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FactoryONE Sherco Professional Off-Road Racer - Cooper Abbott

Let's recap the week in racing and then jump into a conversation with Cooper Abbott, professional off-road racer for the FactoryONE Sherco team. Cooper's latest gains and challenges with EnduroCross, a fun bet with his sister, and growing up as the son of an off-road legend.

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This episode is brought to you by MotoAmerica. Moto America is the home of AMA Superbike and North America's premier motorcycle road racing series, with some of the best motorcycle road racing on two wheels. Rewatch every round of the 2022 series – and catch all the action from each race – with the MotoAmerica Live+ video-on-demand streaming service. Or visit the MotoAmerica YouTube Channel for race highlights and original video content. Look for a complete 2023 schedule coming soon at motoamerica.com.

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Note: Transcript is machine generated and may contain spelling and grammatical errors.

[00:00:17.110] - Dave

Hello everyone. Welcome to Pit Pass Moto, the show that gets you up to speed on the latest in motorcycling and brings the biggest names in motorcycle industry right to you. I'm Dave Sulecki.


[00:00:27.570] - Dale

I'm Dale Spangler, and this week our guest is professional offroad racer for the Factory One Sherco Team Cooper Abbott this episode is brought to you by Moto America. Moto America is the home of AMA Superbike and North America's premier motorcycle road racing series, with some of the best motorcycle racing on two wheels. Rewatch every round of the 2022 series and catch all the action from each race with the Moto America Live Plus video on demand streaming service. Or visit the Moto America YouTube channel for race highlights and original video content. Look for a complete 2023 schedule coming soon at motoamerica.com. And be sure to follow Moto America on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for real time series updates. Dave, how was your weekend? What did you get up to? Anything fun this past weekend out here in Boise? I don't know what it is. I swear we went from the hottest summer on record in August to all of a sudden we're in seventy s and cold in the mornings. So the one I've been riding the last couple of weeks, it's already damn cold in the morning, so I'm kind of on the hunt for some cold weather riding gear and maybe even some heated gear.


[00:01:39.850] - Dave

Any suggestions? You ridden with that stuff at all?


[00:01:43.080] - Dave

Actually, I have not. I'm kind of a fair weather rider myself. I've just been busy. When the weather gets cold here in Ohio, I start working on bike projects and I've got two of them cooking right now. So it was a weekend of fabricating and figuring and calculating in my garage, but no off road riding, unfortunately. I would have liked to, but just wasn't in the cars this weekend.


[00:02:03.160] - Dave

Yeah, I would say I'm a fair weather rider too, for sure, but I kind of want to change that this year. I want to see if I can kind of extend my riding scenes a little bit more. So I've been looking at some of these heated gloves and heated vests and pants and all that kind of stuff, because really here in Boise, like if it's dry most of the time it doesn't really snow that often. So as long as the ground is not too frozen, I can pretty much ride year round. So doing a little research on it. So if any of our listeners out there have any suggestions, let us know what you've used. But yeah, so kind of on the hunt for that and then trying to go out, I'm actually going to go when we're done recording this, go for a little ride myself and get out and explore more. Just trying to get out more and clear the head like as we've talked about before, David. I don't think there's anything better for clearing your head out it's just getting out, even if it's for half an hour, just something to get out and spend some miles.


[00:02:51.930] - Dave

Yeah, I think that's the thing about motorcycling and that I've always preferred, is you're singularly focused. You can't be thinking about other things. You got to be in the moment and focusing on the riding because otherwise things can get a little hairy out there with the advent of cell phones and things like that, distracted drivers and you got to really pay attention. So it's one of the things I really like about getting on the street anyway. And offroad riding has its own version of that, where you have to concentrate on every obstacle. And I think our interview today, we're going to hear a lot of that from Cooper Abbott about concentrating on the obstacles in front of you.


