By Steve Matthes and Jason Weigandt
Ken Roczen | Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s RCH Suzuki | 1st in 450SX
Racer X: Third win of the year. Those opening laps were a treat. You jumped into the lead and took off. I guess that was probably the goal once you got the lead.
Ken Roczen: Definitely. This track is really tough. It got really notchy, super cupped-out. I was able to do a couple of good passes, found myself in the lead and rode some solid laps. Not that it was an easy race by any means, but I made it a lot easier on myself just doing a couple passes and then I had a clear track. Overall towards the end I was just keeping it steady because it got really tough out there. I didn’t lose any focus and just kept it on two wheels. So I’m beyond happy right now. This is exactly what we were going for. It’s my third win of the season. We’ve been putting in some good intensity during the week, and it led me to the win.
I thought you fixed your starts. They went crappy again. Tonight they were good, and that was the key.
Yeah, exactly. Especially the start was really tough because it looked like it was pretty tacky and you had good traction but you didn’t. I was pretty good into the first turn. I got lucky in the second turn because [Justin] Bogle crashed.
Bogle was like right next to you, right?
Yeah, he was a bit in front of me and then he kind of rode towards me. I think if I would have been just a little bit further back I think he would clubbed me. I hope everybody’s okay. I saw a couple of crashes. I hope they’re all healthy.
It’s crazy that at your level, as good as you are and everything else, if the starts aren’t there not even you can work your way up there.
It is. And especially the tracks most of the time don’t make it any easier on us. Everybody’s hauling ass right now, that’s for sure. Definitely important for the start.
The whole race just comes down to like .5 seconds.
I think that’s what was [Ryan] Dungey’s key. That’s why he was phenomenal in the beginning of the year. That’s what led him to a lot of race wins. You can see if he’s not up in the front right away it’s a lot tougher for him too.
Those rhythm sections, they looked steep. The faces looked steep. Guys were over jumping, under jumping. I don’t know if it was the track build or what but it looked like tricky rhythms.
For sure. Already during track walk it looked really peaked, and the transitions were not ideal. So that made the track a lot tougher. Obviously after the start you had to triple in and there was a couple of lines. I think on the last lap I actually over jumped it too a little bit, but kept it on two wheels so it’s all good. – Steve Matthes
Marvin Musquin | Red Bull KTM | 2nd in 450SX
Racer X: In Montreal, Quebec, French Canadian, is it totally different than the French you speak?
Marvin Musquin: I think the pronunciation and the accent is really strong. If a French Canadian wants me to not understand him, he can. That’s how much different it is. But it’s always cool and it’s funny to hear them talking.
Did you get any French speakers this weekend?
Yeah, I did. Actually quite a bit of French Canadian here today, so thank you to them. Actually I hear a lot of people drove a long way to come here, so thank you. It’s nice to be on the podium for them.
How was the race?
It was a good race. I definitely wanted to be on the podium again for sure but with the heat race that I did, it was a tough one. I kind of got lucky the first lap in the main. People went down and I got around them luckily. Hopefully no one got hurt. Justin Bogle hopefully is good. I was fifth and I was ready to battle. The track was really challenging, really slippery. I got around [Cole] Seely and then I got around [Eli] Tomac. I was pumped. I was like, keep going! I had a good flow. I was behind Dungey and I was like, Why not [try to] pass Ryan? I was trying and he kind of got away a little bit in front of me. I was running third, big gap with fourth place. So I was like yeah, it sounds like another podium. Obviously Ryan went down and I got around him. I fought pretty hard to keep second because he was right behind me. It felt good to stay in front of him and show people that I was capable of staying in front of him, not like I did in Atlanta, unfortunately. [Laughs]
You haven’t gotten the win but still, these last four weeks, you’ve been right there. Did you expect to be going this good? You’re absolutely in that group.
Yeah, even in practice I was really happy. I think I’m finally able to show my potential, because I’m feeling better and better on the bike. The team obviously is doing a lot of work. Me and the bike are together now. We are one with the bike. The bike is not riding me; I’m riding the bike. That’s why I’m feeling better.
You went to Florida a week early, right? You went back there after San Diego, most of the riders waited until after Dallas. Since then you’ve been on fire. Was there something out of that week that you picked up on or changed or is it just a coincidence?
It’s also the tracks I think—when you have technical tracks. Even though today I thought it was going to be a tough one for me because it started to get slippery. But obviously I was able to have good lines and do good. But the work that we do in Florida is obviously good. I have great training partners, Ryan [Dungey] and Jason [Anderson]. We get along really good. We all do the work together. Mathilde, my wife, is a big part of my program. Aldon [Baker] and Mike, my practice mechanic, in Florida. And obviously Frankie for the races and all the team. I know it’s easy to say that you have great people and everything is awesome when you’re on the podium, but even if I don’t do a podium I would still say that I have good people. The bike was going really good tonight and it felt good to be on the podium again.
