The Conversation: Musquin, Tomac, Anderson

The Conversation: Musquin, Tomac, Anderson

April 9, 2017 10:25am

Going into the Seattle Supercross many predicted this could be a wild race and potentially shake up the 450SX points race because of the already soft dirt and large amount of rain the city had received during the week. While we didn't get a massive shake up in the points, the race was still one of the craziest of the season. 

Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin got a great start, and within a few corners had worked his way up into the lead where he would stay for the rest of the race. 

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac's streak of good starts in the main event ended in Seattle when he came around in 10th place after lap one. He quickly worked his way up to third place, but then crashed and pushed himself back to fourth. After picking his bike up he charged hard to get himself a second place finish. 

Ryan Dungey and Tomac are now tied in the points after Dungey crashed on the start and also had to work his way through the pack. He eventually got to fourth place after passing Davi Millsaps on the last lap. 

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Jason Anderson grabbed his third podium of the year after battling with Cooper Webb for what seemed like most of the race. 

All three riders spoke with the media after the race. 

Racer X: Jason, throughout the main event you had some tough battles with both Eli Tomac and Cooper Webb. Can you kind of talk us through those and then how difficult it was to race on the track with how deep the ruts were there mid-race?
Jason Anderson: Yeah, for sure. My heat race was kind of squirrelly so I was kind of up there and just wanted to do solid laps. And then Marv got by me and I tried to stick with him, but I still struggled with that track quite a bit. I wasn’t really riding that pace. I was kind of squirrelly a little bit. So whenever those guys got by me I just kept trying to stick with them and stick with them. I’m kind of bummed about it because I want to be able to race them pretty good, but they were going a little bit faster. But all in all, being on the podium [is] cool. Pumped on that. Haven’t been up here much this year, so I really want to finish out the season strong and I really want to try and get a win.

Eli, in the main event there were some different jump options that you started doing—one along the table tops, and then also in that middle rhythm. Was that planned ahead of time or was that something that happened in the flow of the race that you kind of just picked up on those?
Eil Tomac: Both those sections were always in the back of my head throughout the day. It was something that, hey, maybe I can save it in my back pocket. It ended up really saving me. Off that start I was pretty buried in the back. I got my act together around lap two or three and then once I started doing those rhythm lanes I was just shooting to the front. Once I got up to Cooper there, he was setting a pretty good pace and he kind of stalled me out a little bit. Going up to that double I tried to go inside there and obviously didn’t make the pass happen and then kind of had to stretch it out over the double. Then my front end just went over and I went over the bars. I was very fortunate that the bike wasn’t tweaked or anything and I was still in front of Dungey at that point. I was paying attention to that because I never saw him on the board. Got up, luckily the bike wasn’t tweaked, and just did what I could.

Marvin, on a track like this that was obviously difficult for everyone, how key was it to get out front early and have a clear track in those early laps to kind of set your own pace and find your rhythm?
Marvin Musquin: Yeah, actually my start wasn’t the best but I was really close to going down in the first corner. Me and Jason, I was really close to him but I was able to get out clean and get into the lead actually in the first lap, which was awesome. I was leading my heat race so leading the main was just the same, just another race tonight. I tried to push as hard as I could but not too much, because it was easy to make mistakes. Those tabletops before the mechanics area, they were getting tough. A lot of wheel spin, a lot of rocks today. So I’m really happy. I was able to ride smooth and focus on my lines and on my riding. I was looking back and I managed to have a good gap. At one point the gap was staying the same with Cooper and then after it was Jason, and then I could see Eli. So I was just trying to go the same pace and keep going. That last lap I was able to kind of take it easy and just ride it out to the finish line. It’s an awesome feeling. It was such a unique day, having only one practice and praying for no rain. We had a great day. Once again, thanks to Dirt Wurx. They did a great job for the track and are giving us the best conditions and the weather was good.

Eli, while you were catching Webb you ran a 54.0, which I believe is the fastest lap of the night, like a second faster than anybody else in the main. Then Webb came in on you really hot in that corner and stalled you up and it took you a while to get going. Was that something that just kind of threw your rhythm off and you just kind of had to regroup?
Tomac: Yeah, it did throw my rhythm off and I didn’t want to get into a bad situation, get into a little scrap that wasn’t really necessary. So I kind of pulled back a little bit, and then when I did make that run again that’s when I made the mistake. It was a big enough crash to where something could have got tweaked or jacked up. The bike could have been not in a good spot, so fortunately I was able to get up and go.

