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2021 Southwick Motocross | Post-Race Interviews


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Want to know what riders had to say about the 2021 Southwick Motocross without watching a “How Was Your Weekend” video? We’ve transcribed our post-race chats with riders in the 250 and 450 Class after round five of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and added some photos of the riders in action.

450 CLASS | 8-1 | 4TH OVERALL

How was it today?

Today was quite a polar opposite with the two Motos there. Moto One, it was like I was stuck behind guys, just eating sand the whole way. And then Moto Two was a whole different deal, where I was able to pass guys, get to the front of the race, and do my thing, ride the way I feel like I’m supposed to ride. It’s almost embarrassing between the two Motos, the difference. There was a small bike change, but I don’t know if it made… It made a difference, but I don’t know if it was that much, right? Let’s say it was half the key. Good second Moto, just got to get these first ones going.

You said you had a five Moto slump and last summer, so with the way everything is going, are you starting to appreciate when you do have these big dominant rides a little bit more? Or is it like, “No, this is my job. I’m doing what I’ve got to do.”

I love them. I love these Moto wins, but when I’m not getting any overalls… I feel like they’re great rides, but I’m not getting the overall trophy at the end of the day, so it’s frustrating. Yes, I appreciate the Moto wins, but I want the overall.

These have been good, though. Everything’s been building and you’re a big factor in everything. Ken and Dylan’s championship battle has been good, but now you’re the wildcard of, “Well, when’s it going to happen?” That’s fun too. You can really throw a wrench in everybody’s plans.

[Laughs] Yeah. By no means, not going to give up. Just got to get that first Moto finish. I’m feeling great in Moto Two, body-wise and bike-wise and riding, I’m just not the same guy in the first one right now.

How was this compared to Southwick in years past? Because you’ve raced here so much, you’ve been very good here. With all that rain we had in these last few days, this had a lot of variables.

In my opinion, it dried out for Moto Two and it kind of opened up. I thought the lines opened up that way. In Moto One, it was still a little wet, so I thought the vision was a little bit hard to deal with compared to Moto Two. Thankfully, we had today because yesterday it would have been a nightmare here. So props to everyone that put the place together for us today.

450 CLASS | 5-6 | 6TH OVERALL

How was today?

Yeah, today was… I don’t know. I don’t even know what place I got. I think I got fifth or sixth or something like that but as far as where I’m at right now, I feel like I got pretty much the most out of it. Could have done some things better with my riding but I felt like I rode smart. I felt like I had good pace. I was stoked to get a good lap in practice and qualify first.

The pace was definitely hot in the beginning. First Moto, I felt like I had some more pace than Plessinger and Barcia in front of me, I don’t know, I just couldn’t really find a place to pass, and those guys got away from me there at the end. It is what it is. Then the same thing in the second Moto, made some moves. My starts weren’t great today but made some moves in the beginning, and that’s really important for me.

Regardless of what I feel is going to happen, I just put my best foot forward and show what I got, and obviously, it’s still there, so that’s super encouraging. Beyond that, just when stuff starts to go bad with my arm, I’m just trying to work on stuff. I’m just trying to work on technical stuff to make it a little bit easier on my arm. I’m trying to keep my head a little bit more forward on the exits of my turns, hold on with my legs a little bit more, just to try to minimize the risk with the arm. It’s been challenging, but life’s hard sometimes, whatever.

With that, you guys are working on the technique to… I wouldn’t say compensate, but just to do what you’ve got to do. How has Nick Wey been to help identify and point out the different things?

He’s the best, man. To be honest with you, it’s not just for the arm; it’s something that I feel I need to do to reach my potential as a racer anyway. Nick’s great with communication. He knows me so well. I wouldn’t want anybody else in my corner. The guy’s smart, articulate, knows exactly what to say, when to say it. So really happy to have him in my corner. Just wish I was in a little bit better spot right now to be challenging for those wins, but my mindset, just as an optimist, it just feels like it’s coming. Just have to keep grinding.

I like what you said on the podium this morning after being the top qualifier. You know when these opportunities come that you’ve got to take advantage of them.

Yeah. I have some circumstances I’m dealing with right now, but it’s like, whatever. There’s no real point in crying about it. I’ve got to do what I can. When I was on the podium, I was like, “I’m going to go as fast as I can for as long as I can.” I did that today. I showed good pace, and it is what it is. So I’m going to sleep just fine tonight.

