Christian Craig received a bit of luck at the opening round of 2020 Monster Energy Supercross – he was gifted first place – but since then he has had nothing but misfortune. A hard fall in St. Louis ruled him out of the 250SX main event and then he was cleaned out by Dylan Ferrandis at A2. The latter has sparked debate across the world, but what did Craig actually make of it? MX Vice editor Lewis Phillips caught up with the GEICO Honda rider on Saturday night.
MX Vice: It was all looking so good again. Winning the heat race is meant to be a good thing but maybe you stop doing that from now on, because it seems to put you on a bad foot going into the main.
Christian Craig: Yeah. Two weeks in a row now I have dominated heat races and then put myself in a good main position, then it kind of goes out of my hands. I don't really care to really talk about it. There's a bunch of people kind of pissed at the other guy. It was a little overboard. I knew he was there and I was aware of it. The line that people were going inside, I was like, "I'm going to shoot outside and I'll be fine. Maybe he'll be right there." He definitely caught me off guard.
Next thing I know I was whiplashed on my back on the ground. I was fine getting up, but my bike was fully done. My bars were to my tank and unrideable. It's just two weeks in a row of being in such a good position in a podium spot or right there with a win in sight. It's the most frustrating thing. All I can do is just try to keep my head up. I believe more now than ever that I can win, so that's the thing. Just keep trucking away. We are healthy and moving onto the next round.
The common consensus – no matter if you are racing supercross or motocross – is if you go to make an aggressive move on someone and you crash as well, that's kind of where you know it crossed the line. I guess that sums it up.
Yeah. Literally I think one hundred percent of people on my side. You could hear the stands. I was out here by the rig and I heard the stands booing him. He wants to make an aggressive pass, but there's a line to that. What else do I say? I guess we give it up to the AMA if they want to penalise him or not. I'm not going to stay frustrated or too mad about it. Just move onto next weekend. It sucks, yeah, but I take the good out of today. I led a couple laps, made a few mistakes and then was right there. Just stay on two wheels, stay out of that carnage and we'll be good.
You landed on your back and stomach pretty good. Did you re-aggravate any pain from last week or was it kind of new sore?
No. It was new. This was kind of just whiplash. I was fine and just kind of like, "What just happened?" That was the thing. I got up. I was fine. I was ready to go more. I could have probably salvaged a good top ten maybe, but with the bars like that it was unrideable. I just pulled it in. Frustrating for the team. We both had a freaking awesome night going, and then my teammate Jett [Lawrence] was almost so close to winning. Could have rolled it in for a podium, but when you are sixteen all you care about is that first. He's for sure learning. Hopefully he's okay and we'll have him back soon.
What was your reaction when Jett [Lawrence] passed you coming out of the whoops on the first couple of laps? I guess you looked over at him like, "What the?"
I knew he was there and I knew he had a good line. I'm like, "I wonder where he's going?" The first thing I thought was, "I taught this guy to blitz whoops and now he's passing me in them." I was kind of bummed but then I'm like, "He's taking a fully different line that I had no idea about." When I followed him into that one on the next lap I realised why he did pass me. I started taking that line. I stayed right with him. It's cool to see because I did kind of start from scratch with him in the off-season. He would literally study me every day doing the whoops, him and his dad. I was all about helping him, and I just got passed in the whoops by him. Good for him. He showed great speed. He's got a bright future for sure.
Two good things for you moving forward. If they keep building the tracks like this it will be good for you, because they are nice and technical, and we are going to Glendale, which is a good place for you. If you want to cheer yourself up, think about that.
Yeah. It's all positive vibes going to Glendale. I was not a fan of this track today. I don't think anybody was. It was super narrow. The jumps were weird. I think the rain on Thursday scared the track people so they rushed it. The only thing that was built pretty good was the whoops, which I was pumped about because we stayed blitzing them the whole time. The rhythms and the weird corners they had, I was tripped out by that and I think a lot of other riders weren't a fan of it. Hopefully they kind of bring back that flow. I know Glendale is going to be a longer track, so that will be fun.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden