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2021 Spring Creek Motocross | Post-Race Interviews


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Want to know what riders had to say about the 2021 Spring Creek 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 six of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and added some photos of the riders in action.

450 CLASS | 37-37 | 37TH OVERALL

How was today?

Struggle bus. Honestly, the past two weekends, things just honestly have been out of our control. Last weekend we thought it was electrical and it wasn’t. It’s one of those things where it’s like, hate to see it. Then today was just, we qualified pretty well, 13th. I mean, can’t complain about that. In the Motos, I’m calling it right now, I pulled the holeshot, Barcia did not get it [Laughs]! If you slow it down, I crossed the line first. So, I got my first ever holeshot today. That was cool to run up there. I just rode a little tight. It’s just being new up there. But I was in 12th and then yeah, chain snapped. A rock got in there and screwed it all up. And then second Moto, lined up outside, got a decent start. I found myself in 15th trying to get a pace going and I guess I got another rock. It went through, yeah…

Chain again?

… two chains today. Very unfortunate. I mean, we’re healthy. We’re going to Washougal healthy, we’ll get everything squared away, but it’s the nature of the sport and we can’t control everything. So yeah, live to fight another day.

Over the last few years, you’ve been steady plugging away, getting better and better, and even watching you today, I’m like, “Wow, Coty’s on it.” There’s been a lot of buzz about you lately and you’re riding well, so that has to take a little bit of a sting away. It might make it worse in some instances, but you know you’re doing things the right way.

Yeah, yeah. Tony and I, we’ve been really working hard on just trying to slow my mind down, to just relax and hit our marks every lap. It’s starting to show. Yeah, it’s good. I mean, I’m happy where I’m at, but I’m not satisfied. I know I can be inside of the top-10. I’ve just got to figure out what these guys are doing. They’re just that good, that’s a fact. I appreciate all the love and support that I’m getting from people, it’s pretty cool to see all the social media stuff. But yeah, we’re just going to keep plugging away and try and prove everyone wrong.

450 CLASS | 14-12 | 13TH OVERALL

How was it?

It was solid, definitely a good day. Had this one pretty good. We were all so close in times. I was at a 2:11 and literally all the way to fifth place was like 2:10. I mean, I was riding well. First Moto, we had a bike problem, so I missed a gate drop. Literally they were gone; I think they were on the rollers by the time I took off. Caught back up to the 14th, which I thought was pretty sweet. The first four laps, I was just pinned, I didn’t care who was in front of me, then I got to 14th and just kind of chilled out. I thought that was a good ride, from last to 14th, literally. So the next Moto, I actually had outside gate pick and I came around like sixth. I was riding good, with Deano and them. I had a few guys pass me, but I was in 10th and then I hit the brake into a turn and stalled. I thought the bike might have hiccupped, but it was just me. So I let a few guys by because I was kind of panicking, which I shouldn’t have, but then I ended up back in like 13th and then passed into to 12th with two laps ago. So it was a good day. Bike handled really good, the power’s good. I think I was 13th overall, so it was actually a really good day for the circumstances.

All right. Just building.

Yeah, every weekend. My speed is for sure way better. Like I said last week, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing during the week and that’s about it.

450 CLASS | 13-14 | 14TH OVERALL

How did today go?

Today was rough, man. I went 13-14 for 14th. So, a frustrating day. I made a lot of bike changes after practice. Like, a lot. Different engine package, chassis stuff, all kinds of stuff, and I was a lot more comfortable come Moto time. It helped out a lot with the starts. There were all kinds of positives and I felt better. First Moto was running decent, somewhere in the top-10, single digit, which I would have been happy with at this point, I haven’t even finished a single digit yet. And then I tipped over. There was a group that got me at the end, and I ended up getting 14th. Second Moto, I damn near holeshot that bad boy and man, I ran in 3rd for like 10 or 12 minutes. And then your boy hit the wall, man. I don’t know how else to explain it. It was rough. It’s embarrassing kind of and extremely frustrating because dude, I worked my ass off. You know what I mean? I’ve got some stuff to figure out; I don’t know if it’s just health wise, whatever. I don’t know, but I got to figure it out because that ain’t going to fly. I was consistent. I’ve got to say something, and I was consistent today, but I’d rather not be 14th on that. But yeah man, a long day, frustrating day, but hey, I’m still kicking, and I do have some positives to take from it. Made some progress with the bike and was riding good enough to be somewhere up front. But I’ve got to figure out the whole fitness thing.

