AURORA, Ill. (December 12, 2006) -- Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP post-race press conference transcription from Vancouver. Chad Reed I went to the front right away and I'm super pumped how I made passes in the beginning and put myself...
AURORA, Ill. (December 12, 2006) -- Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP post-race press conference transcription from Vancouver.
I went to the front right away and I'm super pumped how I made passes in the beginning and put myself in a great position right behind Ricky. I was ready to battle, but it didn't happen. I think it's maybe a good thing at this point. You know last weekend we did better than we expected. This is a bit of a reality check and good motivation over Christmas to be ready for Anaheim.
Q: How different is your attitude towards a third place now compared to last year?
A: I think at this point in the season it's a great thing. I'm pumped to be on the podium and put Yamaha on top. Obviously, last weekend was a great feeling and a good accomplishment for everyone. I just didn't ride at my full potential tonight and that's my fault but, I'm happy and stoked with getting on the podium.
Q: I know with a new team comes a new bike, how much have you learned now that you've been able to put it into a race condition twice?
A: It's good. I struggled on it a little bit tonight with the rocks and the dirt. I had some fun out there and just tried to chase some lines. Within the first couple of laps I knew I just didn't have it tonight and there were a few sections on the track I was struggling with.
Q: I could see there was a rhythm section that was a struggle for you and a lot of other people. What made some of those rhythm sections so difficult tonight.
A: Normally, I'm pretty good at going step on and step off table tops but I really struggled tonight. Pretty much from the second practice, I made it difficult for myself.
Q: Everyone was talking about the track how much it was going to break down. How bad did it get?
A: It was tough. We chased it all night long. I think the guys did a great job of dealing with what they had to work with. I knew the start was going to be important and I didn't get the greatest. I just tried to dodge the rocks and stay up on two wheels.
Q: That might have been the toughest part of the night for you making your way over. Is it easier to ride than walk right now, considering how your foot and ankle feel?
A: Yeah, for sure. Honestly, I thought I rode pretty good considering what happened last weekend. I didn't decide to ride till Thursday night. When I got in this week, I actually used crutches to get through the airport but then pops told me if you're bringing crutches we aren't going to the race this weekend. So, we had to drop those off in the back of the truck and leave those behind but all is good. I rode the first practice and was a little bit off and the same thing happened with the heat race. I was just trying to follow the lines because I knew if I did that I'd stay with Ricky and get our pace together. There was no one that could run that. Then in the main event I end up getting the holeshot and it was on from then on.
Q: Did you want to be in that situation? Was this a race where you wanted to get the holeshot and lead knowing you weren't sure on where your health was?
A: I probably could have made it easier on myself and just hung out in the back but I'm going after a championship. I knew once Ricky and I got together we would go racing from there on. I think it was about lap 12 when I over jumped the on off and hit my ankle pretty good.
Q: What is the actual status of the injury? Is it your ankle, your foot? What is the ailment right now?
A: Now it's kind of everything. But mainly the top of my foot closest to my ankle is really soar. It's just the impact that's making it hurt pretty badly but I got through it.
Q: Was there a point in the main event when you were thinking I can really win this thing or was the gap always close enough when you knew there was going to be a battle before it was over?
A: I knew there was going to be a battle. It was funny because I rode a long pace and didn't know what was going on behind me. I kinda got in my zone and was just riding and the laps kept clicking off. Like I said, I made that one mistake in lap 12 or 13 and hit my ankle and got caught in lappers and Ricky closed it up. I look at it as a positive, telling myself I only had five more laps. Once Ricky got by me, I made some mistakes on the on off and the race was over, and he was gone with two laps to go.
Q: We've seen you do this before, racing while being hurt. During the week we had doubts you were going to race and then you show up and race really well. Would you have been able to ride this well for practice or can you only do this stepping up when it's race circumstances?
A: I'm a racer. If I would have done this in practice I would be on top of the board. I knew I had to just step it up for the race and get through 20 laps. When it comes down to clutch time and racing. I feel as though I can always pull through, and dig deep and hold on. That is exactly what I did tonight.
"If I can't ride at a 100%. There is no sense in riding."
Q: James you're the defending champ of the Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP. After the race in Toronto people thought weren't going to be able to race here. How important was it for you to come here this week and preserve your shot at the championship than just waiting for Anaheim and going for the AMA title?
A: I felt like I worked hard to get the title last year. I keep telling myself I'm the champ 'til I'm not the champ anymore. I'm just not going to sit at home. If I can walk then I'm going to ride. I'm just not going to let the title go that easily. To put myself in a position when I'm only five points down after two races and just considering all the circumstances with what happened last week and this week.
Q: It was a great race tonight another classic battle between Carmichael and Stewart. We've seen so many great ones over the years and basically once we saw you guys get out early we knew we were in for a great one. Ricky, take us through the race. It was fun to watch.
A: It was an epic battle for sure. James and I have some sick races and they are so much fun to race. I've grown to have a lot of respect for him by just racing with him last year. He's grown up a lot for sure racing with me. I don't have to look over my shoulder to much. I know he had a bump and a bruise, a little puddle in the road, but I don't know how much better he could have ridden. We were cooking around the track and I don't know how much more the bikes could have taken.
Q: It was obvious you just weren't sitting back cruising. It was a race all twenty laps.
A: Yeah, it was a race all twenty laps. I was trying and I lost a little here and there and had to make it back up. James was strong from lap five to about lap 13 and 14. He was in there and then I could see just a little bit of hesitation. I did what I had to do. I didn't drive it in on him anywhere and made a clean pass. That was good for me.
Q: Were you working a strategy? Did you have a certain lap or a certain time or were you just going for it?
A: No, you know you just have to have patience. There were no games being played. We were just racing like we did last year and just like we did in the outdoors and at the US Open. We battle. He knows I'm not going to drive it in on him and I would expect the same from him. So, it was really fun. The main thing is the fans had to be pumped.
Q: You always seem you have a great time at the races. That it's how it has been since day one. Is this the most fun you've have at the races ever. Your attitude seems to be even a couple notches higher.
A: I have a great attitude. Obviously, I know it is not going to be a grind for me going down the stretch. Now I can do the things I want to do. Obviously, I'm not going to put myself in danger out on the track and do something I know I can't do for 20 laps. I feel really comfortable on the bike. I worked hard with Suzuki to get the bike to work for a shot at the title. The way I set my bike up might not be theoretically good but it is good for me and I know how to build a bike that is good enough to win.
Q: At the US Open you mentioned how far you've come battling with James. Last year in Canada when you both switched to the 450, it looked like you had the field covered. A year later, you're here in Vancouver and won the race. That is a lot of progress to make in one year's time and it is hard to make that up.
A: Absolutely, I'm telling you, I definitely think I have stepped up the game. Every year I have found a way to step it up. I did it with Jeremy, I did it with Chad and now I'm doing the same with James. I just keep learning and getting better. I think I just progressed in outdoors and brought that to supercross. I'm really happy with the progress we've made with the bike. I feel the best I've ever felt and the twenty laps were easy for me tonight.