GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Thad Duvall

Tuesday Toolbox: Thad Duvall

Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 1:40 PM
Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 1:40 PM Let’s begin how we always do. I’m sure most know the answer to this, but let’s go WAY back to where it all started. When did you start riding and eventually racing?

Thad Duvall: I started riding when I was three, and day one I crashed my PW, and it was years before I got back on it. I grew up more riding a mini quad until I was about 5-6 and then decided to switch back to a bike. I started racing at about seven years old and I guess that’s where it was started. Jacobi has years on my already! 

Thad Duvall ready to go in 2024 aboard the Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki team.
Thad Duvall ready to go in 2024 aboard the Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki team. Shep Media Group

Let’s get right into it. New year, new team. Full transparency, from what I’ve seen on social media, you look like you’re having fun. I don’t mean that in the cliché way either. For the first time in a while, you genuinely look like you’re having fun on a dirtbike again. Tell us a little bit about the transition to the Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki Team?

Man, I could get really juicy with this question, but I’ll just leave it at this, the season so far has been a breath of fresh air! I love riding dirtbikes again. I love the sport again and I am really having a good time on the bike. I really contemplated retiring and shifting my focus more to training and Jacobi’s riding, but man, I love this stuff too much right now to walk away. I’ve been blown away with how good the bikes are. They’re a little bit different than what I’ve been on for years and the bike and I really mesh. Stew has been a huge help with testing and making sure everything is exactly how I want it. It’s been sick!

According to the Rocky Mountain Red Bear Kawasaki Team post, you’ll be “competing in a few series on and off and possibly some Motocross events later in the season.” Can you indulge us a little deeper in what that looks like? Are you shooting for that “Ryan Sipes” style schedule?

I’ll be racing the full GNCC schedule with some select NEPG and maybe some US Sprint Enduros. I also get the opportunity to finally do High Point and Ironman outdoors which I’m really excited about. Maybe even a trip down to the ranch for some Loretta Lynn action? Who knows! I love moto and it’s nice to have a little bit of freedom in what I want to race. 

You and Jesse Ansley competed in the Ocean2Ocean Challenge which looked absolutely incredible! Tell us about that experience…

Panama was incredible! I’d do that again in a heartbeat and I am already looking to go back again next year! Three days and well over 350 miles of some of the wildest trails I’ve ever ridden. Saw a few monkeys, no jaguars or anything crazy like that though. I’ve gone a lot of places around the world racing and Panama is hands down my favorite!

Duvall was unfortunately sidelined for majority of 2023 due to injuries.
Duvall was unfortunately sidelined for majority of 2023 due to injuries. Mack Faint

I gave Stew a little hell about being one of the “veteran” guys amongst his peers. You’re in that same boat, so I’m not giving you a pass. What’s it like becoming a mentor to the younger riders at this stage in your career?

Man,  that has to be one of the most rewarding parts of what we in our sport. Teaching and guiding the up-and-comers is so much fun, and it’s cool to see them use the knowledge we teach and put it to work for themselves. I’ve been blown away here at the Shoals MX training facility from the tracks and riding to the training and coaching going on down here. It’s awesome to go out and help with the kids after I’m done with my training. 

Speaking of younger riders, let’s talk about the little man. It’s safe to say Jacobi is following in dad and granddad’s footsteps. All you Pro guys tell me the same thing, “Hopefully he gets into Golf of something less dangerous.” Welp, here we are, racing it is. Is he still just having fun, or has the competitive bug gotten ahold of him too?

He’s definitely gotten bit by the bug! All the kid wants t to do is ride all day long! He’s ate up with it and honestly it has been the best thing for me as well. He keeps it fun and pushes me to really show him how much fun dirtbikes can be. He hates losing. He will straight crash me if he thinks I’m about to pass him! But it’s so fun to see him enjoy dirtbikes as much as I do. 

What do the next few years look like for you and your career?

I honestly don’t know right now. Falling in love with the sport again has really changed my plans I had for myself, so we’ll see!

I’d be remised if I didn’t bring a little hunting. Have you have any time this off-season to be out there “catchin’ deers?”

I’d love to say I got the deer I was after, but man this hunting season really porked me! I put a lot of time and effort into deer, and they are sneaky little animals. I usually scout 5-10 miles every day so it’s almost like I incorporate that into my training come fall time. No wall hangers for me this year, only Jacobi! 

Duvall has some other plans for 2024, but will continue to race GNCC full time as well.
Duvall has some other plans for 2024, but will continue to race GNCC full time as well. Shep Media Group

Is it safe to say after you’re retired, we can expect a full-blown YouTube channel dedicated to hunting?

You know, I’d love to do something like that. I watch a lot of YouTube dudes out there filming hunts and I film a lot of my own, so maybe! Definitely something I’d like to try to get into for sure! 

Lastly, I know you don’t do this alone, you’ve got a lot of great people and greats sponsors behind you as well. Who would you like to thank?

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, Red Bear Racing – JD Higgins, Kawasaki, Stew Baylor and all the sponsors that have always back me, my wife Maggie, Jacobi, my parents, and everyone else that still believes this old man still has it! Let’s get this season started!