Open Mic: New Jersey (Part II)

Open Mic: New Jersey (Part II)

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By Steve Matthes and Chase Stallo

Justin Barcia, Honda Muscle Milk, 4th in 450SX

Hometown race, how cool was that? Although, are you a New York guy?
New York. I grew up in New York, born in Jersey. But it’s awesome to have all the fans and stuff but it definitely is a little hectic, a lot of stuff going on all day.

Weird race for you. Kind of a slow start and then all of a sudden you got very angry and you shot forward, and then you made some mistakes, Roczen got back by you, then you got angry again and you pulled away. It was the best battle of the night with you, Dungey, and Roczen.
It’s just disappointing I couldn’t get off the start. I don’t know what was going on today; I spun a lot, both my heat and my main. I’m so bummed on that. If I could have got a start tonight … Coulda, shoulda, woulda. I’m not going to go into that, it’s just whatever. But I put on some good charges, put in some good laps. I enjoyed the track a lot. I had a lot of fun. Just came up a little short, and it’s so frustrating.

And then too it looked like … I wasn’t totally paying attention, as usual, but you might have made more mistakes because once you got by Dungey and Roczen I think they both got by you back again quickly.
Yeah, I messed up that triple thing before the whoops a couple times so that was frustrating but I cleaned it up again and caught them and put my head down and was out of there.

You really wanted that truck.
I wanted that truck bad. I’m so mad. I wanted a race win. I wanted a truck. I want everything. I’m so greedy. But I didn’t get it tonight.

Go over there and kick the crap out of the green guy and take his truck.
I’ll key it. [Laughs] No, good for him. That’s cool, the championship. I hope to be in his shoes one of these days.

Not a great season for you, but you’ve turned it on lately. You’ve got to be happier with the results lately and the riding. Tonight I bet you at the end of the race you were probably turning first or second fastest lap times. But you’ve turned a corner little bit going into outdoors.
Yeah, definitely. Two weekends ago in Seattle I really struggled with bike setup there. It was really frustrating. This weekend was better. The bike has been extremely challenging this year. I felt like I was in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I worked harder than ever. It was just kind of disappointing we couldn't get everything dialed in the beginning of the season. It is what it is and just looking in the future I guess.

You think you’ll be happier outdoors? Is it a bike and a chassis setup that works better maybe in motocross?
Yeah, I think so. The bike doesn’t have to do as many technical things. Obviously the braking bumps and stuff are gnarly but I think we’ll be in a better place with bike setup than we were last year. I think that’ll be good and I’m hoping outdoors will go great for me. -- Steve Matthes

"It’s just disappointing I couldn’t get off the start. I don’t know what was going on today; I spun a lot, both my heat and my main." - Justin BarciaPhoto: Simon Cudby
"It’s just disappointing I couldn’t get off the start. I don’t know what was going on today; I spun a lot, both my heat and my main." - Justin BarciaPhoto: Simon Cudby

Alex Martin, Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha, 7th in 250SX

Take us through the race.
It was kind of an abbreviated day with the rain and everything but Dirt Wurx did an awesome job with the track. I couldn’t believe it. In practice it was a little bit sketchy but for the heat race when I walked out I was like, Wow. It was amazing. I thought it was just going to be a mudder. So the track was awesome and had a decent heat race. In the main I had a good start. I think I was up there in the top 5 and it was kind of just a battle with all those guys, the same guys that had been up front all year. It was the same guys, other than Martin [Davalos] and some of the top guys. It’s kind of a bummer that they weren’t here because if you do have a good result people talk about it in a bad way. Just knocking on the door for the podium. Vince was third, I was fourth and just lost my front end in the corner after the finish I think on lap 9 or 10. After that it was just like sketch city. I was just pacing stuff, rolling things, and ended up bringing home seventh. But it wasn’t pretty.

You mentioned the schedule change. Does that affect you at all? I’m sure you have a routine that you like to go by. Does it affect you when stuff changes?
Yeah a little bit. I think everyone showed up to the track really early today for what it was. The track walk’s normally at 11:00 and it wasn’t until 1:30 today. But it was good, a good chance to kind of catch up with friends in the pits and kind of mingle a little bit and talk. Definitely was kind of an easier day than normal.

