A few Santa Clara post-race interviews for your reading pleasure.
A few Santa Clara post-race interviews for your reading pleasure.
Photos By: James Lissimore
Nice come-from-behind ride. Buried off the start and a 2nd place. I guess you’ll take it, right?
I’ll take it. Story of my life is not getting the start, so considering where I was at…
I think I had you at 12th at one point.
I was almost dead last going down the straightaway and then made a good little dive through a hole there in the first corner. I actually made the best of it for what it was because it could have been really bad. I was actually pretty pumped on where I came out.
Fastest lap of the night which is good. Caught Ryan a little bit.
I was catching him a little bit. Who knows what I was taking out, a tenth or two tenths, but I need to be taking a half a second to really have any chance. But it felt great. If I was up front I felt like I had a winning pace but it didn’t happen. I didn’t get tight at all. Felt great for the 20 laps.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I think you were fastest all three sessions.
I think Anderson beat me in the free practice but the timed ones I was fastest. Felt good in practice. Heat race and semis didn’t feel that good. Actually the semi was good for me because it woke me up, and then the heat race, I don’t know, I was buried again.
Bad start in the semi too.
Bad starts, terrible. It was bad.
I worked for a rider that was terrible on starts, Tim Ferry, and we watched him on video and I swear it was a different problem every time the gate dropped. I don’t know if that’s your issue, but it seemed like for him it was a different problem and we would try to trace it and we were just chasing different problems. Whether it was shifting points, clutch reaction, spinning… whatever.
For me, when we look at video I always have a really good jump. Actually sometimes I’m the best guy, most of the time I am. And right now I’m struggling after the pad itself. Between the second and third gear shift kind of lighten it up and not going anywhere. That’s where I think my problem’s at.
I talked to a lot of riders who didn’t like this track but I didn’t talk to anybody on the podium, which normally the guys who do well like the tracks. What’d you think?
I thought it was a good direction for being technical and a little bit slower. I don’t like the walls. The walls are just dumb.
Why do you think they’re doing the walls? Are they trying to slow you guys down?
I guess they’re trying to slow us down. And honestly when I look at the tracks, the way they put the starts in nowadays it’s like you almost cut 25%-30% of the floor off it seems like. I think they should somehow try to figure out to where we can use the whole floor and get the lanes going and open it up. That’d be nice if they actually used the whole floor. I don’t know if it’s an issue of they don’t have enough dirt, which is probably a case too, but going to the track itself it was totally different than last week. Last week I actually totally hated it. I thought it was way too easy. There was no whoops, small rhythms, went backwards on the track.
Last week they must have ran out of dirt to build those jumps.
I was like, this is like an Arenacross or worse. It wasn’t Supercross.
I liked the sand turn. You made that sand turn work for you.
The sand was cool. That was weird last week and this week was totally different. To me it actually had a Salt Lake feel. It was kind of tight, a little bit steep, a little bit different. At least there was whoops but there was a wall to jack them up again.
I thought it was ridiculous that 26 seconds after the gate dropped you came around and that was a lap. Why’d they do that? A guy like yourself, you could have used that extra time. I don’t know why they would do that. We don’t need shorter races.
No, we don’t need shorter races. Like you said, when it’s a 49 second lap time, why are they counting first lap? I don’t know.
You got to be looking forward to outdoors.
Yeah. Looking forward to outdoors because there’s more time. I think I’ll be better outdoors on my starts because it’s softer ground and I won’t be lightening up as much on my rear end. I think that’s my problem is traction. We’ll see how it goes.
Another podium, and not too far from Oakland, where you made the podium before. Second podium. Maybe this NorCal place is good for you. Great job.
Yeah, I’m starting to think this is my town. It was good. Really happy to back up the one I got in Oakland. And also it’s just been kind of a dream season to where I’ve bene in the past couples seasons to have this success is huge. I’m really happy with the team and everyone. It’s just been so supportive and really a big part in the success we had this year.
Did you see the carnage in the first turn? There was like 15 dudes down.
I did. I kind of zig-zagged through it. I got really lucky. I almost hit Alldredge’s bike and Osborne’s I think.
That’s our guy Osborne. He created a lot of it, by getting hit I think from Alldredge.
I think Alldredge started it. I believe so. It was kind of weird. It reminded me of that race in Dallas a couple years ago when the whole entire field went down. Remember that? It was kind of similar to that. I think most of the heavy hitters seemed to stay up. There was a couple guys that got caught up in it but overall Hanny was up there. It was good though.
You had Hanny to deal with. Plessinger passed you, then you passed him back, and then I think he maybe got you again and then he went down. Then Mookie was on you and you pulled away a little bit. He made a couple mistakes. It was like always something going on with you.
For sure, it seemed like just stay on two wheels and it worked out for me. That was the biggest thing. The track just was really technical all day. I think everyone kind of said that throughout the day.
