Broc Tickle, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, 2-2 for 2nd overall in 450 class
You know, today was weird. I mean, it was just a different day and hopefully I can keep having these days. The first moto, obviously, I got a good start and just tried to ride my best and tried to ride solid laps every lap. I was kind of frustrated, honestly, with the way I rode. I felt like I was riding kind of tight, I thought. So I tried to change my lines up for the second moto and, obviously, getting a good start again and I did it. I thought I rode a lot better in the second moto. I was loose. I’m pumped to be up here. I’ve been working hard all year and it hasn’t showed yet. But today, it’s paid off for me.
Ken Roczen, Red Bull KTM, 3-2 for 2nd overall in 250 class
I think the last thing you have to do is stress out about this—I’m still up on the podium every week, and I didn’t lose that many points to Blake [Baggett]. We’re not even halfway through, so I’m kind of happy we’re going into the break now. There are some things we will change to make the bike better, but I was pretty happy with the day. The first moto, I kind of got tight, but I tried to put it down again at the end of the moto, and we were all really close at the end. To me it’s important to see that the speed is there, it’s just a matter of doing some work now. Second moto, I was feeling really good. I’m not going to blame it on the lappers, you know it’s just a racing deal out there, but they held me up a lot, and it was not only one guy, it was three or four people in one lap. Finally Blake passed me, but I feel like we made improvements every weekend. It’s a positive thing, but, of course, when you’re up there again and you don’t win, you’re disappointed, but we still have a lot of races to go.
Take us through that situation when Blake passed you in the second moto with the lapper. It almost looked like you relaxed after that?
Down there I usually run the outside and cut to the inside, he was right next to me, and when I braked, he braked too, so I couldn’t cut to the inside. There were a couple of things, over a triple a lapper came from the outside and chose to go all the way to the inside to get to the rut. I almost crashed, and that got me down a little bit.
"I’ve been working hard all year and it hasn’t showed yet. But today, it’s paid off for me." - Broc Tickle.
Andrew Fredrickson photo
Mike Alessi, MotoConcepts, 4-3 for 3rd overall in 450 class
The track today was really bumpy, it was super rough and very technical, and that’s awesome, I think. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing—if you look at the stats right now, I’m the only rider of all the riders out here that has ridden every single moto of outdoors and every single main event in supercross. I think that’s something to be proud of, but it also means I’ve done the most riding! So it depends on how you look at it. For me, I consider it like putting my hard hat on and going to work.
At the beginning of the season you said you're going to run your own pace and whatever result you get, you get--but you're not going to ride over your head and risk the whole season to win if someone is faster. But today, it looks like you're fighting for it.
I’m trying—if I’m going to go out, I’m not going out without a fight. But Ryan, he’s the best in the world right now. He’s the man. He’s on a different level right there, and it’s going to take time to get there.
Justin Barcia, GEICO Honda, 1-5 for 3rd overall in 250 class
Second moto I struggled quite a bit. Got a bad jump and got pinched. I fought through the pack pretty good at the beginning, was catching Tomac and Baggett a little bit, but then I slid out. When I got back up, those guys were gone. That was pretty much my whole race right there. That wasn’t awesome! First moto was good, though, got a good start, and starts are so key. If you’re not in it at the beginning you’re not going to be in the race. In this class, you’ve got to keep it on two wheels, and the pace in unreal. Even in the first moto, when I got into the lead, those guys stayed right on me. It keeps you on your toes.
Second motos have been a struggle for you, but you mentioned on the podium that you’ve been working on bike setup to get better in those races. Can you elaborate on bike changes for the second moto?
For sure. I actually know why I’ve been struggling—I know what I have to do now for those second motos. Bike setup for the second motos has been a little tough for me, I’ve been trying to get my bike better for those races because the track gets rougher. We’ve figured it out, and now we have a little break to do some more testing. And more training, obviously!
"I’m not going to blame it on the lappers, you know it’s just a racing deal out there, but they held me up a lot, and it was not only one guy, it was three or four people..." - Ken Roczen
Andrew Fredrickson photo
Justin Brayton, Team Honda Muscle Milk, 5-8 for 5th overall in 450 class
I guess I’ve been doing so much work during the week that on the weekend, I didn’t have that extra drive to really fully be anxious and ready to go during the races. You’ve got to really want it. This week, I just kind of changed a few things and felt like I wanted it today. Bike was awesome. I got good starts. Second moto, I was really bummed with. I was on Metcalfe for sixth on the last lap and got pushed off the track by a lapper and Millsaps got by me. I was really pretty upset with that. I’m not sure what I ended up with overall. I think fifth, maybe. But it was a lot better.
