Interviews by Steve Matthes, Jason Weigandt and Haley Whisennand
Ryan Dungey, Red Bull KTM, 1-1 for 1st overall in 450 Class
It was a good day, obviously I’ve spent a lot of time riding here as a kid, and I had lots of friends and family here. Had to get a lot of tickets, but that’s okay. The fans get really excited and to get a win was really good for myself and the team. It’s amazing. I was a little kid here too, once, and I was trying to get the riders pants and jerseys and whatever. I was kind of a pain in the butt! But now that I have an idea of what you go through, to be able to come here once a year, that’s what we look forward to more than anything. To come here once a year and be that guy in that position, it’s just a dream come true. I remember standing in front of that podium looking up at Ricky [Carmichael]. And you just wanted to be in that position so badly. You hope all the cards lay out right so you can be there one day. I don’t let a day go by where I take the moment for granted.
Are you guys still pushing the envelope with the bike.
Yeah I think we have to keep pushing forward, I know I say it every week but there’s a lot of racing to go. You’ve always got to improve, you’ve always got to be ready.
Talk about you battle with Mike Alessi in the first moto.
I got a pretty decent start and I was trying to get through the pack as best as I could. We had a couple of good laps, he’s a good rider. He had one spot where he tried to park me, but I was able to get around. From there I just tried to put down good laps and get a win.
"As riders I think we’re all going home and working hard, and we’re all so even and it’s so close, it’s stupid! It’s tough." - Justin Barcia
Simon Cudby photo
Justin Barcia, GEICO Honda, 2-2 for 2nd overall in 250 Class
I’ve got really good starts this year. Obviously, that’s good for me. I just get out front, and just push as long as I can until the end. First moto was good. I pushed it for as long as I could as hard as I could. I definitely need to get a win, I’m getting pretty sick of these second-place finishes. As riders I think we’re all going home and working hard, and we’re all so even and it’s so close, it’s stupid! It’s tough.
Blake Baggett, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, 1-4 for 3rd overall in 250 Class
I made a little error, ended up going down and it was kind of in a bad spot, so I couldn’t get to my bike. I was trying to get the flagger’s attention so that I could go pick up my bike without getting landed on or anything. That was just a little mistake. I felt like I was doing really good and I felt like everything was clicking along. It was just kind of one of those errors that sneaks up on you and there’s nothing that you’ve got to go back and change or work on. Stuff just happens. I salvaged it out, though. Still felt good afterwards. The bike was a little bit bent up, to say the least. But it ran good all day. It handled awesome.
Jake Weimer, Monster Energy Kawasaki, 2-3 for 3rd overall in 450 Class
Racer X: Obviously the first moto was great for you, second place. Second moto, you were up there at the front.
Jake Weimer: Yeah, I didn’t get the start I needed, which is frustrating because I don’t feel like I’m going to accomplish what I want to accomplish when I don’t start first or second. I started like sixth or something around there, which isn’t terrible, but it’s just not going to cut it. By the time I got into third, I didn’t even know where Mike [Alessi] and Ryan [Dungey] were. They were gone. But I have to get better starts.
"First moto was going good, then I crashed and went back to, I don’t know, fourteenth or fifteenth." - Broc Tickle
Simon Cudby photo
Ken Roczen, Red Bull KTM, 4-3 for 4th overall in 250 Class
My day went alright. I got a good qualifying position. It was the first time ever that I’ve been first. That was good for the first moto. I felt pretty good in the first moto, too. I finished fourth in the end, but I think I’ve been riding decent. I got really hot in that first moto. I don’t know why. It wasn’t as hot as RedBud, but it was worse for me. I had a hard time. I knew the second moto was going to be hard and then I had a bad start. I just fought my way through and then ended up in third place. We’re all working and we’re just trying to make up for it.
Wil Hahn, GEICO Honda, 5-7 for 6th overall in 250 Class
I feel like it was a good day. The first moto was good. The second moto was shit. Plain and simple. I put myself in a good position at the beginning, then I made mistakes and went backwards. I don’t like going backwards. I went back forwards again, but in the first moto, I went backwards then I went really forward and made some good passes at the end. I’ve just got to capitalize on my starts. I’m getting top 5 starts every weekend. I’ve just got to grow a set the first couple of laps!
Broc Tickle, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, 12-5 for 6th in 450 Class
Practice went good. First moto was going good, then I crashed and went back to, I don’t know, fourteenth or fifteenth. Then I slowly made my way to twelfth. So first moto was kind of over with and I knew if I got in top five, I could get a good result and ended up fifth in the second moto. I was hoping to close up on [Justin] Brayton a little bit, but he was going steady and strong at the end and I just didn’t have it.
Cole Thompson, Honda, 15-8 for 8th overall in 450 Class
Yeah, it was another great day. Glad to be safe. Rode two solid motos and felt good. I had kind of a horrible start, then didn’t make good line choices on the first lap and didn’t make it up to the pack and they kind of got away. I rode to fifteenth, which was alright. Then second moto, I just put everything that I had into it. [Andrew] Short was right there in front of me and I couldn’t seem to get that little extra bit to get around him but it was still a good finish.
"I haven’t done all these outdoors before in a row. I didn’t have anything that second moto." - Jake Canada
Simon Cudby photo
Tyla Rattray, Monster Energy Kawasaki, 6-28 for 9th overall in 450 Class
First moto I didn’t get such a great start. It’s definitely something I’ve been working on during the week and they seem pretty good, but then I come to the next race and I can’t do it. I managed to get sixth in the first moto. It’s not great. I expect myself to be up front, but with me not racing for such a long time from Oakland, it’s taking me a little while to get back into it and get my race fitness back to where it should be. Second moto, I got a great start. I was fifth or fourth. Then Jimmy Albertson kind of lost the front end and stood up and I was in the turn already and just kind of fell over. Then I was coming back. I think I got up to like fourteenth or thirteenth or somewhere then hit Mike pretty hard and blew the disc off my bike. And I twisted the front end on my bike. Had a DNF with two left to go, which kind of sucks.
Jake Canada, MotoConcepts, 9-13 for 10th overall in 250 Class
Day was pretty good. I think I qualified eleventh. That’s alright. I don’t usually qualify that good. Then first moto, I didn’t get the best start, probably about twentieth. Then I worked my way up to ninth by the end of the moto and got ninth in that moto. So that was cool. I was pumped on that. Then second moto, I got an even worse start, maybe like five from last. I worked my way up and then, for a second, I was in eighth. I passed [Jason] Anderson and I was in eighth for a second. Then I don’t know what happened, I think I got heat exhaustion. I haven’t done all these outdoors before in a row. I didn’t have anything that second moto. I was dizzy. I couldn’t see straight. I faded back to thirteenth.