We all saw privateers Deven Raper and Alex Ray get into a shoving/wrestling match on Saturday night at the Indianapolis Supercross. It was pretty good—maybe the highlight for some people! Both of these guys are long-time friends, and it was pretty funny to see them let their emotions get the better of them. Both riders were disqualified by the AMA for their actions, and we had them both on the PulpMX Show this past Monday to talk about the incident and more, alongside of co-hosts Travis Preston and Wil Hahn. Listen to episode #498 of the PulpMX Show in full on YouTube.
If you want to own a piece of SX history, both riders have signed the jerseys they were wearing in the incident and are auctioning them off to help get some money out of the night.
Later, RotoMoto will have Theodore “Bubba” Pauli’s side of the story, as he accidently barreled directly into Ray as he was trying to get up!
Here’s the transcript of the chat we had:
Racer X Online: Alex, you made a lot of people’s top ten list for the weekend, and you didn’t even make the main.
Alex Ray: It was kind of good and bad, honestly. Whenever you’re in the heat of the moment, you’re in that race mode. There’s sometimes when you get heated.
You both were the big talk of the race. I thought the fight was awesome, but I like the fact that Bubba Pauli plowed into A-Ray doing 60 miles an hour. That was my favorite part. Hey, Bubba, there’s two dudes laying on the track. Maybe look ahead.
Deven Raper: I think he might have saw an opportunity there to take a couple more people out.
Just right into A-Ray’s nuts. A-Ray, take us through this, before we go into Deven’s side of the story.
Ray: Okay. So, pretty much we were second heat race in the 450 class. The track was breaking down super quick. It was I think the first lap or so. I was right next to A-Mart going through the whoops. He was on the left-hand side. I was in the middle, where that three-four rhythm section… I don't think any of us were doing it. He cut down and then I cut down a little bit inside of him. My front wheel misses the rut, but the rear wheel sort of catches the rut and it sort of draws me up. I lose all my momentum going up the double. It shoots me a little bit sideways, and I cased the jump and came kind of to a complete stop. By that point, Deven is just in the back of me. He lands on my back, and then that’s whenever you see both of us… And then obviously, Bubba Pauli, here he comes, just wide open, straight into my nut sack.
Raper: I just seen Checkerz [Chris Riesenberg] has a video of it. Someone from the stands posted it on his Snapchat. You can see the full deal from the front view.
A-Ray, you get up and Bubba Pauli just…
Ray: Dude, the first thing I freaking see, is just a Kawi 450. Pretty much the thing plows me. I’m underneath the bike. I’m like, what the f**k just happened? That’s pretty much what I said. Bubba Pauli said, “There’s no flaggers! There’s no flaggers!” All right, whatever. Then I get up obviously, and then Deven is just freaking yelling in my face. I don’t even know what he was saying. I obviously seen red because he was yelling at me. I’m like, “What the f**k, dude? You landed on my back. Why are you pissed at me?” Obviously, that was all she wrote then because I got pissed. I shoved him and then he dropped his bike. I thought about it all Sunday, my flight home, the whole thing. He had to have been right on my back whenever we did the double. He probably had nowhere to go. I can see his point of view where he was pissed. A lot of it was on me. I made the mistake. He landed on me, and I started the fight with the shove.
I can understand you got landed on, and then you got torpedoed, and now this dude is yelling at you. I get where you’re like, “What did I do?” To get impaled and landed on.
Ray: There’s Alpinestars crew, there’s flaggers, everyone is all in. Honestly, it felt like a mosh pit. Like we’re at a Slipknot concert and then the crowd is all going wild.
Deven, take us through from your point of view.
Raper: I definitely had nowhere to go. He made the mistake, cross-jumped. I landed into him. It was just like a perfect storm when we got up. He’s thinking like what he said, I landed on him, but I had nowhere to go. I’m thinking, you just took us out. I haven’t made a main this year. I was super close that day. I qualified 25th and we were in good position, but it’s just like one thing after another. I know A-Ray has been having a tough year, too.
Deven, you can see factory riders being out. This opportunity is there for guys like you.
Raper: Yeah. I was hyped up and feeling good. Getting taken out like that, when we got up, I was mother**ker-ing to death. Then he elbowed me. I was like, this dude is going to take us out and then elbow me? Hell no. Then I just lost it. I was thinking what we did was not going to get DQ’d. It was just a little tussle. There were no punches really thrown. That sucked.
Deven, did you try to get into A-Ray’s pit after, to talk or to continue the fight?
Raper: After we got DQ’d, I rode up there and I told him to come out. I wasn’t going to start swinging, but if he was going to try and elbow me again then I probably would have…
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So, right after the heat race, did you guys get pulled into the truck right then?
Ray: I went down early just to sort of get ahead of it. As soon as I get down to the AMA truck, I see Toolie [Tim McAdams from the AMA] and he’s like…
Wait. You went from the heat to the AMA truck?
