These are a ton of work to type out, so could you please just read it???
These are a ton of work to type out, so could you please just read it???
Me-So what’s going on Red, you had some heel surgery and last I heard there was no surgery needed. What’s up with that?
Tim Ferry- Well it wasn’t really needed, I got about six opinions at least and it was a split decision. Some of the guys thought it could heal a little better with surgery so that’s why I did it. It’s going to heal up faster and they put some screws and a plate in it.
Yeah, I was going to ask how they do that to a heel?
It’s actually more common than I thought, they have this little custom plate shaped like a heel and some screws. There’s different size plates for different people, it’s just like a arm or a leg I guess. I went ahead and got the surgery. The docs thought that it would heal fine on its own but later on I could’ve had some problems with my Achilles so we just did it.
How did you crash? What was the deal there?
I came into the sand whoops on the right and was drifting into the main line when it kicked me sideways, I swapped and saved it once but I was really far off the back and when it came back around I had no legs left and went into the tuff blocks. It was curtains from there, I don’t know exactly what happened but I knew that when I put my foot down I did something. I knew something was broke.
Were the Scott boot guys all stressed that it was their boot that caused it?
(Laughs) Yeah, they were. I’m pretty sure they were stressed.
For the record, it had nothing to do with your Scott Genius boots right?
Yeah, nothing from them. They said the force to break your heel is incredibly high so I don’t think any boot could’ve saved me. I came down hard and I thought it was my Achilles tendon or my lower leg, so I suppose it could’ve been worse.
I got some emails and people at the races tell me that you looked rather stoic there on the track, you didn’t look anything like a guy that broke his heel.
That’s a big misconception let me tell you that, I was holding it in because I was trying not to panic and also Evie (wife) was on the other side of the track and she could see me and if I had showed a great deal of agony, she would’ve ran across the track and no doubt been hit with a bike. She would’ve freaked out.
Well, good job on the acting then. You fooled everybody.
Yeah it was perfect, I fooled everybody and I was so good at it that everybody thinks I’m hurt but I just wanted to hang out at home and do nothing.
I dunno man, your text messages to me since surgery seem to indicate that you’re in a lot of pain.
Oh man, let me tell you. I was in a ton of pain that night and they gave me a pain shot and a ton of medicine. So it started to ease away at like four or five the next day but then I had the surgery and we started again. The first few days were bad man, I’ve had a lot of surgeries but this one tops them all.
Wow, that’s saying something because you’ve spent some time under the knife.
Oh yeah man, this was brutal. I was on the maximum or maybe even a bit more pain meds that they would allow. And it wasn’t taking the pain away. It’s funny but a doctor friend of mine told me before surgery that it wouldn’t be too bad and then checked in with me the day after and I told him I was dying. He said that he knew it was going to be tough but he didn’t want to scare me the day before when he told me it wasn’t that big of a deal!
Why did you get Evie to keep asking me how Phil Nicoletti is doing? That didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
(Laughs) Because of that story you told me when you were here! About that guy that writes you about him.
(I forgot I was telling Ferry that there is a guy that emails me all the time and tells me to keep my eye on Phil Nicoletti. He’s the biggest Nicoletti fan in the world. I guess I’m the one on meds because I forgot about that.)
So your team doesn’t have Ryan Villopoto this weekend. Sucks to be Kawasaki right now.
Yeah, that’s too bad really. I talked to him a couple of times this week, he’s been sick. Some kind of virus that he got around Indianapolis and can’t seem to shake it. It’s been a few weeks and he’s in bad shape I guess.
How’s Billy Laninovich been riding?
Uhhh, I don’t know. I haven’t left my couch yet.
Well I mean when you were in California and he was testing for you guys.
He wasn’t around then, I don’t think he was hired that long ago. He just started like three weeks ago. I think he’s been wanting to race and is better than just being a test rider. I think he wanted to get back racing and now he’s got a deal like this! He’s not going to turn this deal down, he sees what the bike can do and how good it could be.
So you’ll be back by Glen Helen?
That’s what I’m shooting for, the doctor thought it was possible so let’s hope. I might not make it but it’ll be close either way. I’m going to do everything I can to get back. I got a bone scan done so we can see how it heals.
What does your trainer, Dean think?
He’s in France right now with some real popular bicycle racer named Lance. Actually he’s in Europe somewhere, maybe France. He works with Chris Carmichael, who is Armstrong’s trainer and that’s a big part of his job. I don’t know the name of Lance’s team but that’s his first job.