[00:03:26.880] - Dave

Yeah, looking forward to talking with him. I know his dad's obviously a pretty big name in the industry, too, Destry Abbott, so it'll be fun to kind of hear from another rider, kind of like we heard from Preston Campbell, talking to him about his dad, Johnny Campbell, who's another off road legend, so it'll be fun. Another second generation racer who's had a good amount of success in off road racing. But I think probably the biggest thing, though, this weekend coming up is the World Supercast Series kicking off? So many questions. It is kind of starting to come together a little bit, but, yeah, I think there's been a lot of shuffling of riders. For example, I just read where Colt Nichols is now potentially going to pull out a World Supercast and potentially take Ken Roxton seed at Factory Honda and read the US Series. So there's all kinds of craziness going on as a result of this World Supercast Series starting this weekend in Cardiff, in Wales, I think, in the UK. So going to be pretty interesting. Any predictions for you, though?


[00:04:25.750] - Dave

I've kind of made my predictions and it's really out of left field. A lot of people kind of look at me funny, but when I look at the talent on the track or the people that have committed and signed up to this thing so far, because there seems to be a lot of drama with that in itself. Here we are, what, five days away from the gate drop, and there's some teams that are still forming, which is really unheard of. But anyway, be that as it may, I'm putting my money on Vince Freeze only because the races are short and there's only two rounds. There's not three rounds like they had originally scheduled. And if it's short races with a lot of aggression, kind of semi arena cross, my money is on a guy like him who starts strong and isn't afraid to throw elbows. Anything can happen. But I don't know, I just got this funny feeling about Vince. I could have just jinxed him and totally destroyed a season. But who knows if Kenny Rockson is, as we know, probably the most talented rider that signed up to do this, next to maybe Tomack, who's supposed to do, I think, one round, obviously Roxon's probably the horse to pick.


[00:05:31.810] - Dave

So I don't know, what do you think, who do you got?


[00:05:35.080] - Dave

I hadn't even thought of like, Vince Freeze, but you're right, he's such a good starter and last year when he was on the rounds that he rode on 450, I mean, he was in there battling in top with top fives a lot of times. Didn't necessarily place there, but he had the speed to run up there and so that's a pretty good call. But again, it's pretty hard to vote, you know, bet against Roxin or Tomac for this opening round. Of course, Tomac is just a wild card, so he's not in it for the two race title. But another rider that to me comes to mind and always good overseas is Justin Brighton, another good starter. Seems like for some reason he just rides differently in those overseas races. And then a couple other names I think that I saw that I think could be wild cards for podiums as Shane Racklerath and Joey Savace. And beyond that, it's a lot of privateers, which I'm kind of stoked about seeing so many more privateers get a chance to ride, pick up these seats. Riders like Ryan Breeze and Grant Harlan who were a lot of times struggling privateers actually have a seat with these teams.


[00:06:31.410] - Dave

So pretty cool. I think we will see some surprise names in there. Of course we've got the senior contingent, of course they probably be pissed to hear me say that, but Chad Reed and Josh Grant seemed like they're holding it down for the plus 30 and plus 40 year old riders, eh?


[00:06:45.280] - Dave

Yeah, along with Brighton. Those are definitely what you call the old guard out there and it's cool to see. I'm really curious to see how this gels against the other series that are out there and how this is going to work in the end and is it going to be as grand as it's being promoted as I guess. And I'm trying not to be cynical. But hard not to be because it is a big deal. But it's formatted very similar to MXGP with the team structure and you have to field the four riders on the track. Otherwise it'll be interesting. It really will. It's at least racing in October. So as you and I know, that's something we don't always get this time of year. So got to be happy about that, right? So October and November will have actually get to see some supercross.


[00:07:31.090] - Dave

Yeah, totally new, kind of uncharted territory for us. Of course, October 1 now is sort of the unofficial kickoff to a lot of these new riders contracts and so we're seeing stuff starting to drop, of course with Rocks and departing factory Honda in the US to ride for the World Super cuss Honda genuine Honda team. And I think he's joined by Dean Wilson, another rider, so he's leaving Rockstar Husk Avarna, which I believe Christian Craig is going to take that seat, who I also saw just signed with Fox Racing. So there's all this kind of cool, exciting stuff going on right now with the silly season in full swing and this World Supercast really kind of threw a wrench and all that I feel like too, because now it's just a little bit chaotic with who's going where. And like I was mentioning the Colt Nichols thing where he was already signed up for World Supercast and then now he's pulling out and supposedly going back to US Supercast. Of course we haven't seen the full announcements yet, but that seems to be what's happening. So, yeah, weird silly season this year, a lot of strange stuff going on and I did notice that it seems like a new trend this year and I don't know if Husca Verona started this or what, but riders apparently get a press release when they're departing a team and they get a new press release when they sign up for a new team.


