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and they from me, at least I hope so. DI: This astonishing career of yours, what do you get the most out of it? What’s the big thrill for you right now? Mitch Payton sits in front of the impressive array of championship winning machines at the Pro Circuit headquarters. Mitch opened up to us about his business, the riders he’s sponsored and helped, and why his race performance shop has been successful. to bar all race and be friends afterward. “ DI: Any of these guys change your outlook on racing and racers? Mitch: Christopher Pourcel, who was super talented, and even Nathan Ramsey were riders that had me take a harder look at how I treated riders. Nathan was a kid who taught me a lot when he rode for me. I was hard on everybody and he made me change my approach to that because he wouldn’t listen to me. He was able to go from bike to bike, ride almost any‑ thing and do it for hours. I learned a lot from these guys DIRT ILLustrated \\\\\\ Vol. 1 + Issue 4 + Page 76 Mitch: I think it was when we first started. We were already stepping up in 1989. We did all Honda’s factory 125 en‑ gines for them and pipes. We were kind of into the groove of being at the Nationals, or helping really good guys go fast. That was when they asked us if we wanted to run the race team ourselves? I thought, I don’t know, it’s kind of scary. DI: Who was the first com- pany to ask you to run their race team? Mitch: Yamaha in 1989, they asked me if I wanted the fac‑ tory team back then? I was scared of it. So I didn’t take it. Though it was a 250 class program, it was a premier