I’ll tell you this, Watching those laps when you were up front in the second Moto, it was smooth.


It looked good. It wasn’t one of those things where, “Oh shit, I’m up here, what the hell am I going to do?” It was flowing.

I was sick early in the week, too, so I don’t know if maybe I was just drained or something, but I wasn’t able to really send it at the beginning of the race even, because I felt like I would have been done in two laps. I was comfortable and I felt fast enough to stay up front somewhere. I didn’t feel like I was just holding a train of guys up; I felt like I was holding my own up there. And I don’t know, man, I’ve never really struggled with that side of stuff. As soon as I get back up there, I have that confidence again because I mean, I spent a lot of my life doing that. So it’s like, the last couple of years have been tough, but I refuse to believe that I’m not supposed to be up front. Whether that’s delusion or not, I don’t really care because I don’t know how else to make it happen. I’m comfortable up there and I love getting starts. I’ll tell you this, I’m a lot more comfortable getting a start in than I am starting in the back. All kinds of squirrely stuff happens back there, it is that nightmare. Not a fan of that. I was holeshotting  every race couple years back strictly because I did not want to be in the pack. It was like, “Dude, I ain’t doing it. I’ll be on too many squirrely things happen back there. I’m not risking my life right now. So I’m just going to holeshot and stay away from it.” And yeah, I’d like to get back to that because I feel like if I can start doing it again, maybe I could stop being 14th. But who knows.

Speak this into existence.

Hey baby, here’s the thing, no matter how I do, no matter what happens, the sun’s going to come up in the morning. You know what I mean? Life’s going to roll on and I got to do better because my necklace is real, but it’s small. I need a bigger Jesus piece, man. I was watching this Biggie video last night and I’m like, man, that’s what I’m aspiring to. You know what I’m saying? I don’t make that much money right now, ain’t been doing that good, but I need to because I got to a bigger Jesus piece. So, you know, everybody’s got their motivations and it’s where I’m at the moment.

450 CLASS | 9-11 | 11TH OVERALL

How did today go?

Better, definitely better. We made a few steps and had two Motos without any issues, so that was good. You know, I’m still working with the guys, but we still need to find a little more performance in a couple of areas and they’ve got a plan to do that after the break from Washougal. So hopefully we can make some steps there. We’ve made some progress with the suspension, so that’s good. And the two Motos today, we, touch wood, were solid. Everything worked well, so at least I could race and felt like I was racing at least as hard as I could. So it was all right.

Can you explain these battles with Dean? Is there direct orders from the Royal family to have this happen?

[Laughs] Maybe. Yeah, I know. First Moto, I was riding and I got to 9th. Then second Moto, I was on him, was in 10th or something, then I went down, lost a few spots and used all my energy to get to him again. Then it was like two laps ago and I was like, “Okay, right. I’m getting to the end of my limit now.” We’ve had some good battles and I enjoyed racing him. I know, obviously, he’s struggling a little at the moment and got a few issues, but hopefully now we can move on to Washougal and make another step. I just want to be more competitive in the mix with the guys, but step by step, we’ll get there.

450 CLASS | 7-3 | 4TH OVERALL

How did today go for you?

