Interview: Regan Duffy Part 2

Part two of our interview with Regan Duffy delves into topics such as his MXoN experience, growing up idolising Stefan Everts and James Stewart, his Dad’s influence during his formative years, his desire to head to MXGP and his friendship with Jed Beaton.

Read Part 1 here.

Words: Edward Stratmann | Lead Image: Regan Duffy

Edward Stratmann: Looking back on your experience at the MXoN, how did you find racing on this big stage against the best in the world when you were so young on a 450 even back then? What were the key takeaways for you?

Regan Duffy: I would say the thing that took me by surprise would probably be the team setups, how professional and big everything was. It was nothing like I’d ever seen before, seeing semis fold out to three times the size they look and all the rest. I think it was a great experience for me to go over there being so young on the 450, it was cool.

I don’t think I had the most ideal setup, I was sort of on a stock 450 with a pipe and ignition and I actually had to use someone else’s suspension setup. For the cards that I was dealt I thought that I did quite well, it was a shame that my bike broke as I was getting a roll on in the second moto. But it definitely made me think that’s where I want to be. I’ve said a few times, there’s not many times you blow up your bike and you’re smiling pushing it back to the pits. I was happy with everything and happy with how the whole system worked over there. It put the fire in my belly to keep going and get back over there.

ES: Having won the MXD class and Manjimup when you were so young, can you pinpoint a specific time when you realised becoming a professional could become a reality?

RD: I would say quite young to be honest. I was always quite good at gauging myself to know how fast I would be able to go. It may not look like it to some people, but I’ve always ridden within my means everywhere and always felt like I had a bit more to give. So anytime I would do reasonably well I would know what I can work on. I’ve always been pretty confident in myself to become a professional racer and although the accident definitely threw a spanner in the works, I feel like I’m well on track now. Back on the right road and everything seems to be going well.

ES: Who were your inspirations growing up and who or what were the key influences on you becoming such an accomplished rider?

RD: My Dad was actually quite a good rider back in the day so he taught me the fundamentals and everything I needed to know. Still to this day, he definitely lets me know what I’m doing wrong and right that’s for sure. But ever since a young age Dad had me watching videos of Stefan Everts so that was how I was allowed to go on the computer and watch Youtube only if I was watching Stefan Everts. I based a lot of my riding on him and he was my hero growing up.

I think he just had such a smooth style with the standing up and on the toes and everything like that. I definitely try to replicate that in my riding. Then probably with the raw speed kind of things, a little bit of James Stewart, so If I could try and get a mix of those two I’ll be going alright.

ES: Being such a driven and relentless bloke, did your Dad instil this into you?

RD: Yeah definitely, Dad’s an Aussie cattle farmer, he’s pretty hard going. I’ve been on the farm my whole life working with the cattle so it’s definitely a no give up type scenario over here. I definitely tried to implement that into my riding, racing and training.

Like everyone I kind of had my moments, where things get a bit hard, but I always try to push through and always seem to come out on the other side the whole time I’ve been riding. Just got to keep that same attitude going. I think after the accident, I’ve actually got a bit of a different mindset with my training and everything. I’m enjoying it a lot more probably because coming from such a low point, there’s just been so much progression so it’s quite rewarding. I’m in a really good spot with it all.

ES: What are your short and long term goals – is your future aim solely on heading to Europe or do you plan on racing in America at some point too?

RD: I’ll be doing motocross and supercross next year. I actually really love supercross, I’ve always been quite good with my timing and gelled with it pretty quickly when I started it.

I definitely want to get to MXGP and then afterwards it definitely seems to be the route at the moment that the Aussies are going down to go to America after a few years getting a bit tougher at the GPs.

ES: With you being a very competent sand rider, are you looking forward to testing yourself in the brutal sand tracks in Europe? Have you spoken to Jed and Mitch Evans much about MXGP and life in Europe?

RD: I love the sand, I like to think I’m pretty decent. I talk to Jed a heap actually, I’m really good friends with him. I’ve known him since I was quite young and he’s definitely told me how tough it is so there’s no going into the GPs being cocky, that’s for sure, they’re a different breed over there.

I would like to just head in there with my head down and learn the craft from everyone. I try to take everything on board that Ross and Jed let me know about the racing side over there and even the living side – I know it’s really difficult. It’s good to learn from those guys. Mitch is really cool as well, I don’t talk to him a whole heap but I have done before. It’s good to have Ross and Jed to be so close to.

ES: Anyone you want to thank for their support in your journey?

RD: Oh mate, the list goes on, there’s so many people – family and close friends, all the nurses and doctors and everyone that helped me get better with my rehab and going through the ICU and everything in hospital. I think If I thanked anyone personally I would be taking away a bit from everyone that helped me because honestly there were just so many.

All the fans that left a nice comment and messaged me with positive things, it’s all just pushed me all the way through so I just want to give back to everyone that helped me and give my all to do really well and keep everyone on board the Regan Duffy train.

ES: All the best with everything and we all look forward to seeing you back in action in 2023. Thank you for your time.

MX Vice | Editor