Does he even know you’re hurt?
Yeah, I talked to him the other day. There’s nothing we can do right now until we get the stitches out, which should be Tuesday. Then we’ll start therapy and get a workout program going so I can stay I shape.
So obviously Evan (his four year old son) is bummed because you can’t run around with him now.
Yeah, he’s been my nurse the last little bit. He told his mom that he had to get home early from school to take care of me. We’ve been playing a lot of video games.
Maybe you can get past that one level in Madagascar that I couldn’t teach him how to when I was there.
He seems to play Indiana Jones a lot right now actually.
So talk about your supercross season that is now over, people were mystified that you weren’t a podium threat like in the past. Why do you think that was?
It was definitely not what I wanted, I wanted to do better. I really think I gave it everything I had to try and get better results but it just didn’t happen. Nothing quite came together for me for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons is there were a lot of really good riders in the class and everybody was so close in speed. It’s not just me, but in general for anyone not named Chad or James it seemed that you could get third one week and then tenth the next. The ultimate spot is third and everyone’s shooting for that. Grant, Villopoto, Byrne, Me and Hill all didn’t even qualify for every race.
Yeah, without that provisional rule around it’s a real fight and I wouldn’t want to be a factory guy on the line in the LCQ.
The LCQ is the scariest place to be right now. It’s tough y’know, even with some guys being out right now, it’s still as stacked as it’s ever been. Especially last year and the year before.
|The mighty KX450 after Red’s crash at Daytona. One time at Yamaha when DV pulled into the mechanics area and passed out from heat stroke, his mechanic Jay went to the fallen bike first and we never let him forget it. A Steve Cox photo.|
What about the bike, it’s all new this year and I know you’re not one for change…
I mean it’s all new and everything but..
I know you don’t like change, hence the ten year old knee braces, no Leatt brace and the fact that the littlest thing throws you off.
Yeah that comes with age I think. It’s been a little different with the EFI. It’s a whole new challenge every year to get your bike set up and I think if everything was the same man, we should all just pack it in because that would be boring. I probably would’ve already quit anyways. There’s lots to learn on the new bikes and that’s going to last a few years so that should be cool.
What about the fact that the Racer X guys all came down to Reed’s and Stewarts and everybody had a really bad night except for Chad? Do you feel we cursed you?
(Laughs) Dude, that had nothing to do with you guys so you can forget that whole Racer X cover curse thing. It’s dumb.
I just want to tell you that I had a lot of fun that day at Reeds, it was like old times. Stewarts was fun too but in a different way ‘cause no one made fun of me. Did you have a good time?
Yeah that was cool all you guys coming over. We were at Chad’s all week cause he built that Daytona section off his track. In Florida, that time of the year is always the best because everybody that is there for the races is hanging out, the weather is nice and it’s not just the normal guys. James had Hepler and Hill there. You know what I mean?
I remember back when I rode for Yamaha, McGrath came out and Nick Wey when he rode for YOT came out and rode at my place. It’s a lot of fun and makes those weeks go by fast. When I first turned pro, I stayed in New Jersey a lot because the races were up there and then everybody stayed in Florida in the winter because of the winter –ams. Now everybody is based in California so they don’t come out here as much except for that week.
What about Pastrana, what does he have this weekend? Give me a prediction.
Aww man, I don’t know. I’m going to say he’s going to make it through the weekend, how’s that?
Well I guess that’s a prediction.
That’s all you really hope for. You can tell he can tell he hasn’t rode supercross in a while but at the same time, he was so fast in the whoops it was ridiculous. To not ride supercross and then in a month, take a crash course to get back to the level he needs to be at. That’s basically what he did, took a crash course in supercross and that’s really hard to do. He was a little slower than Byrne and then he went to Millsaps place and rode there a bunch. I don’t know, it’s going to be tough for him. The pace is pretty high.
How about the fact that he was hounding you for a signed jersey and got one from Byrne. He’s really serious about that stuff.
Yeah, I already knew that about him. That’s the one thing people really enjoy about him is that he’s just a big kid at heart and he likes to ride and is a thrill junkie. He’s not a superstar in his eyes and is a big fan of supercross and motocross and is just one of the guys really, he’s not Travis Pastrana in his mind.
How about that backflip the day before that we missed off the side of the landing to the triple?