450 CLASS | 11-10 | 10TH OVERALL

How was it?

Subpar. Man, this place is hard for a Cali kid, and growing up in South Georgia for most of my life, you don’t deal with a lot of sand, especially this type of sand with a hard base. I definitely struggle here. I would say this is probably the best I’ve ridden here in all my years, but just fighting a lot of things right now, just struggling with me. I need to work on something. I need to work on my motorcycle a little bit, and like I said, there are just a lot of missing pieces of the puzzle that I’m trying to get in order to take it to that next level.

Right now, it’s tough because I’m consistently the first guy off of that group, and it gets hard. Mentally, it’s tough to line up and feel like you’re just missing that little bit of an edge. The top-eight is always just that smidge faster than me and I’m trying to bridge the gap right now. I’ll keep going back, keep trying, and that’s all I can do, just to keep trying to get better.

450 CLASS | 19-21 | 22ND OVERALL

Was it worth the drive?

It was fun. I enjoyed it. It was a suffer-fest, but it’s the least prepared I’ve probably ever been for a race. It all was so last-minute, but yeah, I had fun. I know it’s my first one, so it’s going to seem extra rough, but it was freaking rough. Of all the ones to come to [Laughs]. To be honest, my fitness actually felt really good. I was happy about that. I think at this point, I’m so old. Not that old, but I’ve done it so long, I just have built-in fitness to do it.

It’s like when you go to bicycle races, those 50-year-old dudes, they have massive legs-

Or in the pool swimming, some 70-year-old lady swims by [Laughs]. First Moto I crashed in the second turn. Me, Bogle, Noren, a bunch of us crashed pretty bad, so I came from last to like 18th or something like that. Second one, I was like 15th most of the Moto. I’m pretty happy with that, and I felt good. I think I could have made a couple of passes, and then I crashed with four laps ago. I crashed pretty good, went over the bars, my bike ran over. It got me. So I was bummed because I think I ended up 20th or 21st. That was a bummer but all things considered, I had fun.

Are we going to see you do anymore, or was this it?

I don’t know, this was so last minute. I wanted to do one or two. This was a little earlier, because I guess I haven’t ridden very much but things came together, so I was like, “I’ve got to just do it.” It’ll probably after Loretta’s, maybe Budds Creek or Indiana, one of those maybe. I’ll probably take a week off. I’m going to be sore for a week [Laughs].

450 CLASS | 7-8 | 7TH OVERALL

How was today?

It’s a reoccurring theme these last few races. It hasn’t been very good, but I just didn’t really get a good flow of the track or the bike today. I qualified okay, but coming into the Moto, I didn’t have the confidence with my bike and where I was going to go. Once you lose that confidence, you don’t have much to stand on out there. First Moto, I got seventh. I was just riding around behind people and it was hard to pass. It was my fault. I went backward at the start and I put myself in a bad position. And then in the second Moto, I actually felt like I was riding better, I was behind Eli, and I had a really big crash and had the bike on top of me. Then two corners later, I had another big crash and got ran over but came back to eighth. It’s not what I come here to do, but I’m looking forward to Millville and these last however many tracks we have. They are really good tracks, and I’m looking forward to going out there and getting back to where I belong.

This is a lot of racing. You did miss some time this year with things, but it’s a lot of racing for your full rookie season.


How do you feel this far into it?

Yeah, I feel fine. Sometimes, towards the middle of the summer, you start getting worn out and lose motivation, but I’m still motivated and enjoy coming to the races. So my mood and everything has been good. I’ve been struggling. I’ve just got to keep going to work and try and figure this stuff out. I’ve had some stuff going on at home, just with training and whatnot, and it hasn’t been going in my favor. I’m just going to go clear my mind a little bit, get back to what I know how to do, and then run up front. I’m just looking forward to next weekend. And it’s exciting because you have a bad race and seven days later, you can just go back and try again. Looking forward to that and being back at Millville.

Something I’ve always wanted to ask a guy that rides at the Stewart’s, because we see it in the videos and video games, and I came down there earlier this year, is that outdoor track is big. With some of the things on it, the jumps and everything, is it an accurate representation for racing, or is it more just fun? Does it really help you? Or is it like, “Yeah, James, there are no 120-foot doubles here.”

