With it having been a while since AJ last raced, we wanted to get in touch with him to see how things were with his offseason (including getting married!) along with his current mindset on racing and some of his future goals with his up and coming Moto-X Academy.
First off – congrats on getting married! What was it like having to plan and have a wedding during a global pandemic?
Thank you! In many ways I would imagine it was easier and in some ways a bit difficult. Ally and myself are both extremely busy so we didn’t have much time to take on the planning responsibilities. This lead to us booking the caterer and a few other key elements just a couple of weeks out from the wedding day! In a normal world, I assume that would be impossible! The only big change we had to make was limiting our guest list from 100 down to 40. And our honeymoon to Hawaii got cancelled two days before, so we had to make a last minute switch to go to Cabo! Can’t complain!
Tell us about what your thoughts are on your career overall to this point and what are some of your goals are for this upcoming season?
My career path is interesting so far. I think everything I’ve done has led me to exactly where I need to be right now. Could my results have been better the last 4 years or so? Absolutely. I think anyone who’s ridden with me would vouch for that. But racing simply is not at the top of my list and hasn’t been for a while. I’ve needed to prioritize my motocross Academy and I’m glad I did, because I am filling what was essentially a giant gap in the market.
Despite being a full-time racer, you’ve had time to start and build up the AJ Catanzaro Moto-X Academy. Can you tell us what brought that idea up and how it got started?
The creation of Aj Catanzaro Moto-X Academy came at a time where I was frustrated on relying on others to facilitate my livelihood. Tired of “team owners” not knowing how to run things, tired of facility owners not listening to how things needed to be done. I tore my acl in 2016 SX season and directly post-op I used that time to design the website, create the business plan and get the ball rolling with the Academy! I really believe that if you aren’t happy with the “lane” you’re in, you can create your own lane with enough hard work.
Your Academy has had some serious growth for only having been around for a few years…what are some of the long terms goals and visions you have for your Academy?
My goal is to be the #1 motocross trainer in the world, and I believe we are on the right path to make that a reality. I see YouTube as a huge tool right now and I have some large goals with that as well. I’m very excited about the momentum the Academy has right now! I’ve never had this feeling of momentum in life, I just feel like it’s all beginning to really come together.
Does it feel rewarding to be able to ‘give back’ to the sport and help teach the next generation of riders?
So, this is how I explain it to people. The fulfillment of having a good race is like nothing else. BUT, I can count on both my hands how many times I have left a professional race with that feeling. The feeling of fulfillment I get from teaching is always there! Every class, every session, I see the gratitude from the riders and how excited they get when they improve, and that’s what keeps me coming back!!
AJ is prepping to the '21 Supercross season where he'll be racing for the SGB Kawasaki team again while balancing work with his Academy. Look for him out on the track this season and check out more info on his Academy here - https://bit.ly/2L5L3xq
Photo Credits to Cody Darr Photography
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