That was awesome, I’d never seen a backflip five feet away from me before and he just did it like it was no problem. Then raised his hand and rode out onto the track like nothing happened. He just rode up the side of the landing to the triple and then backflipped forward and sideways kinda until he landed on the track facing the right way. I guess the day before he tried it and over rotated and landed on his ass. (pause) He’s got a lot of talent though, that guy is unbelievable. His body is just taking such a beating.
So what about this championship man? It’s going to be so good down the wire between those two.
Yeah, it’s gnarly. You know what, it’s not over by any means. It’s going to come down to the end and that’s awesome for the sport. I wish I was in there battling with them, I wish there was more guys in there battling with them but they’re good and one bad race can decide the whole series.
Man, you should’ve just followed Jason Lawrence through the tuff blocks and then you’d be out front and you wouldn’t be behind Tedesco and then you would’ve crashed and then…
I tried man, I just didn’t want to make it so obvious. I saw him, well I didn’t know it was him actually I just knew that someone cut big time and I tried to make it a little less obvious. Then I tried to wheelie one and got the cover stuck in my bike. Even then, when I got free I just putted down that next straight to kind of not make it so bad. In his mindset, I don’t think he cares about much and at that point I was caring a little bit about whether I was going to race a whole twenty laps and then not get scored. I thought if I make it a little less bad they will forget about me..
Did that really go through your mind at the time?
Yeah it totally did, like I said I didn’t know it was him but I knew someone cut real bad. I’m like, I’m going too but went one bale later and then got the cover caught. I really had nowhere to go, I would’ve been sitting there forever. That was kind of dumb that they didn’t take the grass out of the first turn, it was pretty dangerous really.
Yeah I never thought of that but some other people mentioned it to me.
At the braking point they should’ve turned it up onto dirt.
Well, this is the same people that couldn’t stop the 250 guys from hitting each other on the parade lap so…
Yeah, good point there. I got nothing for that one. Even in my heat race, Millsaps made the same mistake and then I did also. Just out of nowhere we go down, it looks like those car race guys that just all of a sudden spin out when they’re behind a guy that also slid out. It’s just real slick and these things happen. And then I got stuck on the bail.
Is Lawrence going to show this weekend?
I predict that he doesn’t race another 450 race until he gets a contract from someone. His first race was a strong second, almost a win. That creates a lot of hype and he hopes someone jumps on before he has a bad race because let’s face it, a bad race happens to everyone and it’s easy to have one.
I don’t think any factory would touch him with a ten foot pole.
You never know man, the kids a goof-off but he’s got talent and isn’t afraid to turn the throttle. If he keeps going fast, people will always hire him. The results speak for themselves.
What’s your take on the outdoors this year, Saturday only and 450’s first so you can probably catch a flight home on Saturday and be home that night. Which for you is the highlight I’m sure.
I think it’s cool that I’ll be home on Saturday night so that’s good for me because I’ve got a family and all that. I also think it’ll be good for the spectators to have it on Saturday that way they don’t have to drink beer all day on Sunday and then try and wake up for work on Monday morning. Some of these people drive a long way and then they’ll be home for a day. I’m pretty excited really, I know DC called me and some other riders about ways to make the nationals better so that’s pretty cool to have some input and be asked for advice.
I think it’s going to be good, they’re making a huge effort to turn it around and I like it because the nationals have a huge value as far as I’m concerned and I like them better because of the atmosphere and all that. I enjoy them.
Do you enjoy them even though you no longer have a motorhome to chillax in?
Yeah, I actually enjoy everything more because that thing was a pain in the ass. Everybody still thinks that I have one but I only had one for two years and those were the years you worked for me and you know how much I missed races because I was hurt. The motorhomes were the biggest pains man, from them breaking down all the time to the drivers crashing them and whatever…
Or like being strung out on LSD and crashing them…
Yeah, exactly. I hate those motorhomes.
For the record, who was always telling you that you didn’t need it?
You were, I know but everybody was doing it and I felt the pressure to get one. Some guys still have them and they like them but if you can’t drive it-when me and Evie were driving it around the country that was cool for sure. We had so much fun and did what we wanted but I’m not going to pay a driver and all that expense, it’s not worth it.
Yeah you don’t need to do something because everyone else does, look when I was a mechanic everybody tightened the bolts but that didn’t mean I had to do it…
(Laughs) yeah you didn’t seem to care about that fact. Right now, Kawi pays for my hotel room and it’s pretty nice. All I have to do is present my ID to them and I have a room, it’s all set up and easy.
