If you’re ever in danger of being too happy, go hang out with Steve Matthes. It has a lot to say and much of it might infuriate you. You might end up arguing with him (like Jason Thomas does every day). He can leave you banging your head against the wall and questioning your faith in humanity in less time than it takes SBG Honda to replace a muffler on Alex Ray’s bike. Simply put, one cannot underestimate how infuriating and argumentative it is. Yet most (most) runners not only tolerate it, they love it too. And the corsairs absolutely love it. His media work started with former Racer X Canada, then at Racer X we somehow decided to bring his Observations column here, and then he said he wanted to try podcasting, then a live internet radio show….
You know the rest. Perhaps the biggest impact of the PulpMX Show and Matthes’ podcasts is giving privateers a voice in the pits. The platform alone has earned them fans, which has led to sponsorships, merchandise sales, and revenue. Matthes himself would donate money to privateers over the years to run the PulpMX logos. A few years ago it was taken to another level when Yamaha started sponsoring the show and Matthes figured out a way to raise a lot of money for the privateers. The Yamaha Privateer Challenge has raised over $160,000 for privateers. Obviously they love it. This year, the unthinkable will happen: Feld Entertainment is giving Matthes his own private race Friday before the Denver Supercross. Jamie “Darkside” Guida caught up with Matthes to find out more about this privateer support and the race. Yes, we are hosting an interview with Matthes instead of by Matthes. And Feld gives him his own race. Where is this world going?
Here is a link to the raffle if you want to support the Privateers for a chance to win a ’22 Yamaha YZF450.
Yamaha PulpMX Raffle
Racer X: As a kid growing up and a fan of the sport, were you interested in privateers at that time? Or did it come from working with privateers like Kelly Smith and Nick Wey?
Steve Matthes: Well, Kelly Smith was a factory rider when I worked for him, so this interview starts out great. Great job, Jamie. But no, I didn’t like corsairs when I was a child. I was in RJ [Ricky Johnson], [Damon] Bradshaw and Jeremy McGrath, of course. But yes, working for privateers like Nick Wey in 2002, Tim Ferry in 1999 and starting with a guy named Ty Birdwell, it introduced me to privateers and the difficulties they had to face. The things I had to do as a mechanic on the road and the things Red Dog and Nick had to do to knock out the top ten are pretty amazing. Especially when you consider everything that was going on. So yeah, I would say it started when I was a mechanic for those guys.