Interview with Rodrig Thain
Story & Photos by Eddie Graveline
Foreign motocross riders, especially French ones, have had a hard time finding their way into the hearts of American fans. They are usually quiet and more withdrawn than the typical Yankee MX racer and some people take that as a snobby attitude. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, itís shyness on the part of the rider due to poor English language skills. Take Rodrig Thain for instance. This is his third year racing in the U.S. and a lot of people still donít know who he is. He started off in í99 as an FMF support rider and then hooked up with the brand new KTM Factory squad in 2000. This year, Roger DeCoster and Team Suzuki have enlisted his services. He had his best Supercross season yet, finishing second in the 125cc West series and is hoping to improve on some strong outdoor rides that he had last year. Rod is quiet and shy. His answers to my questions were incredibly short, but not because he didnít want to talk. He just doesnít speak much English. Donít hold it against him though, heís a very nice young man and hopefully, this interview gives you a little bit of insight into one of the rising stars of our sport.
Q: Rod, letís talk about the Supercross season for a minute first. You must consider this last one to be your most successful yet.
A: Yeah, second place is very good for me. I never won a race this year, but I stayed consistent every race. Itís good. Itís not a very good season, but itís good.
Q: Youíre on a new team this year. Did that make a difference in your Supercross results or was it a case of just having another year under your belt?
A: I have a very good bike, I think the best bike. Team Suzuki is very very good. Itís a big help for me.
Q: Travis Pastrana and Kevin Windham are your teammates this year. Do you get to ride with those guys a lot?
A: We test together every week. Itís good for me and good for everybody.
Q: Pastrana and K-dub have drastically different riding styles. Does that help you see the track from different perspectives?
A: Every rider has a different style. Itís good because I can see the different things, different position. There are big differences.
Q: Last year you had some good rides and even podiums in the Nationals. Do you see your results improving outdoors just like they did in Supercross?
A: My goal is the podium this year. Last year I had a couple of good races. I had some injuries. Iím ready for this season.
Q: A lot is said about the disadvantage that Europeans have when they first come to race the American Nationals because they donít know the tracks. Have you found that to be a disadvantage?
A: The first year is very hard because I didnít know the tracks. The tracks are very different. They have big jumps and are rough. Very different.
Q: So what would your goal for the outdoor series be?
A: To finish on the podium (top three in the series). Thatís my goal.
Q: We got some unexpected rain at Glen Helen and that brings up another interesting subject; mud. Coming from France, do you feel that you have an advantage in muddy races?
A: I like that weather. We ride in those conditions all of the time in France. Itís fun.
Q: Your new boss is ďThe ManĒ, Roger DeCoster. He comes from Europe and the GPs just like you. Does it help having a team leader that understands your circumstances first hand?
A: Yes, because Roger speaks French also. My English is very bad. That helps me every time. Itís good for the testing and everything.
Q: Thanks for your time. Hopefully weíll see you on the podium a lot this summer.
A: Yep, okay.