Open Mic: Toronto

Open Mic: Toronto

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Interviews by Steve Matthes, Chase Stallo, and Jason Thomas

Davi Millsaps, Rockstar Energy Racing, 2nd in 450 SX

Nice ride tonight. Nice rebound. Led some laps. Really aggressive.
Yeah. Everyone keeps asking me what happened, but in all honestly and all reality you can’t miss a beat during the week and be able to ride that pace for 20 laps, let alone just ride the pace, and be comfortable doing it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get a full week of riding in, let alone just ride, period. So this past week was good and I’m pretty excited that there’s a two-week break coming up. Hopefully I can get back at it.

I thought RV rode really well, and so did you, but if you thought of one place where he maybe had you, was there something out there?
He limited the mistakes. He barely made any. I rode a little bit tight when he got up behind me. Then I rode a little bit tight as soon as he passed me. But as soon as I loosened up I felt like we stayed the same, and I was pushing. So if I could limit the mistakes I think it would have been definitely a better race, for sure. But I’m just glad to be back on the podium, be back in second, to charge the whole time. Hopefully it just gets better from here. – Steve Matthes

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"It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get a full week of riding in, let alone just ride, period." - Davi Millsaps
Simon Cudby photo

Chad Reed, TwoTwo Motorsports Honda, 4th in 450 SX

Race was good. It was so-so I guess. But finally got a good start, and really honestly didn’t know what to do with it. Felt like I rode just way too protective and rode tight. Finally about halfway I started riding into a bit of a rhythm. The track was tough, really tough. Slick, and hard, it was rutty. Had a bit of everything. Overall, honestly I’m happy. I sniffed the podium a little bit but just didn’t make it happen. So yeah, looking forward to getting my knee fixed on Tuesday and then just getting back 100 percent and coming back and trying to contend for the podium and race wins. – Jason Thomas

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"So yeah, looking forward to getting my knee fixed on Tuesday and then just getting back 100 percent and coming back and trying to contend for the podium and race wins." - Chad Reed
Simon Cudby photo

Jake Weimer, Monster Energy Kawasaki, 6th in 450 SX

You’re back! Good ride tonight. A couple crashes in practice, so I was thinking this was going to be tough. One good crash in practice, but a great main event I think.
Yeah, eh?

Good job, eh?
Right, eh?

Let’s talk about that crash in practice. You all right? It looked gnarly.
Nothing serious, I kind of hurt my ankle, but nothing to write home about. The whoops were the biggest that we’ve had and this dirt breaks down pretty good. I just tried to go faster than what I felt I had been going and I skipped one and dropped it and grabbed a handful of throttle. It was the only choice I had; it was either that or get a face full of the next whoop. Obviously it got away from me. It wasn’t terrible but it smashed my bike up pretty bad.

Let’s face it, things haven’t been going great for you. It’s hard to get back that edge that we talked about when you lose it [Weimer missed a few races with an injury]. But main event, a solid race.
It was definitely a step in the right direction. It is hard once you lose that edge or whatever you want to call it, get out of race mode. It’s hard to get back into it. But for my gate pic, I had a couple choices to go further inside with all the boys but in front of the gate was pretty bad, so I opted to go pretty far out, where the gate was better. I was a little bit nervous. But I made that work and got a really good start in the first turn. A couple guys got underneath me. Kind of did some shuffling around in the first lap and then Barcia passed me maybe five in or something. And then I just kind of tried to hang on to him. He got away a little bit but I was able to kind of pace him the whole race. And then Stewy stalled it and I got another spot. It was tough. I wouldn’t say the rhythms were hard but it gets rutty, obviously, and that makes them hard to do so I just tried to focus on doing them every time and I think I did a pretty good job. – Steve Matthes

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"It was definitely a step in the right direction." - Jake Weimer
Simon Cudby photo

Andrew Short, BTOSports.com KTM, 9th in 450 SX

I thought the night was all right - some good, some bad out of it.
Yeah, definitely some good things. I feel like I’m getting more comfortable on the KTM and I was actually able to race tonight. Especially in my heat race I had a few bad opening laps and rebounded with four really strong laps. I passed Tickle back at the end. The previous weeks I felt like I was in survival mode where now I feel like I’m actually racing. And the main event was decent; I was 9th overall. But not the best starts, but mixed it up with a few guys and need to work on a few aspects here and there. But overall I think I’m making improvements week in, week out. – Steve Matthes

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"But overall I think I’m making improvements week in, week out." - Andrew Short
Simon Cudby photo

Matt Goerke, BTOSports.com KTM, 10th in 450SX

Not your typical good start but seemed like you rode pretty solid, just kind of stuck back there at the beginning. How did you feel out there?
Beginning, yeah, it was rough, battling with all them guys in the back when I had a bad start. Made some stupid mistakes and decisions, but once I got going, it felt good. I was pushing to catch that group that was in the top ten. I caught them guys and I got by Brayton to get 10th. So I was pumped with that. I felt good. It was sketchy out there.

