In his first year competing with the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team, Josh Creamer claimed his first-ever championship in this year’s AMA Pro ATV Motocross series. He did so aboard the Suzuki QuadRacer R450 sport quad. His title didn’t come easy however with 25-year-old New England rider battling tooth and nail with his teammate and two-time champ, Dustin Wimmer. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Creamer at Suzuki’s dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada where the Japanese powersports giant announced the release of the all-new GSX-R sportbike that you can read about in our 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 First Look.
HOW HE GOT STARTED IN ATV RACING:
I went to a local race back in 2002 and kind of figured I was faster than those guys. The next year I just started racing and things progressed pretty quick. I started riding four-wheelers probably when I was 10-years-old then started racing when I was 18. It was mostly just trail riding from the get-go and riding in the woods, just messing around. I really didn’t start hitting jumps and doing that sort of stuff until I was 15 or 16. That’s when I learned you could actually jump the things [laughs]. Then I started getting into it and went to that race and then we just started racing.
HAVE YOU EVER RIDDEN DIRT BIKES:
Left to Right: Dustin Wimmer (#1), Josh Creamer (#9), and Chad Wienen (#44) – 2010 AMA ATV Motocross Muddy Creek.
I’ve had dirt bikes I can ride them and go out and jump them and doing everything I do on my four-wheeler. It’s not a big deal. Cornering is tough. It’s a totally different beast in the corner. I like bikes but I try and stick off of them because I ride four-wheelers, I race four-wheelers—I do what I know.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO AFTER ATVS INSTEAD OF BIKES:
I just started out on four-wheelers I would have raced bikes if it was up to me but my dad he never wanted me on a dirt bike. But he said you can race a four-wheeler. So I was like, yeah okay.
LAUNCHING 400-PLUS POUND ATVS THROUGH THE AIR:
Once you get the hang of it, it’s nothing really. It’s all getting a hang of it. It all just came natural to me. I’ve always been good at jumping them. It’s one of my strong points.
GENERAL STATE OF THE SERIES HE COMPETES IN (AMA PRO ATV MOTOCROSS):
The series is pretty good. I wish racing four-wheelers wasn’t such a money pit. It’s pretty expensive to compete at the pro level where I am at. It’s tough to get new people into the sport. There is quite a bit of competition. As far as fans there are usually a few thousand fans at the races. We really just need more exposure. More TV exposure definitely wouldn’t hurt us.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Josh Creamer claimed his first-ever championship in this year’s AMA Pro ATV Motocross series aboard the Suzuki QuadRacer R450.
My favorite track would have to be Steel City [Pennsylvania]. I’ve gone four moto wins in a row there for the past two years. It’s just an elite motocross track. It’s got big jumps it’s fast and gets rough. If you like going fast, hitting big jumps and racing on a motocross track then it’s for you. I really like that track.
SOME TRACKS THE ATVS ACTUALLY LAP FASTER THAN 450 MOTOCROSS BIKES:
Our tracks are set-up a lot different than a dirt bike track so it will get real rutted and it gets a little bit more chopped up. Depending on the dirt we’ll get some hard pack corners and what not. It will still get really rough in some sections. You can’t say it’s totally different track, but, yeah, at Red Bud [Michigan] we were a couple seconds faster than the 450 bikes.
ATV SET-UP FROM TRACK TO TRACK:
It was a lot easier on set-up this year. We did a lot of testing pre-season and got a good baseline. That baseline worked at a lot of tracks. Occasionally we had to move the front end forward or back to get it to steer some and a couple of shock adjustments. It’s a really good baseline bike and that made it easier on us.
ARE RACE QUADS MODIFIED HEAVILY COMPARED TO STOCK:
Basically we use the frame and the motor cases. Other than that we re-do a lot of stuff. The Suzuki has a really low center of gravity. When you sit on it you feel like you sit in it more than atop of it. Being it has a low center of gravity it handles really well. It doesn’t try to two wheel anywhere. It is a little bit heavier than the other models but that keeps you down. The front end geometry is perfect and it steers wherever you want it to go. Everything works. Basically when they built this bike they did their homework.
HOW TO GET INTO QUAD RACING:
You’d have to go to race and check it out a little bit. Buy a four-wheeler and see how it goes. I wouldn’t go buy one and dump a bunch of money into it. Try racing in production classes or novice production classes. Ease into it slow. You’re not going to come out and go from racing one day to a pro next day. A lot of things take time.
I’ve had some pretty good wrecks. That first year I started racing I actually broke my back. But it didn’t really slow me down at all. I was back racing within a month and a half, two months. I’ve broke my wrist, tore up my knee and I couldn’t tell you how many concussions I’ve had [laughs]. But other than that I’ve been pretty good.