The man behind 'The Moto'
"The Moto: Inside The Outdoors" just started its fourth and likely its best season yet. The Fuel TV show follows a handful of motocross guys through the AMA outdoor series highlighting the ups and downs and the conflicts and struggles that so many racers go through. It shines a light on what it takes for Ryan Dungey to do everything he can to be a 450 championship rider and on the all-out summer long battle in the 250 class that had Blake Bagget taking his first 250 outdoor motocross championship.
For Troy Adamitis, creator and executive producer, this show is about showing the truth about motocross, what it takes to compete and what these athletes go through on and off the bike to be top-caliber riders. By telling their stories he hopes to have motocross grab the audience's attention and ultimately help the sport he loves grow.
The first couple of episodes should do just that. The riders have invited everyone in to see who they really are and what struggles they might be facing in their everyday life. If you are a fan you have probably heard about this show, but if you haven't or you're a non-moto fan coming across this for the first time you should check out "The Moto" at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT Mondays on Fuel TV. This show is one of a kind and as real as it's going to get.
ESPN.com: I had heard that the show was canceled and then midway through the outdoors it was picked back up.
Adamitis: Yeah, it was probably a month before the season started and we had our deal set for a fourth season, we were gearing up, getting ready for that when we found out that Fox Networks put a freeze on all new programing. They made a big investment into the UFC. They said they really like the show but could not pay for it.
I sat around for a couple days thinking about how we can make this still happen because I really wanted to do the show. And so we just decided we were going to do it on our own and find a new network. I had to get out the credit cards and put my own money into it.
We started out shooting it on a really low budget, committing to six episodes, which is what I could really only afford to do on my own. All the while I was doing that I kept in contact with Fuel TV hoping there was still a way to make it happen. They said if we would pay for the show they would give us the airtime.
I thought it was a great opportunity, but it meant I had to find a sponsor. We tried for months and didn't get much interest until I finally got ahold of Oakley. They were open to it, saw a benefit in it and wanted to be a partner. I'm so happy they came on board and believed in us and really understood what the show was all about. I have to hand it to Oakley for letting us do this. If you're looking for some goggles, buy Oakley's because they support the sport [laughs].
So that's cool Oakley really made it possible for you to fund the show without taking a loss out of your own pocket.
Right. We would've made the show no matter what but Oakley definitely made it possible for us to recoup our expenses. I was able to sleep a little easier knowing that I had them as a partner.
Well, I know everyone is pumped on you doing the show, we all watch it religiously.
Yeah, I honestly think one of the main ways to make a niche sport like motocross grow is to tell a good story about the conflict and struggles of what it took for these guys to get there. And not only that, you have to show the side that once you get there it's not all perfect and rosy.
Every one of those guys have to fight every day for sponsors, contracts, finances, and of course their own physical and mental fitness. Anyone that goes out there should be applauded even if they're getting 20th. Not only because they're riding against the best in the world but because they've made a huge commitment with their families a very long time ago.
We still need to tell their stories even though they may not be finishing on the podium every time. I'm hoping that when potential sponsors see the show, they're going to want to invest more, care more and watch more. We feel like it was our mission to show the good, the bad, the ugly, the conflicts, and glories so that the non-motocross fan can respect what these guys do.
I don't think we could make this show important by only showing how fast these guys can go around the track. It will probably not be enough to make people invest their time in it. I think it's important to show their issues and struggles so parents and families can identify with it.
Hopefully when they watch the show they will gain some interest. Maybe when Anaheim 1 comes around, they'll want to know what's happened to Nico Izzi. Or did Tommy Hahn get a contract? Or is Kyle Chisholm on a new team? I think that those kinds of things, even though they're small, help people take notice.
I agree. And I think also to the biggest misconception is that motocross isn't that hard. You have a throttle to make it go, how hard can that be to ride a bike? But the fact of the matter is it's hard, and life off the bike is just as equally hard.
We've done the best we could so far to show physically what these guys go through, but it's very hard to communicate that on the screen. The guy puts his helmet on and goes around the track, it's hard to see what's going on, it's hard to appreciate what the rider is doing as far as throttle control, breaking into turns, line selection, etc.
There's so much detail that the non-motocross fan needs to be aware of, that once that gate drops it's hard for the average TV watcher to appreciate what's needed to win a race.
Some people say motocross is right up there with soccer as far as its physical demands, but exactly how can we show that? We are going to try and figure out how to get better at that.
How many episodes will this season be?
Well, we were scheduled to do 15, there are 12 rounds and we were going to do a pre-show, a post-show and a specialty shows. Everything was looking really good right before they decided to pull the plug. We went with only six episodes because this show is very expensive to get the right shooters, go to all the different riders' houses which are all over the country, and go to every single race.
The way we made it work was instead of taking four camera guys to all the races, only two went and we used the rest of the money to visit the guys during the week and get the stories of their everyday lives.
You cover some pretty heavy real life issues these riders are facing in the first couple of episodes. What was it like to hear and see what these guys really had going on in their life off the bike?
You know, I think there are some riders we have a certain level of trust with. They get to see the edits before it goes out to TV. It's the rider's story ultimately, they get the final approval.
And when I sat down to interview guys like Tommy Hahn, Josh Grant [and] Kyle Chisholm I said I wanted their real story. Sometimes I would do an interview and then the cameras would turn off and the rider would say, "Now you want to know the real story of what's going on?"
It started to bother me a bit that they wanted to tell the real story but were afraid of the backlash. I always felt that people will respect them more if they knew what's really going on.
You take Josh Grant, for example, he had an opportunity to race at Honda a few years ago and he had a terrible year. Well, what was going on? People thought that he just wasn't trying, that he was blowing his opportunity which made him an easy target to go after. What was going on was that he found out that his finances, [which were] being handled by someone he trusted, had been cleaned out. He didn't even know what was going on, just one day he finds out that everything is gone. And let's be honest if that happened to me I wouldn't be out on the starting line I'd be curled up in a ball not knowing what to do with my life.
So I do believe that though it may be embarrassing, it shows vulnerability and exposes Josh's real story, which is powerful for the audience to see because it creates a connection to him.
What does the rest of the season hold that we can look forward too?
Yeah, not all of the shows this year will be about struggles and conflicts. We're going to do a show [about] the 250 guys. There is a handful of guys that were going at it battling all summer long. We're going to get to know them a little better. And there won't be much struggles there, really these are young kids who just want to go out and race. So that show is going to be a lot different.
We're going to do a show on Ryan Dungey, he's doing everything you need to do to be a champion in this sport. It's been hard to find a lot of conflict or struggle with someone like him because he does almost everything the right way, which is actually a great story of discipline and self motivation.
We're not solely going after dark subjects this year, we're just going after the truth. I've been in motocross racing for about 12 years now and I want to see it prosper. I want the best days of the sport to be now. I feel like it's our responsibility to tell interesting stories to help make the sport that I love become more popular.