7 FOOT J:
The 2020 season was shaping up to be a crucial year for Rides Unlimited BTO Sports Racing’s Jonah Geistler as he made the jump up to the A class, but an unfortunate crash at Spring A Ding Ding and a halt to the racing world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has forced the Illinois native to put things on pause. Geistler started the year off on a positive note as he got his necessary Supercross Futures points and he was feeling prepared coming into the spring, but a broken wrist at Spring A Ding Ding didn’t allow him to show the speed he’s been cultivating down in Florida throughout the offseason. He’s confident that when the country starts to get back to normal, he will head on down to the 83 Compound and pick up right where he left off in March. We had a quick chat with Jonah about what he’s been doing to keep himself sane while being stuck at home during quarantine, how his wrist is healing up, and what it’s like spinning laps with Dean Wilson.
What have you been doing to keep yourself occupied during the recent lockdown?
Well, when I got hurt at Underground I was thinkin' about going to Freestone to race and that got shut down and I didn't end up goin' there. I fractured the top of my radius and when we went to the orthopedic, they actually found another break on my scaphoid which is in between my hand and my wrist. So I came home (to Illinois) and laid low for the first couple of weeks and then started goin' crazy, even though I hurt my wrist I was outside doin' whatever around the house.
Where are you at in the healing process with your wrist?
Yeah, it feels pretty much normal now. I'm hopin' to get back on the bike here in the next week or two. For a while, I had a cast for a little bit and then dropped down to just getting a brace, so I was in and out of that for a week or two. I'm out of both of those and trying to use it normally.
Did the cast disrupt you from doing a lot of the stuff you normally would?
Yeah, since I've gotten my cast off I've been doing a lot of work with the tractor and the dozer, workin' on the track here at home and with the cast on it was restricting.
Are you doing' all the track prep out there for Lucas right now?
Yup, he actually took a little bit of time off too, but we'll get the track dialed in for him and we'll have him on a strict program.
How long until you're able to get back on the bike?
Probably for about two weeks.
Have you picked back up on some light training to keep your base fitness up while you're hurt?
Yeah, my trainer from Florida actually sends me workouts so I've been trying to stay on top of that as much as I can. It was hard with the cast at first, but he kind of modified all of the work for me to do with the cast as well, so when I finally started feeling up to it I would just do some lighter stuff he would send me and I could just do it right at home.
Did you start riding at the new 83 Compound while you were down in Florida training for this season or were you still at Ferry's track?
Yeah, Ethan (Lane) bought that right around Christmas time or something like that and it was pretty run down. So they got out there to build it back up and they did two supercross tracks and an outdoor track and it's gnarly. It's a sweet facility and a lot of fun to ride.
Yeah, there's a pretty good crew of guys riding down there already as well. Talk a little bit about your program down there at the beginning of the season.
Yeah, at the time we had just brought Deano (Wilson) on and he started riding with us, riding supercross. I rode a lot of supercross in December even just preparing for the Futures races, so we had a good solid group in supercross. Deano was riding during the week preparing for the weekends and then Jalek (Swoll) and Chad Saultz were preparing themselves for Tampa. Jack Chambers would ride supercross every once in a while with us, mostly outdoors though, and then Evan (Ferry) would be out there on the supercross track sometimes. So it was a good solid group for sure, lots of fast guys.
What's it like for you to have that opportunity to spin laps with guys on the professional level?
As soon as Deano was there, riding with him was an eye-opener. He's super fast and even riding with Jalek and even Chad, and those couple of supercross guys that would come ride at the track with us, they're fast. But they don't compare to the 450 guys that are getting top ten in the Main Event.
What was your mentality moving up to the A class this year going into the season?
Yeah, I felt like I was ready. Last year at Loretta's was a good race for me in the B class, a lot of top fives, and I felt like I was ready. Mini Os was okay, it didn't go super well but I felt like I turned it around the first couple of races at the Supercross Futures rounds. I was pretty prepared for the A class comin' into the spring and I just had that one little mishap that put me back, but I think I'm ready for the rest of the year and to get back to racing.
You were able to get your points and everything at the Supercross Futures races, right?
Yup, the first Supercross Futures round was in St. Louis, I went there and got 7th I think. It was okay, I was definitely nervous 'cause I had never raced a Futures race. A full gate of fast A class guys all trying to get points...I was nervous, but it ended up bein' alright. I actually went to California for the next two rounds which were cool. I got to go out and ride some California practice tracks during the week and ride with some of the pros. At A2 I ended up falling at the beginning of the race and I got 11th which was okay and then at Glendale, I got 9th so I'm overall happy that I got my points.
Was that your first opportunity to go and watch some of the Supercross races on the west coast or have you done that before?
Yeah, a couple of years ago -- actually the night that Roczen crashed and hurt his arm really bad, at one of the Anaheim races.
Yeah, A2 in 2017...
I was actually at that race, so in 2017 I went out there for a couple of weeks but that was the first time I had been in California and I didn't go again until those Futures rounds this past year.
Unfortunately, you didn't get to spin too many laps at Underground this year, but what do you think about the track down there?
Yeah, it's awesome! Definitely top-notch and there are some super fun jumps, the dirt is great and I think that's a big reason why people like it so much. You can't really find that dirt anywhere else.
What're your thoughts on some of the different options they've laid out for Loretta's this year?
I think it obviously sucks 'cause I liked the original schedule, it splits up a lot of the local guys that go to the Area Qualifiers and then you don't get those local guys at the Regionals. Obviously it's tough there but it's good racing and I think, I dunno...a two-week-long Loretta's would be pretty crazy and I think I would almost enjoy seeing it just to say I was there and it was mayhem.
Were you considering doing some of the Pro Motocross races now that you're in the A class?
Yeah, actually my plan this year was to do Redbud because it would be right before Lorretta's. I was pretty excited because I've never raced a pro race obviously and Redbud is pretty iconic I think, being super close to home and just being Redbud, ya know. I was super excited about doing that. Obviously, it might not happen now but if they do open the outdoors stuff back up and they do a couple before Loretta's, I'd be down to do some still.
Do you know what you were thinking in terms of after Loretta's this year?
Yeah, my plan was doing this year in A and seeing how I feel and then possibly racing 2021 East Coast Supercross, but now with this stuff going on I don't know exactly what'll happen. It might still happen that way but I just gotta see how I am on the bike since I've been hurt for a month or so. That's just a month or so that I haven't been training for it, but we'll see how I feel and if that could still be the plan, that'd be great. I think the faster I can get into the pros then the faster I'll get on my bike and then maybe some more heads will turn and more eyes will open.
When are you thinking about heading back down to Florida to get back on your training program?
Yeah, if it lightens up a little bit then I'll be good to go down there but with everything on such strict lockdown like it's pretty bad here in Illinois. With it being bad up here, I don't really want to travel down there and then maybe have to come back 'cause they're going on a stricter lockdown or whatever. It's not up to me just yet, I think if it clears up a little more then I'll be back down there riding with those guys 'cause I definitely miss it. It sucks for sure, but I'll be back down there soon.