Crew Chief Interview: Jim Roach, the Man behind the Machine
NEWS May 2, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 2, 2013) – AMA Pro Racing recently got a chance to have a word with Jim Roach, crew chief of the No. 1 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1 piloted by three-time defending National Guard SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes.
AMA Pro: How long have you been the crew chief for Josh Hayes? Have you been the head of any other notable race teams?
Roach: Josh [Hayes] came on board in 2009 so I started working with him then. It’s been a pleasure working with someone so talented and motivated. Before Josh, I was crew chief for Eric Bostrom. I was with him when we did FX [Formula Xtreme] together in 2006 and then in 2007 and 2008 when we competed in National Guard SuperBike.
AMA Pro: After Josh’s two DNF’s at Daytona and the strengthening of the National Guard SuperBike lineup this season, people are skeptical about him maintaining the top spot that he’s familiarized himself with over the years in the elite class. What are your thoughts on this as his crew chief?
Roach: Daytona was tough to swallow because we performed so well in practice and qualifying sessions as well as the beginning of both races before being on the wrong end of some bad luck. Josh is a competitor and he knows what he’s capable of. Our team has the utmost confidence in ourselves and Josh to bounce back from this and clinch another championship. We will be looking to take every pole and every point available from here on out.
AMA Pro: Josh blew out his clutch during Race 1 at Daytona and suffered an engine malfunction in Race 2. Are these problems fixed and how confident are you moving forward that they won’t happen again?
Roach: Yes, we’ve addressed the problems and have taken the appropriate action to give us the best chance of this not reoccurring again. We learned some things at Daytona and that’s what it’s all about. We are using that knowledge as we move forward and we hope to not have to experience anything like that again.
AMA Pro: What are you and your team working on during the extended layover between Daytona and the upcoming event at Road America?
Roach: Our main priority as a race team during the break is to address the problems we had in Daytona and we did just that. It’s taken a lot of time and kept us very busy but we believe we’re clicking on all cylinders heading into Road America.
AMA Pro: Does Josh have access to his bike? What kind of things has he been working on to get himself prepared for Round 2?
Roach: We’ve managed to get Josh on the bike a few times to keep him fresh. He’s been doing his training out in California and it’s evident to all of us that he’s focused and eager to compete again. He’s been putting himself through a solid workout routine to stay physically fit and we think he’ll be more than ready by the end of the month when Road America finally rolls around.
AMA Pro: What is the most important thing that needs to happen in order for Josh to make it four consecutive National Guard SuperBike Championships?
Roach: The most important thing for us as a team is to be mistake-free from here on out. Our results at Daytona indicate that we don’t exactly have a lot of margin for error. Josh’s main priority is to continue doing what he does best, which is to stay focused. It’s incredible what Josh can do when he’s locked in and focused on winning races.
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