It looked like it got slippery.
No, not too bad. It was pretty tacky just everything was awkward. The transitions were awkward, the triples were weird. Basically I rode so incredibly tight so it wasn’t really the best I’ve ever felt in a race; I just kind of stayed up and I was in a good, key position for most of the race. It definitely played in my favor but also it’s nice to back up the podium that I had in Oakland. It’s been a good season.
That one section we talked about before the night show, the wheelie, triple, triple, double, you went for it one lap, nailed it. The next lap you would case it. The next lap you wouldn’t do it. The next lap you’d do it perfectly. It was kind of your Achilles heel out there a little bit, huh?
For sure. That section kind of…
Once it gets in your head too.
Yeah, it ruined what maybe could have been a better race for me tonight. Honestly I think I maybe only did it 7 out of 15 laps, so the consistency wasn’t there. But like Plessinger, that’s what bit him. So luckily I was able to get through it safe. Looking forward to Vegas and then outdoors.
I think I looked at the points and you moved up into 5th or 6th in the points with some bad luck from some other guys and your good ride, so that’s good. Good series ending.
6th, I think I was maybe 3 or 4 points out of 3rd. It was definitely a close season for sure. All of us were kind of in a little battle for most of the season. So yeah, happy. The whole Cycle Trader, Rock River Yamaha team, Never Summer, everyone’s been really good this year. I’m happy with the program.
I talked to you a little bit before – your brother’s working with O-Show and you’re kind of tagging along a little bit. O-Show’s gnarly, right?
Yeah, I definitely try and keep up going up the hills but…
He’s 55 years old and he’s just…
I need to figure some stuff out on a mountain bike but we’ll get there.
Great job tonight and we’ll see you in Vegas.
Congratulations, another win. Like we were saying, your best season yet. On top of the most wins, you’re the only guy in Supercross history to go longer than four years between titles. So that’s pretty cool.
Yeah, It feels good. You have to realize that 2010 to win the title and then four years not, it’s frustrating, it’s tough. 2nd’s and 3rd’s are respectable in the championship hunt but there’s nothing like winning the championship.
One of those things where you end up taking it, which I think is cool for Supercross history. Now we can point to that kind of stuff and see that. As far as tonight goes, one of those nights. A nice pass on Peick in the heat race. You did say to him, sorry about that? It was a nice pass, but like you said, it was kind of a slip into the outside.
After the main event I came to him and said, hey, look, I apologize. I was going up that face and I saw the opening. He kind of pushed wide and I went inside and I was like, this is my shot if I’m going to make the pass. I had to run him a little bit wide. It wasn’t intentional, but he understood. Everything was cool. It’s cool to be able to have that respect and race each other clean, especially Peick. A guy like that, I definitely am not wanting to piss him off because you get in a scruff with him 9 times out of 10 he’s probably going to win.
In the main event, Eli the fastest lap of the night. Was catching you slowly a little bit. Did you see that? Obviously you were probably in command, but then there was some lappers too.
I was definitely gauging him. I could see him maybe inching here, a little bit there. One lap he kind of gained and then we kind of stayed the same. Then we ran into lappers with two laps to go.
If I had to go through them then he had to as well. Once I got in the lead I tried to get away as quick as I could and then with about 5 laps to go just try to run her. The track was tough. It was slippery, getting more chewed up, choppy, and very inconsistent. It was nice to get out front and get a start and then get in the lead and just being able to ride my own lines. You wouldn’t want to be behind anybody in that race.
Did you like it? Nobody I talked to was really a big fan.
Tonight was tough. The track was real technical, especially in practice with the ruts and stuff. You’d have to be so precise that it made it very tough. You’re holding your breath. By the night just everything, the trannies were really kind of tough. I think it was one of the busiest tracks. I think a lot of people are going to say they didn’t like it because it was really demanding, and it was. My heart rate was up there and we were pushing. No two times did you hit the whoops the same. And nobody feels comfortable when it’s like that. It was just tricky and challenging.
Turning point this Supercross season for you? Is there a point where it all came together? Maybe your first win? Where did it really start getting on a role for you?
I would probably have to say once we hit Daytona. Getting that win in Daytona was good but then winning three in a row Detroit to Indy. Once we got to Detroit/Indy we were at about a 45 point lead.
Really that late until you felt like it was good?
Honestly even with an 80 point lead it didn’t feel… Nothing in this sport is ever done until it’s done. I’ve seen it where people get comfortable and it all falls apart. I really just try to focus on keep winning, not worrying about the championship, and every time I go on the track put it all out there. That’s what I wanted to do and win.
How’s Cianciarulo look in his comeback?
