The two winners and some other fast guys talk about their day
Photos by Simon Cudby
You’re a goddamn American hero. Down on the first turn, lost your front brake. This track’s got some hills, I don’t know if you’re aware of that. You got 11th. Second moto also a great ride but first moto, man, that was great. That was awesome.
The first moto was pretty good. Bummer I lost my front brake. If I hadn’t got in the first-turn pileup I think I could have got a podium again.
It was just amazing, you had to have been just dragging the rear brake.
I was, but I felt like I was just able to carry my momentum pretty good. Just kind of focus on rolling more than… Then the second moto I started around 11th and then worked my way up to 3rd, which was pretty solid for me. I was coming up on Martin and he’s good here. Webb was riding good. I just needed to start up there with them so I could just run with them from the beginning.
"It took me a while to get up. I was actually pretty shocked that I was okay. It was a pretty dirty crash. You do the check, make sure you’re all good. Then my bike was mangled. I was like, am I even going to be able to ride the thing?"
Good battle with Bogle a little bit, trying to get around Pourcel. Again, your usual kind of deal. And then taking off. Seriously though, that was a good second moto, but first moto. You were down for like two minutes.
It took me a while to get up. I was actually pretty shocked that I was okay. It was a pretty dirty crash. You do the check, make sure you’re all good. Then my bike was mangled. I was like, am I even going to be able to ride the thing? Then I did a lap and I was good. It was like you do a lap and you don’t have a front brake or whatever and if you pull in, you’re going to DNF so you might as well get some points.
I was like, Anderson’s riding pretty good. He’s like 18th already. Then a couple laps later I’m like, his front brake’s just flapping in the wind. Then I was really blown away.
I couldn’t use my front brake, it was just so straight down. And every time I went to go, it would come up sometimes and I’d go touch it and it would just start flapping there. It was like teasing me the whole moto. But it ended up pretty good, good day.
Good day for you today. First moto was tremendous, you were on it. 2nd overall!
Thank you. Great day. That first moto was the best moto of the year obviously. I was maybe around the top 5 or six and then I came back 2nd. I made some great passes. I was really happy the way I was riding and having fun. That track is really cool. I really revved, those two roller sections are pretty demanding and tough. And I used so much energy first moto. Wilson was charging and he passed me back.
That was a really good battle. It was cool.
Yeah, really. And then passed Pourcel and then I got 2nd. I thought it was kind of cool to get 2nd and 3rd, me and Pourcel, two French riders. And then the second moto, didn’t get a good start. The first few laps were really tough. Did make some passes. I was behind Jeremy and we were kind of following each other. Then we were doing better and I was 3rd, and then I kind of got a little bit tired and Anderson passed me and I got 4th. 2nd overall, it’s good. I’m happy.
That second moto battle you, Anderson, Martin was right there. I think it was Dean, Blake was up there until he crashed. That was intense, man, you guys were going at it.
For sure. Everybody was together. It was intense. I think it’s kind of cool. For the fans on the track, on TV, I think it’s great to follow.
"That first moto was the best moto of the year obviously. I was maybe around the top 5 or six and then I came back 2nd. I made some great passes. I was really happy the way I was riding and having fun."
French Motocross des Nations team, I don’t know what you did - that’s two years in a row now. They did not pick you. Nothing against those guys that they picked - they’re good riders. They deserve to go. But it’s a little weird for me that you didn’t get selected. You’re probably not happy?
Now I’m kind of getting used to it because I didn’t get picked last year and nobody called me or emailed me or texted me or whatever so I’m not surprised.
Is it personal a little bit? I don’t know who runs the team but..
No, I don’t know. Okay, they don’t pick me, Pourcel, but at least maybe call, email…
You are a two-time world champion.
I think you have to talk and see how I’m doing or if I’m happy and doing good or whatever. Talk about it. So I’m not surprised because no one talked to me. Those riders that have got picked for the Motocross des Nations, they’re good riders. I’m not saying they are bad or anything. Last year was my best season in the US, got 2nd in the Supercross and 3rd outdoors, and they didn’t pick me. This year I got hurt and injured and didn’t race Supercross and kind of struggled in the outdoors and getting better right now. So I’m not surprised they didn’t pick me.
You had a rough Lommel but big deal, it’s Lommel. It’s the sand. It doesn’t mean anything of terms of whether you should go or not. I wonder if they were like, screw that guy. I don’t know.
It was tough but if you look at the result I think I got 3rd on MX2 class. So that’s what you have to look at it, in your class in the mixture. So, whatever. I think where the Motocross of Nations is, Kegums, Latvia, it’s kind of the same track as here. It’s a little bit sandy on top and slippery and some square bumps underneath. It’s kind of the same. I did good this weekend. I just want to do good and prove that I can do good. I thought it was good that Pourcel got 3rd. I had the first moto. It proved that we are kind of good (smiles).
