By Jason Weigandt and Steve Matthes
Phil Nicoletti | Autotrader.com/Monster Energy/JGR Yamaha | 6-8 for sixth overall in 450 MX (fifth overall for season)
Racer X: Do you feel like you deserve interviews for your performances?
Phil Nicoletti: The second half of the series, yeah. It was good in the beginning, then in the middle we had some slump with some issues with a lot of things. I think before Millville I was fourteenth in points, so to kind of climb back in good moto finishes and end up fifth in the series is okay. I understand a lot of guys are out, but the whole point of the whole motocross series is to be able to survive the whole thing, too. Like I said, I did twelve races of supercross and twelve rounds of outdoors so I basically did a full season as well. So to be there all the way through the end and stuff, yeah, I’m stoked to achieve something like that.
I have to say in general you don’t get hurt and miss a lot of races. It seems like you make all the nationals you’re supposed to make. It’s kind of a strength of yours.
Yeah. It’s hard. I hate to say it but in our sport you have to be able to take a hit. Whether you like it or not, especially for myself and even Weston [Peick]. You’ve got to be able to cartwheel and get up and show up for the next moto or show up for the next weekend. You can’t be brittle. I just think that’s really just genetics. But it’s cool. Like I said, to do the amount of supercross races I did, and even last year I did the same thing, and to do all twelve outdoors, I’m excited. And I rode well this year in outdoors I believe. Put in some solid results, so we’ll see.
So when you get fifth in the series you are pumped on that? You were thinking about that?
Oh yeah, absolutely. I was so far behind in points. We just had a couple DNF’s from crashing, a couple DNF’s from bikes. If I didn’t have any of those, just give yourself eleventh in each of those motos and give yourself ten points for that in each, those are 50 points throughout the year. That’s huge. So to see those zeros through the year kind of hurts, but then again today I had an objective and that was to go out and execute and get fifth overall, which is what I did. So yeah, I actually am happy. – Jason Weigandt
Benny Bloss | BTOSports.com-WPS-KTM | 7-11 for tenth overall in 450MX (sixth overall for season)
Racer X: You had a good day. You came from way back in the second moto. But Phil Nicoletti captured fifth in the points over you. But if someone had said you’re going to get sixth in 450 outdoors before I started, you would have probably told them they were nuts.
Benny Bloss: Yeah, definitely. I would have said you’re crazy. At the beginning of the year my goal was top ten. Halfway through the year I was like, it’s possible that I could get to tenth. I think I lost fifth by one point. So to be there I’m still happy. It’s crazy to see how far I’ve come since the beginning of the year. I was getting 18th’s and 16th’s and now I’m top ten, occasionally top five. The progression, I was really, really happy with it. I feel like it’s just going to go up from here.
This is one track you rode actually. You’ve got some time on this track now.
I raced here last year. I like it a lot. It’s a lot of fun. I was hoping for a mudder but it wasn’t too bad.
You charged up in the second moto after you fell. How bad was it roost-wise and getting around guys?
Roost-wise it was pretty bad. I crashed twice. The first crash, my nose started bleeding a little bit, and then I got hit with a rock. It was just gushing blood out of my nose from there. Tried to make the best of it and work my way up to I think 11th for tenth overall. So not too bad of a weekend.
What’s up next for you?
I’ll be racing Monster Cup with the BTO team on the 450 and then 250 supercross and 450 outdoors next year. – Steve Matthes
Fredrik Noren | Rocky Mountain ATV/MC & Honda HRC | 9-9 for ninth overall in 450MX
Racer X: I was pissed at you because you passed Canada’s motocrosser [Kaven Beniot] on the last lap for ninth. Good job, but I wasn’t happy.
Fredrik Noren: Thank you. That was my biggest goal the last two laps was to make Steve Matthes upset. I’m like, I’m going to get the Canadian just to make him upset. Don’t really feel like doing it, but just to make Steve upset. No, I rode good and everything. Kind of just had some mishaps. Ran into Benny Bloss the first lap.
So you didn’t get a bad start, you went down somewhere?
Yeah, actually it wasn’t too bad. I think I was seventh or something coming by the mechanics area and Benny was coming a little bit from the left side and cut over the ruts after the mechanics row. He fell and I ran into him and got kind of stuck in that perfect spot between the rear wheel and the rear fender. Just set the bike right there and got going again. But then one-third in the moto I actually did go down as well at the finish line. Got a little whisky. I had a little time I guess to get up. Tried to get up as fast as possible and then get going again. My riding was all right but not the best result. – Matthes
Dean Wilson | Red Bull KTM | 10-12 for twelfth overall in 450MX
Racer X: For sure you fell in the first moto. I think you might have fell in the second too. A rough track with the rain and everything.