The track got really rough by the end of the main event and it was really, really easy to make mistakes. Obviously you’ve had some better finishes than 10th but if you didn’t have maybe your best night, 10th is good, right?
Yeah. I’m pumped I still got in the top ten, which is good. I wanted to beat Tickle to pass him in points, but still not far behind. So hopefully I’ll do it next race. I felt like I rode good and I stayed up on that rough track, caught those guys. – Jason Thomas

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"Yeah. I’m pumped I still got in the top ten, which is good."
Simon Cudby photo

Gavin Faith, Smartop/MotoConcepts, 7th in 250 SX

Okay, 7th, 8th?
Eighth, but then I think somebody got docked so I think I got seventh.

It looked to me for the most part the main event you kind of rode around by yourself a little bit. Wasn’t able to catch the guys ahead of you but you pulled away from the dudes behind you.
Yeah, off the start I was seventh or eighth and I actually landed right on Hill. I can’t believe I didn’t go down. Hopefully he’s all right. I frame-cased his body, so it was pretty ugly.

Did he like single and you doubled from the outside?
He came across the track and he was going down, coming across the track and I landed on him. I can’t believe I rode away from that. And Thompson hit neutral right before the double before the triple so I had to roll that, and then just double the triple. And by that time I was about in 13th. Just some bad breaks in the first lap. I felt like I rode really good. I was catching those guys for a little bit, I think. I just didn’t have enough time and those guys were riding good, so, settled for 7th. – Steve Matthes

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"Yeah, off the start I was seventh or eighth and I actually landed right on Hill. I can’t believe I didn’t go down. Hopefully he’s all right." - Gavin Faith
Simon Cudby photo

Les Smith, Witt’s End Racing/Bubba Burger KTM, 19th in 450 SX

It wasn’t the way I wanted to get into the main, through the LCQ, but sometimes you got to do it. I actually had one of my better main events of the year going. I was moving forward and then Peick just kind of went down in the corner. He didn’t go down until I was in the air tripling into the corner, so I really had nowhere to go. I locked the brakes up right when I landed and just washed the front wheel. It just so happened the way our bikes stuck together, they were stuck and we couldn’t get them apart. I think I collected a couple more guys. But it was nothing dirty, nobody’s fault. Just a tangle up. – Jason Thomas

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"I actually had one of my better main events of the year going. I was moving forward and then Peick just kind of went down in the corner." - Les Smith
Simon Cudby photo

Vince Friese, Slaton/TUF Racing, 5th in 250SX

First of all, crazy ending. Take us through the night.
It was wild, a wild ending to the race. But it was a solid night. I qualified fourth, second in my heat race, and then I ran fifth for most of the Main Event. I thought it was my buddy Jimmy Decotis and I know he wasn’t going to get dirty with me there at the end. I thought that’s who was behind me the whole race, pushing me. We were actually catching up to Wharton and 77 there at the end. We were catching up to them a little bit and then I guess Thompson got around Jimmy somewhere with a couple laps ago, and I happened to look back on the last straightaway to make sure it was Jimmy so I could go wide in the turn before the finish. I realized it wasn’t Jimmy so I kind of cut sharp on that last turn and kind of left no room on the inside. Thompson like came up the opposite way of the track, going the wrong way, slammed me. We locked bars going up the face of the jump. I just held it wide open and dumped the clutch and ghost rode right up the face of the jump. They gave me fifth, so I’m happy with it.

Did you talk to the AMA at all? Initially they had given fifth to Thompson…
Yeah, right after I was like, “Hey, man, that wasn’t very cool with the way that you did that.” I think we crossed the finish line pretty much the same time, anyway. I think they made the right decision. It was a wild finish. It was kind of cool.

