MotoAmerica's Josh Herrin on His New Team, the Power of Social Media, and What it Takes to Be a Pro
The 28-year-old Motul Superbike star has seen it all—so he wants to grow the sport bigger, better, and with himself leading the charge.
MotoAmerica is the premier motorcycle racing series in the United States, originally created by three-time world champion Wayne Rainey and his partners to funnel talented American riders into the European professional motorcycle racing circuit. As the series has grown over the last three years, the goal has shifted: though some riders still consider the series a stepping-stone to MotoGP and World Superbike, MotoAmerica's powerful bikes, solid competition, and growing notoriety—and fan base—are convincing many to stay in the U.S.
There are four classes in MotoAmerica: Junior Cup, where the youngest riders duke it out for a championship (the series has seen riders as young as 14 race competitively) and the chance to move up a class to Twins, where club riders get an opportunity to take their skills to a national stage. SuperSport showcases rising stars on middleweight machines. The premiere class, Motul Superbike, is where you'll find top riders from around the world going head-to-head on some very powerful (and often factory-supported) motorcycles.
For round nine of the MotoAmerican series, The Drive trekked to a very damp New Jersey Motorsports Park and spoke with fan-favorite Josh Herrin. Herrin has been around the block and back as one of the most experienced riders in the Superbike class. The 28-year-old has been pursuing his professional motorcycle racing career for the last 12 years, most recently with the newly-formed team: Attack Performance.
It's a fitting name given Herrin's scrappy, any-means-necessary reputation. A MotoAmerica official told me a story from earlier in the season, when Herrin's transporter broke down on the way to a race. Herrin rode his street-legal Yamaha R1, the same bike he races with, to the track, borrowed parts from other teams, manufactured the ones he couldn't, and raced the bike legally in the Superbike class.
Herrin will tell you he's at the track to have fun. But underneath the lighthearted exterior, Herrin's out to reinvent the sport. He tells anyone who asks that his number-one goal is to get fans back to the track. His ambition: to grow road racing to its full potential as a sport in the U.S.—and to be the face of that movement along the way. He pointed out that 28 is typically the tail-end of a career, but that his efforts to create Attack Performance, and successfully get back on the bike, are steps in the right direction.
In the process, Herrin has become somewhat of a media darling. His social media following is as large and engaged as some of Europe's best riders. (Because of MotoAmerica’s open-paddock policy, most riders spend far more time with fans than compared to the typical European series.) Herrin says the riders' accessibility is one of MotoAmerica's many strengths and has helped fuel his popularity. He counts his attention to social media as one of his smartest business decisions, noting it's an invaluable tool for promoting everything he's doing. And, as effortless as it may seem, Herrin says it's a calculated effort. With the creation of Attack Performance, and its support from both fans and sponsors, it seems to be working.
Follow Josh Herrin and the other talented riders as they take on Barber Motorsports Park this weekend in the MotoAmerica season finale.