[Laughs] Honestly, the jumps, they look intimidating but they’re really not that big. They just have a big face and a big landing, so they look like they’re scary. But the track, they actually changed it this year and it’s been a really good practice track and been really fun. It’s a little bit slower now, so it’s not the same as when you were there, but there are still some big jumps out there. They’re all gap doubles, and that’s what’s so intimidating about it. For me, I like to jump, but the track actually wears you out, believe it or not. It’s a good practice track, and the big jumps might not be necessary, but they’re fun.

Yeah, look who built the place [Laughs].

Yeah, Malcolm and all those guys, I think Malcolm actually designed this outdoor track and it’s really good. I’ve been enjoying it and having fun riding there.

450 CLASS | 14-14 | 14TH OVERALL

You kept the tradition alive today of the northeast guy being a top finishing privateer. How was it for you to come out to Southwick?

It was good. I crashed in the first Moto, so it was good to push through that Moto, and I was riding by myself in the second Moto. So it was a good day for me.

I see the canopy, NESC champion, so you have local experience. How different is the pro race today compared to what you guys see when there’s just a local event? Obviously, it’s way different.

They prep it a little differently, but honestly, the local racing gets a little rougher than the National does. It’s a different rough. The bumps are a lot smaller but closer together, and they go around the whole track, where at the National, everybody’s going fast that it gets big, rolled out stuff coming out of the turn, but it’s smoother going into the turn. I always have a lot of fun riding it when the National is going on.

You’ve done a couple Nationals this year. How was it for you, just as a privateer guy, to come out here and hold your own against dudes that follow the whole series and everything that goes on with it?

Yeah, it’s fun. My original plan was actually to do Loretta’s this year, and I forgot I did Daytona on the 125, so I couldn’t do it. I was last minute deciding to do the Nationals, and it ended up being pretty fun. I did High Point and got 19th there, 17th at RedBud, and then 14th here. It’s been good finishes, and I feel like we’re building, so it will be good.

You’ve been racing for a long time, but to score a National point is a big deal. Just explain how that is for just a local guy to come out and hold your own.

Yeah, the points are the goal, so it’s awesome to get them. Even the further away tracks, getting just one point there is always good. Here, I feel I should always try to get a few points. I ride this track every week. I do camps here on Wednesdays and get to ride this track every week, so I’ve ridden it in every situation I feel like. I definitely expect a little bit better finishes here than the other rounds, but points in general are the goal. You want two digits going into the following year. Yeah, it’s fun.

How many more are you going to do?

I’m going to do Millville next weekend and then Unadilla, Budds, and Ironman.

Oh, okay. Yeah, you’re in.

Yeah. I made a post this week and got some just title sponsors to help for those rounds to get to them. So we’re going to just try to do as many as we can.

450 CLASS | 2-4 | 3RD OVERALL

How was that today?

Yeah, it was good. Southwick, I love the place and I had a really good day. Qualifying, it could have been better but I made a few little mistakes, so that was unfortunate. A good start in the first one, and yeah, I ended up second. I rode strong, but Dylan rode a good race and held the gap. Second Moto, not the best start, that was the only bummer, but I had to put a pretty hard charge to get up to fourth and was stoked on some of my passes. Can’t wait to watch it back, and the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS team did an awesome job. We’ve been working hard and made some good changes and the whole crew has been doing awesome. So we’ll keep the ball rolling for sure. I think the setting we have here will work good in Millville.

This was the one race I think you probably had on the calendar for a bit.


How was the GASGAS out there? How does it feel to ride that bike? Probably way different than anything you’ve ever ridden.

Yeah, it’s way different.

Way different.

I enjoy it. It’s a learning process. I’m still learning the bike, and when I say learning, not necessarily the feel of it but the impact, the feedback I get through my arms and through my legs. Sometimes I have to figure out how to say what I’m feeling. I know what I’m feeling, but sometimes these bikes are the opposite compared to all of the other bikes, like Japanese bikes. And yeah, the bike was really good today. I thought my turnaround race would have been RedBud. It wasn’t from lack of effort. It’s good to turn around today, and I think we’re in the right spot now. I’m really enjoying the GASGAS and the whole crew. Everyone’s doing a good job, and honestly, I look to finish out my career here. So it should be good.