It was definitely a step in the right direction for me. I didn’t feel comfortable in the first practice, kind of felt a characteristic with the bike that is not what I’ve been riding during the week, so just made a change to the subframe, kind of got the stability back where I wanted it, and in the second practice I felt a whole lot better. That made me more confident. And obviously the first Moto wasn’t ideal, going down the first corner, but I feel like I rode really well and got back to 7th, it was the best I could do. And then in the second Moto I got an okay start, like 10th, and made my way to 3rd. I had Eli behind me for most of the race, which was kind of cool to battle. I got 4th overall, so hopefully I’m trending upwards now and can build off this and get going for the last six races.

Okay. That first Moto, you were making passes and that was pretty impressive. When you’re in that kind of situation, is it like a blackout and you’re just going forward?

[Laughs] Yeah, it’s kind of a blackout situation, kind of all or nothing. I made some dicey moves and I was bummed with myself because I felt so good, that if I could have been just been top-10 or top-five off the start, I could have made something out of that Moto, but obviously a wasted opportunity for me. I made the most of it and I felt really good. I was kind of keeping track of where Barcia and those guys were on the track, just trying to get closer and just make as many passes as possible. So yeah, I’ve done that a few times now this year, which is not ideal, but hopefully we can get these starts figured out this week and go to Washougal. I can work with the top-five off the first lap and then we’ll be good from there.

In Colorado, when you passed Eli, you said, “Yeah, it’s weird to pass them in that situation.” How different is, though, to have him kind of breathing down your neck, because he was going for it today.

Yeah, I mean he was going for it. Actually, I think I passed him the first lap, which was a good for me, and I knew he was going to be behind me. I knew he wasn’t going to be done with me for the rest of the Moto. So I had to just be consistent and put in good laps for the whole Moto and he definitely didn’t make it easy on me. I think he finished maybe three seconds back. He’s definitely trending up, too, and he’ll be something to deal with for the rest of these six races. But it’s fun to have him back. We want to really lie back and he’s been on rails lately. So it’s fun to see him feeling better and riding a lot better.

Was this a track you rode a lot growing up?

Not really. I live five hours from here, so it’s weird, because llinois and Minnesota and Wisconsin don’t really mix. It’s not really the same thing. I honestly raced more in Michigan, in like, RedBud and Indiana and Illinois. I did make it up here a few times, but I probably could count on my hands how many times I raced here before turning pro. It’s just something between Wisconsin and Minnesota and Illinois, we don’t mesh very well. I kind of stayed where I was, but I had to come up here for regionals and whatnot.

450 CLASS | 5-9 | 6TH OVERALL

How was that?

Oh, it was a little frustrating today. I got a bad start in the first Moto and then was riding was really good, but it didn’t really show because I got halfway through the Moto and I kind of petered out a little bit. I think I was holding my breath the whole first half of the Moto because I think I crossed the finish line in 12th on the first lap, and I was way, way back in the first lap. But I’m happy with my riding in that one. And then the second Moto, yeah, another mid-pack start and then was coming down the hill behind Dylan. He crashed, and I was going to go around the outside of him, then got smashed in the back by Marvin. I told LeBig I was a French sandwich [Laughs]. So yeah, I lifted my bike up so Dylan could go. On my throttle, the grip was halfway torn off, so did what I could, got up, started flowing, I saw ARay about halfway through the Moto so I gave him a little look over, figured he’d follow me around but yeah, I was just having fun at that point. Came back to 9th, so happy with my riding, but it didn’t show today.

Keith was telling me something yesterday, like, “We’re the first set of Motos and the track is not going to be as rough, so he might not like that as much.” Was it a big difference?

A little bit. I mean, here it always gets pretty rough, but it was different kind of bumps. I think it wasn’t as deep as usual…

It seemed drier.

Yeah, it wasn’t as deep as it usually is. And usually we get these gnarly, huge braking bumps and it kind of slows the pace down a little bit. The rollers weren’t as big this year, they just kind of came into walls. It was a different track for sure, but I still kind of liked it. I was riding really, really good in the first Moto and I felt really good until about five laps to go. But yeah, I was pumped.

250 CLASS | 14-8 | 9TH OVERALL

How did today go?

