Open Mic: Glen Helen

Open Mic Glen Helen

May 29, 2017 9:50am

Dean Wilson | 6-7 for fourth overall in 450MX

Racer X: Another good day, strong day. Late in the second moto you were the second-fastest guy out on the track for a few laps.
Wilson: It was a good day, but I’m actually a little bit disappointed, to be honest, just because I think that I should have been on the podium. My speed’s there and it’s just I got a terrible start. I had to come through the pack. The opportunity was there for me and it didn’t happen. So, I’m a little bit disappointed in that but it is what it is. Another fourth overall and I’m healthy, and another race done. So it was good, but a podium would have been nice. But I said top 10s from the beginning.

Which track sucked more—Hangtown or this one? Neither one looked much fun.
That is such a hard question. These outdoors are so gnarly. It’s unreal. It really is. Outdoors is for the men, 100 percent. Last week, I honestly can’t even say. I suffered in both of them. But I think here there was definitely some more sketchy sections that could go wrong really badly, where last weekend it was more of just not as big jumps and stuff like that. Here the downhills were so gnarly today. It kind of sucks because the camera views when you watch it on TV, they need to go from behind and show the bumps. You see it from the side and it don’t look that bad. But I rode the nose a couple times for sure.

I think you can tell because you guys go down them pretty slow. You guys are the world’s best riders and you guys are going really slow.
Honestly, it was the roughest in practice. They made bumps before practice started down the hills, man-made bumps. So these things were gnarly. Maybe it will have like a shark tank jump next year.

Weston Peick | 9-6 for fifth overall in 450MX

Racer X: Home race for you. Talking to your dad last week, you shouldn’t even have been really racing that much. You’re ahead of schedule. How bad is it? How bad is the wrist during the motos and practicing and all that?
Peick: The wrist is kind of bad. After racing last weekend, with being on the track racing more or less that was the first time I even did 30-minute motos was last weekend. So just the recover time of not racing so long, I was so sore. I wasn’t even recovered until Tuesday from Hangtown. Then I rode a little bit on Tuesday and then I rode Thursday and that was it. I can’t do too much right now because it hurts when I do too much. So I have to be smart and do just enough to where I can get some time on the bike during the week. Overall, coming into Glen Helen this weekend, I did press day Thursday. I felt really good on the track and then obviously this morning I felt good with practice. Obviously been testing with the team and being able to get more time on the bike, just because I haven’t had any time on the bike. I had maybe seven, eight days before the first round. Things are clicking. We’re finally finding better settings. Every single moto we’re finding something that works better. So I’m happy with it. It’s been good.

Worst possible track too for a wrist injury though, Glen Helen.
Yeah, today was probably the worst, it hurt just with the types of jumps. The jumps are the worst because it was so rutted that we couldn’t down side the jumps, so I was just landing on top of every jump, so it was hurting that much more. So that was the biggest part. Obviously the braking bumps are massive here and whatnot, so that doesn’t help with the wrist injury as well. Being able to get another shot of Toradol before the day starts, it helps with swelling but not with pain so much. I’m doing what I can. That was the goal, is not push too hard and not do anything stupid and finish the season.

So having said all that, I think you got to be happy with your first four motos of the year, right? It’s been good.
I’m happy. I haven’t had any motos on the ground. I’ve been able to stay up every weekend and I’m riding smart and consistent. That’s just kind of what I’m focusing on for outdoors, obviously because I haven’t had much time on the bike. It’s more or less just put the laps in and then let everybody else makes the mistakes and capitalize on them. So it’s kind of how it’s going to have to go for the first couple rounds.

When do you think you’ll be 100 percent, or is there ever going to be a point where you’re 100 percent?
Since I’m racing with the injury right now and I’m not making it any better by riding on it, I won’t be 100 percent until the off-season until I’m able to actually take the time off and let my wrist heal properly without stressing it with dirt bikes. Probably the entire year I’ll be at 80 percent with my wrist, with strength and everything like that. I have range of motion back, but the pure strength of it is the hardest part to come back from.

Maybe your good rides the last two weeks have been due to Phil being around.
Yeah, Phil does a good job. He’s out there screaming at us. He does what he can, but I wouldn’t say that my results reflect from anything from him.

Broc Tickle | 14-4 for seventh overall in 450MX

Racer X: Great second moto, but man, if you hadn’t fallen I guess, I don’t know, three quarters of the way through the first moto you would have been looking at a really strong overall day.
Tickle: Yeah, I think I probably would have been like fourth overall on the day if I wouldn’t have stalled. I stalled it at the bottom of the hill and it took me a couple kicks to get going. I think I lost 15, 20 seconds and went from ninth or 10th to 14th. Lost quite a bit of points, but I feel like I made it up second moto.