Do you enjoy that part of relearning a bike, or is it like, “Ugh”?

Yes and no. I like this bike a lot. The skinniness of it reminds me of being a kid back in the day; I rode KTMs back in the day for a little bit. So it definitely is unique, and it suits my style, but sometimes it can get difficult. Luckily we have a lot of umbrellas over here with all the manufacturers, so we all share information, and we’re able to figure it out. Yeah, I enjoy it sometimes, and other times, I wish it was easier, but this sport’s never easy. You never can give up and always have to work hard. Like today, it was one of those incidents where I didn’t get a good start and I had to try and grind it out and get on the podium, so I’m stoked.

450 CLASS | 9-13 | 11TH OVERALL

How was today?

Yeah, it was a rough weekend for me. Coming in, I was stoked on Southwick, I always have a good feeling about this track. It gets rough, and the rougher it gets, the better I feel. So a good mood coming to this day, qualified good and then last lap of practice, I had a big get-off and just slammed my body pretty hard, just got shaken up. That sucked to go into both Motos, knowing I wasn’t fully 100-percent, but I just had to push through it. The first Moto, a bad start, then worked my way up, made some good passes, ended up ninth, and I was okay with that. From where I started to where I ended up, I rode good. Second Moto, a better start, was running up front with those guys and got shuffled back a little bit, and then started making my way back up. I think I was P7, and I had a big get-off once again. Unfortunately, the sand just bites you. You’ve got to stay on your toes at all times, and if you slack off one little bit or you lose focus, you’re on the ground. It took me a while to get up and gather my thoughts, but I was going again inside the top-10. After the big crash, I ended up sliding out with like four laps to go and a big group of guys got me. So 9-13 for 11th. We scored some points, I’m just bummed I was up there with those guys and threw it away. The main thing is “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” with this. If I didn’t fall, where could I have ended up? It happens; it’s dirt bike racing, and we all deal with these days, but we’re healthy, we’re getting through it and moving on to Millville.

450 CLASS | 13-11 | 13TH OVERALL

Another good one.

Yeah, it was actually the same results as last weekend, and kinda I got screwed in the end [Laughs]. I got 13th overall but went 13-11. The progress has been huge. Moto One, I got pumped up. I rode solid for 13th. And then second Moto, I started behind Deano and I literally just followed him the whole race and ended up being a four- or five-way battle between me, Sexton, Max, Savatgy, and Deano. I’m stoked how I rode, and my fitness is really good. This track was gnarly today. I’m definitely getting my head out of my butt, so I’m pumped and looking forward to next weekend. Next weekend the track’s pretty sick, and last year I think I was a point 0.4 off for the qualifying, so now we got some power, and I think we’ll good.

A lot of confidence. I’m like this right now.

Yeah. It’s been such a bumpy year, and now it’s like the pieces of the puzzle are coming, and it feels good. This Class right now is no joke. I think everybody knows that in the 450 Class there are 15 champions, so I’m just going to keep working. That’s all I could do.

That’s real Twisted Tea in there, huh? This is not like you poured it out and put in water.

No, look!

250 CLASS | 10-13 | 11TH OVERALL

How was your first Southwick experience?

It was great. I loved the tracks conditions, considering how wet sand it was. It was deep and wet. I really liked the track and it was super fun and, yeah, today went pretty good. I had some mistakes that last Moto on the last two laps, with a lapper taking me out, but it happens. I’m happy though.

You’ve ridden the European sand tracks, one of the few Americans that have. How did this compare? What do you think of it?

Well, of course the track that I rode was pretty endless sand, and it gets pretty big rollers. Today was the same wet sand that I was riding over there, but this place has that hard base, so it gets a little more choppy and not so many sand rollers, but it was good. I liked it.

You’re a few of races into your rookie year and it’s been going pretty good. What have you thought so far? It’s like a learning experience every weekend.

Yeah, it is definitely. Being at a new track every weekend, I go to learn the track and practice, so it’s just learning. We’ve set the goal to try and get one position better every weekend. And I would’ve had it this weekend, but yeah, just those mistakes, but we’ll clean those up. Stuff happens and yeah, I liked it. The fans were great, yeah, they were awesome here. I think better than RedBud.

