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5 Minutes With... Davi Millsaps

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Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps has had a tough year in 2009. After winning race in 2008, he’s struggled even to get up onto the podium in 2009. However, in Seattle, he got that boat righted and stood up on the box for the first time since Daytona.

Racer X: So where have you been?
Davi Millsaps: What do you mean, “Where have I been?”

Where have you been? How many weeks has it been since you’ve been on the podium?
A while – Daytona.

So, where have you been? What’s going on?
I don’t know, man. It’s been a tough season, but I’m trying to end it pretty good. I don’t know, I got this new tattoo on my arm last week that says, “Live, Laugh, Love” and those are the three main things that I really do live by. I wasn’t living by them for a while, and I really wasn’t having fun. I wasn’t loving it. I just wasn’t doing anything, you know? Finally, me and my agent and my trainer and my fiancé and my mechanic, and they were just like, “You know, why don’t you just give it your all? Why don’t you just give 110 percent and just try your best and see what you can do? What will it hurt?” So that’s what I’ve been doing.

Did the weekend off help you recharge?
Well, I was really sick the week off. Even the week before Jacksonville. It took me all the way until Easter to get over it, and even today I still have a cough going on. The week off really did help, it just helped motivate me more. Right now, I feel like I did in ’08, and I hope I can keep this roll going and do something in the outdoors.

What about the track tonight?
It wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I didn’t try pushing it that hard. Don’t get me wrong, I pushed it, but I just tried to ride consistent and smooth. I figured, on this track, smoother is faster, and I didn’t want to push harder than that just because I didn’t want to go down and miss a podium spot. I almost went down a bunch of times anyway. I just backed her off and kept a steady pace, and it worked for me.

When James Stewart passed you late in the race, it looked like you started gaining on him again. Talk about that.
I don’t know. I think James bent his clutch lever and couldn’t really use it, but it was a confidence-booster just to be up there with him. I know he caught me from way back, but he’s pretty good at this loamy and rutted stuff, and I’m just pumped to be there.

He’s pretty good at a lot of conditions.
He’s good at everything he gets on, that’s right.

In the past, you were getting arm-pump. Did you get any of that tonight?
No, I didn’t get tired at all, and I didn’t get arm-pump at all, I just rode my own race. I rode consistent. I haven’t seen my laptimes, but I probably dropped off a little bit because the track deteriorated, but I wasn’t pushing so hard that I might go down or anything like that. I just tried to keep on the podium.

Does this change your outlook for the last couple of rounds?
Yeah, it definitely raises my confidence, but I’m trying to be mentally strong, and I’ve been trying to be the whole season, but it just hasn’t been working. But I just told myself that I have to do it. I know I can, and that’s what I have to do. Honestly, dude, I’m just trying to go out there and do my best.

Was it burnout that you were having? Is that what was going on?
No, it wasn’t really that, it was just that we have a new bike, and it’s really good now, and we were struggling with it – at least I have – and Honda and I have been working really, really hard to get it to where it was comfortable for me to go fast. It’s really coming around. I’m really impressed on the new bike, and I’m really impressed with how hard they worked to get it to where we want it.

Now you’ve got the outdoors to look forward to.
Yeah, that’s right.

You’ve been good outdoors before...
I’m hoping to be good now. I know I can be good, and I know I can have a chance at the championship, and hopefully I can go out there and jackhammer the competition.
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