I think you like Washougal. What do you think about that coming up?
I like Washougal. I feel like you’ve got to set up your bike for Washougal differently than the other the tracks. So we’ll see. I’m going back to California and spending three weeks in Florida. It’s been good. I got on the podium last year at Washougal, so I like that track.
That’s good because it’s slippery, it’s throttle control, it’s technique… All stuff you’re good at.
Yeah, it’s tough. It’s slippery and I think It’s going to be tough, but we’ll see.
"Washougal can be kind of love or hate. Last year I loved it, previous years I hated it. So we’ll see how she is next week. You never know how your bike’s going to be there because the soil’s so different. It’s hard-packed clay and it’s the only track kind of like that. It’s really unique. You’re either dialed or you’re not."
There it is! We talked about you winning a race and some of us were like, maybe. That’s a statement. Great job!
Honestly I didn’t really expect it in that fashion. I knew I could be fighting for wins and doing that, but I guess I get along with Millville and get along with the sand, the rollers, the hills and the ruts. Starts were there today. That was really key to be in a good spot, get right out of the gate. It was an awesome day.
The second moto Dungey caught you a few laps. I haven’t looked at the times; I don’t know if it was something you did or he did. Were you aware of that? Next thing I know you pulled it back out to 5 or 6.
I was. Honestly I was just trying not to blow my wad super early. Just after halfway I was like, if I’m going to win this thing I need to go now. That’s when I got in the groove.
You put the hammer back down?
I was kind of wishy-washy, I was blowing my feet off the pegs up some of the hills, getting a little sketchy here and there. I was like, man, get your act together.
It had to feel good. We were talking in the tower. You and Kenny, 250 champs last year, one and two. There we again, kind of like a little bit of last year. I wonder if that helps you a little bit because you know you beat him already. But maybe you still look at Dungey and go, oh, it’s Ryan Dungey!
It is a little bit weird like that. That’s the same thing when you go up next to James or Chad or even Dungey. But I’m getting used to racing with those guys now.
How were the sand whoops today? I watched them. I sat over there for one practice session. Looked like you were getting through them pretty good.
They’re a little bit funky because they have a really hard base now. They’re not like sand whoops; they’re like hard rollers with a little bit of fluff on top. So it was a little bit weird. I think they kind of… I say they rip them and make them all deep and nasty and crazy.
Like they used to be back in m day.
Yeah, like big, soft… It just needs a softer base. Other than that they were okay.
Were you going left or right side?
Going into them I was going inside, which is the left, then coming back I was kind of sort of the middle. Honestly Dungey was better than me in there because he would catch me before the Chadapult area. I looked back once off the Chadapult to see. I was like, is this guy taking a different rut right there? I think he was just catching me in the back rollers.
How’s it feel? 1-1, you made a statement today. That’s a big deal. Again, the typical thing would you be like, oh we’re really happy. But for real, it’s got to feel good.
It’s kind of wild. I wouldn’t say it’s set in yet but to win a 450 race is cool.
Yeah, why not do it again, right?
Speaking of that, how do you like Washougal?
Washougal can be kind of love or hate. Last year I loved it, previous years I hated it. So we’ll see how she is next week.
It’s always tricky there, right? You never really know.
You never know how your bike’s going to be there because the soil’s so different. It’s hard-packed clay and it’s the only track kind of like that. It’s really unique. You’re either dialed or you’re not.
Great job today. That had to feel good to win the first moto in front of your hometown friends and family. The second moto I guess you tipped your visor to Cooper - he rode pretty good. But still you got the overall and you made up some big points.
It was an awesome day. I had a blast out here in front of the hometown crowd. Like you said, I won the first moto. It was awesome. They were cheering me on the whole time. In the second moto it was a battle from the beginning. I didn’t get off to the best of starts. I kind of got stuck behind a few guys and Cooper got around me. He’d get a guy, I’d get a guy, and then I’d try to chase him down. I tried there at the end and was able to close it a little bit but he was riding really strong there and it was a great day for the Star team.
A little bit in your head too you were probably like, hey, I got the overall and Copper had kind of a so-so first moto. Did that come into your head at all?
No, it did cross my mind but I was like, man, I still would like to win. I tried. I put a push in there but just should have done it a little earlier.
Track was looking mint today. Good job for your dad.
Yeah, they did an all right job.
How’s that new section of hill?
It was really cool. We haven’t changed a whole lot here in the last couple years. I think it broke it up and it gave everyone a chance to really open the bike up and see what the bike had going up the hill. It was a good day.
I heard you didn’t even come for press day.
No, I didn’t come for press day. I have so much time on the track I don’t need to do press day.