Jarryd McNeil shoots for gold in 2012

TNT Photography

With a load of new sponsors and an interest in X Games gold, Jarryd McNeil is back for 2012 with a renewed focus.

Jarryd McNeil whipped his way into North America in 2010, taking home a silver medal in his very first X Games appearance behind three-time X Games gold medalist Todd Potter. Proving it was no fluke, Jarryd backed that up with a bronze in 2011. Could this finally be the year that the young Aussie ripper gets a gold medal and maybe even makes some noise in the Speed & Style event in Los Angeles? ESPN caught up with "Jazza" to see how 2012 has treated him thus far and what's on tap for the summer.

ESPN.com: Jarryd, how has 2012 been treating you?
McNeil: 2012 has been awesome so far. I came back home to Australia and have been very fortunate. My parents moved while I was in the U.S., so I had to find somewhere to build a new compound. A family I met through friends have let me build my compound on their land. My dad's boss let me use his Bobcat to build it. Everyone has been jumping on board trying to do whatever they can to help out. I also have some big things coming out soon with some of my sponsors.

We see that you have officially launched www.jarrydmcneil.com, how has the response been?
Yeah man, I am very excited about it, my girlfriend made it for me. She is still learning how to do it so there will be a lot more "coming soon" to a computer near you. And the number have been going good so far. The first day I posted about it on Facebook/Twitter I had 670 views.

By the looks of your schedule, you seem like you are going to spend the majority of the year on the Nitro Circus tour. But how much time do you plan to spend in the U.S.?
I'll spend a month on Nitro Circus Tour for Australia and then hopefully I will be on the European tour. Then I am planning on spending June through November in the U.S. I've got X Games, Dew Tour, and a bunch of shows lined up with Cowboy Kenny Bartram's Steel Rodeo. I am going to be busy.

Speaking of X Games, you haven't won Best Whip yet. What is it going to take to get that top spot?
Practicing and trying new things. Hopefully this year it will become a judged event.

TNT Photography

Jarryd McNeil at a recent FMX demo in Australia.

You have a certain style to your whip that is fun to watch, which one of your competitor's whip do you like to watch?
Man, everyone is killing it these days, but I like watching Thomas Pages. He has a good style.

You're pretty fast, why haven't your ever thrown your hat into the Speed & Style events?
I won the Red Bull X-Ray Speed & Style in 2009. I'm hoping to get into to it at X Games this year. I definitely feel like I have the speed and the tricks to be a contender in that event.

Are there any plans of you ever trying to professionally race again?
I probably won't race again professionally like I used to. I don't want to take it that serious again. But I do love racing, so I've been doing a couple here and there just for fun. I am hoping to use my racing background as leverage to get into Speed & Style this year.

You have obviously spent a fair bit of time in Southern California. Where is your favorite spot to ride?
First of all, everywhere in Southern California is fun to ride, but if I had to pick three, I would have to say my friends Kyle's house in Temecula, Jimmy Fitzpatrick's compound, and Pala Raceway are my favorite places to ride.

I seen a few pictures of you recently and you had a few changes to your bike and gear set up, who is helping you out in 2012?
Yeah I have some great sponsors on board for this year. They are We All Ride Clothing, Freegun Underwear, Gatorz, Alpinestars, Kali Protectives, DVS, Pro Taper, Motul, Fist Handwear, DT1 Filters, Dunlop, MX Ink, Canberra Motorcycle Centre, Choice Suspension, Pala Raceway, Ogio, and Pro Circuit.

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