Some insight here for fans to hear direct from the riders
Some insight here for fans to hear direct from the riders
Monster Energy Kawasaki–Jake Weimer
If I had told you on the starting line for the LCQ that you would be able to get a 10th in the Main Event, you probably would have took it.
Just all things considered after the crash in the heat race… the semi was obviously my fault. Just a stupid move on my part. It was just rough. That crash beat me up, the heat race crash. I’ll probably feel the effects of that for a little while. Considering everything that went down, yeah.
You got 12th in practice, then DNF. LCQ didn’t go that well from a bad gate pic. I’ll take that 10th all day.
Yeah, for sure. When everything plays out like that, of course.
Are we mad at Tomac?
Yeah, for sure.
I watched it on replay…
You know what? I wouldn’t have been mad at him at all had he not jumped up and threw every cuss word in the book at me. Had he not have done that I never would have said a word and I would have said, you know what, it’s racing and that’s how it goes sometimes. But him jumping up and throwing every cuss word at me that he could think of, that fired me up.
I like Eli, good guy, but I don’t know how you think that that’s not your fault if you’re him. So you’ll take this and you’ll move on. You got Randy Lawrence so you’re happy now and everything’s happy and everything else is good?
I knew you’d blow that out of proportion but yeah, for sure.
If I had the balls out award I’d probably give it to you. It was a tough night and you did pretty good.
Thanks, man, I appreciate that.
BTOSports KTM–Andrew Short
First of all, I’m impressed. You’re 45 years old and you quad the rhythm section. I like that. That’s good.
Yeah I grabbed my balls in that one section but the rest of it I rode like a grandpa, like you said. Really nervous today, I don’t know why. I think this is my 14th season racing, coming here to A1, and it wasn’t pretty. But I made it through it healthy and I feel like each week I’ll build but I think I need to work on sprinting for sure.
But it’s a hugely deep field with all these kids in it, and there’s Andrew Short, 9th place at the end of the night. It’s not too bad for the opener.
Yeah, it was okay. Definitely had worse and I’ve had better. But it’s crazy racing this year, the new format. I really enjoyed it, but it seems like you sprint quite a bit. You had to watch your back all night. It seems like people were diving in on you and you had to be really aggressive, so it was a crazy night. Glad to make it through it safe and looking forward to Phoenix.
What’d you think of the track? Generally they make the Anaheims a little easier. I thought tonight was tougher.
It was pretty technical. It dried out in practice. I thought it was going to be more dry and slick as the night developed but the moisture came out pretty well. I don’t know the weather or whatnot, I think it developed. It was pretty technical. The whoops, they were really tough early on and they kind of came around. But the rest of it, the dragon’s back onto the table and slamming into that thing, those are the things that made the track hard.
How was the quad?
It was fine, but no one even did it in the race. It was too hard to go wide and it kind of wrecked the berm, as the night program went on.
Are we happier with our bike this year?
Yeah, I think it’s a huge testament to BTO Sports. There’s a new truck here, there’s flooring. KTM’s making a big push to have a little KTM village, between the Red Bull Team, Rockstar, and us with BTO Sports. And our bikes improved tremendously. We’re getting a lot more support. We’ve always had a ton of support from KTM but I feel like they keep contributing and wanting to work with us. So it’s a big step in the right direction for this program and it’s one of the best in the pits.
You running the air shock?
Yeah, I’ve been running it for quite a while, since right after Elsinore. I haven’t really ridden a standard one in a long time. It seems like that’s where all the development’s going at KTM and I really like it and prefer it.
Good job. I think you had a solid, steady night. You did hit Ivan and put a hole in his case.
Yeah, but he was all over the place for a couple laps. He jumped me off the triple and I went 2-3 and I knew I had to get by him right then. There was like three of us, so I don’t know if I did it or who did it. But it was squirrelly and pretty dangerous. I think it’s funny because I was pretty nice to everyone tonight and then as soon as I barely touched somebody, what I’ve been getting done to all night, everyone freaks out. But it is what it is.
Nobody’s freaking out, I just noticed it.
