Open Mic:  Rider Talk from A2

Open Mic: Rider Talk from A2

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Trey Canard, Honda Muscle Milk, 2nd in 450SX

I’m really content. I never want to be that guy that’s like, I had such a bad week and this happened to me, that happened to me. I just had a pretty bummer week and to kind of come out and do well after that, I was pumped. I think Ryan [Villopoto] was riding great. He was on fire all day. So I wasn’t disappointed at all.

That’s three in a row that you’ve left feeling happy. That’s good, though.
I hope it’s all of them. I never want to have that disappointment again. I just need to be content in what I’m doing. I’m leaving here walking tonight. That’s a huge privilege and I appreciate it.

Anything in the race stick out? You got the lead from [Jake] Weimer and you were out front there for a little while. Was it too early to be thinking, man, I might win this? What were you thinking during those laps here up front?
I looked at the tower and I saw #1 into second, and I knew he’d been on fire all day, so I was just thinking ride your own race, ride your own race. If he gets around you don’t fight him too hard; try to follow him and learn. And that’s what I did. I tried to trail him for a little bit. And I think I did a decent job. I think he just slowly inched and inched and inched. Which I was happy with, I was content with. Hopefully that maturity continues because I think years past I might have tried to hang it out and ride over my head and try to go for that win. But I was just thankful for the night. Especially looking back for me. I know a lot of people don’t look at tonight but I look at tonight as a tragic night, this weekend [Canard broke his back a year ago this weekend]. So it was on my mind, on my heart all week and it was kind of a nerve-racking thing. So I was happy to leave here with a second. – Jason Weigandt

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"I just need to be content in what I’m doing. I’m leaving here walking tonight. That’s a huge privilege and I appreciate it." - Trey Canard
Simon Cudby photo

Chad Reed, TwoTwo Motorsports Honda, 3rd in 450SX

In the TV interviews you still didn’t seem 100 percent satisfied. What’s the missing element for you right now?
Just a little bit of feeling, but it’s there. The bike that we started with today and the bike that we finished with, we weren’t throwing suspension at it and different components and everything like that. So I would safely say that [so far this year] we threw everything at the bike but changing the rider. So that was the next option -- change out the rider. But we’re on the right track and heading down the right road.

Well, as a team owner you’re always talking to the rider.
I was about to have a good chat with him, maybe put him on the sidelines or something like that. The real boss was not happy [Wife Ellie]. She’s the one you got to keep happy and she’s hard to keep happy. So, I think we made some positive changes this week. We didn’t freak out, we just made a good plan. I guess from a team owner’s point of view the key is not getting too frustrated, just making calculated guesses and trying to see where you’re at.

We have a long way to go.
We do. And I don’t care too much about points this early, but I know that two fourths and a third are a hell of a lot better than some of the other guys what they’re doing.

Did you say you changed a ton during the day or are you saying you didn’t change a ton during the day?
We showed up with the bike we raced with.

So that’s a big difference?
That’s a massive difference.

Just take me through the battle with Davi [Millsaps]. You guys went back and forth a little bit then he went down.
Yeah. I passed him and I think I just played a little too protective and he just passed me right back. So basically same as what he did with Trey [at Anaheim 1] I guess. And then I made a little mistake that lap. So he actually kind of yarded me. So I got a little lucky that he crashed. But I felt like at that point I was starting to put some laps together that were a little more consistent. You just can’t expect to change a bike as drastic as we had the first two weeks, two and a half weeks and then just show up and be on point. Yeah, lap 16, 17 I actually started to think, 'Oh, okay, the bike does this every lap. Let’s try to push it here and push it here.' It’s good. We have flashes of brilliance but we’ve still got a little work to do this week.

So even if you had finished fourth again, it would have been a much happier fourth than the previous two fourths. You just know the feeling’s better?
The feeling’s better. When the feeling’s better you can challenge. My starts were horrible today. My starts the first two races were good. My bike sucked and I sucked. This weekend, bike was good, I was decent and starts sucked. So just need to work on the full combo. – Jason Weigandt

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"I don’t care too much about points this early, but I know that two fourths and a third are a hell of a lot better than some of the other guys what they’re doing." - Chad Reed
Simon Cudby photo

Davi Millsaps, Rockstar Energy Racing, 4th in 450SX

How was the race?
It was okay. Especially for the whole first turn pileup with myself.

Yeah, what happened in the heat? Was it a bike problem when you crashed?
Yeah, we don’t really know exactly what happened but my bike stopped when I was on the straightaway and threw me over the bars.

You crashed because the bike just stopped?
The bike stopped and they hit me from the rear.

There was no chance on that one.
No, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It just happened. But that hurt pretty good. Then going to the LCQ and just being all the way on that outside. The day started good and how it was turning out to be, turning around and running third the whole race, and then just tipping over in a corner, stupid mistake on my part. Ended up fourth. Wasn’t too bad of a night.