Talk about the crowd. The pits were absolutely slammed. The crowd was around 65,000, they announced. Talk about what it means to be in this market for the sport.
It was so cool. I think everyone here really likes the venue. With the city there’s a lot of history here. The pits were big and it was still packed, so that really tells you something. It definitely was the biggest pits we’ve had space-wise all year and it was still packed with people. So I think it’s a really cool venue and I’m looking forward to coming here in the next couple years. – Chase Stallo

"Vince was third, I was fourth and just lost my front end in the corner after the finish I think on lap 9 or 10. After that it was just like sketch city." - Alex MartinPhoto: Simon Cudby
"Vince was third, I was fourth and just lost my front end in the corner after the finish I think on lap 9 or 10. After that it was just like sketch city." - Alex MartinPhoto: Simon Cudby

Jimmy Albertson, MotoSport.com Crossland Racing, 19th in 450SX

How’s the shoulder feeling?
To be honest with you it hurts less than my ribs do. It was kind of like I popped the shoulder, I got it back in. Obviously it’s stiff but I’m kind of used to that by now. My rib injury from Houston, any time the track gets choppy, it just beats me up. It’s getting a lot better. I wasn’t even able to race at Seattle and now I’m able to kind of go out there and do a little bit. It was a good weekend. I wish I would have stayed up in the main and not crashed. I felt like it could have been a good night for me, but once I crashed it kind of took the wind out of my sails. By the time I got back on the track I was so far back, I was just kind of bummed out on that. I feel like I came a long ways tonight as far as laying down in the second practice with my shoulder out of place and kind of steadily improving all night. But it is what it is. We got one more race left. It’s still good to be out there in the main and racing and putting the bike in the main. All in all it’s not a bad night.

So the shoulder is fine long term?
Yeah. In a couple days it’ll feel better. I’ll be riding this week, for sure. Like I said, it’s not really the shoulder. Me and you were kind of talking earlier, I don’t think people know how beat up guys are at this point in the year. I know I am. I can’t speak for the rest of them, but I imagine it’s the same case.

Talk about what you’re putting your body through. What’s it like to wake up in the mornings?
Yeah, definitely. I bounce out of bed in the morning. I love to get up, but especially with the rib injury I find myself looking at my clock and then trying to go back to sleep and I’m hurting so bad I can’t sleep. So I’m just kind of tossing and turning and finally I can roll out of bed and get going. It’s tough. When your body’s hurting doing the simplest task sucks day to day. You can’t really focus on training and riding; you’re more focusing on getting your body better for the next weekend. We’re basically 17 weekends in a row. It’s funny, even when you’re a Lites rider you don’t understand how much gnarlier it is. I’m definitely glad we got a couple weekend break coming up before outdoors because it’s well-needed for me.

So what do you do? Can you do some kind of massage therapy? Is there something that kind of gets your muscles going? Because I’m sure it’s just muscle pain in general. Is there something you can do to get it better? Or is it just, “I’m sore and I’m going to be sore”?
It’s funny because growing up you always hear this guy has the quickest cure for this, or I can get you better doing this. Man, the older you get it just takes time. And bottom line is you can’t rub a cream on it, there’s nobody that’s going to be able to crack your back and it’s going to be fixed again. There’s no one that’s going to be able to give you a certain pill. You've got to deal with it. When you kind of accept the fact that it’s just going to hurt … you have two injuries: one that you just can’t ride with because it’s going to get worse, then one where you've just got to suck it up. It is what it is. The older you get the more you realize bodies just take time to heal.

You’re not 18 anymore. As you get older and the injuries start to compile it gets a lot worse. You were showing me your shoulder earlier and it’s probably just going to be popped out anyways, before you even injured it tonight.
Like I said, I popped it out about a month ago and that was the last time I dislocated … But like I said, it doesn’t bother me. I play a lot of overhead sports too. I play tennis, basketball, and I never have problems with it, to be honest with. The whole shoulder surgery thing kind of blows me away because, yeah, I popped my shoulder out today, but it really didn’t hinder me as much as my ribs did. For me, instead of going and getting the surgery and sitting out six months and paying doctor bills, it’s like, it doesn’t bother me. I’ll be good to go in a week. It’ll act like it never happened. I’m not too worried about it. Which is good in a way, but like in that practice, if that would have been in a race and I would have had Doc [Bodnar] put it back in I wouldn’t have been able to finish, because they call it outside assistance. So you just got to hope it doesn’t during a race I guess. – Chase Stallo

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