But no special thing you stumbled on when you got back to Florida?
Not really. – Jason Weigandt
Cole Seely | Honda HRC | 4th in 450SX
Racer X: Nice ride. Grabbed fourth late in the race. A nice main event.
Cole Seely: Yeah, definitely. It’s been tough the past two weekends. I’ve been fast, for sure, but definitely had my ups and downs. In Atlanta I was really fast and had a couple incidents and that put me all the way back to tenth. Same thing with Daytona, I was fast in the main event but unfortunately went down in the beginning. It was a good track tonight. Last weekend was in my opinion a pretty sad excuse for a race track as far as from the start and all of the way around the track. Every lap was so one-lined. The start, if you lined up on the inside, you were guaranteed to get the holeshot which is completely and totally unfair. But it’s good to get back on… I was second outside the box [gate pick] and I still came out third or fourth, which is good. It’s nice and fair.
You kind of went out there for your semi a little bit, maybe not as far but you were kind of out there.
I went four inside the box. It was pushing to the left so it was kind of like if you started outside you came to the [right spot]… So it was good. It was a good night for sure. Made a couple mistakes there in front of Marvin. He was able to get around me. He was riding really good. Then I was able to reel in Tomac and pass him towards the end of the race and just put in a pretty solid fourth.
It was a good track for you I think because it was technical, rutted up. Jump faces were weird. A good track for a guy who’s got technical ability like you. And big whoops.
Yeah, it was pretty good for me. I’m kind of mad at myself. I should have just trusted my instincts on the first five laps. I felt like I was faster than those guys in front of me when I was sitting in fourth in the beginning. I was trying to push it where I shouldn't have been and making little mistakes here and there. It was pretty much just tiring me out more than anything, so I should have just backed it down and rode a good pace. But I felt like I rode pretty good once I settled in.
You almost get caught up in the Bogle thing?
I didn’t. It was right next to me. I caught it kind of out of the corner of my eye. Probably when they upload the GoPro footage, it’s such a wide angle you’ll probably be able to see it. I was actually able to hear it more than anything. Somebody landed on his bike and he broke something titanium. I was amazed at how loud it was. You’ll probably be able to hear that on the GoPro too. – Matthes
Eli Tomac | Monster Energy Kawasaki | 5th in 450SX
Racer X: Well, you had the lead early. I’m thinking, “He won Daytona, had a good start, looked like it was on.”
Eli Tomac: I thought it was going to be, and some of it was, but I don’t know what to say. I just kind of got shuffled back after Roczen passed me there after the first couple laps. I have no finger to point except at myself with that race. That was weird for sure. I wasn’t the same guy in the main event as I was in the heat race.
It’s not like you got arm pump or something broke or got twisted?
My heart rate spiked early and I never really recovered. That’s something that was different for sure than any other race I’ve had this year.
Your season has been up, down, up, down. Every time it looks like you’ve got it.
Yeah. We are getting closer though, for sure. We’re getting a lot closer. Beginning of the season I didn’t really feel like we had anything in the tank for anyone. We’re making huge strides for sure.
So after tonight you’re not like, I’m back in the dumps here?
No, not at all.
What we saw in in Daytona. It’s still there?
Yeah, for sure. Practice was good today, heat race was good. Main event was kind of… I don’t know. The one that really mattered just wasn’t good, so I don’t know what to say. – Weigandt
Justin Bogle | GEICO Honda | 21st in 450SX
Racer X: Describe that one. Did you jump too far? Is that what you did?
Justin Bogle: Yeah, I messed up. Honestly, the way that I was going I’m pretty disappointed that I pulled that off the start. I was feeling good, making progress. Heat race was really good. I finally got a good start in one of those and got to lead a few laps. It’s starting to come around. Happy with that. Honestly, all in all, we’re still making progress and I’m better off now that I was. Holeshot, man. Holeshot the main event, pretty much. I don’t know if I crossed the line first but I’m counting it. I hadn’t hit that side of the rhythm all day and I just boosted [jumped too far] and went deep. From there I was just praying that I was going to make it out of there alive. Unfortunately took a few guys down with me. Obviously I was Rickying [ricocheting] across the track like that, Larried out [Larry Loop Out] over that thing. Not much I could do to escape that healthy and somehow I’m okay. I’m just thankful I’m alive after that one. And my race was over after that because my bike, unfortunately it wasn’t as lucky as I was. I messed up a few things up on the machine. Obviously that’s take the full blame right here on Justin Bogle. AKA, Justin Bogle just didn’t do it too solid. – Weigandt