With the last two rounds of Monster Energy Ama Supercross being mud races, two riders have stood out in the 250 West division as being the mud riders of the group. Both Garrett Marchbanks and current red plate holder Jordon Smith were the only riders to stand on the podium at both rounds. In San Francisco Marchbanks was running fourth when a lapper held up his teammate Phil Nicoletti at the end of the race, letting Marchbanks slip by. In San Diego the tables turned, and a lapper got in Marchbanks way while he was leading, allowing Nate Trasher by. Marchbanks took second on his Muc Off/FXR/Club MX Yamaha. Meanwhile, Smith rebounded from a few rough laps early to salvage a podium and maintain his series' lead on his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing machine.
Both Marchbanks and Smith sat down with the media at the post-race press conference to talk about this and much more.
Garrett Marchbanks | 2nd
Garrett, with these conditions it's almost like watching back in the eighties and nineties when guys were on 125’s. If you didn't hit the corner right, you couldn't do the triple and you really had to commit, and it was really important tonight. So, just discuss kind of what you had to feel to decide whether you were going to do the triple or not and really go for it.
Garret Marchbanks: Yeah, I'd say honestly in the first part of the main you didn't really know there wasn't much of an outside line built. Some of the guy’s kind of went for it. Some of them cased it. I think some of us didn't really get the feel for it until halfway and certain times when you go off of the face you weren't sure if you're gonna make it or not. So, it's just kind of a full send most of the race to make that thing.
Garrett does any of this have to do with the big 450 at the end of last year, the bigger bike, the, the heavier bike, have things slowed down a little bit in the first three races of this season?
You know, the 450 definitely helps, you know, the higher pace in the 450 class. I got to ride the 450 frame quite a bit and that's what we're riding on now on the 250 class. So that definitely helped translate into Supercross. I didn't really have to work too much to get comfortable with it. It seemed like in the first week or two, I was pretty comfortable with the bike.
Garrett when you were leading laps, it's been a while since you won one of these and your team has never won. Was any of that running through your mind and the nerves and the emotion or were you able to stay pretty focused on what would have been a pretty big win if you could have gotten it?
Yeah, honestly, once I passed RJ [Hampshire] for the lead I'd say the first lap, I was kind of like, “Holy crap, I'm actually leading.” It's been a really long time since Daytona when led some laps and I'd say after that it's more just put my head down after like I was at the practice track just doing some normal laps at Club. And, yeah, it is what it is. I mean, I got caught with some lappers. I tried to change some lines up and it wasn't the best I could do. And yeah, Nate [Trasher] got around me and Nate was riding good.
Garret, after the race, you kind of stopped on that first single and kind of just sat there for a while, talk us through what was going through your mind. Being so close to the win and having a lapper interfere with you like that.
Yeah, it was definitely a bummer. I've never had that situation where I led a good amount of laps and had a lapper kind of ruin it for me a little bit. But, you know, I sat there for a minute, I was thinking what I was gonna say to him and you know, at first, I was pretty irritated and afterwards I was just like, “Hey, you gotta pay attention a little more. You gotta know your surroundings.” I know they're in the heat of the battle. There's a four-way battle going on in front of me and I know it's hard for them, but it just seemed like they all bunched up and he made a pretty costly mistake on the same line I got into. And I ran right into the back of him and about fell over and it is what it is. You know, we move on, and we fight to live another day.
Garrett, how much do you contribute your success this season to Club and the kind of environment with Phil and all the guys down there?
Yeah. You know, they do a lot for me and the facility, you know, it's super good for us. Dirt Wurx came out and built two tracks for us. So, when we go to the races, our bikes aren't super far off, they're pretty spot on. So that definitely helped us this year during A1 and the rest of these rounds. You know, we've got a good group of guys like Jeremy [Martin] and Phil, Cody Schock, Jett Reynolds. You know, we have a really good group of guys. We definitely push each other really hard every day. It's an amazing facility. They've got tons of tracks, three supercross tracks and five outdoor tracks. So, yeah, it's great.
Jordon Smith | 3rd
Jordon, how much in the latter stages of that race were you maybe changing your strategy from going for the win to riding it out, based on like where you were within the points situation?
Jordon Smith: I think that for me, it was kind of the opposite. I got off to a pretty good start. I think I was in third, I think on like the first couple laps with RJ and Levi [Kitchen] kind of right in front of me. We kinda, we're still taking it pretty easy on the track. I would say the lines weren't cut in and I was kind of just trying to be smart where it was a long race, a lot could happen. And then I made a few mistakes and Nate and Garrett both got around me and I just really, not that I tightened up, but I just was making a lot of mistakes was not putting the track together. Almost crashed on the double after the triple one time because I just jumped too far out in the mud and that just should never happen. So, I kind of refocused and then Jo [Shimoda] and Levi were kind of right behind me, and we actually were pushing really hard at the end. I think the last five laps were probably the best of the race for me. And it was not really any kind of holding back, I don't think at the end of the race there, it was trying to keep those guys behind me and push forward.
Jordon are we seeing the best version of you as a pro right now.
Yeah, I think so. It's been a long time coming, a lot of ups and downs but the last couple of years being healthy, being on the bike, I've had a lot of seat time, more seat time than I had probably my first five, well, middle five years of my career. So, just being on a bike every day, working with the team, bikes really good, handles, good. I know what it's gonna do. I feel solid. Overall fitness is good. Not getting arm pump. It's definitely the best I’ve felt.