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5 Minutes With... Davi Millsaps

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After struggling all year, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps came through at Anaheim III with his first podium of the year – and it was a hard-fought one at that, where he had to fight off his teammate, as well as fight the ever-changing track conditions. With all of the testing he’s done, we may see Millsaps up front a lot more often now.

  • Davi Millsaps got his first podium of the year at Anaheim III.
Racer X: So who kicked you in the pants in the last week?
Davi Millsaps: No one.

How come you’re faster all of a sudden?
I’m not.

Yes you are!
(Laughs) No, we did a lot of work to the bike in the last couple of weeks. Even in San Fran, I was going a lot faster than I was in the previous weeks. We did a lot of work – Honda, my mechanic and I – and we’ve just been trying really hard to get the bike right for me, and to get comfortable on it, and the bike’s awesome now. It feels really good, and I’m glad to be on it.

It’s probably not an easy transition to come from a little bit bigger bike to a smaller one, and you’re not a small guy... Was it a little tough to figure out?
Yeah, it was really tough until a couple weeks ago, and then once we made those changes, my times dropped a lot, and I adapted to things a lot quicker. The Honda team’s behind me, and so is my mechanic, and they keep pushing for things because they know what I can do, and I’m just glad to have people like that behind me.

I saw you laughing after Terry Boyd asked your mechanic a question on the podium because he just started thanking everyone...
(Laughs) He’s a good guy, man. He loves to thank people, and I hope he uses that money [from the MMI Top Tech Award] to pay for my birthday present next week...

Yeah, because you’re broke, so you don’t have enough money... You have to go to your broke mechanic and make him buy you stuff...
(Laughs) I’m just kidding, obviously. He needs that money, and I’m glad that he won it.

What was it like to be battling with your teammate, Ivan Tedesco, out there?
It’s fun, because I know he’s not going to ruin me, and he knows I’m not going to ruin him, but bumping bars and stuffing each other, that’s all part of racing, and that’s what we happened to do the last three corners. It was fun. I talked to him after the main and said, “Hey, man, I really couldn’t stop in a lot of corners because I had pretty bad arm-pump because I was so nervous,” and he goes, “Dude, no worries.” I’m pretty pumped. He’s an awesome teammate, and it was fun to race with him.

But if he’d have taken you out, you wouldn’t have been so pumped...
I don’t think he would’ve done that.

It can happen. Remember your two teammates at the U.S. Open?
It wasn’t his fault.

I know, but him and your other teammate got into it...
But Brayton ran into the back of him. You can stir all you want, I’m not going to say anything.

When the rain came down in the middle of the main event, what did you think of the dirt?
It was gnarly slippery. It was pretty gnarly. I was being really careful.

James, through those whoops over there, started skating sideways and stuff. Were you doing the same thing?
No, I had a lapper in front of me that wouldn’t let me skim them.

Which is how Tedesco caught you...
Yeah.

Did you have any moments out there?
What’s a moment?

You know, like a pucker moment, where you almost crashed...
Yeah, a lot! I can’t just name one.

I’m just wondering if that contributed to the arm-pump or something.
No, no, I was just nervous from being in the front. It’s the first time in a long time, and I was a little nervous.

Last year, you started out a little slow, too, and then you ended up winning some races by the end of the year, so is this just turning into your M.O. now?
I don’t know. We’ll see, I guess.

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