I heard he was giving me the thumbs up as I went by the next lap.
I didn’t hear that. There already is an Andrew Short, Ivan Tedesco history so this wasn’t ideal…
I have nothing but respect for him. I’ve raced him since I was a little kid. We’re both competitive. We both try really hard. I think we’re similar in a lot of ways, obviously that breeds competition. That’s the last thing I want to do is take out a great guy like him. We both need to keep racing and going forward.
Rockstar KTM–Jason Anderson
What a night. Won the heat race, win the main event with a sweet pass. First of all, the pass. Cole (Seely) mentioned a little bit of lappers helped him. I thought it was a combination of maybe lappers and you. What’d you think enabled you to make the time up?
I think the lappers kind of made him hesitate in that corner a little bit, but I laid it down that last lap. I felt like I was ripping and I hit all my lines and all my marks. So I think it was a combination of both. But Cole was riding good. This track was kind of hard to lead on, I bailed. But it was good. I didn’t want that pass to be too dirty, so I felt like I tried to make it as clean as possible. But it’s the win, it’s A1. You want to pull it off. So that’s what I did.
Did he say anything afterwards? He seemed to take it pretty classy on the podium.
No, he did. I went and was trying to be cool about it. He would have done the same thing, that’s what he said. It’s a win and you’re going to do whatever it takes to win.
I don’t think it was dirty. It was certainly aggressive but it was for the win, so that’s what you got to do. You really rode well today and you adjusted great to the KTMs. Talk about how happy you must be.
I’m super happy, just getting those holeshots and being up front right away, I think it’s a step in the right direction. I think this team is going to go big places with KTM and hopefully I’m along for the ride.
What’d you think of the track tonight?
I thought it was technical but it was on the easy side because everyone did the same thing. Once a main came around everyone was kind of hitting the same marks, so it was kind of tough to make up time or pull away from somebody. Even Cole was faster than me when he was behind me but then when he got in front of me I just kind of hung in. And it’s not like I was going crazy effort. It was just a different track.
And we talked about this a little bit last year. This team has got some serious momentum going on. It seems like a really good group of guys and you guys are moving forward.
This is my fourth year with them and they stuck behind me so I’m pumped.
Hometown race. Next week is really the hometown.
Team Two-Two’s Chad Reed
Nice ride, great ride.
Thanks. I don’t know what to say. I don’t really agree with you that it was a great ride. For me I’ve been around a long time and I had a lot of good opportunities tonight and I was way more prepared than that. I just think that I was so excited and after such a tough year, I rode like a rookie and just let it kind of get to me a little bit, rode tight. Just couldn’t find my rhythm. So a little disappointed by that but super satisfied for the podium. Obviously stoked on that. So we’ll kind of learn and try to chip away and do something a little better next week.
Dungey caught you at one point. You pulled back out. He got you in the end, so I thought that was a pretty good regroup. Your starts seemed good. I think your fitness seemed okay.
Yeah, like I said, I’m better than that. There were some really good opportunities and wasn’t able to capitalize on it. I think just tough year last year and the excitement and the preparation and the expectation that I put on myself kind of was a little too much maybe. But yeah, one race, being on the podium, familiar place. It’s going to be a tough year. Starts are going to be everything. I think if I get a start like that every weekend then I can be on the podium every weekend. It’s that easy. If you don’t get a good start, it’s going to be tough. I don’t know where anyone behind me was on the starts, whether anybody really came through the field, but from what I’ve seen everybody was pretty much the same and there was no real separation.
You had a really good first lap. I think you were about 5th and you got into 3rd really fast.
I had a solid first lap, and that’s kind of why I was disappointed, I kind of was going. And then I found a little bit of the rhythm and then it just kind of… I had a lap or two there where I was a little off. And then I just kind of fought trying to get back on that. Regrouped in the middle there and pulled it back out and was kind of holding my own with Stew and Dungey. I kept messing up the gator back. One of my favorite obstacles and I completely sucked at it. So a little disappointed about that. But what do I say? I expected to be here, I’m here, and a lot of people say I can’t be.