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"The bike stopped and they hit me from the rear." Davi Millsaps
Simon Cudby photo

Justin Brayton, JGR Toyota Yamaha, 8th in 450SX

How’d it go? You won a heat race.
Yeah, I won a heat race. That was a step in the right direction. I felt good in practice all day. But I was like 7th or 8th and every time, I’m like, man, what is wrong? It was crazy; when I came out I think I was two tenths off of fourth or something, or off of third. It was really, really close. Then in the heat race, yeah, got a great start and won the heat. Then main event, man, I came to the first turn fairly good and I just got bumped around by guys I shouldn’t be getting bumped around by. And next thing you know I’m in 12th or 13th and had to dig back up through the field, racing with guys that I shouldn’t be racing with. So that’s frustrating, but there’s definitely some positives from tonight. Shoot, round three last year I didn’t even qualify. So I guess we’re not where we want to be but I’ll just keep working and we’re getting closer. Starts felt good tonight so even though the main event wasn’t terrible. But I had something to work with, I was, like, 6th. So we’ll work hard this week and go to Oakland.

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"Yeah, I won a heat race. That was a step in the right direction." - Justin Brayton
Simon Cudby photo

Matt Goerke, BTOSports KTM, 9th in 450SX

I got a good start in the main, I got passed by a couple of the top guys, but I passed some other guys. I finally put a main together. I felt good, and I started feeling better and better at the end, except when Brayton passed me, but he was doing that rhythm that I wasn’t doing. About 13, 14 laps in, I got more comfortable out there, I started feeling better, but he was going fast! I’m definitely motivated for next weekend. – Jason Weigandt

 

Josh Grant, JGR Toyota Yamaha, 10th in 450SX

How’d it go?
It went a little bit better than I expected. I don’t feel that great.

You sound a little sick here.
Yeah, I pretty much have been in bed all week. First time I saw daylight was Friday when I had to come and do a Toyota commercial thing here at the track. Went back to bed yesterday, woke up this morning and decided I needed to come race.

Yeah, probably a good idea. Attendance counts.
Yeah, it’s my job, kind of. So I got to show up.

And you had good starts and stuff, so are you kind of bummed? You get a start and then it’s not a night when you’re at your best.
I knew where I was at. I didn’t want to push it because I feel like I’m breathing through coffee straws, you know?

That didn’t go away from the adrenaline?
No, it’s not like adrenaline’s going to make you breathe. I rode tight and that’s just how it was. I made some mistakes. I still ended up 10th so I got points, which is the goal. Keep plugging along. I felt like I actually loosened up this weekend, even though I was sick. Kind of almost felt like it took pressure off. I rode a little bit better. Just try to have fun.

Being tight, has that been an issue here?
I think just for me in the beginning. It’s Supercross in general. It’s not just Anaheim itself. I think the first few rounds for me I get tight and I just get worked up. Once we get past the first couple rounds I feel like I start to loosen up, get used to race mode and kind of get into it.

What happened with you and [James] Stewart? You had a battle?
I don’t typically like to ride like that but he’s one of those guys - I’m saying “he” as in James - is one of those guys that doesn’t care for any other riders out on the track and that’s the way it is. I did take him a little high, so he came in on me, dirtied me, and put his elbow up and tried to clean me out, which, all right, if you’re going to race like that then you can count on me kind of doing the same thing back. I don’t typically want to race like that. I’ve done it in the past, obviously with [Mike] Alessi and all that, but I don’t really want to do it. But at the same time I’m not going to let you push me over. So yeah, we had a little altercation but then when he fell, unfortunately he fell all on his own. So that’s just the way it is.

You had a huge panic rev that pretty much scared everyone in the press box.
I had a scary moment. Kind of went off the table tops. I went to scrub the triple and I touched the back brake a little bit and it sent my front wheel down. I thought that was going to end my night for sure. It puckered my butt on that one for sure. I don’t know how I saved it, so when I did it just took me a minute to gather my thoughts and ended up having a few guys go by me and ended up in 10th. – Jason Weigandt

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"I don’t typically like to ride like that but he’s one of those guys - I’m saying “he” as in James - is one of those guys that doesn’t care for any other riders out on the track and that’s the way it is." - Josh Grant
Simon Cudby photo

James Stewart, Yoshimura Suzuki, 12th in 450SX

I got a bad start, and unfortunately when you do that you put yourself in awkward situations. And that happened tonight with [Josh] Grant. The years previous with him, it’s been the same issues, I’m just trying to move forward, I don’t want anything to do with it, and stuff happens.