It was a good day. Struggled with a bad start at the first Moto, I think I just was late on the jump or something. The pace is so high that it’s hard to make passes and everybody’s riding good, so I only made my way up to 14th I think. It was a hard fought race, wasn’t really happy with it. I was pretty pissed off when I came in, went over the race with Davi and Pedro, then just went out there and kind of just took my anger out on the track. Got a good start, and there was kind of a little bit of a pile up, a couple of guys crashed in the second or third lap. And then, yeah, just put my head down and charged for quite a while. I was in sixth for a little bit and Hunter Lawrence got by me. I stayed with him for a little while and he was just riding really good. He started getting a little bit away from me and I made a big mistake in the sand whoops. After that I was like, “All right, I need back it down and just ride smooth.” Jett was on a mission, he caught and passed me. So after that I was riding around in 8th, just trying to put in steady laps and ride hard to the finish. I think I got ninth overall, my best round of the series so far with the overall finish. My career best is ninth, I’ve gotten ninth three times, so to match my career best is pretty good day. Never been to Washougal next weekend, so I’m looking forward to it.

Overall, you were solid, especially in that second Moto. For you to stick with Hunter the way you did, to follow those lines, that proved a lot about yourself, a lot about the team, a lot about everything.

Yeah, I think it’s good and I’m glad I get to showcase a little bit of what we got, because I’ve been kind of struggling with just crashes and haven’t really been able to put it together. It’s just been a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I’m glad to have good Motos like that, it really shows what we’re made of. Everybody works really hard and sometimes you feel like you’re letting them down when you do crash and blow it. But yeah, it was a good day and that’s the stuff we work for and strive for during the week. It’s nice to pull it together on the weekends.

250 CLASS | 15-9 | 21ST OVERALL

How are you? How was it?

Today was rough. Started off rough, ended up rough. Actually, it started of decent and I was P9 in the first Qualifier. Second Qualifier, I just got stuck behind a bunch of guys, couldn’t really get a lap in, so gate pick wasn’t good for the first Moto and I got a bad start in the first Moto. I was charging, made it up to ninth, and then kind of had a big one in the rollers, swapped side to side and knocked the wind out of myself. That was tough to rebound from and I was just out of my flow after that. I got 15th. Obviously a horrible Moto for me and I expect way more out of myself. I was going to rebound for the second Moto and that’s when I fell. I felt like I had a good Moto going,  had a good start, was moving forward and a couple of laps in I just collided with RJ and we both went down, unfortunately. As I was getting my bike I was just smoked by four guys. Yeah, that was tough. Right away, my knee started hurting me and it was the same knee that I did last year, so I was kind of worried. I figured it’d be smart just to get it checked out and make sure I’m all good. Luckily, besides being banged up, I’m all good. We’ll just move on and hopefully rebound at Washougal. But yeah, it was a tough day, and I’ll just leave it behind now.

250 CLASS | 9-13 | 11TH OVERALL

How was today?

Yeah, today went pretty good. I had my best qualifying time, ended up I think eighth in qualifying that second practice. I rode really good in the first Moto, got off to like third or second off the start and was running in the top-four for a while there. And yeah, the ride was good and everything was good today. Definitely learned a lot and that track was rough. I think this the most brutal one for me, at least so far this year.

Did being the second group of Motos make it rougher? I mean, obviously…

Yeah, definitely. It was probably a little bit rougher for us, but it was just the way this track was, it had like the shiny square edges. You really had to hold the bike tight to not let it skip out on you, and that the bumps down the hill were brutal, especially that second one. So it was just beating you up.

You’ve ridden Glen Helen a lot, right? How does that hill compare to Glen Helen?

That hill’s pretty gnarly. I’ve seen Glen Helen trail get rougher than that, but that one’s definitely longer and it’s steep.

Next week, another first time event for you as a pro, but you’ve probably ridden there a lot, huh?

