1. How weird do you think Bogle's week was? He got the news Davalos was out, but still had to go out and race himself.
David Pingree: Weird? More like ten lbs. of awesome stuffed into a 5 lb. bag. This guy needs to go straight to Vegas and lay down every red cent he has on the betting tables. Obviously he hates to see his fellow racers get hurt but to go from a distant third in the title chase to being handed the #1 plate before the series even ends is like hitting the lottery. Justin has seen his share of hard times the past couple seasons so I'm sure it feels good to have things going his way for a change. I'm guessing it was all he could do to keep from saying, "Don't crash, don't crash, don't crash" as he was riding.
Wil Hahn: I'm sure it was routine until you hear the news. Honestly, Justin is a calm person, so he probably just kept the week the same: went riding, trained and boarded a flight. That’s all you can do!
Jason Thomas: It had to be a bit of a roller coaster. I definitely don't think he was pleased to hear about Davalos hurting himself, but some small part of his psyche had to realize that this title was really going to happen. Injuries happen in this sport and always will. No one wants their success to be attributed to someone else's misfortune but all Justin Bogle can control is Justin Bogle. He went out and won the race and is the last man standing at this point. Championships don't come with asterisks, they come with bonus checks.
2. Bogle and Jeremy Martin went 1- 2 in NJ. These dudes were way down in the dumps not that long ago—Bogle hurt, J Mart not even making mains. Give us a story of being so far down and what it took to climb back up.
David Pingree: Tides can change quickly in this sport so, much like the weather, if you don't like the way things are at the moment just give it a minute. If you had told these guys that they were going to go 1-2 in Jersey and one of them would be champion after the second or third round of the series they would have laughed at you. The trick is not getting frustrated and continuing to work hard. If you believe in the training and riding program you are on and you stick with it the results will come. Bogle and Martin have both been persistent and it is paying off now.
Wil Hahn: Both were in very different positions. But obviously both faced adversity of some kind. For Bogle, he wasn't supposed to even race this series. I saw him in the hospital the day he crashed. And let me tell you, he worked so hard to be on the gate in Dallas and made it happen. I'm proud of him and his determination. As far as Jeremy, it gets to a point were you start second guessing yourself, right? Man, I was a favorite coming in, now I missed two mains. What's going on here? Do I need to change anything? My bike? Me? That stuff starts crossing your mind and second guessing yourself. Props to Jeremy for overcoming the bad start and coming on strong late in the year. I look for him to be strong come outdoors.
Jason Thomas: The start to the 2008 season was a rough one for me. I came in very prepared but things just weren't panning out. Untimely crashes and bad starts were causing struggles that I didn't feel my riding paralleled. Coming into San Diego, I had missed a couple of main events and even the ones I had raced, something stupid always put me back in the pack. I really didn't do anything differently during the strife, I just held confident in the process. I knew I was doing the right things and that eventually the variance would shake itself out. That's exactly what happened, too. I finally got a few good starts and rode inside the top ten all night, ending up 10th at the checkers. Once the dam broke, things just clicked. I reeled off five more top tens that season and other than the Daytona mud fiasco, never really saw adversity again that season. When it rains, it pours, and that can hold true in both good times and bad.
3. Let's continue on the mental side. Give us a story of making a small change during the week that gave you a big boost in confidence heading into a weekend of racing.
David Pingree: Confidence is the difference between winning and getting tenth on any given Saturday night. I always tried to look at three things to develop my confidence and try to improve one of those areas: Fitness, bike setup and riding technique. Usually you can analyze one of those areas and find a way to improve it. If all three of those things are on point you should believe you can win on the weekend. However, it is often easier said than done. You can test some days from sun-up until sundown and not make things better. Fitness gains don't happen overnight and improving your technical skills is a process that takes repetitive and deliberate practice over time. But I have had days where we found a chassis or suspension setting that flipped a switch for me. When I rode for Primal Impulse Suzuki in 1999 I remember hitting a suspension/triple clamp setup one day and my comfort level went up instantly and with it my confidence. Those are the days you hope for.
Wil Hahn: It's funny, because as we all know, this sport is very mental. You can come off a rough weekend and have a very simple change to the bike or your program that either makes your more comfy, and or happy, and completely changes the process. I'm a believer that attitude makes the difference. Nights I don't have a good attitude, I struggle. Something as simple as a tire change could make the difference. Sometimes the tire was better, sometimes not, but maybe mentally it would be enough to get you out of the funk.
Jason Thomas: One of the biggest mid-week improvements I ever made was piggy-backing off of Chad Reed. The year was 2010 and everyone had made the jump over to Dunlop as Bridgestone pulled out of SX and Pirelli wasn't quite ready to make a splash yet. In the world of factory racers and privateers, there is a big gap in the quality of tires handed out on Saturday mornings. The factory tires are purpose built for supercross. The performance level is incredibly high but these tires also have a very short life span. They are watched carefully by the manufacturers and replaced often during the day. The privateer tires are either on a production level or very close to it. They are heavier and the compound is harder. The performance is significantly less than their factory cousins but they are built to last and for consumers to use in all conditions. How this relates to me is simple: I was using a production tire early in the season and then had an epiphany. Chad only used his practice tires until the slightest wear was evident. Sure, they weren't new but there was still life to give when they were dismounted. As I was using Dunlop anyhow, I began bringing these "take-offs" to the races and using them to race with. I had to be very mindful of their reduced life span and have them changed often but the difference was incredible. The level of traction and "feel" was incomparable. My results instantly improved and my confidence grew from the knowledge that I had an edge. I went to the starting line knowing I had something that my main event mid-pack competitors didn't. The only real issue I had was convincing Dunlop to not pull the plug on my little plan. They have the unenviable task of doling out these tires to who they choose and I was circumventing the system a bit. I finally convinced them that the tires would be in the trash otherwise and in the end I was saving them money by not using more of their product every weekend. I was the ultimate recycler! It was a small change but had far reaching implications in both my results and my mental outlook.