By Annie Connolly, 9.28.2010
Everyone seems to know that a mechanic plays one of the most important roles when it comes to racing dirt bikes, however, they are often overlooked and given minimal spotlight. With this new feature we hope to bring these guys some coverage that they deserve.
First Up…Matt Winters. Matt has been on the scene for a few years now and has turned wrenches for riders like Devon Pilkington, FMX star Travis Pastrana and most recently worked on the #69 bike of Adam Chatfield.
Where are you from and how did you get started with Motocross?
I’m from Maryland. I originally got started with MX when I saw it on TV one day and from there I just went to a bunch of nationals.
How and when did you decide you wanted to wrench on bikes for a living?
I decided I wanted to wrench on bikes full time when I was still in high school. I was able to go to a few nationals with my buddy Shane, who was wrenching for Jacob Saylor at the time and just from watching them I pretty much decided right there that this is what I wanted to do.
Where did you get your early experience – Mentor/Shops/School?
I started working at a local shop in Maryland as a Parts guy and then a mechanic. From the shop Shane Sanft took my under his wing and just started teaching me everything he knew. Then I did the whole MMI deal and came back and kept working under Shane. It’s crazy how much you can learn from one person who has previously worked for some really good teams! I can’t thank him enough for everything.
Mechanic for Adam Chatfield #69.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Making my first main and getting 12th in New Orleans a few years back was a really cool experience, but being able to work for Adam and get points at every race is also great highlight.
What are your goals going forward?
Just to keep moving forward and get on a team for SX and see where it goes from there. The sky is the limit.
Do you have any superstitions when it comes to racing?
No, not really. I just like to know that everything on the bike is perfect and that there’s no questions when we go to the line.
What do you typically do to your bikes between races and how long does that take?
Between motos we start by washing the bike then changing filters and oil. After that I just go through everything on the bike to make sure it’s alright. Then, if the rider wants to make any changes with suspension or anything we do that. But it’s mostly making sure everything checked before the next race.
What’s your least favorite/most annoying part of that process?
None really, I like what I do so it’s all good.
Pet peeves when it comes to your rider?
None really, lol.
Favorite thing about your job?
Being able to do what I love and traveling to new places is always fun.
How do you usually spend your downtime?
Just being at home being able to relax and spend time with family and friends since you don’t really get to see them much since your always on the road.
Plans for 2011?
Hopefully be able to get on a team for 2011 and get some good results.