[00:08:34.050] - Dave

So they get a welcome and they get an exit press release. Have you noticed that?


[00:08:37.830] - Dave

Yeah. It's interesting how that plays out in the world now because it used to be pretty cut and dry. But now it's kind of all over the place and it'll be interesting to see who ends up where because I think over the course of the next week when things settle in and this event takes place. We're going to know who's going to be where when the gates drop at Anaheim because one's going to affect the other. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.


[00:09:02.190] - Dave

Yeah, and I think we're going to really see where their sort of allegiance is as far as the series too. Like either you're on the World Supercross bandwagon or you're kind of staying us. We haven't heard anything about riders like Jason Anderson and some of these other guys that are to me, could potentially have gone to that World Series, but obviously their contractors are with like, say, Kawasaki USA, so he probably has to stay in the US series. So, yeah, really kind of making some strange, I guess, uncertainties at this moment, but I guess we'll really know, won't truly know until everybody lines up for a one in January as to where everybody really lands and ends up for the year.


[00:09:38.740] - Dave

Yeah, for sure. And it was interesting when Roxen made his announcement and Honda came out and basically said they don't support this series, so therefore our riders won't be on the gate for this series. So I wonder if Kawasaki has done the same thing, just hasn't come out and said it publicly to where they've kind of discouraged their riders to go. So Anderson's going to stay and as you know, Savace, I think you mentioned him earlier, ended up on another team so he could raise his World Super cross, make some money and move on with life. But where is he going to be come early January in the AMA series? Nobody knows at this point. I'm sure there are people that know and they're going to claim on the internet, but I don't know. We're going to wait and see how that plays out. But kind of connected to Supercross, nothing kind of came across that I saw on social media and there was some discussion and arguments and two sides of it. I kind of wanted to pick your brain and get your thoughts. But what would you think about a spec tire for Supercross and kind of hear me out?


[00:10:35.230] - Dave

I know that's been something that's been done in other racing series such as MotoGP. They did it, I think basically to help develop the bikes and get the tires in alignment with the horsepower they were making, but as a way to control the track degradation to where they get deep ruts and kind of level the playing field for all the racers. Kind of like what MXGP did with the starting gate. They standardized to a steel grid, so everybody starts on the same type of surface. This would be kind of the same idea. A spectire would kind of control that aspect of things. And you've raised Supercross Dale, so you're the guy I lean on in these kind of subjects. What would you think about that?


[00:11:11.510] - Dave

My opinion on that, I think it's more difficult in Supercross and Motocross just because there's so many more variables where the rider skill does make a bit much more of a difference, as opposed to say like an auto racing where obviously the skill of the driver makes a difference. But I've seen what it's done in MotoGP and Formula One where they've kind of tried to implement some of these more, I guess, structured rules so that it is more level playing field. And in the case of Formula One, I think it's actually made the racing better. They're having more passing MotoGP. We've kind of seen the opposite where we've got this Ducati like runaway season. Where like the other brands don't seem to be able to be on the same par with them. I think. Because aerodynamics and so to me. A tire I think would be a pretty cool idea. Though. To try and implement for Super Cost and Motocross. Because like you said. It's going to hopefully level the playing field a little bit because let's face it. These factory riders get these tires that pretty much no one else can buy. In a lot of cases, they're one off.


[00:12:07.870] - Dave

And so I think it would be nice for everybody to be able to have that same level playing field. Kind of like a Formula One, maybe it's three tire choices. You get a soft, a medium and a hard, and then those are your choices for the race. And so I think it would be interesting to try and implement something like that.