How is that for you? You’ve raced the amateur stuff, but how is it for a kid like you when you’re looking at a race in front of fans?

Oh, it’s definitely different. They’re definitely a lot louder here outdoors. And you hear them going around the track, air horns, chainsaws, whatever. But when you’re racing, you’re so focused. You’re riding and it cancels everything out. But it’s a little bit different having that environment, especially before the first Moto, the opening ceremony sitting on the line. I think it’s cool and I like it.

250 CLASS | 5-17 | 9TH OVERALL

How was today?

Qualifying was good, so I was pumped on that, my first time here. First Moto was good, got a good start, led some laps, showed some good speed, but I just kind of fell out of rhythm. Practice wasn’t enough time on the track really and it was a real learning experience. The track broke down a lot different than a lot of other sand tracks I’ve been to, so that was a learning experience. And the Second Moto was shaping up to be good, I think I was maybe third or fourth and yeah, a split decision deal with Martin and I went down with him, and that was it. My shifter was all bent in, I couldn’t shift and all kinds of stuff. But all in all speeds there. We’re looking forward to Millville.

Florida guy, so you ride a lot of sand. How is this sand compared to that, considering it was your first time here?

Florida, you just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper. Here, it’s deep, but it has a hard base and it’s weird, because with sand tires, you just slide, but I really liked the track. It was good. Just wish I would have been able to stay up and not tangle up with Martin in the second Moto.

250 CLASS | 7-7 | 7TH OVERALL

How was it?

There were some positives to build on. Not what we wanted, obviously, made some mistakes, led some laps. It was a day of highs and lows, but overall, I think we made some progress and we’re going in the right direction. I’m still kind of trying to get my feet under me after having a concussion. And yeah, it’s been a week. I got a lot going on, so to come out here, healthy, two Motos… I mean, it’s the first time I’ve finished two Motos since the first round. We’ve been having bike issues. So it’s just good to get some momentum.

The laps led, you looked good. Everything was going well there. How did it feel to be back at the front?

I felt good. Initially I was just relaxed all the way through it. I was just like, “All right. Let the race come to me. Ride as I wish.” And I wasn’t pushing the pace, which for me, is kind of my style. I was like, “Just let things come to me and not really push too hard.” And there’s a way to push. But yeah, I felt comfortable, felt good. Definitely was thinking about it, trying to not think about it, and find that balance and zone. Ultimately, I made a few mistakes, and they kind of compounded and I started getting tense or tight, so it was definitely interesting. It was good. But I think we can definitely build on that. I think it’s where I belong.

250 CLASS | 8-8 | 8TH OVERALL

How was today?

Yeah, it was good. Qualified P2, which was unreal. I think me and RJ, we were 2:15.9, both of us, so it was really close. Moto One’s start wasn’t that great, came back up to eighth, but really didn’t ride that good. Second Moto, start was even worse and I came back up to eighth. But yeah, we were consistent for 8-8 on the day. We’re making steps forward, just have got to get a start and I think we’ll be farther up front. So yeah, shout out to the team and everybody, and we’re going to keep digging away.

First visit here, huh?

Yeah, first time here.

What’d you think of it?

It was gnarly. I almost preferred it in the second Moto because the bumps were bigger, where the first Moto was kind of harder to tell. And the second Moto, it was gnarly, but there was more room for passes and stuff. So it was good and it was fun. It’s different than I expected, really, but I think everyone kind of said it’s different this time because of the rain. It’s definitely the man track. It’s a man’s track [Laughs]. So yeah, got out of here safe and healthy and will keep chipping away at it.

250 CLASS | 17-20 | 20TH OVERALL

How was today?

Yeah, not too bad. Sweet qualifying and I’m learning a lot with that. I guess that’s the age and a lot of time with that, but racing’s coming around. Definitely been a long time off from racing; almost three years of no racing and five years, almost six years since I raced 250s. So it’s definitely a different type of racing, and I’m just getting back into it and I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m just happy to be with the ClubMX team and give it a shot like this.

Does it help that you get to ride all the time and you get to really think about stuff, but that you’re not stressed the way you used to be as a privateer?

