I don’t know, any injury with the word, “lacerated,” in it sounds serious to me.
There was actually kind of a crazy story with that. After I crashed at Budds, I thought it was a cracked rib and I was just going to go home and deal with it. I drove myself back to the hotel and got up the next morning to fly out and I started pissing straight blood. So I had to find a hospital, checked myself in and had to spend the night.
See, that’s serious!
[Laughs] Yeah, I know. Since Washougal I tried to make a run at doing Elsinore, but I just couldn’t get in shape. So now I’m working on getting seat time and getting my fitness back up so I can come back out swinging next year.
Speaking of Elsinore, was there ever any pressure put on you to get back out there and help Blake Baggett?
To be honest, I even offered to race. I said, ‘Hey, do you want me out there? I know he’s by himself and they have a full team over there. I’m not 100 percent, but if you guys need me out there, I’m in.’ But Mitch is the kind of guy that wants to win, but he doesn’t want to do it the wrong way. He wanted Baggett to go out there and do it straight up, and that’s what he did. He locked it up.
So no Matt Walker-style team tactics were ever discussed?
Nope, none of that. We weren’t racing Alessi, so we didn’t have to deal with any of that. [Laughs]
I interviewed you right before the beginning of the season, and you said your main goal was to avoid taking another season off, and that you wanted to stay in the racing groove. So, despite the year not going quite as you had hoped, would you still say you had some degree of success with that goal?
I think I learned a lot, to be honest with you, by riding that small bike again and racing against those kids, even though I only raced five races. The 250 Class is intense, and those kids are going to be bringing that intensity into the 450 Class soon.
In the last couple of years, everyone has been talking about the intensity of the Supercross Class. How would you compare that class to the 250 Class now?
I’d say the 450 Class is a little more calculated; they let the race kind of come to them a bit more. The Lites class, when that gate drops, they go. It’s a sprint for 36 minutes, or however long the race ends up being. If you watch those guys, those four dudes that were running up front never let off the whole race. They never settle into a groove or anything, they just go wide open. For me, that was hard to get used to. They don’t shut it off, and you just have to be able to hang it out. If you’re not 100 percent fit late in the moto, and you’re in a battle, that’s usually when things go wrong. When your brain is telling you that you can do it but your body can’t, that’s when things go wrong.
Are you going back to Hart & Huntington next year?
I don’t know where I’m going to be, but most likely not. I’m working on that right now. I’m looking at a few different things, and we’ll see. I definitely want to race, and I feel like I still have something to offer. We’ll see how it all pans out, and hopefully something good will come my way and I can get back to where I need to be.
Will you be racing the Monster Energy Cup?
I’m not sure yet. I hope so.
Thanks for your time, Ivan.