AURORA, Ill. (January 3, 2008) – The top riders and teams competing in the 2008 Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, converged inside the Diamond Club at Angel Stadium for the annual opening round press conference. Before a host of industry and mainstream media, the top riders discussed the 2008 Monster Energy® Supercross championship, and the impending rain storm that is forecasted to hit Southern California.
The press conference’s featured riders included reigning Monster Energy® AMA Supercross champion James Stewart, former Monster Energy® AMA Supercross champion Chad Reed, former A Monster Energy® AMA Supercross Lites champion Tim Ferry, reigning AMA Motocross champion Grant Langston, reigning Regional Monster Energy® AMA Supercross Lites champions Ryan Villopoto and Ben Townley.
“My goal for the season is to complete all 17 rounds. I’ve never completed a whole season. I need to crawl before I can walk. I have some momentum behind me after winning at the U.S. Open. I think we’ve made huge improvements, even since the U.S. Open. I only started riding the Yamaha about mid-November last year. So my fitness was down and I got a late start (to the 2007 season). There were so many factors that it seemed like I was starting from behind. Everything was new, the bike and all. I didn’t have a lot of track time. We started off behind the eight ball. This year I took about a week off the bike after the outdoors and went straight into the U.S. Open. Everything we’ve done has been a step in the right direction. James (Stewart) is going to be lightning fast. He’s been the fastest guy the last few years and we know what to expect. All we can do is try to make the most of everything. Get good starts, be in front, make him have to chase you and be in a position of strength were you can charge at lap 17. At the end of the day, he’s only human and James will be the first to admit that it has been his mistakes that have cost him in the past as well.”
“Supercross is kind of changing a lot over the years. With James coming in and doing new things, and doing triples and stuff, it’s made it tricky. I’ve had to adapt my style two or three times since I’ve turned pro. When Jeremy came in, he changed riding styles so we adapted to him. We’ve evolved through Ricky. There seemed to always have been one guy that kind of changes things. And now James is the guy doing that. (In mud races) It’s mainly the start. They’re tricky. I honestly don’t like to think about it that much. Get the start and try and stay up. The hardest thing for us is that we still try and jump all the same jumps. We still try and hit the triples. That’s what could end up biting you in the end. I would love to win a supercross. I got a second last year and a lot of podiums. I want to better myself each year and obviously a win would be icing on the cake.
“Last week of November I was doing some testing for the first time with Honda. I took off a little awkward on a jump and landed really hard. My heel hit the ground really hard when the bike bottomed out. It separated my heel bone and had to have things reconstructed. It was a bit of a mess and its well on its way to healing now. We haven’t set a date yet. It’s definitely quite a decent injury and we’re looking at about three months before I can be back on a bike. We’re not setting a date but it’s looking like probably early March before I can be back on a bike again. Last year was a great season, getting out there and picking up that championship in my first season. The back and forth with Ryan (Villopoto) really helped me pick my speed up and I was really looking forward to getting back out there.”
“I had planned on maybe riding west, but there was still that possibility to ride east. The injury pretty much made the decision to ride east. Obviously MXoN was an awesome weekend. Winning two of the races was unbelievable. I had a lot of fun but you just can t let it get to you. I’m racing east and how knows someone may show up and be just as fast as I am. I have to get prepared and not think about all that stuff.”
“It’s been a long time since I really raced a race that meant something. Every year we start with a new motivation. We got a new bike, and like I said, I’ve had a lot of time off to think about the good and the bad and get motivated. It’s nice to have a great off season, be healthy, motivated and excited. The consistency is not always the easy thing but it’s the easy thing for me. In the past, every weekend I feel like I’ve given it everything I’ve had. Most weekends it’s not been good enough for the win, but it’s been good enough for the podium. It’s what I’ve been thinking about this off season. I just want those wins back. I want to go out there and give it everything I got to win. I’d rather take a fall than settle for those seconds or thirds. I think our bikes are a lot more competitive this year and that’s important for us.
“We’ve been back in Florida, riding a lot and testing a lot. It’s been a long off season. It seems like I haven’t raced in forever. I guess I’ve been under the radar. I was out here in California the first couple weeks of December but mostly I’ve been back at the Ponderosa in Florida. (On his history of not being consistent) We haven’t done it yet. Obviously you have to define yourself to be a champion and be consistent. I’ll be the first to admit it; we haven’t gotten the job done. We’ve been doing some work to try and avoid those. (On working with new trainer, Aldon Baker) We should be good. The only way I feel we can show that is out on the track. We’ll let that show it. Looks don’t get the championship done. I got these rings last year because it was an 18-race series and I got the job done. I feel like my speed is there. It’s obviously going to take more than speed to get the job done. I feel like I’m the underdog. I’m the one that hasn’t raced in a while. I know I won the championships last year but I didn’t finish the season. It’s kind of like the Patriots who win all the games in the season but don’t win the Super Bowl. It’s obviously going to race this weekend but I feel like I’m a pretty decent mud rider. I’ve always loved Anaheim. All the fans showed up here but I couldn’t win Anaheim when I was on 125s. I told myself I was never going to win it. Then last year it was really special when I won all three of them.”
MDK KTM Lites
Torco Racing Fuels Honda
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians/Yamaha
Joe Gibbs Racing
Fun Center Suzuki
Team Suzuki City
Bad Boy Energy/ Rick Ware Racing
Hart & Huntington
Team ECC Suzuki/ Richardson’s Racing
Team BTOSport/ Rick Case Honda
Xtreme Pro Lites Kawasaki
Star Racing Yamaha
MDK/Wonder Warthog Racing
All American Firepolicemx.com
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