You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!
Well, Ryan Dungey made short work of the field yet again. What did you see?
I saw what he’s been doing since the beginning of the season. He rides well and puts his wheels on the track where you’re supposed to put them to win races . I’ve said it before many times. He doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary. He doesn’t jump anything more than anyone else. He isn’t as radical as a James Stewart was in his winning days. Ryan has better lines than anyone else. He uses the whole real estate of the track to keep his momentum around it. For exemple, when you see most of the riders going thru the whoops, after the triple, all the way to the right when the next turn is a tight right, you then lose your momentum to go through that turn. He was going thru the whoops on the left and opening his turns. He’s been doing that since A1. He anticipates the track and you have to do that to have corner speed. You never see him go tight into the turn, stop and square them up. Especially on a tight track like this weekend, you have to enter the turn wide and use the beginning of the bowl/berms to keep your momentum and flow. Too many guys still come in tight in the corners, turn with the rear brake and square them.
Ryan Dungey won again and extended his points lead. Jani Hovi photo
Another example, the section after the first set of whoops. He was rolling his turn, jumping the rhythm on the right and staying on the right. That way he was anticipating the next turn which put him in position to jump that little step up before the second triple. By jumping that step up, he also putting himself in good position to keep his momentum, and not stopping, in the corner before the triple. When you see the other guys moving to the left in the rhythm section, going inside in the turn before the step up, going single-single on the step up and again jumping into the inside in the next corner which makes you get in tight into it, you can’t go fast and hope to stay with Dungey like that. I just don’t understand why most riders chose these lines, make tight turns and lose time.
What did you think of the SD track? Racing in the mains wasn’t the greatest but it looked like a tricky track?
The track was obviously pretty tight and slow. The challenge was to use the full width of it and find a flow. Too many riders didn’t have any flow. The worst guy at doing so were Canard and Tomac. They had the worst lines on it. Obviously Dungey had great lines and kept his flow. If you watch the race on DVR, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where Dungey was making up time. The other challenge was the texture of the dirt. It was slick out there and there were a lot of shiny parts on the track. You have to stay out of the shiny lines the best you can. But you can’t miss all of them. If you have proper lines and proper anticipation on the tack, traction wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t an issue for Dungey. It was an issue for the guys not putting their wheels where they were supposed to be.
Cole Seely went 3-3 first couple of weeks, then 6-6-9 and now he rides great to get a second. Talk about being a top contender for wins and how hard it is to stay up front? Was it as simple as Cole finally after three weeks got a start?
Cole got a good start and the track conditions were good for him. He rides well, he’s smooth, rolls his turn and he’s always in the right gear which helps with traction. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Cole yet. With his riding technique and the way he rides a 450, he should be a podium guy at any race. Right now, not too many guys can come through the pack. We’ve seen Dungey (at A1), Roczen and Anderson do it this season but didn’t too many guys do that this season. When riders are close in lap times, it takes that little extra aggressiveness and grind to come thru the pack. Like I said, not too many guys were able to do that this season. On the other hand, we see Anderson do that on a regular basis.
After his first podium last week, Tomac had a bad race and couldn’t get up there. What’s going on?
If you look at the stats, it wasn’t a good race for Tomac. He started 5th, didn’t pass a single rider in the main and got passed by Anderson around lap 15. He followed Canard for most of the race. He made bad line choices to try to pass Trey. Seems like he forgot what to do to pass someone. This again, I’ve said it before about Eli, he needs to stop going tight in the corners and make tight turns when he doesn’t have to. Behind Trey, he didn’t know where to go. He was lost. You have to anticipate to pass someone. Sometimes it takes 2-3 turns to prepare yourself to make a pass stick. Eli never did that and he found himself not being able to pass. Eli didn’t look good but I feel it would be so easy to make a huge difference in his riding and results. He just has to find someone that tells him to pick the proper lines on the track.
Cooper Webb lost the red plate that he’s had since the first round. Jani Hovi photo
Anderson’s been very impressive but can’t get off the line, sort of like Tomac last year. What do you see from him?
I actually like what I see from him. Yes, he’ll be better off with better starts and he’ll have to work on that. There’s nothing we can do about that. His bike is close to what the champ and the leader of the series is using, so no excuses. If you compare him to Eli, Jason started 8th and finished 4th . Eli started 5th and finished 6th. Eli spent 20 laps behind Canard and Jason passed him right away. I’m a fan of Jason’s since 2014. He doesn’t give a s^&* about anything and races until the checkered flag. He always find a way to pass people even if it can be scary at times. If we had 10 Dungey’s and and 10 Seely’s, SX would be pretty boring. I’m glad we have Anderson to spice things up.
Savatgy/Webb—who you like to bring this home?Webb’s had a DNF, some practice incidents and two crashes in the last two mains. Do you think that mentally, he coming apart a bit?
I liked what I saw from Savatgy at A1. He was very comfortable and doing interesting things of the track. he had a couple rough races but he’s coming along. Obviously Webb’s DNF in Oakland helped him and I think he’s riding way smoother now. In San Diego, he rode very Dungey-like. I’m gonna sound like a broken record but Joey was keeping his momentum and rolling his turns very well on Saturday. After his crash, Webb was going for it to catch back up and salvage some points. He was checking if he was catching Joey but wasn’t. It tells you that Savatgy was riding well and deserves his win. Cooper is making too many mistakes, riding too agressive where being smooth is the key and he shows a lot of impatience. He wants to pass people right away without having a strategy nor preparing himself to make the pass stick at the first try. Then, you start making mistakes. He crashed losing the front end on the shiniest part of the track in turn one. His lines have to evolve with the track. He has to avoid those spots and ride where the traction is. Then, you see him pass Craig for a second but going too wide. Christian pass him back right away. Cooper goes off the track going thru the tuff blocks and almost crashed again. You can’t ride like that. You gotta use patience, put yourself in position to pass riders efficiently and safely. Copper will have to show just that if he wants to go back to back…
Anything else? You meet and talk to anyone cool in the pits?
I walked around the pits with the kids. Talked to a few Yamaha people, to Mathilde( Musquin) and Franky, Marvin’s mechanic. I know how SX is and when you’re working you don’t really want to talk to a a guy like me. So, I leave the working people alone. They have better things to do. Came across some people that used to pay me good money to use their brands but they didn’t recognize me. I thought that was funny. Must be the extra pounds I put on and the beard…
When I go to the races, I like to be a fan, look around, buy an overpriced beer and enjoy the show on the other side of the fence. I never really go to the races with my kids. They aren’t into racing that much. Last time I went with them was A1 last year. So we were walking thru the pits/stadium and a bunch of fans said hi to me. More fans recognize me than industry people! Everytime someone did, one of my kids always asked if I knew them. Most of the time I didn’t and told the kids, no I don’t know them. They’re still confused with the fact that people know me but I don’t… They’re 11 and 12 and I am pretty sure they have no idea how many SX races I’ve won and we never watched Phoenix 2000 or Indy 2002 together…