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Rider Comments: Arlington

Josh Hill: “I need to stay off the ground. I was riding in a lot of pain and couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to when Wil went by. I’ll rest up and get back after it in Atlanta!”

Broc Tickle: “The main was tough. The track was chewed up, slippery and bumpy – very technical. I came around first lap in 8th and rode to a 7th. Best finish for me this year and I can keep building from here. I am looking forward to Atlanta and all the East Coast races.”

Blake Wharton: “It’s all about the starts. All three of us in this trailer were saying the same thing. I think that’s all we’ll be working on this week because it seemed like we all had the pace to run up front; we just didn’t have the starts we wanted, and that cost us.”

Matt Bisceglia: “I’m looking forward to coming back so much stronger in Atlanta. I usually take a day off after a race but I didn’t do that this week. I felt like I need to work. I’m going to practice my starts until my bike runs out of gas, since that was my weak point last week. And when it runs out of gas, I’m gonna fill it back up and practice some more. I won’t let my starts cost me again.”

Justin Bogle: “At this level, everyone is really good, especially the 22 bikes that make it to the main event. Even though every track is different, there generally are only maybe two or three spots where you can make clean passes, so if you get shuffled back at the start and have to pass a bunch of guys, you fall behind really fast because while you’re setting up for passes, the leaders have clean track in front of them and they are just flying. It’s very hard to make up that ground once it’s lost.

Dallas was tough because all day long we’re watching guys go down in that first turn, which is where you have to go for it in every race if you want to be out front. It was a situation where you had to gamble and at the same time make sure the guys around you weren’t going to take you out. You sure don’t want to have an injury in the first race of the year.”

Wil Hahn: “Today was a big question mark for me as to whether I would even ride or not. Luckily, with the great crew behind me with GEICO Honda, my team of doctors, my trainer, and my mom and dad, I was able to ride today. It’s been two weeks off the bike for me, which is a long time in the middle of a season. I took last week off because my hand just wasn’t ready. Two weeks without riding a dirt bike and then come in here and have the same finish I had in Oakland was pretty good considering the cards I’ve been dealt.”

Eli Tomac: “It was a little up and down once again for me. Practice was just so-so. I was pretty far off, really. When we got to the evening I felt like I did really well in my heat race and probably rode my best of the day in that race. Unfortunately, I ended up fifth, which was one off the transfer, so I had to go to the semi. I only got fifth in the semi, the last transfer spot, so I had a bad gate pick for the main.

The start in the main was crazy. Everyone was pushing hard. I got edged out a little wide, and once I was that far back it was a struggle the whole time. The track deteriorated quite a bit from the heat to the main, so it was even tougher. I’m learning more every race, but you always want more when you’re not on the podium.”
James Stewart: “It was a great race. I got a really good jump off the gate and I was keeping the pace nice and smooth because Arlington is a track you could easily override. I did have a few sketchy moments, but overall it was awesome. It was perfect. It was great to get a win last weekend and then to get another win this weekend. After our heat race, we made some changes to the bike that just made the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 all that much better. I know my team believes in me and that’s the best part. But I also believe in myself and when it was time to go racing, I was there. Now I’m looking forward to doing it again next weekend at Atlanta.”
Ryan Dungey: “Stewart was pulling a triple after the finish line that I wasn’t hitting for the first part of the race and I lost some time to him. He rode awesome tonight and I want to congratulate him on his win. My bike performed flawlessly tonight and I was really happy with my ride. We will build off of this for next weekend. I am really happy to be on the podium. It’s a great feeling to be up here.”
Cole Thompson: “Good progress for the first round, made it through healthy and ended up with some good points. I’m looking forward to Atlanta now that I have one under my belt. I need a better start and to be more aggressive throughout the whole race and I should be able to put myself into a better position.”
Ivan Tedesco: “It was a little bit of a rough night for me. Practice actually went a little better than normal. I qualified 14th, which I guess is good for me since I’ve been struggling in practice. In the races I just didn’t get the greatest of starts and on this track, starting position was important. I had to ride every race, and go to the LCQ to transfer into the main. Once again got a bad start in the main, tried to ride a good 20 laps but just didn’t have it tonight.”
Adam Cianciarulo: “It feels like a dream. The day went perfect. I just wanted to ride smart and be competitive. We’ve put so much work into getting here and there was so much anticipation, it’s a dream come true. Blake was faster than me in the section before the whoops. Martin went down, then Blake got by me and I knew if I didn’t get him right back then the race was over. We’re all so close in speed. It’s going to be a good season.”
Blake Baggett: “Tonight was bittersweet. It’s a bummer because the win was right in front of me and initially I was really disappointed, but I’ve never started a season this strong and never left the first round anywhere near the podium. We’re in a great position and I’m looking forward to next week already.”
Martin Davalos: “It was a tough night for me. I put myself in the right position and just made a mistake. But the flip side is I was able to recover from two crashes and climb back up to the podium with a pretty bent up bike. I’m happy with the way things are going and know what I need to work on.”
Ryan Villopoto: “Tonight wasn’t what we wanted. The track was especially difficult to make passes because not only were you battling the guys around you, but you were battling the track as well. Throttle control was key and you had to hit your marks.”

MX Vice Editor || 25

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