Right now if you quit racing, could you live comfortably?
Dude, I don’t know. I think it would be a close call. You could adapt to anything but you want to make sure you have a nice life. You never know what’s going to happen so you have to make it while you can. I’m 34 years old..
|Red Dog charging hard at Indy this year in the sand. This just brings a tear to my eye….A Steve Cox photo.|
Oh yeah your birthday was the other day right? Happy birthday buddy!
Yeah on Tuesday, thanks but anyways, like I was saying you just never know what life’s going to throw at you, how many kids you’re going to have. Everything could be going great for you and then down the next turn something could happen. Hopefully I’ve saved for a rainy day but you never know, I’m not afraid to go and get a job.
How many more years are you going to race?
I don’t know, I’ve talked to Kawi about racing a few more for sure. I feel like I’m still competitive, obviously getting a tenth place in supercross isn’t too shabby.
Yeah, people are wondering what’s wrong with you but you’re 34 and getting eighths in supercross.
Yeah, I’m only in the top ten in the world in the supercross series but I suck! So yeah, another few years maybe and then see what happens. I enjoy the team and you can see in my results that it’s working for me and hopefully I can stick around.
Would you ever do a privateer deal again like Moto XXX?
I say that I wouldn’t but I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way to Alan Brown, who was the manager there or any riders that are on those type of teams but just the amount of time I’ve been doing this, I would say no. I say that but if that time comes and I’m still fast and enjoying it then I might say yeah. So I guess it depends. I still get up every morning and going riding, I don’t look forward to the travel and all that but I do enjoy riding for sure.
What about when you’re riding with a kid like Adam Ciancurillo, how old does that make you feel?
(Laughs) yeah he does because his dad is my age or something. Same thing when I saw (Austin) Stroupes dad who looks like he’s barely older than me. It does a little bit but I think as long as I don’t get that old man riding style where you don’t change and you don’t adapt to what’s going on now, if that happens I might be out.
Let me throw out some names here, Kyle Lewis and Carsten…
I’m not going to go there but there’s riders that are older and have no look or style or whatever and if I get to that point, I might just ride privately. Where no one can see me and none of my friends can pick on me.
It’s a challenge for me to work on it and try to ride like the younger guys, I have had to change my style but it’s exciting and fresh for me to do that. Pastrana was trying to get me to teach him how to scrub and stuff like that and I was trying to show him.
Yeah, you went too far on that triple when he was filming you, I was there remember?.
Yeah, exactly he was filming me and I was feeling the pressure so I backed out of it at the last second and flew too far. I didn’t want to end up on Nitro Circus or something like that.
What about Barry Carsten lining up at Daytona, did you see that or get a chance to talk to Bare-dog?
Yeah I saw he was there. How did he do?
He didn’t qualify but he didn’t get last in the LCQ either, he rode pretty decent all things considered.
Well, he’s one of the guys and nothing against Barry but he’s never changed his riding style since I was racing him in 1992. He looks exactly the same. But on the flip side, he’s forty years old and the guys gnarly.
That ’93 Daytona that I have on tape where you’re number 29 on a Yamaha, Bare-dog gives you the business for a few laps.
Yeah, JT always brings up Atlanta ’92 where he beat me out for the podium in the 125’s. That was at Fulton county stadium but in the same breath, you know he’s probably one of the top five forty year old racers in the world. That’s pretty cool that he’s still out there and having fun.
That might be you one day…
It possibly could be, that’s why I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t do a XXX deal again because you never know, I could be the next Barry!
Well now that Ramsey’s back, you’re not the oldest guy out there anymore.
Yes! I know I’m so pumped that he did good also. He rode pretty good and he hasn’t been riding that much. I think he was helping Nick (Wey) out and some other kid who I can’t remember right now. I know he didn’t want to retire so that’s cool that’s he’s back. I bet he comes back next year with a ride.
You know I’m his goggle guy now right?
Yeah, I read that. That was awesome when you mentioned that you beat Knowles. I think it’s great that JGR picked him up and also that Kawasaki gave Billy a ride. That was cool last year having Preston on the team and I think the whole team was so down when James went out with his knee, that having Travis come in and be a good guy to everyone was really good for the team.
He said he learned a lot of what was on the internet from you.
Yeah he would ask me what was new on there. Y’know I don’t think when he goes back to his high desert home that he has any power or anything. I think he has to rely on sunlight for his only power. I think he’s got a donkey and is a hermit, he doesn’t really care about any of the business of being a professional motocrosser which must be nice.
