For Part I, CLICK HERE
IM: Is the team support still what you expect?
CE: Oh yeah, this team (NGM Forward) is awesome. I don’t now; it’s just a growing team. The team is fun, because you can throw in all kinds of different personality aspects and the team grows together. Where you have a team that’s been together forever with the same guys, sometimes it can get a little bit stale. And then “Oh, we got another rider coming in.’ But this team is still growing. It’s fun to be a part of it.
IM: Being in racing forever, do you have recommendations for MotoGP?
CE: No. I mean, I think they are doing a pretty good job, but the CRT thing was not a good idea. I mean, in the beginning it was definitely not a good idea, but in the end it was a great idea. It put bikes on the grid, it put teams on the grid, it outfitted teams with sponsors and finally whenever the packages were available, such as the Hondas and the Yamahas this year, all you really had to do was to find a budget and you (already) had a good bike. You already had the team in place. Bad idea turned good, and I think they’re doing a pretty good job. They’re way smarter than me.
IM: How about your kids? I see your little guy, he’s just a menace on two wheels… Are you going to promote it, or are you going to let him decide? I mean you've been in it for a long time and you've been really fortunate to get this far without injury.
CE: I’m going to try and emulate exactly what my dad did. And that was simple: my dad never pushed me; I was just a motorcycle freak. I just wanted to feel the motorcycle every single day and get my skill lever higher and higher and go faster and faster. He supported that and he did everything he could, went into debt, everything he could do to make my career what it is. Hayden (Colin’s son) is really good at baseball, really good at motorcycling. He’s an athlete, so I don’t push him either way. Like last year I said, “Hey buddy, do you wanna race? You can race… I’ll quit.” I mean I don't want my career to affect your career. He said, “Nah, but I’ll go watch though.” He hasn't quite figured out the unwritten contract. If you wanna do this, I will support you 100 percent and help you. He’s just playing now.
IM: Can you tell us a little bit about the Texas Tornado Boot Camp? Is it invitation-only? Who can sign up?
CE: The Texas Tornado Boot Camp is for everybody and anybody… Anyone that wants to come, just Twitter me or call me up and say, “Hey man, I would like to come” and I’ll say, “Okay come, we got a bed for you, we got a bike for you.” As far as students, clients that come, they’re the ones that benefit. I’m definitely not getting rich off of it, it’s just a program to come and learn how to ride motorcycles.
We call it a motorcycle school, but at the same time we teach a lot of gun stuff. Everybody says, “Why does a road race guy have a dirt team?” I learned it from Kenny Roberts. We went to his place and we dirt tracked. That's really where I learned it. This is ingraining all your hardcore fundamentals that you need to keep for the rest of your life. Learn them on small bikes, with less risk, and it’s easier. You can carry everything we teach you over to woods riding, road riding, and motocross. And the gun stuff is good to protect your house.
IM: Any last thoughts that you want to reflect on?
CE: I think anybody that has a career doing anything as long as I have, like baseball or football, needs to have a lot of support from one or two or three key people. For me, it’s my wife and dad. My dad, he’s the kingpin. Without him, it would have never happened. My wife keeps me straight, keeps me on the right path. And the kids.
Obviously (I want to thank) Yamaha US and Yamaha in general. Mr. Bob Starr, he’s my good buddy and my right hand man when it comes to anything to do with Yamaha.
Without those all lined up, it wouldn't have lasted this long.