[00:12:23.050] - Dave

Yeah, they successfully did it in off road racing in Europe in basically ISDT competition. They have to run a very specific knob height, spec tire, and they do that mainly to control tearing up the land because of the restrictions they have in Europe. So it's kind of that same idea to where you could reduce the number of ruts, maybe the breakdown of the Whoops doesn't happen as quickly. All of those things could kind of roll together in the combination with the bikes are just making some sand horsepower. A 250 F makes over 50, which is just a threshold I thought they'd never hit. And my 2019 KX 450 makes about 52 HP. So it just kind of shows you what kind of situation they're dealing with, with these bikes and tires and trying to hook up and not destroy the track and get through an evening program and have a decent racing surface. So I just thought it was an interesting subject and I don't know if it'll go anywhere. I just thought it was pretty cool to talk about because, boy, if that ever hit supercross, that would be pretty interesting to see.


[00:13:20.500] - Dave

Yeah, I could see it potentially happening. Usually when there's money involved, things start to happen a little quicker. And so, like, if all of a sudden somebody Dunlop or somebody said, we want to be the spectire of this series, I guarantee, and they paid them a bunch of money, it probably would happen.


[00:13:33.870] - Dave

There you go.


[00:13:34.410] - Dave

So they probably would be willing to take that on a little easier if there was some money involved. And I think it'd be cool for the racers too, because it would take that out of the equation where maybe you get three tires per race and that's what every rider gets. That makes the 40 rider night show or something. So I think it's a cool idea. Might have to plant that seed in something like mathis'head, because he seems to have the connections.


[00:13:55.110] - Dave

Yeah, if he says it, it becomes so exactly. Well, you just think about other things like MotoGP regulates engines. Each engine has to last so many events or amount of time or miles, I forget which, but they could do those kinds of things. And that kind of lowers the threshold and demand on the engine to the point where the engineers have to design an engine package that can survive. And it's not an allout horsepower war. So it seems to me that would be something that would help the 250 series to get the bikes more under control. Because the difference between the bike that wins in a super cross or Motocross race and an average private tier is tremendously different horsepower. And that engine is ready to explode by the end of two motors. It's pretty much ready to be rebuilt at that point because of the kind of power they make. So, just thinking out loud, where does it end? If they go to spec tires, does it go to engine regulations and then monitoring and controlling the electronics so that you can only have certain fuel and ignition maps in the engine? So ask a lot of questions.


[00:14:56.160] - Dave

If they were to go down that path, would it lead to other things?


[00:14:59.490] - Dave

Yeah, I think it comes back to the money. If there was a little more money, maybe. I think stuff like that might happen, but it might just make it more difficult because it's already tough enough for our privateers, as we know. And so hopefully, like I said, this world super costs me to go back to that. It's just opening a lot of doors for a lot of racers being able to extend their careers and make a decent living, because, let's face it, a lot of them don't make enough money for the risk they're taking on. We'd like to welcome to pitpass moto factory one Sherco endurecross and hard enduro racer cooper Abbott. Cooper, how are you doing today?


[00:15:43.930] - Cooper

Yeah, doing good. How are you guys doing?


[00:15:46.710] - Dave

Awesome. Nice fall day here. So let's talk a little bit about your season so far. So, you signed with the factory shore coach team this year after, I believe it was four years with rpm KTM, and we're three rounds into the enduro cross series. And you're sitting fifth in that, and you ended up fifth overall in the US. Hard enduro series. So how would you kind of rate your season so far this year?


[00:16:11.530] - Cooper

Yeah, no, it's been good. First year with the factory, one shortcut team, it's been going pretty smooth so far harder. I was able to pull off two podiums there, which was the first time I ever got on a podium. So that was nice. And door across, being off to an okay start. A little up and down. And, man, it seems like every round I've had one bad motor, which has messed up my overall. So just got to get rid of that one bad moto, and we'll be in a better spot. Yeah.


[00:16:37.170] - Dave

Speaking of enduro cross, it seems like this year's series, I don't think we've seen that much parity in quite a while to where we're three rounds in. We have three different winners. It seems like it's hard for riders to even stay consistent between the three motors, three main events to where it's kind of been wild this year.


[00:16:53.560] - Cooper

Yeah, it's been pretty insane, actually. You make one little mistake, and you go from third to 10th. So definitely having to be on your a game and try to get off to some good starts definitely helps. So try to get more upfront at the next coming rounds and hopefully put it up on the podium for these next three.


