At just 15 years old, Taylor Robert made the transition from Motocross to WORCS, giving up his ride with Honda of Houston after a back injury. Robert began to fall in love with WORCS, and when the results showed it, he was soon awarded a support ride from Kawasaki. Working his way up through the ranks, Robert earned the Pro 2 Championship and in the same year graduated to the Pro ranks. In 2009, he made the switch to the Pro class and earned his first podium shortly after. As 2011 peaked, the news broke that Monster Energy Kawasaki had a new Factory rider, and Taylor Robert was now under the semi as the youngest of the group. After missing the Championship in 2011, Robert was fueled and determined to soar to the top for 2012. Now after a near flawless season, Taylor Robert has officially captured the 2012 WORCS Championship.
This Championship has been a long time coming. Do you remember your first ever WORCS race?
Yes my first WORCS race was 10 years ago. I did Washougal in 2002. I was on an 85 and I remember it was so muddy that they ran the 85's on the grass track only. I was just doing it for fun then, there is no way I thought I would be where I am now back then.
How about your first win?
My first win was pretty special. It came at the final race of the series in 2009. The race was at Mesquite and I trained a lot for that race because I had a year full of bad luck and I really wanted to end on a good note. I was second in the holeshot behind Chris Johnson, and I got around him on the first lap and never looked back. I led every lap all the way to the checkered flag.
Take us through the race that set your championship in stone…
Well coming into the 2nd moto of Round 9 I knew I basically just had to finish in order to win the championship. I really didn't just want to "finish" though, my goal is always to go out there and win. Everyone thought it was going to be another really hot day but Mother Nature actually gave us a really nice surprise. I was side by side with Timmy Weigand on the start and took the lead through the second turn. Shortly after that it started pouring rain on us. It actually made the track awesome and a ton of fun. Aside from it being hard on the goggles I was having a blast out there and was able to go 1-1 for the weekend to seal the deal on the championship.
What does this Championship mean to you?
This means a lot to me. I started doing the WORCS series full time in 2006 with my dad. I started out as a top five A class rider and each year I just got better and better. It feels pretty good to know that all the hard work over the years has paid off and it just goes to show that if you want something bad enough you can achieve it no matter what.
Growing up and learning from the Pro's as you have journeyed through the ranks of the series, what can you say is the most valuable piece of advice that has helped you keep your composure as a Pro off-road racer?
I would say the best piece of advice is in order to win and be a Champion, you must have confidence. But that doesn't mean you have to be "too cool" for people. Our fans make up the sport and if it weren't for them none of us would have these amazing jobs. I still think its cool when kids come up to me and ask me for my autograph, because it wasn't too long ago that I was one of those little kids and I remember what it felt like to be "cool guyed". I try my best to always be there for my fans.
What advice do you have for the aspiring off-road racers who someday hope to have a championship of their own?
Some advice I would give some aspiring off-road racers is have fun and try to be versatile. You never know what and off-road race might throw at you so I recommend mixing up your training so you are prepared for anything. I like to mix it up between trail rides, moto, trials bike, and then just plain skills on the bike.
After your Championship check rolls in- anything you want to reward yourself with?
(Laughs) I just went and saw Nitro Circus 3D and The Bourne Legacy with my brother. Does that count? I am actually in the process of trying to buy a house right now so I'm sure most of those checks will go towards that.
Describe this Championship in 5 words-
Hot, rough, up, down, and fun!
Are there other series in 2013 you'd like to experience?
Well I would really like to do all the major beach races like Le Touquet in France and Enduro del Verano in Argentina. I would also like to do some the bigger extreme enduros such as Erzberg and King of Motos. I really like technical riding and I have been riding trials for about 2 years now, it has helped me on my regular bike tremendously.
Who would you like to thank?
My family has been behind me since day one. They have always supported me and pushed me to be the best I can be. My amazing team, the whole Monster Energy Kawasaki crew and all of our team sponsors that makes our bikes and set ups so awesome. All my personal sponsors that believe in me Thor, Alpinestars, Shoei Helmets, Focus Apparel, DVS Shoes, Skull Candy, and Asterisk. And of course my trainer Steve Hatch and my riding/training buddy for the last 3 years Eric Bailey.