Why would you do that? Go to your truck.
Ray: Well, I went to my truck and then my bike was mangled. I was like, I’ll just ride the bicycle down and I’ll meet you guys.
For the LCQ?
Ray: Yeah, exactly. Then while I was down there, I just went to the AMA truck and I see Toolie, because it was on the way. He’s like, “Hey, you guys are done for the night. I’m on my way to tell him that you guys are DQ’d.” I’m like, “Well, I don't know if there’s a fine, but if there is, you’re going to have to give it to me in payments pretty much, because I’m broke as f**k right now. I ain’t got no money.” Toolie looks at me and kind of smiles.
So, why would you even go to the AMA truck, though? You just hide. Maybe they don’t find you.
Ray: I don't know. Toolie was already on his way to come meet us. I sort of met him at the gate.
Deven, you go back in the heat, and then Toolie finds you?
Raper: Yeah, I go to line up for the LCQ and he’s walking up to me, and I’m like…
So, you came down the tunnel.
Raper: Yeah. I went back up to the pits, straightened out my bike, came down. He’s walking up to me. I was like, “You better not be disqualifying me.” I was like, “I just was defending myself.” He’s like, “Yeah, but you hit back.” I didn’t even remember that I did. I was like, damn it, I guess I did. I kept trying to barter with him. He took my transponder. I was like, I can’t believe it’s over before it even started.
Ray: My bike was mangled. My bike was about like my freaking nut sack. It was like Bubba Pauli hit my bike, Deven’s bike, and my nuts all at the same time.
So, when do you guys reach out to each other? Who does it first to be like, “Hey, sorry, bro.”
Ray: I actually sent him a text this morning. I was just pretty much saying, “Hey, dude. I f**ked up. I pretty much kind of threw the punch. Kind of acted like a jackass. It was kind of a heat of the moment type deal. Emotions got the best of us.” That type of deal.
Look at you, A-Ray. Really being mature. I like that.
Ray: I’m getting used to it. I had to text Freddy [Fredrik Noren[ this year, too [after the San Diego Supercross.]
Good point. I get A-Ray’s point, though. Right, Travis? You got landed and then you got impaled and this dude is yelling at you.
Travis Preston: Yeah, there’s just a lot going on. Now you have both sides of the story. I totally understand. I don’t blame them. Deven eats shit, and then A-Ray is yelling at him. It just all kind of makes sense.
Ray: Like what Deven was saying, we’ve both had a pretty gnarly year and being in that position and getting taken out of that position, tensions are high.
Preston: It’s loud. You can’t talk it out on the track.
Ilove the fact, Deven, that you guys are O’Neal teammates, wearing the same set of gear. Love that fact. That was great. And then O’Neal put out an Instagram on it.
Preston: It sucks that they got disqualified, but it was such great entertainment for everyone watching.
Deven, when you got the text from A-Ray, you buried the beef?
Ray: I still haven’t even gotten a reply back.
Raper: We were on another podcast this morning and it was like 30 minutes before. I just let him sweat it out a little bit until we got online.
You guys are friends, right? Maybe not buddies, but you guys are friends?
Ray: Me and Deven, actually we go way back. Like I was saying earlier, 2011 Deven and I were actually a part of the supercross academy in California.
Raper: I’ve known A-Ray since he was fat.
Ray: I was 16 years old, fat kid, with a 450 on supercross.
This is where you broke your leg, A-Ray, and you just laid out there on the track?
Ray: No. I had broken my femur six weeks prior to going to the supercross academy. They told me if you want to ride, just cruise around, don’t do the jumps. Whatever. So, I was doing a little bit at a time. Then this one day I freaking over-jumped the double of a triple and I landed and I was like, “F**k, my leg.” I just collapsed of the middle of the transition and just held my bike wide open and jumped the landing of the triple into the berm. I landed on both my feet. After that I was like, dude, my leg is fine. So that’s when I started riding supercross.
So, Deven, you knew him when he was pink JT, getting taken out by Josh Hansen. Remember that?
Raper: He’s like my pesky little brother. Always talking shit. Always rubbing it in that he’s doing better and stuff. We’re just going back and forth. I didn’t think the guy would be so triggered off calling him sketchy. He makes money off that name.
There’s a lot of people in the industry that are like, “A-Ray blocked me for calling him sketchy, and now he sells the Sketchy t-shirts.”
Ray: I unblocked everybody.
Preston: I just love how A-Ray is growing. He’s apologizing. He’s unblocking people. It’s good.
Ray: You’ve just got to embrace it man.
He goes to the AMA truck to get disqualified. He goes to the truck. “Hey, guys! Hey Toolie!”
Ray: It wasn’t really my idea. I had my dad and my mom there. My mom is like, “You should probably go down there and see if they’re going to fine you.” I did all this shit in front of my mom and she’s like, “Well, shit.”
Are you guys on probation or fined or anything, or just DQ’d in the night, as far as you know? You’re good?
