DV934 offers up his thoughts on High Point
DV934 offers up his thoughts on High Point
Photos by Simon Cudby
Did you like High Point? What’s it like to race on?
Even though I won 2 of my 3 nationals there, I never really liked the track. I have a size 13-foot and I have long legs. Those aren’t very handy when there are a lot of ruts and off cambers. It’s a cool track though and very technical. It’s challenging because it’s very difficult to find a good flow around it. Nowadays, the track is very different than it used to be. I really like the new changes. there is a better flow and it’s more open. It’s also easier to pass. It used to be very narrow and every time there are off cambers, it means it’s one lined. That drop off section that used to be before Bradshaw boulevard was pretty sketchy. If you didn’t time that little double down, you could easily end up in the trees! We had to use braking bumps as take off. We gotta give props to the High Point guys for the facelift of the track the last few years. I usually don’t like the man made stuff on MX tracks but they did a good job with this one
“It would be understandable if he was managing his point lead right now without taking any unnecessary risks right now. But, he’s doing the opposite and he wants to win no matter what the point standing says. You gotta give him props for that!”
Dungey was amazing those opening laps of the 450MX moto one, what did you see right there?
That’s basically the best I’ve seen him ride, ever. He looked like RV or Bubba in the first laps after a mediocre start. I really didn’t think he had it in him! I was like, who’s riding Dungey’s bike? This season and since SX, you can see a difference in confidence in his riding style. You can’t call him “The Diesel” anymore. He showed us that in SX after a few races and in MX now. He’s going for it like he never went for it before. That’s exactly what he needed to do to come from the consistent guy to the guy that can win any given moto. It seems like he thinks less and goes for it more. It’s surprising to see that from him especially with a 30+ point lead and I’d be curious to see him ride like this against Tomac in the first 5 motos of the season. It’s far from the Dungey we saw in the first few races of the season, that’s for sure. He was going everywhere on the track to pass people and even passed 2 guys in the same section in High Point. That makes for some more entertaining races though. It would be understandable if he was managing his point lead right now without taking any unnecessary risks right now. But, he’s doing the opposite and he wants to win no matter what the point standing says. You gotta give him props for that!
Lappers can work both ways, they cost Dungey from making a charge up on Roczen in the second moto but both riders had to deal with them. What were some of your tricks for battling them and what kind of skill does it take to get by them?
The trick is to approach them like they’re riders in the same lap that you have to pass and anticipate what they’re going to do. You also have to have a plan and pick a spot to pass them before you get in their rear wheel. You have to look ahead and make the right decision rather to wait for a blue flag and them to move over. It’s why the parade lap is important too. It’s not only good to look for the fastest line but to look for alternate lines to pass. But at the end of the day, lappers will be lappers. They will move over to the wrong side, they will make you lose time. There isn’t much you can do about it . They are like a mud race, it’s the same for everyone and you have to be smart enough to deal with them the right way. I don’t like the “the lappers got in the way” excuse usually. They are challenges you have to deal with. Just like a bad line or a tricky set of whoops. You gotta find the solutions to pass them and not lose time. That’s the bottom line. Over a season, I think the affect of lappers on top riders balance itself out. It’s like referee’s mistakes in team sports. Sometimes you get screwed by them, sometimes you get an advantage from them…
Marvin rode again about as good as one could on the rough and rutted track. Thoughts?
Marvin is really good in those conditions. I thought the last 3 races, Lakewood, Muddy Creek and High Point, are made for him even if he only won 1 of them. He’s very technical, smart in his lines choices and rides smooth. You can’t ride a track like the 3 last races like you ride the next 3 tracks which are Budds Creek, Red Bud and Millville. It’s totally different. Coming from Europe, we are more used to those kinds of track where you have to pick good line and use your throttle control and momentum in the long ruts. Going “balls out” in those track isn’t efficient at all! When Marvin is out front early on any given track he’s going to be very tough to beat. He’s a fast one lap rider that loves to be by himself so he can ride his own lines smoothly. He’s not as good in traffic but he proved in Muddy Creek in second moto that he’s improved in that department. High Point, Washougal, Unadilla, at those places, Marvin is very,very good. I’m not surprised that he won both motos last Saturday. The challenge will be to be able to do the same on sandy “balls out” tracks. Since he rides in Florida, I am sure he has improved in that texture. I can’t wait to see the Martin vs Marvin confrontation in the next 3 races. I’m praying for some 1-2 starts from those guys!
