In an effort to make the stars of the sport more accessible to fans, Feld Motorsports have been running post-race press conferences following each Monster Energy Supercross round. Those media events, which involve the top three from each main event, offer a glimpse into what the stars went through on that specific night. Here is the transcribed version of what the top three 450SX riders had to say on Saturday night in Indianapolis.
Question for Ryan. With seven rounds to go are you focussed on the championship at all or is it still night-to-night?
Ryan Dungey: It is still night-to-night, but knowing big picture where we need to be. It is in the back of our minds and what needs to be done, for sure, moving forward. Just trying to take it one race at a time and be there, be in the present moment and get the most out of each and every individual night.
Question for Marvin. You were fast all day and got your first heat race win tonight. What was it about this track that suited your style? You seemed to find your rhythm pretty early.
Marvin Musquin: I think, you know, when the dirt is tacky like that and soft it makes for a technical track. No matter the rhythm sections or whatever the layout [is], when you see the ruts in the whoops or each turns it makes it so technical. I was able to have different lines, play around, move and see what I could do differently to the other guys. All day long I felt really good. We are always trying different stuff on the bike and I was not sure about some of the setups, but we ran it this weekend and it worked out really good. Overall, it was a great day.
Question for Eli. Three wins in a row now and all three of those wins came with good starts. Is there any kind of adjustment that you have made that has made your starts more consistent?
Eli Tomac: No, nothing major, other than just believing that we can go out there and do it. That even starts with a good qualifying position, getting a good gate pick and ruts outside of the gate. We are all really good starters but, at the end of the day, even a little bump in a rut can make a difference and then you have got to go out there and do it. Yeah, I am really happy with the way things are going right now.
Question for Ryan. In the past, throughout your career, you have achieved so much success that it seems that is all you are judged against now. It seems like lately anything less than that has been picked apart by naysayers. Do you feel that is fair, considering the way this year has gone, or is it a bit like people are jumping to conclusions, because you are not winning?
Ryan Dungey: Not to put heavy expectations on myself, but I have always wanted to be a top-running guy and get the job done. When companies and manufacturers hired me, we had the same goal in mind. I have had some great success and prove a lot to myself still, as I am learning a lot. With races and championships I have had a lot of good results in the sport and it is something to be happy with. Even if it was to be done today [my career], I can be pumped!
Moving forward, I don’t care what people think. I say that respectfully, it is not about being out there to please people. I am out there to get the job done. You know, I have won the championship two years in a row now and we do not want anything less. I don’t want anything less and the team do not want anything less, but you get challenged and each year is different. You go through tougher moments here and good times there, so it is a balance. Through thick and thin we need to keep on it.
The pressure is not on me necessarily. I have won championships, these guys haven’t. If anything I am in a good position. With the position I am in, with the points and things, I would not change it for the world. I have been in his position [referring to Eli Tomac], behind [Ryan] Villopoto for four years. I did not like it! It bothered me and upset me a lot, to a point where I hated the sport and wanted to be done. Bringing that back, I work too hard to not get the top result. We all do. It is a complicated question you are asking, but it is very simple as to what we want to accomplish.
Question for Ryan. Are you able to rely on your championship experience down the stretch now?
Ryan Dungey: It is in the past. I have lived in the past. You try to simulate everything that you did the year before, as this worked last year and we need to go back to this. Whether it is vitamins, supplements, electrolytes, the training or anything! Then the wonder and doubt starts to creep in. I have no wonder or doubt in my programme, as I have a good group of people around me. I’ll go back to work in the week, put in my time and try to be as ready as I can on race weekends.
We can all see that tonight it was not there. It is not necessarily a sign of giving up. I need to build new memories and this is a new year. I need to take the good from the past, apply it to the future and forget the rest. I need to move forward and quit living in the past. You think your better days are behind you when you look at it like that, but really your better days are ahead of you.
Question for Ryan. Obviously you [and Marvin Musquin] are training together all of the time and Marvin going by tonight cost you a couple of extra points. Does that create any tension during the week?
Ryan Dungey: No. I mean, jeez, even if Marvin is my teammate I don’t expect him to help me in the championship. He is out there racing his race. We race each other hard and clean. He ran it in on me multiple times on the track, but it is like he was trying to get by. He was just riding hard and going a little bit better. If there were some taking out action and dirty stuff, I am sure we would have some issues. Marvin and his wife are great people though, who are respectful and work hard. We have all worked hard to be where we are today, so I can have a lot of respect for the other riders too.
Question for Marvin. You were sick a couple of weeks ago. It is a time of year where a lot of people are getting sick, but a lot of us can take a day off and spend the day sleeping. How does it affect someone like you who is training, travelling and testing? It must really set you back?
Marvin Musquin: It was difficult. You definitely do not want to be sick when you have seventeen rounds in a row, pretty much, with just one weekend off. Every week you want to be in a routine with your programme and put in a lot of work, but then you get sick. It happens. I got sick pretty bad. I had a bad flu and fever every night. You are lying down all day, but you are so used to waking up and working out or getting on your bicycle and going to the track. You are so used to that, but at some point you have to rest. It is tough and frustrating, but you have no choice.
It is a good thing that I have my wife on my side and trying really hard to get me better really quick. We still went to the race in Toronto, but it was terrible. I was not myself. I was really tired, had no energy and was riding scared. I lost a lot of points in the championship and it was tough. Last weekend in Daytona I felt much better and this week I was able to train the whole week. I am back to myself, one hundred percent, and it showed all day long.
Question for Eli. During the middle of the race your lead shrunk quite a bit in a few laps. Was that something you were aware of? You were able to reopen it immediately, so were you able to give it one last push?
Eli Tomac: I was watching, for sure. If you do have a little bit of a gap you can mark him on the track and I saw it. I was making a few little mistakes here and there, as I was struggling with that section before the finish line, and there were a few things that were eating at us. I was able to clean those up, which was good. It was a hard fought twenty-seven laps tonight. Twenty-seven laps is a long time! It was not over until it was over.