2013 proved to be quite a year for Josh Herrin.
Few predicted that he would overcome team-mate Josh Hayes, 15 years his elder, in the AMA Superbike series at the start of the year but the 23-year old secured the championship with an assured second place at the final round at Laguna Seca.
His reward was a call up to Moto2 to compete in Tony Fernandes' new Caterham project. Herrin will compete alongside Frenchman Johann Zarco on a Suter chassis for 2014 and already has two successful tests with the team under his belt.
spoke with Herrin about winning his first national championship after eight years of trying, carrying American hopes on the world stage and much more...
So Josh, you're currently living in Georgia. Where did you originally grow up?
I'm from California but my family moved to Georgia when I was 13. I enjoy it here because when we go out to the races we have fun, there's lots of stuff to do when we're on the road. We come back to Georgia when it's finished. It's a small town and everyone's really nice. There's no traffic and you can go to the movies without having to get a ticket the week before.
Your dad was a fairly handy racer, is that how you got into it?
Yeah, he raced out in California and did a few AMA races. He was always doing it on his own. He was quick enough to be a top-15 AMA Superbike rider back when Nicky Hayden
and Ben Bostrom were in the class. He was into motorcycles and he got me into it. It's always been a family thing and we'd always go out to deserts on our dirt bikes together. When we realised that I liked riding we ended up buying some minibikes for me to ride and it started from there.
You spent a lot of your childhood riding on asphalt? Were you ever a dirt tracker when you were younger?
When I was four I got a PW50 and we took it out on the dirt a few times. Then when I turned five we went out to parking lots with cones. Here you have to be eight years old so when I was seven we lied that I was eight so we could ride on some tracks. I started racing then and I always raced on asphalt, I never raced a dirt bike or a flat track bike until I was 16.
I didn't really realise motorcycle racing was a big thing until I was twelve when we went to see my dad race in the AMA. I rode on the street because it was what my dad did and what the family did.
I have to offer some belated congratulations on your recent AMA Championship. Now that you've had two months to reflect on it has it sunk in?
Yeah. Winning the championship was really cool but to be honest I've been wanting to race in GPs since I was 14. So to get to go over there [Europe] was more of an accomplishment for me even though I've been trying to win the championship for a few years. That's what everyone dreams of more than winning in AMA.