Millville Pulpcasts transcribed for you.
Millville Pulpcasts transcribed for you.
PulpMX: We talked about Red Bud crash, took some wind out of your sails. Southwick wasn’t the greatest. All of us media guys were talking that you needed a rebound weekend this weekend to get back into this thing – not that you’re out of it, but you know what I mean. You had a good day. You almost made the podium except for a late race crash, or a mid-race crash. I guess it’s tough to beat those two guys when they live here, so good job on the day.
Yeah, like you said I needed to rebound. We didn’t get it. It’s unfortunate. We’re not out of this by any means.
I think you got it.
We’re not out of it by any means, but it’s to the point now where it’s not going to be very easy, and if I want to make it happen, I should have made it happen this weekend but next weekend at this point it’s like either make it happen or it’s not going to happen. So a lot of pressure, not that there’s not ever any pressure but more pressure than ever. But I thrive off that and I like the do or die situations. You got to do it or it’s not going to happen. It’s to the point now where we put ourselves in a hole in a fast way too, and that’s frustrating for me. But no one to blame. We’re struggling with some things and we’re trying to get it figured out. When we do I think we’ll be back to the guy you saw earlier in the year when we were able to up the pace when needed and fend off pressure. But as of right now it’s a struggle, but we’re trying to get it figured out.
Is it one of those things where, you could see in the motos you were just a tick behind those guys and maybe five weeks ago you were able to pick it up. I thought your fitness was phenomenal early in the year, and probably today it’s one of those things where it’s like, I can’t get them. I can see them, but I can’t get them.
Yeah, like you said, at the beginning of the year I think we look at Colorado. We were leading the first moto, go down, get back up. Cooper’s on me and I’m able to up the pace right away, keep him behind me, finish second. Second moto Alex was behind me from halfway, 20 minutes in and I was able to pick up the pace and fend off the pressure. Then we went to High Point, crashed the first moto but were able to rebound second moto. Once again I had pressure for a long time and it just seemed like we were able to pick up the pace no problem. Like you said, right now it’s a little bit of a struggle. Not able to execute quite as well right now as what I was. I got to figure some things out with me. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can’t do that again. I think I’ve shown it enough this year and we’ve won a lot of races and overalls but we got to get back to that next weekend regardless, no matter what. Looking forward to the challenge, it’s just frustrating. It’s obviously easy to be frustrated when you’re not winning but I’m not necessarily frustrated that I’m not winning; I’m frustrated that I’ve given away as many points as I have, and on stupid things. Just stupid tip-overs and dumb stuff. That’s what I’m more frustrated about than anything else.
You got fourth today but in my mind this is I think the best track of the season. Do you like this place? Do you enjoy this track?
Yeah. Practice was muddy but I think they do a great job here. I think this would be a pretty badass practice track to have. I think the facility and the track and the layout and everything, I think it’s great. I think it’s probably arguably one of the best ones that we have all year. Once again it was a good racetrack.
PulpMX: You went from everyone cheering for you and being happy to what you can do to maybe causing everybody anger, because you just can’t get one of these wins. You did everything in that first moto short of winning again, like you’ve done a few times this year, and just tipped it over. Still third overall is third overall, but you’ve got to be a little bummed.
I mean, you can say it Steve – I’m just a big disappointment.
You went from underhyped to properly hyped to now overhyped.
It’s really roller coaster emotions in one day. I was really happy. That’s been kind of a childhood dream of mine, basically since I turned pro to get a holeshot and lead laps at Millville. So I checked that one off the bucket list.
Yeah, you led a lot of laps.
Yeah, most of the laps. I’ve led so many freaking laps this year and I haven’t won a moto yet, which is frustrating. And the way I felt at Hangtown, Glen Helen, to get the overall win at Glen Helen with no moto wins, I didn’t think I’d be this far in the season and still not have a moto win. Just so close again and just a little mistake. It’s a little frustrating for sure, but at the end of the day I actually haven’t been on the podium here before, so check that one off the list.
Just to make things doubly frustrating you crashed again in the second moto, opening lap when it looked like again you could be in the position to lead.
Yeah, I know. The way I look at it, two mistakes away from possibly maybe a 1-1 day. I was feeling good again that second moto. To get the holeshot makes my life easy. And then to tip over, just hit neutral in that corner, and have to come from ninth or whatever. Everybody’s so close and the track was kind of one-lined, you just can’t do it in today’s field, I don’t think. All the guys are pretty strong.
You were on Osborne at the end there. You didn’t need him for third overall. Did you think that? Were you doing the math in your head? Or did you think you needed Zach?
No, I kind of figured if I passed Joey I’d be okay.
As far as track prep here, do you have any say in that? Do you talk to your dad about it? Do you say anything, like this is what we want? Some guys said it wasn’t ripped as deep and everything else as normal.