Nice ride second moto. For a bit you were catching Marv.
Yeah, it was good. I got in a flow and was hitting my marks. To be honest, I’ve been doing it during the week and finally I was like, there it is! It clicked. The track was tough today, too. Just had to be patient, carry momentum. It’s honestly less work. It’s kind of weird, but first moto I felt like I was working harder and going way slower. That time I felt like I was not even trying and going faster.

On a 450 can you sweep turns and go really wide on a track like this and still be okay? Is that kind of what you’re talking about?
Yeah, when it gets so rough down the insides I think it’s kind of good on a 450. You just carry your momentum, click up to third gear in the corner, and just kind of let the bike do what it’s supposed to. The second moto I found some good lines. Honestly, behind Marv, it helped me out a lot to find some areas of the track that are tough to ride. It made it a little easier on myself. Down the downhills, we made a change for the second moto. We haven’t seen bumps this big since… those bumps were huge.

I don’t think the camera does it justice.
Definitely. The first lap of practice I’m like, they didn’t touch the track. I thought it was good because it slows it down, number one, and it’s rough but we know not to just… I hold it wide open down the hill. So we made a change for the second moto and I felt really good going down the hills. I felt like I’d close in on Marvin there and then he’d pull me on other parts of the track. But when it came to the hills, I was making up some ground. So that was cool to see kind of a yo-yo effect on the guy that won the first moto.

Outside of the first moto today, I thought your Hangtown was great. We talked about it on one of my shows about how we don’t talk about you too much. Then all of a sudden fifth overall. We hadn’t seen you for a long time. So, three out of four motos have been really good for you. Do you feel that?
For sure. You’ll agree, Hangtown and Glen Helen for me, you can go back and look, it’s not very good normally. This is the best Hangtown and Glen Helen I’ve had since I’ve been pro. So for me it’s upswing from here heading into Colorado. I enjoy that place. I really start having some fun once we hit High Point and those kind of places.

I don’t know if this helps or not, but before you got hurt last summer you’d made two podiums in a row I believe, third overall, does that help at all less than a year later? Can you be like, “Hey, I really turned my outdoor game around before I got hurt?”
It’s in the back of my mind.

Can you almost tell road-block Kyle to be like, hey, I want to [have] RedBud and Tennessee settings to start with, because I know that works?
No, we’ve made a big improvement. To be honest, we made from last year changes, we stepped it up again. The motor’s better, the suspension’s better, chassis parts are better. So we’ve made progress. I feel like for even [Justin] Bogle’s second moto, that was a strong ride from both of us.

It was a Suzuki sandwich. It was Barcia, you, Bogle, Peick and somebody else.
I think it’s good for Suzuki to get in there because we kind of haven’t been there the last couple races. But stoked on how I started out the season. Liking my bike. I got a good feel for things right now. I feel good. I’m not focused on anything else but just trying to be the best I can be. That’s all I can do.

Dakota Alix | 19-15 for 19th overall in 450MX

Racer X: You don’t have a ton of 450 motocross experience, but you acquitted yourself pretty good last week and again this week on a rough and gnarly track. You’ve got to be stoked with your finishes.
Alix: Yeah, for sure. Today was actually my seventh day on the 450. That was track was gnarly out there. I just did what I could. Qualified 19th, struggled a little bit in the first moto. I got 19th. Then I felt a little better in the second moto and got 15th. Got a little lucky with Tomac and Grant. Overall, I’m really pumped on how the first four motos have gone.

What’s the adaption of the 450 like for you? Obviously it’s a lot of bike, you’ve got to be respectful of it, but what’s it like for you?
The bike’s awesome. The motor is really great. My WP suspension is getting better every time I ride it. The 450 is definitely a lot different than the 250. On a smooth, easy track it’s easier to ride, but once the track gets really gnarly and you’re doing 30-minute motos, it’s a lot to hold onto for sure.

Are you one of those 250 guys that rev the shit out of their 450 or are you trying not to?
No, I don’t really rev my bike very much, so it’s been a little bit easier than I thought getting used to the 450 because I kind of can ride it in a gear higher, how I prefer to ride. So I think once I get used to it it’s going to suit my style a little bit.

I’m asking a few guys this question. Neither track looked fun at all to ride. They looked balls terrible. Which one was tougher?
For me, I’d have to say Glen Helen, but mostly just because my blisters were worse this weekend. Hangtown was really choppy and gnarly but these hills just beat you up.

What’s your plan when Benny comes back? Are you going to stick around? Do you know?
Yeah, my plan is to do the full season. I’ll be heading back to Georgia MTF tomorrow and then I’ll be riding there for pretty much until the season is over, really.

So no Canadian Nationals?
No, I’m kind of bummed I didn’t go back to Canada, but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

Jeff Kardas