He’s good. He’s definitely coming along. He’s picking up the pace quick. He’s been doing his motos on the new outdoor track, which is fun at the Bakers Facility. He’s got some speed and he’s got the fitness, it’s just all got to come back to him. But I think we’ve got enough time.
I’m thinking about unfollowing though. He posts a lot, dude. Like, okay, Adam, I got it, you rode today.
Yeah, he’s one of a kind in his posts, but he’s got some followers. Chicks must dig it.
I can’t take it. I’m like, all right, dude, cool. You did motos. Great. 13 selfies.
I think he’s trying to become a professional basketball player too.
Good job, 3rd place. You’ve got to be pumped. It was a nice ride and it’s been a long time coming for you to get on the box. Some heat race wins and some good rides. You’ve got to feel good.
It’s awesome. It’s definitely been a crazy season with getting injured and having the speed but then having just troubles of crashing and getting into it with other riders. But to finally have a solid race and then get on the podium, it’s been obviously what I’ve been working for since I started racing five years ago when I was a complete goon and didn’t even think it’d ever get to this point in my career, but I have. I’m stoked for the night. The whole team has been just unbelievable, doing anything they possibly can to get me where I am. It’s been awesome. My trainer Buddy Antunez and my dad, the whole family’s just been putting in 100% effort. That’s just what it takes to get to where we’re at.
In a heat race Dungey got you, or you came up on him anyway, it’s just like your attitude is like I don’t really care what the number is. Red plate or not I’m going to try to race with you. That’s awesome to see.
Definitely. That’s what we’re out here to do is race and make the fans happy so they keep coming back out and supporting us. That’s how we make our money is racing dirt bikes for the fans coming and all that stuff. I don’t really care who it is on the track. I’m going to race my race just like it’s anybody else out there. I don’t care if he won 10 championships or none, I’m going to race him the same way and give him the same respect as I would you versus anybody else. It’s just how you race them. Just keep it even for everybody.
Whoops were good for you tonight. They’re always good for you tonight too. Almost went over the bars a little bit.
I had a lot of sketchy moments in those whoops. They weren’t even that big, they just had… People were jumping through them and they were just kind of all screwed up. It was just a few little kickers here and there but other than that it was good.
Where’d you think Eli had you at a little bit? He set fastest lap of the night in the main event. Was there a spot or two where you were like, he’s got me there?
I wouldn’t say that in general. I think I hit all the same marks he was hitting, but him and Dungey just had a little bit higher intensity. They’ve been racing all season and they’ve been doing every single 20 laps. For me it’s like I have a few good weekends and then something bad happens or I’ve been off with injury. They’ve been out here putting in the laps and they’re a little bit more fit than me right now. But I’m getting back up to where I feel good and it’s starting to show. That’s just what it is.
We’ve seen you hit a wall a little bit fitness-wise because of your lack of practice and everything else. Tonight though better than it was even two or three weeks ago.
Definitely. I’ve been able to train a lot more and ride more back at home. Even with the crashes and injuries I’ve been having, just blowing my brains out in practices lately and all that stuff. But for the most part it’s been good and I’ve been able to be healthy for the most part.
Knee or foot, which bothers you more? Or does either one bother you?
If anything just the foot just gets a little bit… it hurts here and there every once in a while. But more it’s just been my injuries from my crashing in practice or something stupid that I did.
When you crossed the finish line did you almost burst into tears? You seem like the crying type.
No, I don’t cry, really. It takes a lot for me to cry. I was just stoked to finally get that podium. I’ve had so many opportunities to get it and just had bad luck or just crashes or something stupid happen. It’s just an awesome feeling to finally get it.
I understand you have a one-year deal with these guys I think. It’s going great for them, for you. You want to stay here? Are talks talking? Are things going on?
Definitely. We’ve been talking and we’re just figuring stuff out. I love the team and I don’t want to go anywhere else.
They got to love you.
Yeah, besides from tonight. I’m happy with the whole setup. I think everybody’s awesome at the team. I don’t really want to go anywhere. I’d rather just stay here. We’ve been talking and getting stuff sorted out.
Are you starting to get a little better at the testing aspect of things? You’re not a guy that grew up with a ton of options and now these teams – you were on RCH last year, these guys – they’re throwing things at you. How’s that going?
It’s just like anything else. I think actually just from me being a privateer for so long and having to just build stuff from what we have, I think I’m actually a pretty good tester. It gets a little overwhelming when there’s so many things that factory teams have for you. It’s kind of a little overwhelming to get that stuff sorted out. But for the most part the bikes are so good these days the Yamaha has just been awesome. It’s super natural to hop on it and race it good.
Coy or me in the octagon, who would you take?
Coy. I like Coy more than you, so that’s the only reason why.
You don’t think I would have him covered? He’s old.
I don’t know. I mean, Vegas, I’ll pay both of you guys to fight in Vegas if you want to do that.