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SUPERCROSS: MOTOCROSS: Jeremy McGrath press conference

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Jeremy McGrath Press Conference Quotes. On what he was thinking about retirement: When I went to Europe I wasn't leaning one way or the other. Throughout your whole career you have something inside that is telling you when you are on, and...

Jeremy McGrath Press Conference Quotes.

On what he was thinking about retirement:

When I went to Europe I wasn't leaning one way or the other. Throughout your whole career you have something inside that is telling you when you are on, and you have days when you are not feeling good. You kind of have self guidance. The day that I got hurt was, well first off it was a bad day. I never have been hurt bad like that.

I always ask myself why do these guys have problems when they come back from injury. Now I know why. Part of me was thinking about that a lot. I always told myself if there is ever a point when I am thinking too much about being out there. Everything we do out there is a natural reaction. It is supposed to be like the back of your hand. You can do it blindfolded. Then if you start thinking about it and questioning yourself I feel it's the time to step away.

Any split second of hesitation or anything can end not only your career but end your sense or normality. You can get hurt really bad. You have to give it 100% because there is no medium speed. There are huge jumps out there and if you make a mistake, it can cost you everything.

On staying uninjured most of his career:

I think its because I am a thinker. I put myself on the right position on the track and calculating what is ahead of me or what could happen, and I stay way clear of any of those things. At times things happen that are freaky, like with the bike or whatever. For the most part I have been good at being able to ride at a high speed without being over my head. That is important. Often when you look at a sport, especially our sport, you see a guy out there that is fast as lightning but crazy as hell, you may see him out there only every other weekend. I think my limits were high and I could ride within my limits and I was always thinking about what is going on out there. It's never by the seat of my pants. I am not a Wildman. Even if some wild guy passed me I would never lean back on it and go back. That's not my style.

On Last year:

Last year was an extremely tough year, and it was tough because my body was working against me. 2001 was tough but I felt like I let myself down by not being prepared well enough. So in 2002, there is no way I was ever going to let that happen again. I was digging deep reaching for more. I just went too far and my body started working against me. That was really frustrating because I was working my ass off and it all wasn't coming together.

On racing someone pushing his limits:

That one race that RC and I got into it here in 2001. I pushed it a little over my edge that night because I wanted it so bad. I don't agree with pushing it past your limits like that.

On his obligations to sponsors and the timing of his decision:

If I were to go race the few couple of races and then stop, it would be bad for everybody. I was making up my mind and felt sure that was what I wanted to do. When I was first deciding I knew that timing was a big thing. I knew I couldn't lead the sponsors and team on for 4 or 5 races and struggle and even do that to myself, if that is what happened. It was a tough decision. 'I am fortunately I have been able to make enough money where I can go I don't need that money, I am OK.' A lot of guys in our sport can't do that, so I am lucky in that way. But at the same time there is no way I was going to milk it out just for the money. I have my own opinion about some other guys that have raced too long and it tarnishes their name a little bit. I don't want to do that. I worked too hard let myself go up and then drag myself back down.

On the McGrath legacy:

I worked hard to get to the position I am in now. I say this because when I was younger and I watched Jeff Ward, who was a legend in my mind, he raced 2 or 3 seasons too long. He was having trouble beating the top guys back then. Jeff Ward had an unbelievable career and I felt bad for him because of the way he dragged it out a little. Ever since that day, when I was a young kid, I thought I would never do that.

On how Bud Light and KTM responded to his retirement:

Bud Light is taking it very, very well. Bud Light loved the Jeremy McGrath program. Winning and riding and all that are the icing on the cake. There are very supportive. KTM has been real supportive too. It was a really hard decision both on KTM and me because I had my relationship with everyone else and I started this one with KTM, and all of a sudden I am not going to race. Then have been really supportive. Obviously the plans we had will change now, but for the most part all we had to do was go in and talk about it and decide where to we go from here? The Monday morning (Dec 23) I was going to call everybody and I was really nervous. The best part was I called my sponsors myself and they heard it from me, and getting the overwhelming support back. When I was thinking about it I was thinking, 'Oh, I am going to retire and everyone is leaving me,' and that's not true. Everyone has been awesome.

On talking to people close to him:

When I finally decided that is what I want to do I talked to my wife, and I talked to my mom and dad, and we just sat for hours and discussed it. My parents were sad in one way, but they are really happy. Sometimes the business got in the way with our relationship, and now they don't have to do that.

What he wants people to remember about him:

What I really want to be remembered as, aside from all the championships and victories. Is that I was someone that the public could relate to. I never tried to be somebody that I wasn't. I believe that I was very real, and a good representative for families to get involved in the sport. That to me is as important as the winning. That is where I got it from my parents.

On where he goes from here:

I don't mind the spotlight and I never had to force myself to be a certain way, it never has. At the same time I am hoping for a bit of a break. More than anything it's a change in the schedule. I see myself as an enthusiast and I see myself racing at local races. I just don't see myself competing at this level. Riding is a blast, and I look forward to doing it. What's funny is all the special bikes that I have ever had, I don't need those anymore. I can go and get a standard bike and ride that.

I want to do all the fun stuff.  When you are involved in a sport so
heavily, you almost are trapped sometimes.  You almost feel like what is
on the other side of the fence?   Now I am going to find out.

-cce-

McGrath's retirement is official

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