Racer X: It’s an uphill start, in the sand, Ashley Fiolek is tiny, and still you got two holeshots. What was that about?
Jessica Patterson: I was super-pumped. It gave me a lot of confidence. I couldn’t believe it. I was just so stunned that I actually got the holeshot, because those were my first ones all year, and I was just so pumped with them. After that, I knew I could do it, and I knew that was my problem all year, getting off the start with her. She’s on a really good bike, and she’s so light, so it’s been tough. Now I’m on just as good of a bike and I can run with her.
Run away from her, as it turned out...
We haven’t talked since the X Games, but how much of a heartbreaker was that for you to lead that whole race and then lose it on the last lap like that?
Whatever, it is what it is. It sucks, for sure, but I did the same thing last year. Last time I crashed, this time I just kind of rode too tight. Really, they just kind of threw us in the race, and they’re like, “Okay, y’all are racing,” and they just threw us in before the guys. We were supposed to race after the guys! I was just like, “Okay!” I wasn’t even really ready for it, but we all had to do that, and it was a bummer, but I didn’t really take it too hard. It sucks, but whatever. At least I made it through a little bit, and the day before I had crashed and got a huge hematoma on my arm, and it was killing me the whole race. So after X Games I took like two and a half weeks off, and I just sort of trained but didn’t do much else, and I think it helped me a lot for this race.
Sometimes time off like that refreshes you in general because you’re not burying yourself trying to over train or whatever. So did you feel a little refreshed besides just getting your arm healthy?
Yeah, I did. We had a couple people staying back with us and training – people we all work with – and it’s been helping out a lot, being with the same kind of crew, doing our thing. I’ve just been hanging out and helping them practice, and then I just do the workouts, and it was fun to just do that, instead of being out there riding all the time. Once I came here and started riding, I had a lot more fun than just doing the same routine.
Late in the race, as tricky as the track was with all the ruts and stuff, were you getting nervous at all just trying not to fall?
Honestly, every time I’ve led this year I’ve been thinking of that, and it has screwed me every time, so I just pin it to the end now, and actually the white flag came out so much sooner when you don’t think about it, and it’s a lot easier that way, too, if you just ride the whole race like that. It made it a lot easier instead of throwing it away like I have been.
The championship seems more or less over at this point, right?
Pretty much. It’s pretty far. She’s got like a 41-point lead, and she only has to get a couple more and she’ll have it. Whatever, I just want to win these last few races, and hopefully I can get on a good team like this for next year.
Or exactly like this, maybe?
Or exactly! I would really like that, yeah!