But it’s good for you, don’t you think?
Yeah, I’m just riding the best I can.
I got photos of you in the heat race going through the first turn there in a full powerslide with both feet up like it’s no big deal.
Yeah, it’s pretty funny, but I don’t really like it.
But you have such great throttle control that it seems like you’d really like this slick stuff...
I like it riding it, but you can crash any time, so I don’t like doing this too much.
When you were leading that main event, you honestly looked like you were going slow...
I pretty much was. I’ll give you a reason for that, though: I knew the best guys were behind me, and I knew I had five or six seconds of a lead, and I felt good, but the track was getting tacky in some spots, and some ruts, and some slippery parts – the track was tricky and confusing – so I just relaxed and rode smooth. I remembered what Mitch Payton always says: “Hey, you don’t have to win by 20 seconds, all you have to do is win by one second. A win is a win either way.”
Yeah, you get the same amount of points and the same bonus check either way...
Yeah, it doesn’t matter. It’s a win either way.
How weird was it to have to ride with the number one instead of your normal 377?
I rode with the number one in Las Vegas last year, and when I checked the board in practice, or even in the race, I couldn’t see my number, and I was always like, “Where am I? Why am I not on the board?!” But it was because I was number one. So, when I wear that number, it messes with me. I’m really 377 all the time. Even when I sign something, I sign it, “377.”
Even on your number-one posters?
Yeah, everywhere, because I’m not going to stay the number one forever, but 377 is good.
You said in your other interview that we ran on Saturday that you only had like a few days on the bike since you came back from breaking your collarbone...
Yeah, like a week or something like that. I rode like four times.
How long were you off the bike? A month?
Yeah, four or five weeks, because it was broken bad.
Did it feel okay right when you came back?
Yeah, I worked a lot on my fitness, and went to the swimming pool a lot, rode my jet ski... No, I’m just kidding on that last part. I can’t do that right now because it’s way too cold. But I did my bicycle training and I was ready to go. I think 15 laps isn’t a big deal.
Yeah, it’s like 13 minutes or something...
Something like that, and my track, I can do like 20 minutes, so it’s a lot longer. So I was just ready to go and it wasn’t a big deal to do 15 laps at my best. So, the next question from you is how can I ride so smooth and go so fast, right? That’s what you want to know now? (Laughs)
I already asked about that, basically, but yeah. Landing on the start straightaway, you would just ride up to the first turn looking like half throttle, and everyone else is landing wide open and spinning their tires. And you’re pulling away.
I know, but I didn’t really like the track at all today. I’m just hoping and waiting for a better track next weekend. I talked to Ryan Villopoto and he told me, “Hey, this is the worst track of the year.” I’m like, “I know!” So, when I was in first, I just slowed down and tried to stay smooth so that I wouldn’t crash or do something stupid.