Open Mic: Monster Energy Cup

Open Mic: Monster Energy Cup

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Interviews by Jason Thomas and Steve Matthes

Ken Roczen, Red Bull KTM, 4-4-4 third overall

Good job. You were in position to win that thing and a little bit of tough luck, but good job otherwise.
It was good. I messed up the first start and actually rode a little bit tight and stuff but I got better every single race and had a lot better start in that second one. I got pushed wide by [Jake] Weimer. Holeshotted the last one, which felt great. It was good to not get roosted. I’m literally bleeding. Had a good battle with James [Stewart]. I got passed but I tried to keep it close. I did a big mistake by going in the Joker Lane the same lap as he did. But it is the way it is. Just learn from that. Actually wanted to win but I will just get better every time I get on the bike from here on I think. I’ve only been on the bike four times now. I rode supercross four times, and only on the test track, too. So we’ll only get better.

Did you know you had the lead going into the last moto?
Yeah, I did. I tried to not stress about it, which obviously I got the start down and everything.

You knew you had the lead and then you pull a holeshot. That’s clutch.
Exactly, that was important for me. I messed everything up by that Joker Lane! – Steve Matthes

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"I’ve only been on the bike four times now. I rode supercross four times, and only on the test track, too. So we’ll only get better." - Ken Roczen
Simon Cudby photo

Eli Tomac, GEICO Honda, 5-6-3 for fourth overall

You didn’t win like last year, but you still had a good showing, consistent races, up front, not a lot to separate on this track, and I didn’t see you get any good starts, so one of those nights.
Yeah, obviously the starts are the thing there. The first two motos I was floundering around. It was tough to make ground. I did catch a couple breaks because of a couple pileups but I think everyone had kind of a weird moto all night. James won with an 8-1-1.

It’s bizarre. And two dudes didn’t take the Joker Lane.
Guys were forgetting the Joker Lane. So first two motos, I just wasn’t myself. I would say I was about 80 percent me. Third moto I made a nice rear-end change, got it driving a little bit better down through the rollers. Entered my corners better, got better traction, even had a better start because of it I think, and it showed. So at least I found something out of this race.

Your dad was telling you that you should have made that change earlier?
He was telling me even before, maybe in the first moto. He was like, the rear end of the bike looks too high. Let’s squat the thing down. And I didn’t make the change until the very last moto.

What’d you think of the event as a whole compared to last year? Track design, Joker Lane’s back … Better or worse than last year?
I can’t really say. I thought the guys were more equal this year. For some reason I thought it was easier to make up time last year. I don’t know what was different. I guess you could make up a little bit. It was just a little bit different this year. Something was different.

Wearing number three. What’d you think? How do you like your look?
I like it. I do want to make it a little bit bigger and bolder, more of a beastier three. It’s a little bit small. We’ll fix it. Got to break in the three too. I’m stoked to have a single digit.

Genoa for you or anything?
No, just because I did Des Nations so I’m just going to stick to one Euro trip. – Steve Matthes

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"So first two motos, I just wasn’t myself. I would say I was about 80 percent me." - Eli Tomac
Simon Cudby photo

Matt Goerke, BTOSports.com KTM, 18-11-14 for fourteenth overall

It was all right. I started off slow. I haven’t been riding much supercross at all. I just got better throughout the day. That last moto I was up there running up front and then me and Marvin [Musquin] went down and I still got, like, 11th. I was pumped with that. Started feeling more normal by the last moto.

I saw you were up in like fifth off the start. Did you pump up or just pace yourself? Obviously, during the supercross season we saw you were able to stay up there. We have three months still before Anaheim.
That one I started feeling more and more comfortable at the beginning and staying there. I only got passed by a couple guys and then we went down, me and Marvin. Still got up and got 11th. The other two I was slow. I was slow all day but I felt better each time I was on the track. I’ve only been riding supercross for a week and every day I ride feels better.

You still have a lot of time. Overall, just kind of take what you learned here and get ready.
Yeah. I’m glad I got through the night and I’m glad my wrist is finally getting better so I should be good for Anaheim. – Jason Thomas

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"I was slow all day but I felt better each time I was on the track. I’ve only been riding supercross for a week and every day I ride feels better."  - Matt Goerke
Simon Cudby photo

Andrew Short, BTOSports.com KTM, 12-11-10 for eleventh overall

I really enjoyed the format and the venue, the whole race in general. But I struggled. I got really bad starts and honestly didn’t come through the pack. But it’s a good eye-opener. I’m headed to Bercy so that will be the next test. Just kind of pack up and try to regroup.

