Three key racing elements: 1. A great bike. 2. A solid team. 3. A top-notch mechanic.

Those are a big part of what’s needed to ensure your job as a professional supercross/motocross racer goes smoothly. In my opinon, Ryan Dungey is well aligned with all three. I recently spoke with Ryan’s mechanic, Mark Valcore, where we discussed schedules, race day duties and more, read on!

Angela: Congrats Mark, what a great day for you and Ryan, can you give us a recap on your day here at the Glen Helen Nationals?

Mark: It was pretty good for Nationals; got here early in the morning, our practice went well, and we were on top both practices. After practice, I got the bike ready for the first Moto. Moto 1 went well, Ryan got a 2nd so I’m not going to complain about that. The second Moto is the one that counts and we had an awesome second Moto, Ryan came from tenth to first and he came away with the overall.

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A: That’s very cool; I know your day must start off pretty early, especially now that racing is a one day format on Saturdays; how does your day start and what are some of your responsibilities?

M: I was here at about 6:30 this morning and it’s nearly 8pm now, it’s a pretty long day. I actually worked on the bike until 8pm last night so I was ready to go early this morning. I just needed to unload the bike, double check everything, and make sure everything is good before the first practice which started at 8:30 in the morning.

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A: After practice and then after your first Moto you have a lot of work to do to get that bike back out there running at 100 percent; what are some of the issues you run into?

M: First Ryan comes in and we talk about what was good or bad about the set-up, if he’s happy or maybe we need to make changes. Then, I take the bike apart and wash the entire bike, make it look good, then we make any changes needed, like tires or whatever. We go over everything, the basic maintenance, check the spokes, bolts and there’s a ton of small details. But it’s non-stop from the end of practice till the first Moto and non-stop till the beginning of the second Moto.

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A: What about when Ryan is out on the track during that Moto, what kind of messages are you sending out to him on your Pit Board?

M: I just like to keep him focused and he likes to see his lap times a lot. I mostly give him the lap times and reminders that mainly keep him calm and let him know what’s going on.

A: For those 2 minutes you don’t see him, what are you doing and are you aware of where he is at all time and what’s going on with him?

M: Yeah, the mechanic’s area you only see about 8 seconds of the race, then I am looking my watch because then I know about the 2 minute mark he should start to come around again, so I get ready to see him again for those few seconds. I do listen to my team on the radio and they let me know what’s going on in the back of the track.

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A: With the overall in points this weekend, in reflection, how was your day?

M: My day was pretty smooth. We didn’t really have to change anything, just the basic stuff and some minor adjustments and yes we did get the Overall in points, so it was very good!

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A: Ryan Dungey is the 2009 West Coast Lites Champion; he really proved his determination and talent in Supercross, and he’s doing it again here at Nationals, what is your perspective of Ryan as a friend and rider in the Motocross Nationals?

M: He’s a great person and a great guy to work with. We have a great relationship on and off the track, so it’s not just work based. Ryan is excellent to work for and he has the drive to win a championship. I am feeling confident that we are going to pull off this championship and he’s the guy to do it for sure.

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