There’s a new kid on the block, and he got a lot of people talking at his pro debut at the 2017 Seattle Supercross, as many were left asking the question, “Who’s the new guy at JGR?”. Cade Autenrieth-a local So.Cal native-came into his rookie SX race in Seattle as a relative unknown in the sport, but that quickly changed last weekend at the Salt Lake City SX after he finished 13th in the 250 Main Event. Autenrieth is essentially a fill-in for the injured Matt Bisceglia, and as of now his stint with the team will come to an end following the Las Vegas SX, so he’s looking to make his impression felt with this golden opportunity.
You’re a newcomer to Supercross, however, you went through the required Arenacross rounds, so you knew what to expect to some extent. Have you enjoyed this new form of racing?
Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s a lot more intense, the speeds are way, way up and there are a lot of heavy hitters.
You’ve had the opportunity to race your first Supercross races aboard a factory bike. Talk about the advantages that come with this deal with JGR versus lining up as a privateer.
There are a lot of advantages when it comes to riding a factory bike for a factory-backed team, but the most noticeable differences obviously come from the motor and suspension. You also have the entire team working to make sure your job goes as smoothly as possible, which is something that I haven’t really experienced before. They maintain and fix anything and everything at the drop of a hat! This entire program is a huge help, for me; especially since I’ve been able to test with the rest of the team. This is an awesome experience!
The type of support that you receive from the team is something you’ve never experienced before. How are you liking it?
I love it! It’s crazy to have this many people working with me to make me a better rider. It’s a great feeling! There’s always someone watching me as I’m doing laps that can see if the bike is doing anything wrong. There’s been a solution or answer to any issue I’ve encountered.
You have some very credible teammates at JGR in Jake Weimer, Justin Barcia and Weston Peick. Recently, you’ve been riding with Jake, so talk about the advantages of riding with a former 250SX West Coast Champion…
Yeah, everyone on this team is a true contender. Like you said, I primarily ride with Jake during the week, but Peick was actually at Seattle, and he was cool enough to give me some pointers along with Justin. It’s great to be surrounded by a group of people like this.
Although he is sidelined with an injury, you also spend a lot of time working alongside Weston, as the two of you train with Buddy Antunez. Weston and Buddy are a couple of pretty intense guys on and off the racetrack, so what is it like working with them?
I’ve actually trained with Buddy for the last five years or so, and the same goes for Weston. I have a lot of experience riding with Weston and it’s been a huge help since he is one of the top guys in the premier class. Buddy is great to work with, as well. I may come off as a shy, but on the track is where my intensity comes out, and it’s all thanks to Buddy. He’s always there to give me that extra little push when I need it, but never too much.
You’re from Southern California and JGR is located in North Carolina. How did your relationship with the team come about?
When I went to Loretta’s, Buddy got us in touch with JGR, and they had built me a bike to race. We worked with them a little more after that, which eventually built a relationship between us and the team. At my first Arenacross in Nashville, Tennessee, my fork seals were leaking, so we headed to the shop to get them fixed, and we got to know them a little more then, as well. Prior to Loretta’s, I even had the opportunity to ride at their test track, which was super cool.
Your first professional Supercross race came at the Seattle SX, and you got a lot of people talking because many were unfamiliar with who you were; plus, you were under a factory awning! Why do you think people had that reaction?
I guess it’s because I didn’t have a huge name like Forkner or someone like that. I mean, I was always a contender at every amateur national I went to, and I did pretty well at most of them. Ive won titles, just not dozens and dozens of them. I’d like to think that I’ve always been able to hang with the top guys in whatever class I was in, and I have the consistent results to back it up.
You also dealt with some injuries that happened to occur at some the worst times, too, right?
Yeah, I’ve sustained injuries right before Loretta’s on several occasions, which is the worst race to miss because everyone looks at it as being the epitome of amateur motorcross racing. I had some weird luck in the past with that kind of stuff. Regardless of that though, I’ve always tried to make things happen. I’ve faced my fair share of adversity over the years, and I think it’s toughened me up because I now know how to get through it.