How often you check out the message boards these days?
Well in the last few days I’ve been reading everything. Like, every time it updated I read whatever it was. I’ve been on the couch now for about four hours, there’s not a lot going on and I might have to follow another sport if something doesn’t happen quicker. Slow news day today.
I go on Motonews, I’ve been on Vital some, dude we all go on them and read everything. I don’t know why the riders say they don’t because we all talk about it and laugh about it. We take stuff personal man, we put in a lot of hard work to have some jackass out there telling us we’re no good.
I might be that guy but anyways, I can’t believe that we’re still so small that the riders read these things and care. Can you imagine a Terrell Owens reading some message board and getting upset?
I bet they read, I guarantee they do. I know the NASCAR guys do, you can learn a lot from those boards sometimes. You can find out what the fans are into, what they don’t like and stuff. You can learn how to play your cards because without the fans buying the tickets and buying bikes and gear and everything else, we wouldn’t be racing. We’d be good dirt bike riders with no jobs. I think James has done a great job with everything, he’s really changed and now seems to be enjoying himself. That whole opening ceremony thing is so great, when I saw him come out with that wig on I thought that was the greatest thing ever.
He was really playing it up and going along with it and that’s great, we need that in the sport.
What about our buddy Jason Thomas and his 250F career switch, it’s not going too well right now.
Yeah poor guy, I don’t think it has anything to do with 250f’s or anything like that, I think it’s got something to do with his leg really. He was over last night and you have to wonder if it’s still bothering him or what. He’s been getting better for sure, I love you guys saying he hasn’t made a lap yet in the series and we’re three races in, that’s funny but true. He’ll pull it together this weekend in St Louis, that’s my prediction. He’s going to get a lap. He just texted me and said “you can find me in St Looey” so I guess he’s a rap star now.
What’s your take on the whole two-stroke vs four-stroke thing that almost happened for this summer?
I think we should just can all this two-stroke talk and not talk about it, three of the OEM’s don’t even make the bikes and if they decide they can’t sell them, they’re not coming back.
I know but I just think that the 250cc two stroke days were more exciting for supercross. I was watching some classic race with Stanton, Phil Lawrence and Bradshaw going at it and they were making mistakes and unable to jump things. We need that back, the 450’s have made it too easy for you guys, you don’t have to worry about making a mistake now, you’ll just seat bounce the shit out of something.
Yeah but a few years ago when we were on two strokes we jumped everything and didn’t make too many mistakes. I just think the riders are better nowadays, everything is more refined and everything has a purpose you know? I was watching the MX-Files with Stanton the other day and they showed that race at the Coliseum where he won the title and you’re right , they were making mistakes. I was somewhat surprised though that they were faster than I thought they would be.
I don’t think it’s the four strokes though, I think it’s the riders. Just like today’s track and field guys are better, the football guys are better than the old ones. Everything is much more structured now, those guys practiced on stock bikes. When I first got a ride with Suzuki in ’95, they sent me stock bikes to practice on. I mean bone stock and that was 1995. Now the kids show up at our track and Pro Circuit brings the bikes out for them, they have a whole works bike for them to practice on and they don’t have to worry about anything. A full groomed and watered track for them. In the old days, those guys didn’t even practice supercross during the week! There are so many elements that are looked at now.
I think if you put everybody on two-strokes right now, nothing would change at all, that’s just my opinion. The tracks would be a bit ruttier and a little less polished but that’s about it.
I guess the riders are better nowadays as you can see the kids come right out of Loretta Lynn’s as these little robot motocross warriors that can jump right in and perform.
Yeah exactly, everything and everybody is so dedicated now. Even the kids that don’t make it have a ton of talent, they just don’t succeed but they probably have more talent than me.
Who’s the best rider you ever saw that didn’t make it to the top?
When you talk about those types of guys I think of guys that maybe had a little moment of glory and then kind of fell off. I think of a guy like Reynard or Swink. The main goal is to retire from your racing and these guys looked at one time like they could’ve but now they can’t.
God man, Reynard was just incredible. He never stayed on the plain, same with Swink. They couldn’t keep it up. They both won races and for a short period of time they were the next biggest thing. They did well but they never kept going. It’s hard because the next ones are always compared to RC or James or MC and that’s a tough thing to match up to.
Would you ever go to motocross only?
Yeah maybe, I might be that guy one day.
Thanks for doing this.
Thanks talk to ya soon.