You fell down, was that because of that battle?
It was because of it. Going after the rhythm section, he ran me high again for the third week in a row. Then we go through the whoop section and I squared him up. I pushed him out a little, but I didn’t even touch him, I needed to run out wide so I could get the finish line jump, I didn’t take him out, I didn’t try to take him out, I mean, if I wanted to knock him down, I could have done that easily. Then he bombs down to the inside and knocks me off the track. Then I come up again, he’s letting everyone else go by, and I catch him and get by him on the start straight. But the Yamaha, with those air intakes, it’s loud, and I thought he was closer to me than he was, so I just tried cut down, and I went down. I figured he was going to try to take me out again, and if he was closer, he probably would have. It just sucks, I’m trying to race. Even with the [Chad] Reed situation, it’s different when you’re battling for the win on the last lap, it’s different. We’re battling for eighth place. It’s been that way with him for years. Phoenix, he hops out of line, tries to cut me off, same thing with Anaheim. I’m just over it, I don’t want any issues. I’m just trying to race for my team. We’ve been injured, we’re trying to get through it, I’m not trying to take anyone out. It’s unfortunate that whatever it is, he can’t let it go. I ended up on the short end of the stick tonight.

How’s the knee?
Yeah it’s fortunate when I fell, I didn’t catch the knee. I rode pretty good today, I usually don’t ride so good on these slippery, cobbly tracks, but today I felt pretty good. We did some tinkering with the bike, we got some good settings. I just wanted to get out of here because I love Oakland, I won the last two races there. So I want to move forward from here. It just sucks what happened tonight, but I think we’ve got a win in us soon. – Jason Weigandt

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"Going after the rhythm section, he ran me high again for the third week in a row. Then we go through the whoop section and I squared him up. I pushed him out a little, but I didn’t even touch him ..." - James Stewart
Simon Cudby photo

Ken Roczen, Red Bull KTM, 2nd in 250SX

The day started off with me forgetting my chest protector this morning. I borrowed one, but I wasn’t really feeling it. Then in practice I took a really big digger and hurt my ankle and wrist a little bit. My wrist is worse than I thought right now, actually. For the race it didn’t really bother me, but now it’s starting to swell up a bit. It was the first main where I got a good start, and I really enjoyed the racing. Everyone raced clean, and Eli [Tomac] is just super strong right now. He’s one of the fastest out there. But we’re working and getting closer, we’re right there. All I can do is pick it up a little bit. I’ll pick it up here and there, and we’ll go to Oakland next week and see what we can do. We’re solid right now with another second place, and it’s still early in the championship. Anything can happen and I’m really positive about it. - Aaron Hansel

 

Chris Blose, N-Fab TILUBE Yamaha, 17th in 450SX

It went pretty good. Not making the first two main events was kind of an eye-opener. We got into this main event through the heat race and obviously, the field is really stacked this year. You look at the heat races and you’re like, ‘Holy Crap!’ It’s crazy. So, we got into the main event and I was catching [Weston] Peick and [Vince] Friese and those guys, and I started pumping up. We got some stuff to work on, and hopefully I don’t pump up next time!

You made every single main event in 2011, but this is your first one of 2013. Has the pace really progressed that much?
Yeah. In 2011 with Hart & Huntington I made every single main event, and the pace has gone up, and the amount of talent has gone up. It just takes a start. It’s so hard to come from behind in the heat race. I mean, in the LCQ tonight we had Millsaps, Barcia, Partridge, and a lot of other fast riders. It’s so critical to make it into the main from your heat race. – Aaron Hansel

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"My wrist is worse than I thought right now, actually. For the race it didn’t really bother me, but now it’s starting to swell up a bit." - Ken Roczen
Simon Cudby photo

Tyler Keefe – Troy Lee Design/Lucas Oil/Honda Team Manager

Cole Seely, 3rd in 250SX

Christian Craig, 6th in 250SX

Jessy Nelson, 10th in 250SX

Today was a little bit rough. We had a few little hiccups, but all in all, we pulled it together when the night show came around. We holeshotted the main event again, so that’s three weeks in a row. Good starts usually lead to good races, so we’ll keep plugging away with that. Christian had a career best with a sixth, which was awesome, and Jessy had a rough night with crashing in his heat race. He came back in through the LCQ with last gate pick in the main and got pinched on the start but worked his way up to tenth.

You’ve got to be really pumped on Nelson’s starts in general this season though, right?
Yeah! I mean, he’s gotten how many? A lot of them anyway, and we’ll keep plugging away with that. Our bikes are competitive with any team out there and we have a great group of guys and this is going to be a good year.

Seely had a good race but he dropped off the pace toward the end. What happened?
He hasn’t raced since April, so I think he’s a little rusty. Obviously you still see the flashes of brilliance that he has, and we’ll keep building with him. We’ll get up there and by the end of the year I think we’ll be battling for wins again.

Speaking of flashes of brilliance from Cole, is it just me or does it seem like when he gets a good start like that he can find another level?
Yeah, I think so. In the heat races this year he hasn’t gotten the best starts, and he’s been very calculated and hasn’t taken very many risks. He’s been riding at a safe pace. You can crash out of a championship at one race, or you can get a fourth, and he’s gone 3-4-3 in the mains. I’m happy with that, and I’m really stoked on the whole team right now. Everyone has been busting their butts and it’s paying off. – Aaron Hansel

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