Yeah, oh, definitely. It’s cool to come here and just go racing, just race and go off of how I feel. And I just trust that I’ve done everything right. And now it’s a different side. I’m not training on the bike all the time, I’m more watching the guys ride and watching them train daily, making sure they’re doing it right. And so when I get back on the bike, it’s like, “Oh, alright. Now I get to practice what I preach basically and figure it out that way.” So it’s been fun, just the riding time hasn’t been a lot. I had knee surgery in January and really didn’t get on bike until May, so not a lot of time on the bike. My fitness is coming around as I go and I’ve been in the gym and stuff, but it’s not bike time. I’m not anywhere like Garrett and all these guys that ride weekly and put in work like that. I’ve done a couple of days here and there, and I’m happy with where I’m at and I’m happy with the team. I really didn’t test or anything, I kind of just hopped on the bike last week. The first Timed Qualifying at RedBud was the first time I’ve ever touched this bike. So, it’s a little different, and I’m building and I’m battling with good dudes, I feel like. The pace is a little off, but it’s not far. I’m happy with where I am with the little bit of time I’ve been on the bike.

And probably that time off, it lets you feel fresh after doing this as a full-time job. I mean, it wears you down as a racer. So to take that time off and come back and, like you said, you have to practice what you preach.

Yeah, I think it’s really cool. It’s cool just to be here, putting days in. It’s cool to be out here on the weekends and I definitely missed it, coming to some Nationals and getting back in it. But yeah, just practice what I preach and just get out here and learn. It’s definitely helped already with the training side of things. I get to go back and see the way they race and try to help the dudes that are getting ready for the Nationals to be better on the weekends.

How many more are you in for?

For sure next weekend at Spring Creek. And then I do Loretta Lynn’s. I’m running the A Classes there. So that’s why I was allotted three before. No Washougal, and then we’ll see where the team’s at and where everyone’s at with it. And I think I’ll be hopefully, maybe, probably Unadilla, Budd’s and Ironman. And then we’ll see on California where the team and everything’s at.

250 CLASS | 36-9 | 14TH OVERALL

How was today?

It was a rough one. I mean, this is my first time to the ‘Wick and I thought it’d be better. First Moto, DNF, which sucks, but I felt really good first one. I think I was running eighth. Had a couple of guys in front of me, but whatever. It happens. Next Moto, started way outside, got a mediocre start, came through the pack to ninth, and it was just kind of struggle. It was really hard to pass today on the track, really one-lined. You felt like there was just inside, inside, inside, inside.

What do you think about this place? I mean, first time here, probably a lot different than the sand tracks you guys have down there at Club.

Oh, for sure. I don’t know if it was because all the rain that they got or what, but being a bigger guy did not help me stay on top of the sand. I feel like I was just digging everywhere.

Everything else going pretty good, just plugging away?

Oh, yeah. Team’s been great, program’s pretty good.

I hate to bring this up, but you’ve never made it this far in the outdoors. So-

Oh, come on!

But this is good, though. This is really, really good progress. How do you feel now that you’re 10 Motos in?

It felt pretty good. I mean, it’s almost like I don’t know what to do with myself, because I always miss half the season, I’m just kind of watching. But now it’s just keep plugging away, fix a couple things this week. But yeah, I’m feeling pretty good with it and excited for the rest of the season.

250 CLASS | 1-1 | 1ST OVERALL

A 1-1. That was sick.

1-1 baby! Fuck. It feels good, mate, feels good. There was no working out points, no, “What’d that guy finish?” It’s clean cut, so it’s pretty cool and I’m stoked on it. It’s awesome. The whole team’s just ecstatic and so am I. It’s cool, a nice little reward. And dude, it’s like… I don’t know. There’s so much I want to talk about. But I just can’t put it to words yet. It’s just so much going on and I’m just chilling. 

That first Moto was chaos, like, “Whoa.” So how was it, just to kind of be sitting back and watching it unfold?

