MotoAmerica’s first Twins Cup Champion Chris Parrish did everything he could to defend his 2018 title, but the Hermitage, Tennessee-based rider came up a little short, finishing fourth in the final standings. Traditionally a Suzuki SV650 rider, and a guru when it comes to extracting maximum performance from the S-brand’s middleweight V-twin, Parrish even switched to a Yamaha MT-07 for the final two rounds of the season. It was a surprising “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” move, but that just proves how serious Parrish is about his racing and how badly he wants to win. Here are the tousled-haired Tennessean’s answers to “The Friday Five”:

1. Over the past two years, you’ve visited a lot of places on your way to each MotoAmerica round. What’s the favorite place you’ve visited?

On the Arizona-California state line, around exit one, there is a bar and restaurant with a swimming pool called “Topock66.” We were driving down Route 40, and it was 118 degrees outside. The van was getting warm, and we saw the place just off the highway. It’s got a swimming pool and it’s right on the Colorado River. Really fun place to hang out. We plan on going back there over the winter when we go out West to do some racing at Chuckwalla.

2. What do you like best about racing in the Twins Cup class?

We’ve always done club racing through all these years, and coming to the Twins Cup, you really have to know how important things are like tire pressures, suspension setup, and being on time. In club racing, you’re there to have fun, but in MotoAmerica Twins Cup, it’s fun, too, but it also means a lot more.

3. Name one thing that the Suzuki SV650 does better than the Yamaha MT-07 and one thing that the Yamaha MT-07 does better than the Suzuki SV650.

They both have their strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the Suzuki is that it’s really developed, it handles better, and it’s easier to ride. The strength of the Yamaha is that it has great power and straight-line speed. It’s a newer bike, so it still needs to be developed, but it’s got a lot of potential.

Parrish (right) with his crew chief Travis Richards (left) and his girlfriend and better half Beth Braun (center). Photo by Brian J. Nelson

4. Are you a lover or a fighter?

(laughs) I think I’m more of a fighter. My girlfriend Beth would definitely agree.

5. When was the last time you combed your hair?

(laughs again) I never run a comb through it unless I’m told to. Probably, the last time I got a haircut, they combed it, but I didn’t.

Bonus Question: People often have to make a choice between “brains” and “brawn,” but your team has both “brains” AND “Braun.” How much of an advantage is that for you?

(laughs even more) I’m assuming you’re talking about the same person. How do I even quantify that? There are so many good things about her. Her cool and calm demeanor. She’s level-headed and definitely the brains of our operation. She’s, for sure, the Braun with all the brains.

(Editor’s Note: Parrish’s girlfriend Beth Braun is clearly a vital part of Chris Parrish’s Ghetto Customs team.)