Racer X: Justin, congratulations to you, man. Awesome performance here this weekend. I know it’s something you’ve been working on a long, long time. Talk a little bit about this weekend and today’s racing and what it was like. Take us through a couple highlights of today’s motos and what it was like to have yourself in position to do what you did today and take your first ever overall win.
Justin Bogle: Obviously, it was an incredible feeling getting a win. This is my first podium on a 450, so to make it a win is awesome. It’s an incredible feeling. My starts were super crucial today. I nailed both of those. Came on top both times. Super important weekend, but it was a really important year. Had some good starts. Did that both motos. Second moto I was almost a little disappointed in how I rode. I was pretty tight the first few laps. Went too wide and Blake [Baggett] got me. I kind of settled back into a pace and started riding better, but all in all to go win a moto, to win another moto was awesome. Haven’t had the best finishes this season so it’s nice to get some good stuff going. It’s a little bit easier to sell yourself when you go out and win. Feels good. 1-3, it would be incredible to go 1-1, but I’ll take it however I can get it at this point.
With the momentum heading into Budds Creek and with the win this week, how are you feeling about heading into next week at the Ironman?
Bogle: I feel good. It’s one of the few tracks that I’d raced a 450 on before this season. I like that place. I like the Midwest. It feels like home for me. I love it. Like I said, just try to keep the ball rolling. I’ve been trying to get some momentum going here. I’ve been putting in a lot of work, so it was kind of frustrating to not really see any results. I won’t get yelled at too much by RC [Ricky Carmichael] and Jeannie this week, so that’s good.
Second place today, Marvin Musquin. Congratulations to you, man. You come into this round of racing, you were on fire. Looking to continue the momentum. Maybe a fifth overall win here today. Some more moto wins. Obviously, the starts were a little tougher on you today. Talk about the struggles that you faced today.
Marvin Musquin: Yeah, exactly. Everybody wish they get good starts, especially today. Like Justin said, it was pretty much one-lined. Especially there’s a lot of off-cambers here and you kind of have to follow the guy in front of you. You’ve seen two different motos today from pretty much all of us, especially Eli [Tomac] and me. Just that first moto I was able to get away and get into second. But the second moto I was far back and Eli kind of did the opposite in the first and second moto. It showed that the track was really tough and the competition was tough today. I tried really hard to catch Justin in the first moto. I was pretty close to him at the end, but I couldn’t make it happen. I gave it a lot of effort on that moto just to come back. Maybe it paid off a little bit in the second moto, but just the start killed me. I was far back and you battle with guys. Especially I was battling with Cooper Webb and we were going at it together. I lost a lot of time. Just got a really bad rhythm and bad lines. I lost a lot of time right there. Unfortunately, I came back to fourth place, and that’s not what I wanted, but it was a tough day. Not a great day, but still got second overall, which is awesome.
Looking back, a few races ago, an idea of winning the championship was kind of far-fetched. Heading into this round of the weekend, you were within 31 points. You’re still I think somewhere in the neighborhood of like 30 points. What does next week’s race … I know you know what you need to do, but what’s your mindset over the course of the next week heading into the Ironman yourself? Are you thinking the championship is a looming possibility? Or are you just thinking, just go out and do what I do?
Musquin: It’s been a few weeks that I’m just telling myself I have nothing to lose and just go out there and do your best. That’s all I can do right now. Especially last weekend in the mud—nothing to lose and I was able to get up front and win. So, it’s a couple weeks ago and we were maybe close to 70 points down. So, it’s not like it was impossible, but it’s hard when you see so much points like that in the championship. But right now we’re getting close and we’re just getting good results. That’s all I can do right now and try to win races and be happy with that. See what happens next weekend. I just talked to Frankie [Latham], and when you look back at this year and for the second year on the 450, winning main events on a 450, winning overalls in the 450 … the goal was at least to get one, and we got four overalls this year. So, it’s been a great year. It’s a tough sport, for sure. Mentally, physically, but nothing you could do. Just give your best. We’ll see at the end of next weekend.
Eli Tomac, third place overall here today. An amazing turnaround in moto two today. It seemed like something going on there for like three straight motos for you, but things turned around and clicked for you there in that second moto today. You’ve got the ball back rolling and the championship seems to be a little more secure now, it looks like, huh?
Eli Tomac: One thing’s for sure—it’s never over until it’s over. I don’t know. I was starting to lose my mind a little bit there. Those three motos before the second one today were pretty disappointing and disheartening. You start going into protection mode and it doesn’t work. Found that out a lot at Unadilla. Was really uncomfortable there. Then even the first moto today, we were better here today all day, but it was tough conditions to make moves. No excuses, though. Got bumped on the start and was shuffled back. Then we end up seventh. Got to put our head back on straight, and we went out there and got her done in the second one. We definitely needed that to change the momentum.
