Open Mic: Bercy-Lille SX

Open Mic Bercy-Lille SX

November 14, 2016 9:25am

Christian Craig | GEICO Honda | Third Overall

Racer X: First time in Lille/Bercy, on a 450 too, something you’re not used to. Last night terrible start and tonight maybe you were right there in the battle and good start.
Christian Craig: Third, shows what you can do with a decent start. When you start last you’re going to finish way back. Marvin’s [Musquin] on another level here. His starts were on point. He just took off right away. Heat race was good today. I struggled yesterday with the ruts. I had four days on a 450 but I’m not going to sit here and complain. I don’t complain—I’m here to have fun and get some gate time for A1 or East Coast. I wish I could have felt a little bit more comfortable overall. I struggled with the ruts big time. I’m not a soft dirt kind of guy. Overall it was good. The main, I was running fourth for a while then Malcolm [Stewart] made a mistake at the end and hit his back brake and I passed him for third. We ended up tying for third overall but I got it. He got those freaking $500 checks right there so I had to take something from him.

The heat race, any issues with that or was that just some good racing?
No, I shook his hand at the end of the race. He revved it at me but it’s aggressive racing. I should have expected it coming from Bam Bam [Justin Barcia]. I guess he said on the loudspeaker that we’re getting feisty.

He said it looks like other guys are getting froggy.
I’m just trying to get by. If I’m faster I’m going to try to get by. We shook hands after the main too. I’m not racing him on 450s [next year] so it’s whatever.

A tight track makes for close racing.
A tight track makes for close racing. Lariviere/PH

Not that you’re going to use this as an excuse or anything else, but I think there’s something to Marvin having a full factory bike—you, Barcia, Malcolm, production bikes, the suspension, maybe a pipe or whatever. That helps.
Yeah, and it’s a bike that he already raced at the SMX Cup. Me and Mookie have talked about that over the weekend how he had a factory bike and we were sitting here with stock bikes. But at the end of the day it’s the rider. We know how much you like excuses and all that. It was third overall so I can’t complain. For how terrible I felt out there, to get third overall was something cool.

What about the overall experience? You’ve read about this race, you’ve followed it. Your dad raced it a long time ago, different place. What about just being here and being around this?
It’s cool. I’ve been to Europe quite a bit only when I was younger and I wasn’t a fan, but I just looked at it in a different way when I came this time. The time change sucks. That’s the biggest thing. The first night I couldn’t sleep. I hated that, but the people here are awesome and really welcoming. Eric Peronnard and Xavier [Audouard] put on a great race here and I hope to come back in the future.

Malcolm Stewart | Seven/Privateer Honda | Fifth Overall

Racer X: Bummer, man, you passed Barcia in second, looking good, tipped over in a turn. That sucks.
Malcolm Stewart: What happened was when I went in the corner my rear brake actually caught and it actually ripped out. So usually in the States we run a snake [cable on the rear brake] so that doesn’t happen and cause that, but just the thought of bringing parts over here, that’s something you just really don’t think about. But overall I’m actually happy. I actually felt like I was riding pretty good. Actually I can take back the positive energy because of the situations I’ve been going through all summer. It just goes to prove myself I’m still mentally acting like I’m going to go to Anaheim 1.

If you look at where Barcia is and where he’s at and you caught and passed him, like you said, it’s got to be a good thing for you.
It’s kind of a positive energy you’re leaving from here. I’m just going to take everything I’ve got, keep working, put my head down and hopefully show up at Geneva.

A little bit of an easier track than last year? Remember last year the dragon’s back got really rutty. This year’s was a little easier?
I wish I could say yeah, but I felt like this year was more soft. It was a lot more rutty in certain ways. But the dragon’s back was one of the tricky sections that was getting people. Some of the rhythms were pretty crazy, like quading before the finish line. The whoops were way tougher this year than it was last year, that’s for sure. But overall, I’m glad I’m out here racing. I could be just chilling at home.

"Nothing but positive. I didn’t get hurt. I can go home safe." Lariviere/PH

You were one of the guys consistently quading that thing in that main event today. Was there a secret? Did you find some line? Everyone was kind of struggling with it.
Believe it or not I was just confident. I just put it in my head. I was like, ”It’s the last race, out with it. Give it everything you got.” I started making passes and I was like, “All right, we’re in second, keep rolling,” and then I made a mistake. So it’s just part of racing. Nothing but positive. I didn’t get hurt. I can go home safe.

Marv was good, huh?
He was the better man. He rode a lot better than me. I’ve still got more work to do. I’m not just saying I’m just going to wash my hands up and that was just one race. There’s still a lot of work to do but main thing is I need to find a ride before I can even consider being on Marvin’s level first.