Did you guys try a lot of different stuff from where you left off in supercross? Was there a carry-over from that? Where do you think you’ll go from here to Anaheim?
Yeah, we’re quite a bit different on motor and chassis and I don’t think it suited this track because it was so high-speed. It’s not your typical supercross track. So I don’t know if it was exactly the best test, but our bike was quite a bit different than what we finished with in Las Vegas last year. I think we’re headed in the right direction. It might not have been the best thing tonight but I think the ultimate thing would have been me as a rider, I think I could have performed better by getting good starts and keeping the intensity. So I definitely have some improvements to make [to myself], where before I felt like the bike could be a little better. Tonight the bike was awesome and I’ve got to improve. – Jason Thomas

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"Yeah, we’re quite a bit different on motor and chassis and I don’t think it suited this track because it was so high-speed. It’s not your typical supercross track." - Andrew Short
Simon Cudby photo

Marvin Musquin, Red Bull KTM, 2-9-8 for fifth overall

It was actually cool. That’s not part of the championship so it’s kind of a fun race. I was back in France for five weeks so just got back here like a week ago and rode a couple times. I don’t want to say that I was not ready but...

Not a lot of prep.
Yeah, not a lot but I really enjoyed riding the 350 during the week at the test track. I did a pretty good timed practice. Really good start in that first moto and got third. I was really excited and I actually got second because Dungey didn’t take the Joker Lane. It was awesome but just not consistent. My second start was horrible. I was almost dead last. I came back ninth. I wanted to do better in the last moto, but I ran into Goerke, I couldn’t brake and I hit the hay bale on the inside. I ran into him … I said I’m sorry. I feel bad. I had fun and I did some good things on the bike. The track was fun, big jumps and things like that. – Steve Matthes

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"I was back in France for five weeks so just got back here like a week ago and rode a couple times. I don’t want to say that I was not ready but..." - Marvin Musquin
Simon Cudby photo

Kyle Chisholm, Yamaha, 16-16-14 for eighteenth overall

Stacked LCQ. You had some problems in practice; you had to get through to the LCQ, and once there of course the gate pick was awesome, and you went from there.
Yeah, it was a little bit rough start to the day. I started out with my supercross suspension. I had outdoor stuff too, because you never know how they’re going to do the track here. Supercross stuff is what I wanted. I went out of the first practice, had a flat tire, and just didn’t even do one whole complete lap. Flat tire and my shock felt really funny. Come back in, we couldn’t figure it out. So we threw my outdoor one on, but I had my supercross forks still. By the time we had got all that done we only got maybe five laps in the second practice, so it was not very good. Then we figured it out, got it on for the last one, missed out by three spots I think from just qualifying in. So I had to go to the LCQ but I think it was good for me because I haven’t raced in eight months.

First gate drop in a while.
Yeah, I ripped the holeshot on my side, so I was happy about that. Ended up second behind [Cooper] Webb. It felt good to get a race under my belt. Little bad luck, tangled with some riders in the motos. Happy to get out of here safe, I’ve only been riding for a month.

Did you take the Joker Lane early?
My plan was if I didn’t have good track position right off the get go, just get it out of the way. Needless to say, I took it early.

Not much to separate everybody.
Yeah it was almost like follow the leader. You could make time up but not make passes, so you could just stay close to them and then pass them when they took the Joker Lane. – Steve Matthes

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"Yeah it was almost like follow the leader. You could make time up but not make passes, so you could just stay close to them and then pass them when they took the Joker Lane." - Kyle Chisholm
Simon Cudby photo

Jimmy Albertson, Motosport.com/Crossland Racing, 19-18-13 for nineteenth overall

A lot was going on up front, but it looked like all night long there were a lot of battles going on in the back, too.
It was. Obviously the action was crazy out front from what I hear, but there was some battling going on in the back of the pack. It was cool.

Well there’s nothing much to separate you guys.
No, there really isn’t. I got shitty starts all night, so that’s kind of like the story of my life, just coming from the back. My last race, I still got a shitty start but it wasn’t like terrible. I think I was still around 15th. I ran top 10 for a while and I just made a really bad decision on the Joker Lane. I should have waited until the end because I think I might have been able to gap out enough. I came back onto the track, I was like, right in-between three guys and I got put up in the berm. So I went from like 9th to 13th on the Joker Lane lap. But all in all, my first two races sucked. I just haven’t raced at this level in a long time. You can race local races, I mean, I whooped Trey Canard on his pit bike track all week but then you come out here and line up with a whole group of bad dudes, you go backwards at all and you get eaten up by these dudes like shark infested waters. My preparation for this was horrible; I’ve had my team manager hat on. It helped getting this first race out of the way. – Steve Matthes

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"My preparation for this was horrible; I’ve had my team manager hat on. It helped getting this first race out of the way." - Jimmy Albertson
Simon Cudby photo

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