Eli, ruts and weather and the spill, and yet you really just had a crazy good race. You were able to get on the podium. I want to talk about attitude. You had to have some attitude to pull this off.
Tomac: Yeah, tracks like this you can’t be scared or holding back at all. When the conditions get tough, you’ve got to be tough yourself. It was just a never give up attitude and we made it back to second.

Eli, you kind of had a gate pretty far outside the box. What was your strategy there and what happened on the start? It wasn’t a great start, it wasn’t last, but how did it go for you there?
Tomac: Both the starts tonight were not where we like to be. In the heat race, the inside was really pinching out. Everyone was coming together. So I wanted to try to avoid that mess if I could. The gates were pretty hammered again. I ended up like three outside the dog house really just because of what the ruts were outside.

Eli, over these last few weeks in the main event you’ve had the fastest lap time, and almost every time it’s been faster even than your practice session, where you were the fastest person there. Typically we think that the track is broken down so much by the end of the night that it’s impossible to go that fast or even faster. Is it more a setup thing or are you able to be in such an intense race flow that you can up that pace?
Tomac: It’s different each weekend. Tonight was the big lines in the rhythm section—getting the three onto the table and then going two, three, three in the other lane. It’s just different every weekend. Yeah, a lot of times you don’t get comfortable until the last race of the night and that’s the main.

Eli, you’ve been catching Dungey in the points for the last five races now. All of a sudden you tied in points now. Is this really in your mind as the race is progressing? You know Dungey is way back. You had a bad start. What are you thinking? Are you trying to capitalize? Are you thinking about the championship?
Tomac: Absolutely. That’s what we’re shooting for right now. The beginning of the race I honestly thought Dunge was in front of us. I was so buried that I didn’t think it was possible he was behind us, but it sounds like he had a little spill there. I was kind of in panic mode and then I got to the front and I didn’t see him. So I was like, all right, don’t take too many risks. Then a couple laps later I ended up going over the bars anyway, so I don’t know. It wasn’t good. Luckily I was able to get up and get going.

Marvin, that was quite a celebration afterwards.
Muquin: I know! I was definitely excited and I threw my goggles in the crowd, then on that little dragon's back I tried to impress people, a little wheel tap. I don’t know if I hit neutral or something. I wheel tapped and I was like, oh no, this is steep right here on the bottom! I was going super slow and then I gassed it and I don’t know. I hit neutral maybe. I went over the bars. It was so embarrassing. [Laughs] It was bad. It kind of made me a little bit mad. Even though I won the main I’m like, how is that possible to do that? I wish I just rolled that thing. Anyway I’m okay. I kind of hit the bars with my legs. Try to forget about it!

[Jason Anderson then had some fun with his training partner, laughing when he found out Marvin crashed after the race.]

Marvin, except for after the race, you rode a relatively smooth race on a really gnarly track. What were your thoughts on the track? Was it a track that beforehand you were like, this is my kind of track?
Musquin: Yeah, it is. I love when it’s technical like that. There’s so many lines. Not everybody is following the same line. Tonight definitely you had to switch lines. It was getting really deep out of some of the turns to go double in, and those tabletops too before the mechanics. You had to look around and try different lines. Good thing I was leading. I was able to do that. When you have someone behind you it’s sometimes tough. But I was pretty happy about my riding. That rhythm section, the first half of the main I was wondering should I go three, three, three? But I was just like thinking of casing the triple and going over the bars every time. So I’m like, just go double, double and as quick as you can. So I don’t think I was losing much right there. I was just trying to be really smooth and consistent the whole time. The whoops, if you want to call that whoops, that big rut, it was also really technical. Like I said, really easy to make mistakes, but I like those tracks.

Jason, you talked about you’d like to try to get a win. What can you do to try to get that win?
Anderson: Yeah. First of all I need to be faster. I feel like during the week I’m pretty fast but I need to bring it during the race day. I need to keep getting good starts as well. You’re not going to get a win or anything like that if you don’t get good starts. I feel like the last two races I’ve put myself in a good position, but I really haven’t been racing up there much this year. The last couple races I’ve done better, but I really need to step up my game. We have an off-weekend. We’re going to ride some outdoors. Just try and bring it at Salt Lake and New York and Vegas. But I really do want to get a win before the end of the season. Running out of time but I think we can do it for sure.