[00:17:10.650] - Dave

Yeah, for sure. And we're definitely going to be watching. And it's exciting for me to see Enduro Cross now because it seems like it's evolved to the point where it's almost like super Cross in a way because you've got guys like yourself, the young guys who aren't afraid to send it on, some of the big stuff, and it seems like it's evolved that way. You've got some of the old guard guys, the webs, the walkers against you guys, the hearts, the bonds, and yourself. What do you think about that as the series develops? Has it been like that? Have you seen a big separation now between the young and the old guys and kind of the obstacles in combination?


[00:17:47.610] - Cooper

Yes, I definitely think so. I'm starting to feel like I'm getting more to the middle age guys, but I'm still in a little closer to the younger guys. But the older guys like Colton, Cody, Toddy and Johnny, I mean, they have that experience where they've been through every situation where our young guys were fast, but we do still make some dumb mistakes that they've been through that. So just got to try to learn from those guys and see what they do as they've been around for a little while and they know what they're doing.


[00:18:16.390] - Dave

Yeah, it's so cool for me to see guys like Teddy out there and still being so competitive amongst some of you fast young guys. And it makes me want to wonder. I know you're on the two stroke for this year, and there seems to be a mix in that pro class of some four stroke, some two stroke. Is there a reason why one rider leans one way or the other? Is that your preference? Just stick with the two stroke and it gives you everything you need?


[00:18:39.880] - Cooper

Yeah, I think it really depends on what manufacturer you're on. I know, like Johnny Walker on the Beta, he's on the two stroke. And then most of the KTM gas. Gas, that's the guy. They're all on four strokes. And actually Web and I switched to the four stroke for enduring across. So we're both on four strokes for window across. We'll ride the two strokes for hardened borough, but the four strokes just a little bit easier to ride with. Like the Beta, I think their four strokes quite a bit heavier than their two strokes. I think that's why Johnny chooses that. But the four stroke is just more consistent. The timing, with us jumping a little bit more of the obstacles that they put in front of us, the timing is just a lot easier to do on the four stroke.


[00:19:17.980] - Dave

Yeah, that was actually something I was going to ask you about, too, because with a brand like Sherco and some of these other brands like Beta and KTM, you have that option to be able to ride a two stroke or a four stroke. Whereas I noticed on the hard enduro stuff, the two stroke seems to be the bike of choice for those type of events. Whereas, like you're saying for the endura cross, like maybe it's throttle response or whatever, like if it's more super crossy, you need that throttle response. The four stroke seems to be a little better. So what is the difference between the two for you? Do you have a favorite there between the two and the four stroke?


[00:19:49.200] - Cooper

Yes, I think it's like you said, most of us are on two strokes. For hard borough. The four stroke would be decent on hardened Borough, but it would just overheat too quick. I think that's a really big reason. But they're just a little easier to ride the lower end of the two strokes. I mean, you can barely touch the clutch and just climb up mountains with them where the four strokes, you might cough, stall, or might stall on you and a little bit harder to start after they're hot. But with like, EnduroCross, the four strokes, like I said, with the timing and starts, I mean, that's a big thing on EnduroCross.


[00:20:22.290] - Dave

We'll get back to the conversation in one moment, but first, here's a word from our sponsor. In your career, you were racing the Work series where you want, I think, a pro two title there. And that just seems like such a departure from what you're doing now with the Dural cross and these hard enduro series. Is that just something where you're just kind of trying to find your place, your specialty area? And how do you think you kind of sort of landed on this more, I guess it would say trialsy enduro, like slower speed sports as opposed to, like, work to me is the complete opposite where it's really high speeds. And so I'm just kind of wondering how you landed on these two disciplines as your focus.