I did back on 50s and 65s, actually. The last time I think I rode there was my first regional, back in 2013 on a 65. So that’s my last time there, but the track hasn’t really changed much since then. They put in a wall jump, but that’s about it. At least I’ll know this track.

250 CLASS | 8-9 | 7TH OVERALL

How was today?

Today was, result wise, not very good. A lot of things were improved, so I would take the positive and just kind of just move on to the next one.

The summer has been good and last week (Southwick) was cool. I didn’t get the chance to talk to you after that was over, your first career podium and all that, but to see how people are embracing you, being fans of Jo Shimoda, I think that’s really cool. I don’t think that a lot of us expected that and maybe you didn’t even expect that. So how has this season gone, just steady progress week after week after week?

The season’s going not too bad. Like I said, I’m building and building. There was a one race I’m stuck in the start and couldn’t finish the Moto. I lost a lot of points there, but everything else, I’ve been finishing with a lot of top-fives, which is pretty good to me, and one podium, which was really nice and better than last year.

250 CLASS | 17-4 | 8TH OVERALL

How was today? Better?

First Moto was another bad start. I’ve got a really good jump, but then my rut was kind of messed up, we got off balance, a bad start, and just kind of the same thing as the past couple of races. I’ve just kind of, not really panicked, but just been like, “Okay, I need to make as many passes while we’re all bunched up in the first couple of laps.” So I overrode a little bit, went down kind of in a bad spot, the bike was facing backwards, had to dodge people coming at me and turn it around. I only got back to 17th, I think and I was probably 30th or so when I got back up, because it was lap three or four. So another Moto that I didn’t want. Another bad start that I didn’t want.

But second Moto was a good start, third, and I kind of just was like, “I’ve obviously got fast guys behind me, but I’m just not going to override. I’m just going to ride and try to find my flow.” Because that’s what’s been hurting me in the past couple races; I’ll fall early and then be in a bigger deficit. If I would’ve just rode a little bit slower, a little bit more in control, maybe get passed by a couple of guys, but would still been up there. Only got passed once, got passed from third to fourth,and they kind of started to inch me away a little bit. And about 10 to 12 minutes in I really found my flow and finished in fourth. Ssome guys would catch me a little bit and I then I would gap them, then I would catch the kind of front guys a little bit and they would match me or pull back away. So it kind of an unexciting race for me, but exciting at the same time, because I got a much improved result and a rode a lot better than I have been.

Did it feel different when you were in that position, like third, fourth in the second Moto? Did it feel like, “Okay, wow, I didn’t think I could get up here right now,” or was it like, “I’m supposed to be here this whole time?”

I mean, I’m supposed to been there the whole time. I was a little disappointed that those guys got away from me. The first three guys got away from me, but that’s what I chose to do. I chose to be patient in the first couple of laps, take my time and not override or take a chance on crashes. So I did that to myself, but if I could work on something or if I could make something better about the first Moto, it would be keeping those front three a little bit closer. But yeah, I mean, I deserve to be up there and the longer I rode up there, the better and more comfortable I was feeling and was thinking less. That’s why as the race went on, I started riding better. So yeah, it wasn’t a surprise. It was more just like, “Okay, like finally.” It’s not like I forgot how to ride a dirt bike, it’s not like anything like that. It just hasn’t been happening for me, whether it’s been me or just whatever the reason, the results have not been there. So it was good to get a good finish in the second Moto today.

How’s the thumb? Getting better?

It’s good. Yeah, it’s getting better. Just ibuprofen and a little tape job. I definitely affected the day at RedBud, didn’t ride very good, but it just kind of was a nagging thing. And Southwick is one of the roughest tracks of the year, so it was still bothering me then, so the last couple weekends have been little nagging things. Just me in general too, but it didn’t really hurt much today.

250 CLASS | 7-7 | 6TH OVERALL

How did today go?

