Vegas Supercross Press Conference – Friday
Feld Motor Sports invited the media to a special press conference on site of the final AMA Supercross of the season, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.
On hand to speak with the press – 2010 AMA / FIM Supercross World Champion Ryan Dungey, 2nd and 3rd in the 450 Supercross point standings – Kevin Windham & Davi Millsaps, 250 West Supercross Champ Jake Weimer, and 250 East Supercross Champ Christophe Pourcel
First to speak – Monster Kawasaki Pro Circuit racer Jake Weimer. Here are some of his comments: It’s my fifth year racing professional supercross. I’ve always made baby steps each year, but kept pushing. It’s hard work. It is a job at this level too. Back in ’06, there is no way I thought I could ever win.
Confidence in a big thing. Until I won the Phoenix Supercross in ’08, I didn’t think I could do it (win). But then I had the confidence. And I’ve had that confidence ever since.
For this Vegas race, the East/West event, the track is slick … you need to be smooth, smart, and calm.
Next year I’ll be moving up to 450 Supercross, and the same in Motocross.
Winning the 250 West Supercross has sunk in, but as I said, I have been racing supercross professionally for five years. I’ve almost expected it (to win as I’ve kept improving). I would of been very disappointed if I didn’t win the championship this year.
Mitch Payton (team manager) brings out champions. When I first signed with Mitch, I was terrified. I had heard stories. But he’s never been hard on me. I looked at the door of the race truck, and it has all those number 1 plates on it. I didn’t want to be the odd duck out. I think I put more pressure on myself to win than anyone else.
Some of Christophe Pourcel’s comments: I’m always ready to race. I do a lot of fun stuff, like jet ski, but I do a lot of training … on the motorcycle, on bicycles, working out … I can’t run (because of a previous injury to his back/spine), but I do train a lot. I’m always ready.
It is never easy to get a second championship (referring to trying to repeat his winning of the 2006 World MX2 Championship – he suffered injury in the 2007 season). I came back from a very serious injury. I was paralyzed.
So, to work hard, and come back from that … to do 15 laps (in 250 Supercross) is very easy.
The track in Vegas – it doesn’t matter to me that it’s slick. It’s just a track. All the fast guys will eventually be up front. So we all try to get a good start and race hard.
Next year I will be moving up to the 450 Supercross class.
Davi Millsaps, 450 Supercross racer, was the next speaker. He started by commenting on an injury plagued season: In Toronto I pinched all the nerves in my lower back. I couldn’t move.
Then I had bursitis in my elbow. I had surgery mid-season, and since then I’ve had it drained 12 or 13 times. But everyone is dealing with some sort of injury at this point. In this sport of supercross, if you want to succeed, you just have to suck it up and do it (deal with injuries).
The elbow was tough. After the surgery, it would still swell up, and it made my right hand numb while riding and racing. I didn’t do anything to hurt it! But when it swells up … and it gets really big … and it still makes my right hand numb.
The Supercross class for next year. Amazing. K-dub has been doing it for 16 years, and he’s still winning. You’ve got Reed and Stewart coming back. Weimer and Pourcel and Canard moving up to the Supercross class. Dungey, Villopoto, Hill. 1 – 15 is just the best supercross riders in the world!
Next racer to speak, Kevin Windham: It’s fun to run with the “old man” jokes. And I’m sure I’ll be dealing with that the rest of the year and my career. But I’m not going anywhere. I plan on racing for a while. I love what I do, and I don’t plan on getting out.
I have put a date on it (retiring from professional supercross) – 2014. That’ll be 20 years. But, I could be around after that. I feel good. And right now (having won two races in a row) I’d love to see the series go another four or five rounds (laughing).
This summer, I might do some EnduroCross, as Geico is a big sponsor of that. I’ll be doing the X Games for sure.
I’ve been around long enough, I can appreciate what I have. We’ve all heard the saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” I’ve been around long enough to really appreciate what I have. It’s been a very blessed career.
This year, I think part of my success has been team manager Mike LaRocco. I raced against him for so long. Now as team manager, he’s helped so much. I respect his opinions. He’s challenged me. We’ve modified some of my training. He’s modified my riding too.
The final speaker at the press conference, 2010 AMA / FIM Supercross World Champion Ryan Dungey. Some of Ryan’s comments: I’ve done some winning all along my career. Coming into Supercross 2010, I knew I would work hard and do all that I can to prepare. I wanted to win for sure.
I talked to Roger (De Coster, team manager) and he said maybe I should set my expectations a little lower.
It wasn’t good that Stewart went out – we’ve raced against him and appreciate him. Then Chad (Reed) was out. The same for Ryan Villopoto. I’ve stayed healthy all year long.
After Anaheim 1, I knew I could do this. One thing I learned is you can’t go looking at the points each week, because then you start riding different. We definitely wanted to win the championship. But we always took it one race at at time.
It was tough sometimes as a kid. I don’t come from the “hot bed” of motocross being in Minnesota. But I got to be a normal kid, and go to school. But when I reached high school, I realized that wasn’t for me – I started home schooling.
I did well as an amateur, and then Cole from Suzuki gave me a call and then some bikes. I hope Roger doesn’t get mad, but we originally went to Kawasaki Team Green and said “Give us some bikes!” (Laughing)
In 2005, here in Las Vegas, I found Roger, and I just asked him for a shot at racing for Suzuki. Just give me a chance. Just give me some good bikes – I don’t care about money.
When I was younger, my sole focus was dirt bikes. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that balance, and fun, is important too. I now have fun, as always, and I have my priorities straight with racing, and family, which is really important to me.
There were tears of joy in actually being able to say “We did it.” (Our team and my family, in winning the 2010 AMA 450 Supercross Championship).
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