[00:21:03.750] - Cooper

Yeah, definitely very different disciplines for sure. I actually grew up riding a lot of motocross just for fun. I didn't plan on trying to go pro and motocross or anything like that and just kind of started writing works as I was growing up and my sister and I kind of made like a bet one year, 2013 or 2014, about doing an indoor cross. And I had never done one before, even written over a log. Practically she talked me into it and I don't even remember what the bet was, but I know I lost and I ended up doing one and Dora Cross and I kind of just got hooked on it and really enjoyed that. And I started doing that and works together and they're just two very different things. And works started getting faster and faster each year. And I didn't enjoy going that fast even though I did okay at it, but it wasn't the most fun to me. And I got into dirt bikes because I enjoyed it and I wanted to have fun with it. So I figured I'd try to do the more technical stuff because that was what I enjoyed riding the most.


[00:22:00.780] - Cooper

And once I put my full focus and I was able to evolve with that a little bit better.


[00:22:06.130] - Dave

So kind of with that in mind, when you think about Enduro Cross or Hard Enduro, what are some of the tougher obstacles that in your mind when you come up to them? That you just go, oh, man, here it comes. I got to get through this. If I get through this, the rest of the race is no problem. What type of obstacles are those?


[00:22:22.870] - Cooper

Mostly, for me, the obstacles are all pretty hard. It's all the natural terrain, the laid over logs, the slick rocks and all that. But I think the hardest thing with hard is when it rains. We have a lot of East Coast slick. Muddy races. And being from Arizona. It doesn't rain too often. So trying to get used to that wet stuff is hard for me on the hard borough stuff. The dry ones. I'm a little more used to. And I think just the hardest part is the four to 6 hours is usually what a hardened row is. So having the fitness to try to stay consistent and not make too many mistakes, we're in Dural Cross, it's complete opposite. I mean, we do three modes of 6 minutes plus one, and it's full out wide open as fast you can go for that time. And I think the hardest thing with that is the matrix is really tough, but I think almost harder is being out there with 16 other guys on a track that's usually less than a minute long. So I think that's the toughest part within Dairy Cross.


[00:23:20.850] - Dave

Yeah, and I honestly had no idea how much banging was going on. I think I was watching helmet cam from Max Kirsten, I think from Redmond. And there is the first turn, nothing like Super Cross or Motocross. These guys are absolutely body slamming each other to get through that turn. I saw you out there, too, and definitely some banging going on between the riders and that short race.


[00:23:42.280] - Cooper

Yeah, it gets pretty intense. It's hard because you're trying to bottle the guys, but at the same time, you're also battling the tracks. I mean, there's logs, rocks, wood pit, everything out there. So as much as you want to battle the other guys, you still have to work on getting through each individual section.


[00:23:59.250] - Dave

So I'm curious to know your take on this, because you are one of the younger riders, but I feel like with EnduroCross, it's probably been, what, ten years or so? It's been around plus, but when it first started out, I felt like if you had a trials background, you tended to excel at EnduroCross, whereas now we're starting to see some of these racers that are really kind of making a career out of just focused on events like EnduroCross and hard Enduro, and they're growing up riding this type. Of discipline, like a rider, like Rider LeBlan, for example. I'm pretty sure that's pretty much all he's done is raised these hard enduros and EnduroCross. So it's kind of like a changing of the guard as to this sport. Would you say that's kind of the case? Like, you have to be more of a specialist now?


[00:24:41.790] - Cooper

I think, absolutely. I think now that it's become so more mainstream, people are more putting their focus on that at a younger age. And I think Riders one of the youngest ones where I know, I think he almost got on a podium when he was like 16 at a hardened row. I just started riding hardened row, I think, at like 22. So I think with them starting so young, I mean, it is definitely helping with like, the hard enduro and focusing on enduro class. But at the same time, I think having a trials background is massive. I know, like, Rider didn't have a lot of trials background, but he now has a Trials bike and I know he now practices on it a lot. So all of us have trials bikes and we all know that's a big focal point with racing hard enduro and indoor cross. So I think we're trying to put a focus on that. But the speeds are so fast that now you do have to be really. I think. Well rounded to be able to kind of ride motocross and ride all the different types of stuff to make you put an indoor across and good and hardened or yes.


[00:25:42.300] - Dave

That just makes it even more difficult when I think about it because like you're saying. You still have to be able to jump almost. Like. Have some supercross skills. But we've all seen supercross riders come in and try and race Durham cross and they usually don't have too much success. So that just makes it even more we're like it's such a unique skill set for enduro cross because you're jumping some pretty gnarly jumps, but then you also still have to have those trial skills. So it really is such a unique combination of skills, for sure.