Brett Metcalfe, Yoshimura Suzuki, 8-6 for 6th overall in 450 class
Unfortunately, my starts for both motos were off par. I was around 28 or something coming around early in that second moto. It was just bad starts, you know? That track, especially in the first moto, was really wet and there were a lot of single-file areas so it was hard to move around a bit in the first moto. Second moto, I thought it was really good. The track was really rough. I was loving it out there. But, yeah, I just had to battle hard. It was a tough day. But I’m just happy to get some okay points.
Wil Hahn 6-7 for 7th overall in 250 class
I guess you could say it was mediocre. I didn’t do bad, but I didn’t do good. Same with my starts. I didn’t get a holeshot, but I wasn’t buried either. I started pretty decent, I think sixth both motos right around the finish line. So it wasn’t like I was buried. There’s really no excuse there. But, man, if I’m not with those guys right off the bat, like Justin said, you’re not there, you’re not there. Even if you’re at an equal pace or not, it doesn’t matter when they’re already five or six seconds out in front first lap. For me, I gotta’ get the holeshot. That’s what I’ve got to keep doing. I’ve done it twice this year and I’m more than capable of doing that. I want to make it an elite five. I gotta’ get up there with Marvin and then Justin, Eli, and Blake. I was out there all by myself that first moto. It was boring. It was not fun at all. I was in sixth place, which is a great result, but it’s just not fun to be by yourself.
"Unfortunately, my starts for both motos were off par. I was around 28 or something coming around early in that second moto." - Brett Metcalfe
Andrew Fredrickson photo
Michael Byrne, BTOSports.com BBMX Suzuki, 11-19 for 14th overall in 450 class
Racer X: The day started off really bad for you, then it got good for the first moto, then it got bad for the second moto.
Yeah, I mean I actually felt really good first practice. I’ve been working on some stuff during the week and it felt like it was paying off. Then they just had a jump that wasn’t really safe. We were kind of clipping the end and then bouncing down.
Before the finish?
Yeah, I just kind of bounced down and I just bounced a little bit and I landed in some tilled up stuff and it just threw me over the bars into the face of the finish line. The whole problem is that the face is just not big enough. They want us to make it a double, so why not make it big enough for us to double down it, not be wide open, bouncing off the top into the face of the finish line? It just got me, so I really hurt my hip and my leg. All day, I was just kind of trying to survive.
You pulled a start in the first moto anway.
Pulled a start first moto. And in second practice, I still felt like what I’d worked on was beneficial. I qualified 13th, which was my best qualifying so far this year. So I got a good start and I was just really trying to survive in the motos. I couldn’t lift [my leg] up in the ruts, so I was kind of dragging it. Just trying to survive. I held off Chisholm at the end and ended up getting 11th, but it wasn’t that good when I started fifth. Second moto I got another good start and I was behind Davi [Millsaps] coming over the step up here and just kind of got roosted by him and I didn’t have a chance to pull a tear off because of the breaking bumps there. So I just tried to follow him and the rut that he went to had this sharp hook in it. Because I was just following him, I didn’t see it. I just high-sided and started dead last.
Kyle Chisholm, DNA/Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki, 12-12 for 11th overall in 450 class
Racer X: Tough day for you today here at Budds Creek.
Yeah, it was tough. Going into the first moto, they have their new corner markers. They’re like big yellow square things. I was leaning over, going into a turn, I caught my elbow on one. I finished the moto, ended up 12th and my arm was hurting really bad. Between motos I went to Asterisk and I have a little crack in my radius, I think. So I’m gonna get more X-rays, go see a doctor when I get home. So I got a little crack in my arm, went out, tried to ride the second moto. My hand wasn’t working very well, so my start was terrible, almost went down in the first turn. Then I got back up to 12th from like 30th or something like that, so it could’ve been worse, I guess. I finished both motos. I got decent points, but not what I want, obviously. So I’m looking forward to the two-week break to, obviously, get my arm better and then take a little time off and regroup a little bit and try to finish this last half pretty hard.
"So I got a little crack in my arm, went out, tried to ride the second moto... Then I got back up to 12th from like 30th or something like that..." - Kyle Chisholm
Andrew Fredrickson photo
Ryan Sipes, Rockstar Star-Valli Yamaha, 7-11 for 10th overall in 450 class
Racer X: I think you had a good, solid day today.
It was alright. First moto was definitely better. Got a good start, snuck around the inside and kind of pushed some guys wide, but it worked out for me. I moved up and I felt like I rode strong the first moto. Second moto, I honestly rode the best I could and the fastest I could without feeling out of control. It’s hard to hold on. My grip strength’s really not where it needs to be with all the ruts. You would think the bumps would be tougher, but it’s actually the ruts because it twists your front end, it’ll take your back end. It’s hard to hold on. So I just kind of got into a pace and just cruised it in, because I was feeling kind of sketchy.