Obviously, the weight of that red background on the number plate is kind of heavy out there. You found that out through the last three motos approaching the end of the season. You’ve got that 30 points now I think still between you and Marvin, and still 21 or 22 between you and second place. Looking at it now, with one week to go, two motos more to go, what is the plan? What is the mindset of Eli Tomac heading through the next week and the final two motos of 2017?
Tomac: I’m going to try to bring that second moto mindset in, which is to go out there and do what we can and try to win races, really. But at the same time not do anything stupid. But going into full protection mode never works. We do have a pretty good cushion, but no backing down next week.
Eli, you talked about the difference between protection mode and kind of full race mode. Are you a guy that’s just more comfortable going wide open, the style you know how?
Tomac: I don't know. I don’t think the conditions of the track really helped my situation. When you’re racing in the mud as we did last week in Unadilla, it’s easy to go into like extra protection mode, because you don’t want to slide out or make that huge mistake. That’s a situation where you have to just be … it’s something I’ll learn from and hopefully we can get this thing done next week.
Talk about Unadilla a little bit. We didn’t get to talk to you after the race last week. Judging from the front of your helmet, it looked like you got pretty well filled in at one point with roost and mud and everything else.
Tomac: Yeah. Everyone struggled with vision, unless you holeshotted. That was just one to forget.
Justin, unfortunately we’re looking at the end of the team [RCH/Yoshimura Suzuki] for this year, but it looks like everyone’s still focused on trying to put in the best results that they can over there.
Bogle: Yeah, everyone’s still focused on getting results and ending this thing out strong. It’s an incredible group of guys. I’ve grown to really, really love those dudes. It’s no secret how much I’ve struggled this season, supercross and here and there outdoors. They’ve never, ever waivered and we’ve been putting in the work. Those dudes, I’ve gotten closer with them. It’s sad to see it end, but I know those guys are so incredibly talented and capable that they’ll end up in a good spot as well. So, it’s on me to go out and do my end of the deal, to get myself in a spot as well. Like you said, it’s sad to see it end, but a bunch of good dudes. We all want to go out and kind of end this thing with a bang.
Justin, you talked about it a minute ago that you don’t have any team deals lined up. How important are these results now going into negotiations? Was that on your mind coming into these last couple rounds?
Bogle: Honestly, it really isn’t on my mind. In years past I’ve let it kind of bug me a little too much. This season I’ve kind of just completely changed my entire life, so there’s no stone unturned honestly. There’s not much I could do differently that I would change at this point. I have zero regrets. However it works out, it works out. I have faith that it’ll all be good.
I think you talked about this a little bit, but just kind of explain what the move to Carmichael’s has meant to your program.
Bogle: Obviously, like I said, I was struggling incredibly bad. Talked with Ricky. I needed something. I made a change in every aspect of my life. Moved down to Tallahassee into a little apartment. I didn’t even have a couch for like a month and a half. I literally had lawn chairs in the living room. Just kind of got to the point where it didn’t really matter the circumstances. I had to make it happen. I feel I’m way too talented and I worked way too hard to just kind of ride myself out of the sport completely with results that are that embarrassing like supercross was. Putting in the time. It’s been tough, but it’s been awesome seeing the progress. I’m just thankful for Jeannie and Ricky and Corey who I’m working with now training. My agent Jimmy helping me set all this stuff up. All these people. My family for helping me make the move and do all this stuff because it’s been … you know, it was difficult leaving comfort for hoping to be better. There’s no guarantees there. Thankfully hard work always ends up paying off. Just try to keep the ball rolling. It’s far from over obviously. I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Just take me through the end of that first moto where you were out front. I think it was like 14 laps, but then Marvin was coming at the end. Did you feel him and when did you start to get a sense of “Oh man, I need to go?”
Bogle: I could see him coming. I definitely felt him there at the end. It got pretty tight there. I struggled so bad with lappers. I know we all did, but when the track’s a little more one-lined, it makes it so difficult to get around a lot of those guys. No excuses. We all got to go with the same stuff. We all got to pass the same guys. He was riding really good, coming at the end, and I’m glad I was able to pick it up there at the end and hold onto it.
For Eli, you mentioned going into protection mode. How hard is it to get out of that mode and just kind of return to normal riding?
Tomac: It’s tough to really say. Even though it was like those two motos at Unadilla where I just felt like a brick really out there, riding tight and not doing the right thing. So, this morning I felt a lot better. Once I got that seventh in that first moto I was like, really? What’s going on now? So, I don't know. At least we were able to find a way out of it. Like I said, we’ll try to learn from it and just carry on.
Marvin, can you talk about the start in the second moto? I think you even mentioned it on the broadcast. You and Cooper [Webb] came together or something happened. Could you just mention what happened?
Musquin: No, I just messed up the start. I just didn’t get a good start. It was just after the first, second, and third lap we were just battling pretty hard with guys. But it was definitely a tough moto. Just being in that position where it’s hard to get around those guys. You want to get going. A track like today was just really difficult. So, that’s why. I just need to be in a better position, a little bit more like first moto.