[00:26:10.840] - Cooper

Yeah. If you put Eli Tomato, who actually, I mean, Prince dominated this year on endor crash track, it's different. I mean, he'd go out there and struggle, but if you left him out there and gave him a year of practice, he'd probably do pretty well. It's just getting used to it. I mean, it's like me, I'll mess around on a super cross track here and there, but I get out there and I'm scared to triple the rhythms or do all that where it's like I get on an endora cross track and it's just at home for me. So I think a lot of it is just what you get used to and kind of what you focus on growing up and riding, where I think if you took a guy from each side of the sport and let them focus on that specific thing. I think they could each do pretty well. I think it's just more what we started training on initially.


[00:26:54.900] - Dave

On that subject of training, you live in what I would say is probably like an offroad racers paradise here in Arizona where you live and train year round. What is your training regimen like and what's a week looked like for you? Especially like this time of the year when you're in the racing season.


[00:27:13.900] - Cooper

So right now with indoorcross I'm three days of riding and three days of gym. With Sunday as a breakdown, it's not super crazy. In season is a little bit easier, but within Durham I've been doing a lot of pedaling and stuff on my gym days, but it's just mainly sprints to where when hard drive comes, we'll do longer 2 hours, three hour bicycle ride. So it varies depending on which weather we're doing harder and indoor cross, but it pretty much always stays at three days, sometimes four days of riding and then always three days of gym.


[00:27:49.630] - Dave

Definitely got to keep those reflexes ready for endura cross. Just things coming at you quick. Just thinking about just young people who wanted to get into this sport hard enduro specifically or enduro cross. What's the entry point for young riders? Is it the works events? Is it the offroad events? I think about us might be personally out east. We have GMCC racing as an avenue for young people to kind of get their feet wet into off road racing and that leads to sprinter or other things. So what's the entry point for young people wanting to get into some of the harder disciplines like you're doing? Is it trials specifically? Maybe?


[00:28:26.230] - Cooper

I think trials is definitely a really good starting point. I know like Harder Bureau has now started like a younger class. I think it's called like a junior class to try to get people to come in and I think they've been making a slightly easier course for them. They will do some of the same stuff as us, but at least to kind of get them introduced and not just going out there riding exactly what we're on and just completely struggling because I mean, they're not going to find the fun in that. So just kind of getting introduced into that. And I know in Derrick this year started a junior class and I know for like The Matrix they'll put out planks and stuff so they're not grading exactly through the course. It's still a hard course, but I know like this year I think we've had at each round around three or four mini kids, which in the prior years we never had any. So I think they're starting to try to make it towards younger kids where we can bring more up for each series. But it's taking time for that still.


[00:29:20.010] - Dave

Yeah, for sure to grow any sport. But that's how you do it. That's how you build your future and grow the sport even larger than what it is today. And as Dale said, it's been around 1012 years and look how far Enduro Cross has come. I think it's awesome. And this move to Hard Enduro has really drawn the world in and people love it and it's fun to do, to a point anyway. I call it sanctioned motorcycle abuse. Just thinking out loud, have you gotten out east at all to try any GNCC racing? Because you mentioned about riding in the rain and the snarling mud and the roots and we've got lots of that if you ever wanted to come back east and do that.


[00:29:56.100] - Cooper

Yeah, I've done most of the hard borders on the East Coast, but I've actually never done a gene. I've tried to the last couple of years and it just hasn't worked out. I know. Shirt on us. We're talking. I think we're going to try to go do I want to say it's ironman next year? We're going to bring the whole rig out. And I think Cody Webb and I were talking about racing Ironman, so hopefully that all works out because I've always wanted to do a GMCC. I know I'll probably get work, but it would just be fun to get out there and try it and do something a little different now.


[00:30:26.160] - Dave

I'm sure it'd be fun just to experience, like you say, who knows, it might be three 4 hours of pain, but I'm sure it would still be fun on the bike. But I'm curious to know, changing direction slightly, what is it like? And actually, we had recently had Preston Campbell on as a guest, and I asked him the same question because his dad Johnny Campbell, legendary offroad racer. Same thing for you. Your dad Dusty Abbott, legendary off road racer. What is it like growing up with a father who's an off road legend and how has he helped you with your racing career?


