to tear my bike apart and stuff to take the suspension off it and everything. I stayed back and helped my mechanic with my bike stuff and then helped the team with the tent and everything because the 450 guys and all their mechanics were busy. I figured I’d help out a bit.

It’s kind of weird, isn’t it, in a Supercross day…as soon as the mains and the night show starts, everybody just starts closing down their pits and the pits are a little bit of a ghost town.

Yeah, exactly. So I was sitting in the pits after the race and I was just hanging out there. I didn’t feel like rushing back into the stadium to watch it in the rain.

Speaking of that, how were you feeling and are you okay now? Did you ring your bell pretty and what does your eye look like now?

Well, actually the eye isn’t even from that. I did my eye a while ago and it’s just never gone away. I don’t know if I blew a blood vessel in my face or something, but I got a black eye a bit ago and it just hasn’t gone away.

Ohhh, so that was actually from before?!

Yeah, no, I was definitely just pretty shaken up. My shoulder was hurting and then like my neck’s pretty sore and stuff. I think I just got a good whiplash. I was actually feeling all right, like throughout the night, like nothing really bothered me. I took an Advil and then it was the next morning when I woke up, I was pretty sore.

I don’t know what’s going on with [my eye.] It’s just some days it’s better than other days. And then it’s black and it’s not black. I don’t know. It’s weird.

Okay. Well you are an Amyotte, so there’s probably a great story for the black eye, no?

It’s honestly nothing too exciting, just riding my bicycle.

It’s usually good stories with you guys. So you’ve got a week off and now you’re a three-round Supercross guy, so what does the week look like for you?

So, we’re taking today off. We got a lot of rain here, so the track’s super wet and stuff, and I could use the day off. I’ll take today off and then gonna be riding tomorrow and ride the rest of the week, take the weekend off, and then, yeah, ride next week, and I think I’ll fly out Thursday for Texas. That’s the nice thing about being with this team is they’ll take my bike out there and stuff, so I don’t gotta drive, which is super, super awesome.

Did somebody gets some good video of you the whole time you’re out there so Luke can analyze what you can work on for next round?

Yeah, I had a few people videotaping me, which was nice, but Luke actually came out for the weekend and kind of helped us out and his other riders and stuff. So it was nice having him there and he knows like what I’ve been working on and stuff. So it was nice for him to come up after my practice or whatever and telling me like, I could do this better, I could do that better or whatever because he knows how I usually do it throughout the week or whatever.

So, it was definitely nice having his input there and then it was also nice having my brother and Travis (Ford) there and stuff. So I had a lot of people there that were able to help me and it definitely made things a lot easier.

That’s what I was gonna ask you, who from the Amyotte family was actually in Tampa?

Just Bennett (Amyotte). Just Bennett came out. He was loving it there. He didn’t really say much, you know, he was just happy that I made it in. He was awesome about it and it was super-nice having him there.

Full jeans outfit on or what? Does he sign autographs these days or what’s going on?

No, no jeans outfit, but definitely a lot of people still recognized him.

That’s awesome. I assume you’re not gonna try to find a anything to race this weekend, so full off weekend, just just train, train, train?

Yeah, pretty much. Travis is heading out this weekend, so I think we’re gonna go ride this weekend ,well, he will ride at least, and I think we’re gonna go over to Pax Track and then he flies outta Orlando on Sunday. So that’s the plans for the weekend. And then, yeah, start training.

Cool, because my friend from K Deam Optics, Brendan Goldstein, he lives in Palm Coast, so it’s right down the road. I’m gonna tell him to go ride with you guys.

Well, it’s always fun to talk to people after their first race, of course, and then kind of watch as it progresses now, because everything just kind of changes, right?

Why don’t we just ask you to thank some people before we let you go get back to your, uh, air filters…

Yeah, thanks. I appreciate it. It was definitely good to get it in there and race and stuff. I think I learned more in those two races than I have the whole month. I’ve been down here training, so it was definitely nice to make it in on my first time. And yeah, just the whole team for everything they did for me, they’re always on it. Everything I needed, they were on it. Myles my mechanic and my brother for coming out. And everyone else that has helped me get here and everything, I really appreciate it.

One last thing, when someone who knows what they’re doing on the team asks, “Hey, what can we change?” How is your input? Were you able to say, I need this tighter, this looser, this softer, you know, were you able to kind of let them know what you need?

Honestly, this weekend it was pretty tough. Like I said, I was breaking in a new bike and stuff, and the suspension was still pretty new, so I was just kind of letting it go. I was just riding it, breaking it in, and we didn’t really touch anything, honestly, so they definitely asked and I just said, “I’m just gonna leave it, I feel good.” So I just left it for the weekend. But I think now that the bike’s broken in, I’ll be able to notice different things. Now that I’m a little more comfortable with the suspension and everything. All right, cool man, that’s awesome.

Well, again, thanks for taking the time with us. Thanks for letting Kyle Snelgrove get in there and for giving us your time. Everybody just loved, seeing what you had to say and everything, so we’ll have to find someone to do that in Texas next.

Yeah, sounds good. Yeah, I appreciate it. Thank you guys for everything.

Quinn Amyotte and Bennet Amyotte