Raper: Just DQ’d for the the night. I talked to Toolie. They were trying to DQ for this weekend too, but he went to bat for us. He was like, “These guys, this is how they make their money.” I don’t think we should have got DQ’d at all. It’s motocross. If you throw a punch maybe, if you start it, but in real life, if someone throws a punch, you’re allowed to stand your ground and defend yourself. You wouldn’t get in trouble for that. Why would you get in trouble in racing?
Honestly, we all saw [Weston] Peick just raining down blows on [Vince] Vince. That’s a fight. You guys weren’t doing that. But I have to say, Deven, I think if there was a decision in this one you would get the decision. You grabbed A-Ray and wrestled him to the ground, it looked like. Wil, you saw it?
Wil Hahn: I unfortunately didn’t, but he had control.
It did look like Deven had control.
Raper: It was just a game of uncle. I had to hold him down.
Preston: I think where he went wrong in that situation, he went in like 80 percent, 75 percent. He didn’t seem like he was really going all the way in, where I felt like if he would have went in 100 percent maybe the outcome would have been different. You kind of tip-toed in.
It was like a smack.
Preston: Like a love tap.
Ray: The comment that killed me was some people were like, “You need some boxing lessons.” I’m like, you must have never fought with your helmet on. The helmet has the power the whole time, pretty much. You got to get the helmet first.
Hahn: I got a tweet today of a question to ask on the show and it was, “Why didn’t they take their helmets off?” Well, for starters, A-Ray just got his nut sack blown off by another bike, so I don't think his reaction is going to be to pop the helmet off and just go to blows right quick, while bikes are flying by.
And then you throw a “Doc” [John] Bodnar sign. He’s getting tossed around.
Hahn: I was over there on the podium and I’m watching it. I’m like, Bodnar is basically falling into the whoops. There’s bikes flying. I don't know who’s going down.
Preston: You had a rider in that race, correct?
Hahn: Yeah, and I’m getting hounded for lap times and I just had to take a breather.
Preston: So, you’re not paying attention to your job at this time?
Preston: Totally focused on other riders.
Hahn: Correct. It took all my attention.
When Bubba Pauli, from the camera angle on TV, when Bubba went into A-Ray, that was like a Jackass scene. I’m just going back and forth and laughing like crazy.
Ray: The texts from Steve on Saturday night. “Is Bubba Pauli blind?”
Seriously. I wasn’t there, but he’s grabbing gears and there’s dudes laying everywhere.
Preston: The crash itself looked so violent, and then A-Ray gets hit.
It was like a Looney Tunes cartoon. A-Ray was Wile E. Coyote. He was getting run over at the end of a tunnel. It was fantastic. I’m glad you guys made up. I knew you would. I knew nothing bad would come about it. I’m on the fence about the disqualification. You really can’t fight on the track, but on the other hand it wasn’t a true fight. I don't know, man. I’m kind of both ways on it. Whatever. It sucks for you guys.
Ray: Yeah, honestly, I wish it wouldn’t have happened. Now that we had time to calm down and neither one of us are as pissed as we were. I kind of wish that we would have raced because I feel like maybe both of us would have been in the main event. That’s the end goal, being in the main event. I missed out on money. I missed out on points. It’s tough. For us racers who have teammates, I have Cade [Clason] who has been waxing my ass all year pretty much. With all the stuff that I’ve been dealing with, he’s out there getting a 12th and then there I am just being a jackass fighting on the track. So, it sucks. I wish it wouldn’t have happened, but it did.
Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the fight. I’m glad we could get this handled. Thanks for the laughs. Thanks for the entertainment.
Ray: Bubba Pauli too, man.
Preston: Glad to hear everyone is okay. Everyone is going to race the next weekend.
What did Bubba have to say? Anything? Like, “What the hell were you guys doing?”
Ray: He was just saying, “The flaggers, the flaggers.”
Pauli explained his side in a video with RotoMoto earlier this week. Here is what he said on the incident:
Bubba Pauli: “I came through the whoops it was the second or third lap of the heat race and I came off the jump, we were jumping from the small jump over the tall one, so you couldn’t see what was behind it. Saw the yellow flag come out and of course I was already in the air before I could see where the bikes were. Any scenario in supercross we jump on yellow unless you can see what it is. Came off the jump and I see someone is down and I had no option but to go right over the bike. Unfortunately, Alex’s body is what took me down, so I ended up doing like a weird summersault motion, got my head stuck under my own front wheel or some sort, and my body was up on Alex’s bike. Finally I got my head unlatched from the bike and I think my bike was still on-top of Alex, and I heard Alex kind of yelling so you know I kind of lifted my bike off him and then I looked back at the flagger like, ‘What the heck, that was a bad flag job,’ you know in the moment but once I saw the replay I had a little more sympathy for them because it was pretty fast and chaotic so they were doing what they could it was just an unfortunate deal.”