I don’t want to sit here and say, “Yeah, it was part of my plan and it just worked perfectly,” because I mean, you never plan on other guys crashing. I was happy with where I was. I felt like I was close enough to RJ, who was in the lead at the time before he went down, to make a run for it in the last 10 minutes. I was really confident in the last 10 minutes of the races today that if I needed to go up a gear or into that overdrive that I was able to. RJ, unfortunately, crashed and then I was behind Mosiman and was looking to pass, made a few attempts at it, couldn’t quite get it. So I was just kind of, “Okay, keep sitting here. I’m right there.” And yeah, he ended up going down and then I was like, “All right. Now I’ve got clear track.” I put in a few good laps and was able to manage the race. And it was pretty similar, the second Moto. Not the best start, but was feeling good, just got into a good position, and was able to capitalize and just learn from other guys. Nnowing my true speed and what I could do on the track, I was able to ride within my comfort zone for the day, and just managed the race once I was in the lead and had a comfortable gap.

Forgive me for my ignorance, is this the first ever 1-1 of your entire career?

Yeah, it is. So pretty cool. It is a big one.

You’ve been here before, right?

2019, but we sucked [Laughs].

I asked Vohland this, because he’s ridden some of the Euro sand tracks, but how does this compare to what you guys used to ride over there and then what you ride in Florida? We know it’s got a hard base and everything, but it’s a different animal than anything.

For sure. I mean, there would be sand tracks in Europe that get like this one, but it’s not deep sand, because there is a base to it. But how the berms were today, because obviously this place had a lot of rain, they swept a lot of the track. It was kind of similar to it a little bit, but dude, I don’t know. I don’t even bother trying to compare the sand here and the sand there. Everyone jumps online and they’re all sand experts and they’re like, “Oh, no. It’s nothing like Euro,” and the Americans, “Oh, it’s nothing like…” So it’s whatever.

250 CLASS | 9-3 | 6TH OVERALL

How was today?

Am I allowed to swear on this? Or no?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course.

Shitshow. It was an absolute shitshow. I’m sorry, Mum, for swearing, but there’s no other way to put it to be honest. First one, bad start, just started probably outside the top-15, made my way through, had some bad luck. Swoll ended up making a little mistake and I ended up making a big mistake landing on him and I went off the thing. I had nowhere to go, so that sucks. And had a few little bike issues. Well, not issues, just like a few little wrong decisions with the bike, but we got them sort after the second Moto. Second Moto riding was a lot better. Starts, I still suck at. So it was disappointing, because I’m normally a pretty decent starter, but starts are sucking right now and I need to sort that out. But no, my riding’s good, it’s not a problem. I can always be better. I lost a lot more points today, so I only have three points to spare, which is not good. Coop’s been really on and I’m kind of bummed, because I would have made some points in the first one, made them back from last weekend. But hey, there’s nothing you can do, really. I’m just going to go on to Spring Creek and make sure I start getting those wins off and gain more podiums. First time being off of the podium and I don’t like it.

Yeah, I could tell. You were not a happy camper at the podium.

If it was a cartoon, I’d had steam coming out my ears. I was pissed off and disappointed in myself at the same time. I’m just disappointed. I just didn’t give myself any good opportunities out there. Yeah, just mainly disappointed.

Another one in seven days.

It happens, yeah, and next weekend, we can come back. And that’s one thing that you got to do with our sport, just put that behind. Your race is done. I can’t keep on whining about it. I just got to keep on going and just look forward. We have still heaps more races to go and a few small points that I can gather.

First visit here. What’d you think of it?

Southwick didn’t treat me very well today, but the track’s cool. I wish it was dry, because I actually would have got to see the actual sand. I mean, we got to see the muddy part of it. Hopefully there’s no more races like that when we come here. I really want to see the sand, because everyone knows that Hunter and I raced in Europe, so we know what sand sands is like. And we haven’t really ridden a sand track that’s been like Europe for a while.

250 CLASS | 4-5 | 4TH OVERALL

How was your weekend?

It’s at least an improvement, because I was on the struggle bus at RedBud. I got 11th in the first Moto, was a really piss poor performance, and then didn’t get to race the second one, so we were a little down in the dumps. But today, we made some good strides and I feel a lot better with the bike. The bikes are in a better spot, I’m in a better spot. Got to keep digging, man. We’re getting there, slowly but surely. Went 4-5, which is kind of a kick in the ass, but overall I’m happy. My starts were better, I was riding better, need a little bit more pace, but overall, I think we’re making really good improvements weekend to weekend, and I’m looking forward to next weekend, to just kind of keep the ball rolling and keep building.

Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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