I’m no riding expert; you’re certainly better at this than I am, but I thought your sand turn wasn’t the greatest either. Going too high.
My sand turn was good when kind of like I would get in there and stay in the bottom, it was solid. But like you said, I started getting in there… I was playing protective and kind of covering the inside and that kind of left me no option but to push up on the outside there, and that was terrible. That’s where Stew got me. So live and learn. Bike was solid. I think we changed the clickers maybe once or twice and that was about it. For me it was a solid, solid night. I can’t say anything but just I’ve been here before.
I talked to the Kawi guys a little bit, they said you barely changed anything on the bike. You’re really happy and they’re pumped to have you. It’s been a great partnership, I guess we’re only one week in, but they’re pretty stoked.
And likewise. We’re real happy. During the off-season obviously they’re doing their own thing, we’re doing our own thing. You’ve got two race teams that are striving to be contenders week in and week out, so a lot of pressure on each team. I think they’re helping us more than maybe what people think. For me, my biggest thing is there’s no over-promising. I feel like they’ve lived up to their end of the bargain. And for me and us as a race team we just want to build that. Obviously the last time I was here it didn’t end well or go well and we’d like to change that. There’s some really solid people there- I love Yoko over there and a few of the guys there. We’d like to let this thing grow and try to not be only one Kawi on the podium. Hopefully we can get both of us up there.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto
It’s a lot better than last year, still fell. I’m a little curious, are you okay bike and body-wise? You seemed to lose the pack a little bit. It’s a little weird.
I felt like we started off decent with Anaheim 1, all the hype. The track is normally not very good for whatever reason always at Anaheim 1. I thought it started off all right. Had a decent heat race. Got a great start in the Main Event. I was putting in some clean laps. Track was a little awkward. I thought it was harder than normal, typical Anaheim 1. It was pretty hard this year. Being that the layout was kind of funny, that also played a factor and it made it harder to race the track. So that played a factor. I felt like once I kind of got into a groove I just was laying on the ground. It was almost like the track didn’t really let you find a good groove.
You weren’t really pulling away much from anybody. I’m sure you were trying your hardest.
For sure. We were all doing the same rhythm section. Not that we’re going to find a lot of tracks that the riders do different stuff but sometimes there’s situations where we can do things that are a little bit faster. But being that after the whoops it was like a flat berm and after the finish was a flat berm, before the sand was a flat berm… It made it hard to really carry a lot of speed. We all kind of just made it through the turn.
So you maybe settled a bit? It’s a little unlike you to sort of lose the gap from the front guy, so you were like hey I’m in 5th and it’s a hell of a lot better?
Obviously once after I fell, I got up and tightened up a little bit. Those front guys were just inching away from me. Actually once I seen Stew kind of start to catch on those other guys I was like, well this is going to be interesting. And then a couple laps later it got interesting.
He was riding good.
Everybody’s riding good. For me obviously it’s way better than it was last year. I felt like obviously I could have won, but a small mistake kept me from that. But I’m not that too bummed or worried about it just because I was 16th last year.
How about that heat race? You and the 800. He pulled a start from… He just gassed and went and he got it, good for him. And then he hit the gate in the Main. But that heat race was pretty gnarly.
Yeah, another little mistake by me. I stalled my bike and then caught back up. What can I say? When you get somebody that kind of has that mentality and that riding style you’re going to always get that out of him. That’s his MO.
Well you gave us a lot of emotion from him.
I seen that. It was very interesting on TV there. I’m sure it made some people uncomfortable.
Anaheim 1, lots of commitments, sponsors, media, new bike, everything. Is it a tougher race to focus on than say when we go to St. Louis?
For sure. Anaheim 1, there’s a lot of hype around it. Obviously everybody comes out of the woodwork for the first race. Like I said, the track is always a little bit different here for Anaheim 1. Now that we’re through this, Phoenix will be a lot calmer.
Nobody really did the quad in the Main. How come?
Because there was another little tiny berm out there that got blown out and you couldn’t do the triple.