After winning his heat race over a hard-charging Grant Langston at Anaheim this weekend, Davi Millsaps struggled to a 19th-place finish in the main event. Despite the poor result, which was due to Gastritis, Millsaps has shown excellent speed and stamina early in the season, and it’s only a matter of time before things go his way. We spoke with him on the morning of the retro-themed Anaheim Supercross.
Racer X: Davi, what’s your take on the retro track down there?
Davi Millsaps: That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a track like that. Let’s put it that way.
Davi Millsaps at Anaheim 2
There’s walls, literally, on the track. It was like they took a concrete wall and just set it there.
Davi Millsaps at Anaheim 2
As far as the jumps?
Yeah, they were just really steep. I don’t know.… I think they went a little overboard on the steepness of stuff.
How will it be to ride on?
It’ll be strange and fun. But then again, it probably will not be very fun to ride on.
You weren’t even born when the season-opening Anaheim Supercross was run on January 18, 1986. Are you familiar with any of the old-school tracks from back in the day?
No. I watched this race on a DVD, though, and from what I saw on that DVD, I didn’t expect this track to be so steep.
So you didn’t expect tonight’s track to be so retro, huh?
No, not at all.
The first Anaheim race in 2008 was all rainy and crappy. You placed seventh overall, and I read somewhere you were pretty happy with the result. True?
It was definitely good. It was my first Anaheim race ever. It wasn’t best, but it was muddy and it could have been a lot worse, so yeah, I was happy to take seventh, for sure.
Even through the organizers had the track covered in the days leading up to the race and it didn’t rain at all on Saturday, were you surprised the track was still as muddy as it was?
Yeah, I was surprised it was that muddy and rutted. I think it would have been a little better if they would have taken the tarp off of it way earlier and started working on it. I guess it was what it was.
Can you tell us about Phoenix? Your heat race went real well, as you ended up third behind James Stewart and Grant Langston.
I got a decent start and just ended up third. I rode really well in that heat race. About halfway, I started picking it up and started going really good. In the main, I started good for the first couple of laps, but then a Tuff Block ended up in the middle of the track and I landed on it and ended up 14th.
Yeah, because I’ve worked so hard and I’ve been training really hard and riding really good and stuff like that. And then, you know, when you get a weekend like that and it’s not really your fault and someone ruins your night, it kind of sucks because you know that you could have been up there.
How do you think you would have done if things went your way?
It’s hard to say, but in my mind, I think I could have podiumed. I mean, I was fifth and then I went to last. I think I could have gotten on the podium. It wouldn’t have been easy, but it would have been a fight for third.
How do you feel right now as far as your riding and conditioning? Do you have all the boxes checked off and do you feel 100 percent about everything?
Yeah, yeah. I feel really good about everything I’ve been doing and the way I feel on the bike and just my fitness and stuff like that. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. It’s a long season, and it’s not just one race.
Can you bounce back from last Saturday’s bad result? Can you bounce back from that okay?
Yeah, I’ve finished 14th before. It’s not the first time [laughs].
Even though we’re only a few races in, can you already get a strong read on who is where on speed right now?
Yeah, it’s set every year. Normally, it’s a fight for third, for sure. I just want to get up there and run with those guys, even if it’s just for a couple laps. I just want to be able to challenge them for a couple of laps. I just want to podium. That’s my goal. I know I can run with them. I just want to challenge Stewart and Reed at least for a couple laps, like I said. Even if it means two laps or three laps, whatever, if I end up in third or whatever, I just want to be able to run up there. I don’t know. Guess we’ll find out.
You’ve been working closely with your trainer John Louch for a while now. Do you feel like you’ve made vast improvements in your training and mental preparation?
Yeah, for sure. Especially since I’ve been out here. We’ve been working really hard and he’s pretty much kicked my butt this whole time. It’s good. It’s good for the mental state too, because when you know you’re in good shape, you know you can do it and that helps a lot. For now on, it’s just going to keep going up as far as my training and stuff like that. I’m really looking forward to it and looking forward to the rest of the year.
What are you looking for tonight?
I feel real good. I just want to go out there and do the best that I can and whatever that is, it is what it is. My goal is to podium, for sure. But you have to take what you can get. If I ride the best that I can ride tonight and it ends up being third or first or second, if that’s the best I can do, then that’s best that I can do.
How have thing been between Short, Townley, Tedesco and yourself? Is everything pretty cool?
Well, I’ve been over here in the bus now, so I’ve been kind of distant. But we talk and everything and we’re cool. There’s not too much friction over there. I think it helps me being over here, but everything is cool over there, for sure.
I’m just going to go with the flow, man. However I do every weekend is how I do. I’m going to try my best every weekend and nothing less, and whatever it comes out to be is what it comes out to be.
If things go your way, can you win one of these things?
That’s what I have in my head. I’m not here to finish third, I’m here to win. But if it happens, it happens. I know what I have to do to win and it’s just going to take some time. I just need to keep training the way I’m training and keep riding the way I’ve been riding, like I have at the test track. I need to just keep pushing myself and eventually I think I can win one, yeah.