If you’ve been riding motocross in Northern California or have followed professional racing for any length of time, you probably recognize the name, Daniel Blair. After finishing ninth in the East Coast Lites supercross division in 2009, two blown out knees kept the Lodi resident on the sidelines for much of 2010. Now, fully recovered, Blair is ready to go hard in 2011, and is focused on the AMA Arenacross series, which kicks off this weekend in Tulsa, OK. His band, The Main Event, will also release their new album, Hiatus, sometime this month. Needless to say, Blair has been busy. Fortunately for us, he took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to give NorCal Motocross the lowdown on what he’s got going for this year. Read on for the interview, and when you’re done, click over to www.maineventrock.com and support a local motocross effort by picking up a copy of, Hiatus.
How’s it going Daniel, what have you been up to lately?
Just preparing for Arenacross. Me and my brother (Vincent Blair is Daniel’s brother, teammate, and a guitarist in, The Main Event) got our own team together this year, so I’ve been trying to get ready for that. I’ve also been racing overseas. I did some racing in Germany and the Philippines, and that was cool. We’re also getting ready for our brand new EP to come out in the next couple days. It’s probably been the most hectic three months of my life.
How’d you do overseas?
Overseas was pretty cool. The racing is a little bit different over there, and I really didn’t do as well as I wanted. I was riding a Kawasaki, and I don’t ride one here, so I pretty much had to adapt to the bike on race day. The Philippines were pretty cool, that was an interesting experience to say the least. I’ve been to a lot of places in the world, but nowhere like that. It was my first trip to Asia, and it’s a different culture! We took a flight to some small island, then we took a ferry to another island, and then pretty much lived in the jungle for three days. Overall, I have to say it’s one of the coolest trips I’ve ever been on. The people over there were really awesome.
I saw you getting around on crutches at the San Francisco SX last year. Are you fully recovered from that injury?
Yeah, I’m fully recovered. Last year right before supercross, I had a pretty bad injury and blew out both my knees. I had to get both knees fixed last February, so I took some time off, but I’m back at 100% right now. I’m probably the best I’ve ever been in my entire career, and I’m ready to go for round one in Tulsa.
You finished ninth in points in the East Coast Supercross Lites in 2009 when you were healthy, so you definitely have the speed for supercross. What made you decide to race Arenacross?
To race Lites supercross, it’s really expensive to get a competitive bike, and there isn’t really any money to be made. On a 450, I think I could do pretty good too, but the reality is, it’s hard to get up every day and be motivated to train just to make the main event. That’s how it would be for me in supercross. I want to go somewhere where I can be a contender, and Arenacross is something that I feel like I can win. It’s a lot easier to wake up and train for something I can win, than to train to just be filler on the gate.
You are the only rider to ever qualify for both a Lites main, as well as a supercross main aboard a four-stroke motorcycle in the same night. What was that like?
I rode a 250F and a 450, and nobody had ever done that. I was riding the Lites class as my main class, and riding the 450 as a way to get some extra track time and make some extra cash. I made the Lites main, and went out in the 450 class, got a good start in my semi, and put it in the main. I had no intention of doing it, so it was kind of by accident. The AMA came up to me and said, “I don’t know if you realize it or not, but you’re the first rider in history to ever make both mains on the same night on a four-stroke.” Back then, it was still kind a two-stroke era, so it was kind of a big deal. I’m glad I was able to do it before they changed the rule. You can’t ride both classes in the same night anymore, so it’s a record that I’ll always be able to carry.
Talk about forming your own team.
My agent and I talked to a few Arenacross teams this year, but I felt that the overall package of creating a team with my brother would be better. We’ve been working on putting out this CD, so we figured it’d be perfect to release the CD and form the team together at the same time. It just all made sense in the long run, and I’m really glad I did it. I feel like I’m more prepared. I know a lot of the other teams have been getting their stuff together a little late, so their preparation might not be as good as ours. We’ve been in full race mode for over a month. I think it’s good for the future, because we really want to build our team into something bigger. I’m really excited that my brother and I were able to do it together.
I understand your band, “The Main Event,” is your title sponsor.
We are. We had a couple deals in place that fell through, so we decided to can looking for a title sponsor and decided to be our own sponsor. I think it’ll help generate more sales for the band, and I think the band will help support the racing, it’s win-win. All the money we make from our CDs goes directly to our race program.
Talk a little bit about your band, The Main Event, and the album you have coming out this month.
It’s very exciting for us. We started the band back in 2004, and put out a CD in 2005, and after about 2007, haven’t done too much. We’ve been on kind of a hiatus; we haven’t really played any shows or pushed any music, but throughout that entire time my brother and I wrote a lot of music for fun. We decided to get back into the studio to crank out a new CD. We just found out yesterday that all the music is finished; the producer is done mixing and mastering, and we’re getting ready to release it. I’m so excited because our new stuff is on a whole other level than our old music was. I think people are going to be blown away.
Where can people go if they want to get their hands on your music?
They can go to www.maineventrock.com. That’s a website for the team, and for the album. We’re doing all our sales ourselves, and that way we can directly fund our racing through our album sales.
That’s all the questions I had for you. Is there anything you want to add?
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Arco this year (Arenacross comes to Arco Arena in Sacramento on Feb. 26/27). I’m really pumped, because that’s a hometown race for me, and me and my brother are both looking forward to all of our friends and family coming to Arco. Hopefully at that point we’re both in the points and contending, and are able to put on a good show and get a win.
Thanks Daniel, and good luck in 2011!
The Blair Brothers’ sponsors this year include: Troy Lee Designs, Alpinestars, Renthal, Motorex, Factory Backing, TCR, Motosport Hillsboro, Guts Racing, No Toil, Works Connection, UFO Plastics, Scott Goggles, AiRide Suspension, Dunlop, and EVS.