That was rough on your boy today. I don’t even know. I don’t have much of an explanation for it either. I just had nothing to give. The last 10 to 15 minutes of both Motos, I was just floundering around and kind of a passenger at that point. I lost the rear brake with about 15 minutes to go in the first Moto and same thing, maybe a lap or two after halfway, the second Moto too. And that certainly didn’t help, but like I said, I was kind of a passenger at that point anyway. I just I had no energy, had nothing to give. I was trying to do what I could, but it was just, it was horrible. This track kind of eats you alive when you’re not flowing and putting things together. And that was me. So, no excuses, I just need to be better than what I was. I’ve got to take it a little easier this week and try to come into Washougal feeling a little more refreshed and see what we can do there, I guess.

We’re three races into the four-race run. I think it has actually caught off quite a few guys.

Yeah, it seems like it. Like I said, I put in a really good effort last Saturday and then I had probably the best days riding Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I felt so confident in that, by having such good days, but I don’t know if I just maybe overdid it a little bit during the week or what, I’m not real sure. But yeah, just something we can try to learn from and try to apply it a little better next week. But man, it was just, I was really disappointed with today. Overall, it just felt like I couldn’t really put out the effort I wanted to and that’s disappointing. We just need to be better, for sure, but we’ll get there if we’re going to keep digging and we’ll figure it out.

250 CLASS | 5-5 | 5TH OVERALL

How was it?

Yeah, I mean, it was quite shitty if you base your race results off last weekend, 1-1 to 5-5. Consistent, but we sucked, so consistently not great. But I mean, we’re fit and healthy going into the next round, Washougal, so it’ll be good. Going to have a good week of rest and recovery and come out swinging We know what we need to work on with the team and we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves.

All right, third race in a row. Is it starting to kind of wear on guys a little bit? Because that’s the vibe I’m picking up from the people that I’ve been talking to.

Yeah. I mean, I really enjoy it. The fact that we get to go racing four weekends in a row I think is really cool. I felt really crappy today, but during the week I felt really good. So it’s kind of back to the drawing board on that kind of stuff, with just the health, and it’s always good to keep that in check because it’s easy to kind of go away from it a little bit when everything’s going good. It’s easy to, “Oh you know, it’s all good.”

Getting put in these positions is not ideal, but you know, “Hey, I’ve got to go out here and just keep grinding.” Those kinds of days really do help and you’re steady chipping away into that championship fight.

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’m pretty bummed with today, but more so not in the result. I don’t really care about the 5-5, because it’s not what I’m working for, but more just self-reflecting on my own performance because I just didn’t have that extra oomph to give. And I felt like our starts weren’t good. I felt like my execution was good, but we just couldn’t get in that front row and we struggled with bike setup. It was kind of like… I feel like we just didn’t have the tools to go to war today. You’re out there fighting, but you don’t have the right equipment, you know? So we’re out there in a gunfight with maybe little hand knives or whatever, rather than guns.

250 CLASS | 2-3 | 3RD OVERALL

How was today?

It was good. Practice went well, I started the first Moto off really well, and got the holeshot there. I was really flowing and felt like I had a good pace going. I kind of just tightened up about halfway and it really caught up to me in a couple of laps and then I had Jeremy all over me, so was just surviving from there on out. For the second Moto we made a couple of changes,but  just wasn’t having the flow out there. The track was definitely really rough and I didn’t have the speed to run those top guys, so we’ll take it. We gained some good points in the championship, but other than that, we’ve got to be better simply. So back to the drawing board. I’m not going to change too much, just going to keep grinding away and work on the weaknesses.

Big picture, with the red plate and all of that. Were you aware of anything in the first Moto, and especially in the second Moto? Because the second Moto seemed like it was even more important.

I mean, I just put myself in good positions in both Motos, started first and second. I honestly just did the best I could and that was 2-3 for third overall. I wish I could have dug a little bit deeper, I think I was lacking there. But other than that, I’m not really trying to focus on where Jett is or anything like that. I’m just trying to do the best I can out there, and all that is figured out after. But I’ve got to be better. I’m not really too content with how I rode today. I feel like I left a little bit on the table and definitely have got to do better.

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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