Jeremy Martin didn’t get the start and took too long to get going as well…after about halfway his times were great but he couldn’t make it happen fast enough.
Unlike Marvin, Jeremy’s riding style doesn’t really suit tracks like High Point. He needs wider, faster tracks with sand berms where he can twist the throttle without thinking too much about line choices. Jeremy looked out of sync when he had to go around guys. He had a great line before the finish line where he passed a few guys but too many times he just didn’t know where to go to pass the guys who were obviously slower than him. You gotta be creative and anticipate a lot to pass people on a track like High Point. I thought he was trying some bad lines without thinking about where to pass the guys at 1 spot. He has to set up the guys more to pass them.
Sometimes you have to prepare yourself 2 or 3 turns before to make a pass stick. He has the speed. he has the fitness. He just needs to be a little smarter in his line choices and the places he picks to make passes. The way he’s doing it can be very frustrating when you know you’re faster than the guy in front but you can’t pass him quick enough. At some point he was following guys on the inside, he had no where to go so at the last second he would go outside but lose time because he didn’t prepare himself. That was weird. That outsides,for example, would’ve been good but he should not have followed the guy the turn before but instead anticipate/square off to make the outside work.
“My philosophy to improve in this sport isn’t in a gym or on a road bicycle. It’s all about getting rid of the bad habits, working on the technique, speed, bike set-up and part choices on the bike.”
Did you notice if AC was taking your advice on riding or not?
It’s tough to notice if a rider is dragging his front brake in ruts to keep a good balance on TV. He rode great in the first moto and looked good. It was good to talk about him about his corner position issue on the PulpMX radio show the other day. That’s why I watch the races. Yes, I want to see who does what but I am very interested in watching what I would do to improve any riders I see on TV. For AC, it was the way his body stayed straight in the turns while his bike was leaned over. It’s difficult to corner properly doing so. Some riders spent their career riding like that and were successful. Ivan Tedesco for example. He cornered like that all the time. Even Windham did that. I was glad to hear Adam on the radio show saying he was having some issues with it. It proves that my eye isn’t getting too old.
My philosophy to improve in this sport isn’t in a gym or on a road bicycle. It’s all about getting rid of the bad habits, working on the technique, speed, bike set-up and part choices on the bike. My bottom line is to ride good technically which will improve your speed without working specifically on it. When you ride properly, the speed comes with it automatically. When you want to hammer down motos and improve your lap times without the proper technique required to ride at that speed it’s when you start crashing.
“When he rides with his brother doing the week and see he’s not far off or doing better stuff, it makes you realize that you can beat a bunch of guys on race day. I’m speculating because I don’t really know what their training and riding programs consist of but it’s a pretty good guess I am sure.”
What about Alex Martin and his season, he’s no fluke.
Alex has been impressive lately. He’s 7th in points in front of riders with better team/bike on paper with 2 moto podium finishes. I am sure riding with the National Champ helps too. It’s great to have that kind of a benchmark to ride with. I rode every day on the same track with McGrath when I first got at factory Yamaha. It helped me too. I was on the same team as Chad Reed when he became the next big thing and beating me in SX join his first 250 season. Riding with guys like this is a plus that’s for sure. They pull you up and help you indirectly to surpass yourself. There are jumps on a SX track I would have never done if I didn’t see MC or Reed do them for example. As for Alex, I also think there is a confidence faster too. When he rides with his brother doing the week and see he’s not far off or doing better stuff, it makes you realize that you can beat a bunch of guys on race day. I’m speculating because I don’t really know what their training and riding programs consist of but it’s a pretty good guess I am sure.
I love what Alex is doing because it proves to the industry and the fans you don’t need a PC bike or a factory KTM to perform in the 250 class. I am getting annoyed about the equipment talk in the 250 class. Give an aftermarket bike to RV, Dunj’, Stew, Roczen they will beat most of the factory supported riders of the 250 class today.