So other than that, the fifth, it’s your first top five this season. That’s got to be a good building block going forward.
Yeah, it’s my first top five and I’m happy for it. It was actually a solid ride. Like I said, Jimmy Decoits got on the back of me for a minute and he was pushing me really hard. He was jumping a rhythm that I wasn’t and it was pushing me to ride harder on the rest of the track. We were actually catching up to Wharton and them. So it was a good night and I was happy with the way we rode.

You actually had a really good battle with Jeremy Martin and then he got around you. But you battled back at the end. Does that kind of give you some momentum knowing that you can dig deep at the end?
Definitely. That helped me out a lot, my confidence and everything like that. And on top of that, last week was a race where I really feel like I should have had a podium. That was kind of a podium handed me on a silver platter. I should have been able to catch those guys like Catanzaro and a couple guys in front of me. I hate to make excuses but I had bronchitis last week and I just couldn’t breathe. I was like having a cough attack during the Main Event. I was kind of happy last week just to salvage a 6th. This week I think I was getting over being sick still and feeling better, so I was happy with the way I rode. Got a couple weeks off to train and hopefully I’ll come back stronger.

It looks like your leg got tangled in his bike at the finish. Your leg okay?
I got smoked out a little bit. I got a tire burn on there, so it doesn’t feel too good. But it’s nothing big. – Chase Stallo

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"It was wild, a wild ending to the race. But it was a solid night." - Vince Friese
Simon Cudby photo

Jimmy Decotis, High Octane H-D, 7th in 250SX

Great start to the main event, and although you went down early, you looked good out there.
I’ve been riding good all this year, it’s just been some tough breaks and little get-offs and little stupid stuff that’s kind of held me back. But I don’t know, man, I’m happy with it. I think I struggled a little bit on my suspension in the Main and didn’t set it up for what it was going to be and how chewed up it got. But overall it was a good day and I’m just pumped that I continued to get up after I crashed. I didn’t give up and just kept on going to the end. Even though it was a 7th and not what I wanted it was still good and I’m pretty happy with it. Overall it was a solid night.

After a year off of racing, now that we’re six rounds in, do you feel like you’re getting your racing form back?
Yeah, I think I am. I think it’s coming now with every week that goes by, even my practice times, to my heats, to my mains… Every time I’m out there I feel like I’m getting better and getting better. Like you said, it’s just going to take time with being off the bike for so long and not being at that race pace.

There is an off-week coming up. What do you have planned? Outdoor testing, supercross testing?
I don’t know; I’m probably going to focus on Supercross right. I’m going to Mass tomorrow night and stay at home, hang out with the family for a few days, then I’m going to head back down to SOB, South of the Border, and then head out to Texas and stay there for the week and get ready again. – Chase Stallo

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"I’ve been riding good all this year, it’s just been some tough breaks and little get-offs and little stupid stuff that’s kind of held me back." - Jimmy Decotis
Simon Cudby photo

Jackson Richardson, 9th in 250SX

Take me through the night. Top ten. Good ride.
Yeah. It was real awesome. That was one of our biggest goals was to try top ten. Tonight we were lucky enough to pull it off. It was real exciting. Just the feeling of when I finished I was just like, wow, I’ve done it. Because not many Aussies have been able to pull it off, especially at my age coming over here. It was definitely a big personal achievement to me. I’m real happy with it. – Chase Stallo

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"That was one of our biggest goals was to try top ten. Tonight we were lucky enough to pull it off." - Jackson Richardson
Simon Cudby photo

AJ Catanzaro, 12th in 250SX

Had to go through the LCQ which is usually a little stressful, but you got in. Take us through the night.
Practice started out really well. Second practice I just started tightening up. I don’t know what it was. It was almost like I was riding a different track. Struggled in the heat race, bad start. I got through the LCQ, which is not what I want to do. Then in the main I was running top ten for nine or ten laps. It was just forced. Everything was not smooth and it was tiring me out. I was making a lot of work for myself when I shouldn’t have. At least I was in the Main and I ran up there for a good bit. But that’s definitely not where I want to be.

And you were actually on the Jumbotron probably just as much as anybody else. I think you were up there four times.
[Laughs] Yeah, they yanked me up there before the LCQ. I won the LCQ, I’m back up there. My buddy Rob, just coming to help out, not even a mechanic, wins the Top Tech Award so I’m back up there again. So at least I got a little action tonight. – Chase Stallo

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"Second practice I just started tightening up. I don’t know what it was. It was almost like I was riding a different track." - AJ Catanzaro
Simon Cudby photo

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