Josh Green has been at the pointy end of enduro since he made the shift from motocross in 2006. One of the few to take on the AORC, Hattah and Finke in a year, as well as a regular on the ISDE team, Josh basically lives to race and if he isn’t racing then he’s training, testing or teaching.
Greeny built a brilliant base for himself on his Hunter Valley property some years back which continues to grow as a facility for training and his Offroad Advantage coaching schools, as well as a push further into competitive mountain biking. There isn’t a lot of downtime on planet Josh Green so we wondered what a lockdown would look like for a guy that never stops moving.
If you think way back to your time in Europe on the Electraction TM team, what sort of positive and negative memories stand-out?
Well that was a big step in the world. I was 19 and moved to Europe with no idea what I was in for and leant so much and definitely matured a lot very quickly over that stage. The only negative thing would be how the team ended and came home early in the season. Leaves you questioning the position I’d be in now and where I would be racing, but everything happens for a reason.
You’ve been with the Active8 Yamaha Yamalube Off-Road team now since 2012, which is a pretty amazing run for any one rider in any team. What’s most important to you in a team environment and why does Active8 get right that perhaps others teams don’t?
Where do I start! It’s just a good environment; AJ and I are really good mates as well as work well together. He backs me 100% and I do the same. And I think if you’re having fun at work it makes your life a lot more enjoyable.
I’m not sure many people appreciate just how much driving you do in a year let alone how much riding you do. Do you ever get tired of the travel associated with being a pro racer?
I think we do more driving than racing every year. It’s hard to keep a licence (laughs). I average about 70,000 kilometres a year. And the riding is a lot. Most people take six months to do 30 hours on a bike where we can clock that up in the ISDE alone.
This current era of enduro is arguably the strongest Australia has ever produced and the ISDE results are further proof of that. But none of the top riders, with the exception of Matt Phillips and now Wil Ruprecht have made a successful switch to Europe or the States. Most people imagine that the real fame and fortune is overseas, is that correct or is it a fantasy?
Europe I can speak for and USA I’m sure is the same. It’s hard to get a foot in the door without bulk money behind you. And then staying there you have to get results. It’s also hard being away from home with no mates and no life. Australia is the best country in the world and honestly with the series and level of riders here why would you leave this place!
What was behind your decision to stop racing Finke?
Finke…man, I got over the effort you put into one race to have a chance at winning and something so little can end you race and that another 10 weeks of your life wasted. I’ve only ever had one fully clean race there and it was the first year when I was learning!
You’ve been building a solid coaching program with Offroad Advantage which gives you a foot outside the door of professional racing. Has retirement crossed your mind much lately?
Retirement…I don’t really like retiring from racing. I think it’s more you just move on. But yeah, finishing racing professionally crosses my mind every year. I’m 30 this week and I’ve been racing AORC since 2006 so it’s a long time but I think hey, I’m still a top-end guy, I still love training, riding, testing and helping the younger guys on my team so why not?
I guess I’ll know when my time is up and I’ll no doubt still be at the races working with those guys. My coaching is something I do love and will definitely be stepping that up once racing slows, but I feel I have a bit left in me yet.
Pretty much your entire life has been about racing and series’ starting and finishing. How are you staying fit and motivated during the lockdown?
We are in lockdown? (laughs) Apart from not racing and getting my sushi fix my life hasn’t changed too much. I bought my property a few years back now so it’s pretty well set-up so that I can train and ride here without leaving. And I’ve been putting in mountain bike trail lately so between that and cleaning-up I haven’t stopped.
When we finally get a return to racing, do you think there is anything the AORC could take a fresh look at to improve the series?
Honestly the series is the best it’s ever been. MA and the clubs are really stepping it up and the series grows more and more every year. The only thing I can see which will help the series grow more is more support from different manufactures, but with what’s going on I don’t see that happening anytime soon unfortunately.
You make an effort above and beyond most riders to keep every brand that supports you in the spotlight. Do you talk to younger riders about taking the same approach?
For sure! Nothing in the world is free and I try to explain that to a lot of younger riders. You don’t get free anything. When you’re given something it’s a job to promote that brand or company and sell that product to anyone that will listen. I think too many see it as lucky to be sponsored or it’s you get all this free shit for racing a bike. It’s stupid really! People give you product to promote it! It’s a job, not luck.
Your spa is easily the most famous spa in the moto industry. How much stuff goes on in there that can’t be shown on Instagram?
(laughs) The hot tub.
That thing is my one thing I do to relax and switch off. I don’t watch TV much or do anything really other than train and ride and fix things. It’s basically down time to drink my Ryno Power protein shake after a hard day’s work, or in offseason I enjoy a few quiet American Honeys to relax and watch the sunset.