[00:31:01.590] - Cooper

Yeah, absolutely. It definitely helps. And he's kind of helped me evolve as I've grown up riding and stuff. And honestly, I wasn't really too into racing as I was younger. He was doing it full time and I actually wanted to go play basketball professionally for a little bit. I pursued that till I was about like 15 or 16. And then I started kind of finding the fun in dirt bikes. Not that it wasn't fun before, but I think I was a little bit afraid to follow the footsteps of him, I guess. And once I started writing and having fun with it, I started kind of evolving and just kind of watching him and trying to learn the correct form. And obviously every time I wrote, he was out there and kind of helped me evolve with my form. And that was one of the biggest things we worked on, was just having the correct form and then obviously the speed will come after that. So just trying to have fun with it, and that was kind of the whole goal of it. But it definitely does help having it.


[00:31:57.900] - Dave

Amazing having a coach like that in your corner, though. It must be super cool to be able to just go out and ride with your dad and you're both on that same level to where you guys just must have a fun time, just probably challenging each other and one up at each other, and I can only imagine the fun you guys have.


[00:32:14.970] - Cooper

Yeah, there's a little bit there where we were really close to the same speed on pretty much anything we'd ride, so that was fun for a while and it was nice to surpass them on a few things, so it took a while, but I finally got there on the majority of stuff, so it's.


[00:32:35.230] - Dave

Definitely different now, take my word for it. Dads all know that they always notice when the young ones do better than them on the motorcycle.


[00:32:42.930] - Dave

Okay, so one last question here before we start wrapping up here, Cooper. Is what's next on your schedule besides Enduro Cross? I think I saw where you're probably going to participate in the FM Super Enduro series as well.


[00:32:56.670] - Cooper

Yeah, so I've actually always wanted to do the Super Enduros, but I've never been able to go over to Europe is a big thing, so it's not cheap to go over there and race, so for shortcuts, to allow me to do that after a girl cross. I think the first round in Poland, three weeks after the final and Girl Cross round, I don't think the official schedules went out yet, but I believe it's seven rounds in six different countries, so it'll be a pretty cool experience. I've actually never been over to Europe. I went to South America to Chile for Ice in 2018, but I've never been over to Europe, so that'd be a pretty cool experience.


[00:33:36.940] - Dave

Yeah, that should be fun for you if some listeners want to support your racing program. I noticed you got some pretty cool merchandise on a website, but where can they support you a little bit? Maybe pick up a T shirt and where can they follow you online?


[00:33:49.770] - Cooper

Yeah, no, I mean, I always appreciate the little support I can get. I mean, every little bit helps, and Shirk is obviously a huge part of that, but if you want to buy any shirts or hats, it'll be at Cooperabbit twelve.com and then yeah, my social medias are all at Cooper Rabbit 120, my Instagram and Facebook and all that stuff, so any support helps and just try to keep having fun on a dirt bike is the main thing.


[00:34:14.140] - Dave

Well, we wish you nothing but success this year and for the rest of the year and on into 2023. Really appreciate your time today, Cooper.


[00:34:22.140] - Cooper

Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I really had a good time and hopefully we can come on again soon.


[00:34:39.640] - Dave

If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow Pitpass Moto on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. If you have a moment, please rate and review our show. We'd really appreciate it. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit Pitpassmoto.com, where you can check out our blog, listen to past episodes, and purchase your own Pitpastmodo swag.


[00:35:01.710] - Dave

This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson and the production team at Wessler Media. I'm Dale Spangler.


[00:35:11.470] - Dave

And I'm Dave Sulecki. See you next week on Pit Pass Moto.


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The Team

Dave Sulecki

Host
Dave Sulecki is a 37 year industry veteran, and a lifetime motorcycle rider, racer, builder, restorer, and enthusiast.

Dale Spangler

Host
Dale Spangler is a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, former racer, and powersports industry marketing specialist, writer, and content creator.

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