Dean Wilson: It was probably the toughest race for me. Usually I do really well in the heat but first moto I got tenth. Second moto I was coming through the pack in eighth I think. Coming for Filthy [Phil Nicoletti]. He knew I was coming…
He said you were barking at him earlier, like a real dog. He heard you barking.
I was letting the dogs eat. I was just messing with him. But I fell the second moto.
Did you fall in the first or no?
No, just bad start. Honestly the roost, I was just trying to stay up. The conditions were so gnarly. I just genuinely struggled with the conditions. I need to improve my technique. But the way I look at it, I finished both motos. I’ve missed 22 races this year so these guys have a lot of races on me.
We saw three good motos in a row from you the last couple weeks.
Yeah and I know a lot of dudes are out but I’ve already done my time [with injuries, too].
Cianciarulo was telling me he almost wished it would have poured or not rained at all because it just really kind of messed the track up.
The track sucked. I didn’t like it. I just really struggled balance-wise. This really makes you think how much you’ve got to work on your technique. Just kept losing balance and cross-rutting. Just using too much throttle when you don’t need to. It’s just bad habits. Where Kenny’s [Roczen] like half throttle and I’m just kind of too aggressive. It’s just stuff I’ve got to work on, just technique stuff. – Matthes
Andrew Short | BTOSports.com-WPS- KTM, 13-35 for…who cares he holeshot his final moto!
Racer X: You went out with a holeshot. You had some bike problems, but I thought you were like, I got the holeshot, mic drop. I’m out, everybody.
Andrew Short: Yeah, I was just stoked I got to go across the gate there. For a while it was looking kind of bleak. I didn’t get to do the parade lap to check out the lines, then the 30 second card was up. My bike still wasn’t even in the gate. Threw it in there, put the holeshot device down. I think the guy next to me, it was the Canadian dude. We threw it down and literally just ran into start mode and pulled the holeshot. I believe I got it. It was close, but I swear I got it going across the lines. Guns blazing, went out. Obviously had issues and I think it’s fairly easy to figure out what it was. That has kind of been my role here at KTM is to help develop parts. Racing at the highest level, those things are going to happen. I think I’m the last person to run it. I think they’re going to put it on the shelf and no one else will run that shock, from what I’m aware of. But it is what it is. It’s been a lot of fun. Had a good time. There are so many people that have made this career awesome and I feel very blessed to be walking away.
You were up there again in the first moto. Anything go through your mind? I know you knew you had another moto to go, but did you take time a little bit to appreciate it?
Yeah, it was really cool because I got to do the parade lap and there was a bunch of people on the starting line, so that was really cool. But I think it kind of messed me up for the moto, honestly. My head wasn’t in a good spot. I wasn’t focused on racing and I got really scared because the ruts. I was jumping stuff and I about crashed a few times. I just backed it down and as a racer you can’t do that. You’ve got to be focusing ahead. I thought I was really going to rebound the second moto and kind of hang it all out and who cares at that point, but it wasn’t meant to be. – Matthes
Adam Cianciarulo | Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki | 6-5 for fifth overall in 250MX
Racer X: Before we started this interview you said, “Better than Hangtown.” I agree. You kind of got stronger all year. We had some second moto issues for a couple weeks but you almost won the overall last week, probably could have had it with a little more fitness. And this week two good motos. You’ve got to be stoked. There’s a group of about four or five of you and you guys were clearly better than everybody and that’s all right.
Adam Cianciarulo: Yeah, I think these last couple races with how my body’s starting to feel and how I’m getting better, I sort of came into the race kind of expecting more of myself. When I was going to Millville and kind of those races, around that time I think I went 6-7 or 7-8 or something at Millville and RedBud and those races. I was like, that’s not bad for where I was at. But I think as my body’s starting to come around naturally my expectations are getting more. I crashed twice in the first moto today, which wasn’t good. My starts really weren’t that great today either but I can’t complain. Like I said, 6-5, we made it through 24 motos, which was the first goal of the year. I feel like we’ve accomplished the goal, meaning we’re competitive again. I feel like I can see what I need to do to be one of the top guys. Now I can see it, it’s this, this, and this, and it’s not like we started out at Hangtown like, “Am I ever going to get there again?” So I think the progress we made over the races and also trying to get better during the week, weekend to weekend, it’s pretty tough. I think we got better but by no means am I super satisfied with where I am. I think coming back from multiple injuries it would be easy for me to kind of lower my standards and kind of be stoked for top fives, top tens, but I still believe in my ability to be one of the best guys. – Matthes