Tye Simmonds Red Bull Content Pool

The last 18 months have been some of the biggest of Tye Simmonds’ relatively short 19-year lifespan. Considering the motocross titles he’s won and the places he’s been, that’s saying something. But, in the short space of a year and a half, he’s had to do a hell of a lot of growing up. First he moved back to Australia after a year of chasing his dreams in the USA. Then it was parting ways with long term sponsor and a high-paying factory ride with KTM just weeks before the start of the season, only to scramble and set-up the bare bones of race program to get him through the 2012 season. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Tye parted ways with his father who’s been his career-long manager, trainer and confidante as well as best mate. Yep, things got tough, but as the saying goes, the tough got going with Tye, and he’s come out the other side with a new lease on life and rejuvenated racing program.

Red Bull [RB]:
Looking back on 2012 and your year as a privateer, how do you think it all worked out?
Tye Simmonds [TS]: Yeah, look, 2012 was pretty disappointing for me. A lot of good things did come out of it and I learnt a lot from having to fend for myself, but it was tough going from a factory ride where everything is looked after for you, to a full privateer ride. I had a lot of help from a lot of good people though, which I’m really thankful for. But results wise, I guess they just weren’t where they needed to be. It seemed like when I’d get the ball rolling and start to feel good something would go wrong. I had a lot of personal stuff to deal with last year, which made it pretty hard.

RB: It must make it hard to compete at that level when you’re mind isn’t right?
TS: Yeah, exactly. The first couple of months were great because everything was new and exciting. Eventually that starts to wear off and the reality sets in and then on top of that I got injured as well. It was an eye opener though and a lot different to all the years I’ve been lucky enough to ride for a factory team.

RB: Looking forward mate, you’ve recently signed with a team for this year? With Craig Anderson and the Berry Sweet/Lucas Oil/Yamaha team?
TS: Yep, I’ve signed with Craig and I’ll be riding Yamahas.  I moved out of Bourke and I’ve been living in Newcastle with Ando since January. We’ve been doing everything as a team… all the testing, training and riding, so there’s no shortcuts and he can see exactly where I’m at and what I’m doing.  So far, I’m really happy with where we’re at and I feel a lot more prepared than I did this time last year.

RB: How did that deal come about?
TS: We’ve always spoken to Ando, even back when I a junior and then first turned pro. He’s always given me the time of day and been one of the only guys to do that. He was helpful with Dad and I and would be open to talking about moves I was making in my career. Since I’ve been back from America though, he’s been on the phone a lot and asking me to come and ride for him. With everything the way it was last year, I was more than happy to start talking to him and mid-way through last supercross season we really started to make things happen. I think it’s going to be great to have the structure and team environment around me again. I’m pretty pumped with it.

RB: It looks as though you’re the only rider on the team too?
TS: Yeah, it is just me. I think it’s a good thing and I quite like it. The focus is 100 per cent on me, which is great for development and testing etc.

RB: Do you feel a bit of extra pressure being the only guy though?
TS: Yeah, a little bit. But I’ve always liked pressure and I cope well with it, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

RB: You’ve been a Bourke lad for your entire life (other than the year in the USA), the switch to Newcastle must feel pretty different?
TS: Yeah, it’s been a big move for sure. As I said earlier though, I learnt a lot from last year and with all the time off I had injured I realised it wasn’t the place for me to be. Bourke’s an awesome place and I’ll always go back there when I retire or have a holiday, but for my training and riding I just felt it wasn’t right. I didn’t have someone with me day-in and day-out, especially after Dad and I kinda parted ways. I felt the move down here with Ando was good for that. He’s there for everything I do and a big part of motivating me. Obviously there’s going to be times when we get over each other, but I think in the long run its going to be the best thing for me.

RB: With 13 Australian titles to his name, surely that experience Craig’s got has to help with your training too?
TS: Yeah, definitely. Fair enough, people might get lucky and win one, maybe two, but 13 - there’s no arguing that. He’s got a lot of knowledge and even just in this first month I’ve learnt a lot from him. Craig’s set up a great team and all the testing and my mechanic, it’s just all working really well. He spends a lot of time explaining changes and that to me so I’m getting a better understanding for the bike too.

RB: Awesome! What about goals for this year? Have you got anything set in place or do you just want to take it as it comes?
TS: Obviously I’ll always want to win. That’s always been my goal and still will be. It’s been a little while since I’ve won a championship, so I think it’s definitely time. With my preparation so far and how everything is feeling, I believe it’s within reach. As of right now though, we’ll just go into the first round and try and win motos and keep chipping away at it from there. If you’re winning motos, it’s a good start to winning the championship.


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