Morehead City, N.C. is home to one of the nation's top prospects and this week at the Thor Winter National Olympics in Gainesville, Florida Cooper Webb is once again proving why he is being touted amongst the future of our sport. Cooper made his big bike debut this week aboard a Star Valli Yamaha, a program that will take the fifteen year old into the professional ranks in the near future.
Webb has convinced the Star Valli program that they made wise investment early into the week by way of five overall division wins against the best in the business in schoolboy, B, and open B classes.. As I write this riders are gearing up for the championship motos and chances are Webb will be packing the trailer full of prestigious hardware as Supercross comes to a close.
Webb has a mountain of amateur national titles under his belt, including multiple wins at Loretta's and Olympian and Bronze Boot awards from the Thor Winter National Olympics. However, you never know how a rider at any caliber is going to stack up on big bikes and from the looks of it Webb is hoping to go right to the top of the class in 2012, before carrying that momentum into the AMA Supercross and Outdoor National Championships.
We caught up with Cooper between motos for a quick Q&A session to get the scoop on his new deal for 2012, how he keeps his mental edge and more.
Signing a three-year deal with Star Valli at this point in your career was big move on both parts. How do you feel this will affect the remainder of your amateur career?
I have adapted to the Yamaha's very quickly and having a program that will provide me with the support and equipment to compete at the highest level is something you dream of at my age. This will allow me to keep focused completely on what I need to do to win and that will be a tremendous advantage moving forward.
Transitioning to big bikes seems to open a new chapter in your career. How important is it for you to be in position to fight for titles at Mini O's and throughout 2012?
The mental advantage of getting out front and running a race winning pace is huge. I will be up against a lot of very talented riders that have more time on big bikes and if I can prove that I'm a contender in the B and Schoolboy classes then I will have that edge on my competition.
What is your strategy moving into 2012?
I want to stay healthy and out front as much as possible. It's important to me to represent my sponsors to the best of my abilities on and off the track, so I plan to just stay focused and take full advantage of the opportunities before me.
Who would you like to thank?
Star/Valli Yamaha, Redbull, Thor, GYTR, Dunlop, ICW, Triangle Cycles, Smith, PitPosse, Skullcrandy, Leatt, South Border, Gary Bailey.