Yeah, that’s actually a frustrating topic. I wish I had more say in the track, but I feel like I know what good track prep is and our dad really doesn’t take what we say at all into consideration. Here we are again, no forecast for rain, and they just flooded the track. It was to the point where we could barely ride the track first practice. I think that’s a little unnecessary.
The practice times backed it up at five, six, seven seconds faster.
That’s not necessary. That’s where I thought Red Bud did a good job this year because they normally over-water like crazy, and their first practice was reasonable. You could actually ride the track. And there were sections of the track that we didn’t ride all day because they were complete mud, and they were pushing mud off with the dozer. So I think old Johnny maybe needs to just relax with the water crew a little bit.
Can we blame Shane Schafer?
No, I can’t blame Shane. He told me, get your skis, your dad went crazy last night. But the track did shape up great. Just a little frustrating that there were certain sections that we just didn’t ride all day because it was muddy.
Frustrating day, lead a lot of laps, get third overall. I guess that’s the positive. Third overall, and like you said, you led laps in front of your family, friends, everything else. That’s got to be pretty cool. So I guess we’ll take that?
Yeah, like I said earlier, I haven’t been on the podium here. So as well as I am riding this year it’s still such a big step from where I’ve been in the past. Got to take that as a positive and move forward. The starts were good today so hopefully we can bring that to Washougal.
I noticed you guys, Cooper and you and Jeremy, even Aaron, the uphill triple your bikes looked like you guys cleared it easier than everybody else. You definitely have good bikes, horsepower-wise.
Yeah, but I was actually surprised because one lap I was behind Adam Cianciarulo and he got over that uphill triple pretty damn good for that big old boy to get up that triple. I was impressed.
For the most part you were killing everybody, even Aaron who’s big. You guys were definitely getting over it easier, which makes your job easy.
Yeah, I think Aaron about looped out in the practice trying it, so he was a little bit iffy. But for the most part we were getting over it all day clean.
PulpMX: Welcome back to the outdoors. These things are a lot of work.
Yeah, that’s what I heard. I was joking around the first weekend, I told my wife Brady after Red Bud, I was like, “So. Outdoors, huh? It wasn’t that bad. Everybody just fluffs it too much.” And she was like, “You know you went, like, 16-20 for like 20th overall.” I was like, “Yeah, you’re right. I’ve probably got no room to talk.” Each weekend I was improving. This weekend it was a little bit of an improvement. I qualified a little bit better in practice. Getting more comfortable on the bike each weekend, more comfortable back on the program. I haven’t been here since ’09. It’s weird. I get so pissed because at the beginning of the race I’m just over-riding the bike and then I get really smoked and tired, and then I start going faster, which is awesome. Then I find all the good lines at the end of the moto and I’m like, man, all these guys know where all the good lines are at the beginning.
It’s been six motos for you. I don’t think you’ve gotten a top fifteen start, or maybe I’m missing one but I don’t think so.
I think the last one I was top fifteen in that second moto but then I buried it in like the third turn. I went into a dust berm and somebody blew the dust up and I couldn’t see it, so I just buried the front end and went over the bars. Then I was FOUR3rd or whatever, last.
These things are a lot better when you start up front.
Yeah, for me it’s weird. I crashed in the first turn last week and came to 17th. I started up in the front in the second moto, and ended up 14th. Then this weekend the first moto I got 18th starting up front, and I crashed in the second moto and I ended up better. I think I got, like, 16th the second one. So for me it’s been crash in the first turn and you do better. So I don’t know if I want to keep that up. Definitely wears me out.
Overall though, are you happy so far? Are you happy to be back? Is it cool or is it more work than you thought? Is it not as much fun?
No, I’ve always wanted to race outdoors. I’m happy to be back. I know I’m capable of better than what I’ve been getting. The first weekend I was just brushing off the cobwebs. Last weekend at Southwick I was like, that was all right. I got a top fifteen finally, two solid motos. Then this weekend I was looking to try to get up closer to the top ten, because I know I’m capable of putting it in the top ten both motos, and I just haven’t been doing that. This weekend it was actually one of the hardest weekends for me. I don’t know if it was the sand whoops or what, but this was actually the first weekend where I got real tired. It was even worse than my very first weekend.
I think this was the hottest one, too.
Maybe that. By five degrees. It has been really peachy, though. It’s been like 75 degrees each weekend, it’s 80 this weekend. So it’s been pretty nice.
Washougal will be good too.
Yeah, they said it’s going to be really nice there too. So hopefully we can keep off this cool weather streak while I’m here and keep it nice and cushy. It’s just fun. I love racing dirt bikes. My couch was getting worn out. I’m happy to be here on a good bike. Each weekend we improve the bike and I improve, I learn a little bit more. I’m happy to work with the team. They’re awesome. Everybody’s super positive and I just love being here.