Podium guys – Comments

Three riders showed brilliance last weekend, and the story of the 2017 AMA Supercross championship might not be dead just yet. Comments from Tomac, Reed and Dungey

Eli Tomac: I don’t know, we were on it tonight, and when you are in clean air it makes the race so much easier. Shoot, there was a lot of stuff going in this week, that changed for myself and the team and it turned into a positive. These past three weekends have been embarrassing for myself and as a racer. I feel like I am back to some fighting form.

For me, it’s all about finding a good balance, and going from the fall to Anaheim I, I thought I was in a good spot. You go to the race track and it’s a different story. I’ve been going to the races for a long time now and I thought I was in a good spot, but I was struggling big time. Just made some changes that fit me.

It was embarrassing and I just felt terrible. All you can do is try and get better, and I didn’t believe I was that guy getting 8th place. I don’t know, it probably looks weird that I went from 8th place to first, with the way I was riding, but I found a better balance for myself and made it happen.

Chad Reed: The stadium and the track had zero to my bike, and what we do during the week is where it all happens. In all honesty, you are happy to be here, but I am frustrated, you know. In May I knew what needed changing, and we just sat on our hands in the off-season. Finally, when you suck at the first race, they allow you to do the things you need to, and finally I feel I can ride the dirt bike the way I need to. We are within the window and now we need to chip away and get better.

Honestly, I do (expect to be like this every race). People were high fiving me, like this is the last time, but I don’t work hard put myself on the line to just come and make up the numbers and that is how I felt the few couple of rounds. Like Eli said, you work too hard and you expect to be here. Sometimes you know what you need to do and you feel it, and sometimes it doesn’t make it happen. Sometimes it needs to get worse before it gets better and that is what these last three races have been. It’s been a disaster. I think last week, I think I was decent, but starts were not, and even tonight. I think I can throw down with Eli if I get a good start. We need to work on that.

I don’t know if I would use the word fired-up (because people had already crowned Dungey the 2017 champ after the Roczen crash). I am sad for Roczen to be honest with you, so maybe the complete opposite that what you said. It’s sad we lose a talent like him. We have a long way to go and Kenny make a mistake, that was costly. Ryan has won three titles for a reason. Every year we see the red plate on the 94, but it’s a 17-race series. It’s a shame to lose Kenny this early. When you see, somebody riding at the top of his game, with so much confidence, and in a split second, it’s over. I am sure all of you have seen the pictures he has posted and its sad. I am more worried for Kenny health than Ryan being crowned.

It was frustrating the first three, and the record would be nice (oldest rider to win a main event), but the win record means the most. Being the oldest guy to win a race would be cool and if I keep riding the way I can, then Laroccos record falls (longest run racing at this level). I think Yamaha is better off with me there, helping my team-mate out in a better direction. I hope to continue that relationship at Yamaha.

Ryan Dungey: It did (get surprised that Reed passed him). I knew it was a Yamaha behind me, I didn’t know if it was Cooper or Chad, but I got a glimpse of the scoreboard and he was behind me for a while and I knew he was there. I watched his semi and he was really good in the whoops and I figures I had to get them down so he doesn’t come up the inside. I was able to pass Seely, and that was good, but then in the sand and he (Seely) took the position back, then Seely slid and I was boxed in down that whole rhythm, and there came Chad. Chad was riding good, I don’t want to say it was just a matter of when he passed, but I knew he was going to be there the whole time. Once Chad got by I just tried to tow in behind him. I knew I was losing a lot of time in that one rhythm lane. His bike was hooking up good and he had it down, and I maybe wanted to make a late charge at the end there, but wasn’t able to.

Nobody handed me anything, there was no crown last weekend. When the championships done and the guy is holding the one plate, there was nobody crowned last week. We lost a very valuable rider last week and it humbled all of us, because it can happen just like that.