Angel Stadium, Anaheim, California. It’s the opening press conference to start off the 2013 Monster Energy AMA / FIM Supercross Series. Hosted by Ralph Shaheen and Jeff Emig.
One of the first things they talked about was a record setting 2012 season for attendance.
Another thing mentioned – when the gate drops Saturday for the first supercross of the season, it will be the first time in history that there will be ten riders that have won a Supercross Main Event before.
Here are some photos from today. More photos coming … videos from press conference are here.
Justin Barcia was the first rider to speak. He’s ready, confident. Riding aggressive does not mean riding dirty. (Quotes below from Feld Motorsports)
Ryan Dungey spoke next. It’s his second season with Red Bull KTM. He knows that is really comes down to who can be there at the end of a 17 race season.
Chad Reed spoke next. He’s been thru this before. He remembers back in his rookie year in the big bike class how nervous he was to be battling against Ricky Carmichael. Now, over a decade in, he knows what to expect. He’s not nervous.
The next person to speak – James Stewart. He feels good. Been riding and testing since October. He and the bike are 100%.
The final person to speak – defending champion Ryan Villopoto. Ryan received a championship ring from Feld Motorsports Director of Supercross Dave Prater. As you’ll see in the official quotes below, Ryan feels that everyone (including himself) is better this year. And everyone wanted to know how his knee is, after ACL surgery in late April. Ryan said that ACL’s, with today’s modern medical advances, are not that severe as in the past. He’s 100% and ready to go.
Ryan Villopoto: “We [the riders] are all better this year. We put in the work during the offseason and our speed gets better and our fitness gets better. ACL’s are pretty minor these days and easy to fix, so once I started riding things started moving smoothly and quickly. I set a goal this season and that’s to [win championships] three years in a row. But, we’re here in Anaheim and you have to take it weekend by weekend, and that’s what’s driving me to keep doing what I need to do and be there in the end.”
Chad Reed: “The last few months have been fun. I did what I had to do [preparing] and we’ll see if it’s enough in a couple nights. It’s a long season, so it’s important to start off consistent and not crash out like last year. When you grow up and you’ve been to these a time or two, I think it’s funny to hear that the bikes are the best they’ve ever been and the riders are more prepared than ever. I just want to drop the gate and go racing. You have to be there every weekend and have to be in it to win it. I’ll just try to do my thing as always and be there in Vegas with a shot at this thing [the championship].”
Ryan Dungey: “To have a whole year under our belt has helped work out the bugs if there were any. Starting off last season with a win at Phoenix and keeping up on the podium was great to be consistent. We’re just trying to keep making the bike better and better, keep making history, and achieve the goals we’ve set out to do. It’s definitely going to be a tough year, there’s no hiding that. Testing has gone well and I feel strong mentally, but time will tell on Saturday night when we line up and for the next 17 rounds everything will be settled.”
James Stewart: “The off-season went good. It’s hard to say why I chose where I am, but I’m glad I chose it. I really dig the team and ever since I’ve had a chance to ride the bike, I’ve been in love with it. I think we need to just wait and see and find out what happens. I think the clock is ticking for everyone. We’re all trying to accomplish one goal [by winning the championship]. Last year is in the past and if I just focus on what I’m doing and keep doing things right, everything will be good.”
Justin Barica: “Keeping the momentum going [from Monster Energy Cup] isn’t the easiest thing, but I’ve been home riding and having fun. I think it’s important to do that. I’m just looking forward to racing all these guys. The last couple years the way I’ve raced I think is fine, so I’m going to keep doing that. Being aggressive is one thing, but being dirty is another.”