Factory Fill-In: Fredrik Noren Talks Red Bud
AMA Pro Motocross - Buchanan, MI
Last week it was announced that this season's most talked about privateer was getting the opportunity of a lifetime. All eyes were on Fredrik Noren at Red Bud as he made his debut with Team Honda Muscle Milk where he will be filling in for Justin Barcia for the remainder of the season. The 22-year-old has had an impressive season despite a lack of funding and factory support, so it's no mystery as to why the team chose him for the fill in ride.
"I don’t think I stopped smiling all weekend," Noren told us after taking his best overall this season at Red Bud. See what else he had to say about his first weekend with a factory ride.
First of all, Congratulations on your top ten moto finish and your best overall this season. This past weekend at Red Bud definitely went well, you must be excited!
Thank you! Yeah I’m super pumped on that. The Honda really helped me out with that start.
I’m sure it was a huge help! With this being your first race on the new motorcycle, what would you say is the biggest difference between your privateer bike and the factory motorcycle you’re on now?
I have been riding stock motors all these years. We would only add an after market exhaust, so the biggest difference is the power I would say.
Well I am sure the factory motorcycle is plenty of power for you then! Leading up to your ride, this has been your best season yet with 11 out of 12 motos inside the top 20. What do you think was different about this year that has led to your success so far?
I think it’s a combination of me being able to ride some during this winter, usually I fly back home to Sweden to work, but I got my sports visa this fall so I’m allowed to stay for two years. Also, I got my bike mapped and I purchased race fuel which gave me a much more powerful bike. I think I might be a little smarter too (laughs). Less mistakes when I ride.
Well riding all winter would help for sure. We saw you’ve been training at South of the Border prior to the season. Do you feel as though this could attribute to your success as well?
Yea for sure, it’s an awesome place. It’s got good tracks, a gym, and everything you need to get quality training.
Yeah for sure. Huff and the gang are good dudes. But, let me switch from South of the Border to across the pond. Being that you grew up in Lidkoping, Sweden, what made you decide to come to the U.S. rather than race the GP series?
I felt that I accomplished what I wanted to do in Sweden. It was time to move on, either go to the GP or come here. As I watched the Supercross and Outdoor rounds on TV it seemed a lot cooler and nicer to come here (laughs).
Well you have definitely accomplished plenty here as well! Your new accomplishment being your factory fill in spot. What were your thoughts on your first weekend as a factory rider?
Ah man, where do I start (laughs). It was pretty awesome. I don’t think I stopped smiling all weekend. The whole team is a great group of people and the bike is really good. I won’t lie though, I was pretty nervous with just hopping on the bike and trying to learn how things work with the team. It was really cool though.
It’s understandable that you were nervous, but you definitely worked through it that second moto! It seemed like you struggled a bit in the first moto though. What exactly happened that first moto at Red Bud that led you to a 17th place finish?
I had a pretty good start, somewhere between 10th and 12th maybe. Then half a lap in I got really close to someone in a corner, hit my front brake on his bike, and my front wheel slid out. After getting up again and getting my bike started I was almost last. Actually, I crossed the finish line in 38th. I got going alright but I struggled to find my speed in the beginning. I got better towards the end, but that was not how I wanted to start my first moto on the bike.
Well, at least you were able to over come it. Switching gears a bit, I noticed you were wearing Alpinestars boots this round, when in previous rounds you had been wearing Gaerne boots. With the big switch have you been forced to leave any sponsors behind? And if so, will you be able to get them back once the fill in period on Team Honda Muscle Milk has ended?
Yes, but I have been able to keep Troy Lee Designs, Xbrand, and Novik Gloves. My old sponsors are excited with the opportunity that I’ve been given.
That’s awesome! Speaking of support, we noticed your girlfriend Amy had been your mechanic at the previous rounds. How did she handle retiring the mechanics badge at Red Bud?
She handled it good, she’s working for Allisports as a photographer so she was busy shooting photos. She’s super pumped for me to have this opportunity as well.
Thats great! It’s awesome to have such supportive people behind you. So you currently sit 14th in points with six rounds left. What are your goals for the series, and have your goals changed since you’ve gotten the ride with Honda?
Yea I would say they’ve changed. Now that I have a team and a bike like this, I expect more of myself. I’d like to be consistently top 10 and get better every round.
Well we know you have it in you that’s for sure! Any last words or people you’d like to thank?
Thank you! Yeah, just the whole Team Honda Muscle Milk for giving me this opportunity, Troy Lee Designs, Novik Gloves, Xbrand, and Alpinestars as well. I’d also like to thank my parents, fans, and everyone who helped me get here. Oh yeah, and thank you for the interview!
No problem! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.
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