That's What HE Said

Here are all the quotes fit to print after the Oakland Supercross.

450 Class

Jason Anderson (1st)

“Today was a roller coaster day,” said Anderson. “I went over the bars in the first practice, then was able to regroup and come out third in qualifying. I didn’t have the best heat race, but then came back in the main and had the battle of my life. It was great. The track was insane, but I’m happy to come out of it with a win."

Ken Roczen (2nd)

“It was a great race tonight. I was really bummed because we worked so hard just to pretty much give away the win on the last half of a lap. All in all though, we’re healthy and in the championship hunt so it was a good night. We’re moving forward and getting that much closer. I got a good start and tucked right in there behind Cole. He was going really good but made a mistake in front of me and I took over the lead. I was trying not to get too amped up and push even more because I knew the track was going to get worse and worse. It’s easy, especially in those tight rhythm sections, to rush and possibly make a mistake, so I just tried to be patient. There were definitely a few close calls out there with lappers and the track, but I feel like I rode pretty clean for most of the race. The last couple laps were something else though. Jason [Anderson] got by me somehow—can’t even remember to be honest because it was like tunnel vision—but we had a good battle to the very end. I really wanted that win but it was good to lead laps. We’ve got a lot more races to go so we’ll keep chipping away at it.”

Blake Baggett (3rd)

“Tonight was a good night,” said Baggett. “Track was tough and I struggled a bit in practice with the deep ruts and the rhythm lanes. We made a few adjustments to my WP Factory Services suspension before the night show that helped me feel comfortable with the conditions. My starts were awesome all night, which helped with track position. I rode consistent and hit my marks every lap. I’m excited to get a podium, and am looking forward to next weekend in San Diego ready to battle for the win.”

Marvin Musquin (4th)

Musquin: “It was a good day overall. I was feeling really good in practice, the track was technical and rutted and I got a lot of good laps in. I had great starts in both the heat race and the Main Event, which was really nice. I was running 3rd in the Main Event, pretty happy with my riding, and Jason ran me really high in the berm and then I crashed. That was a bummer but I got up pretty quick I was able to pass Seely after he made a mistake. We battled for a couple laps and from that I was running 4th place and basically on my own, there was nothing really I could do at that point. I was looking forward to getting back on the podium tonight and I was feeling good until that crash really slowed me down. But I’m happy with the training I’ve done this week and the shoulder is feeling a lot better so I’m feeling like myself again and looking ahead into San Diego.”

Cole Seely (6th)

“I’m pretty upset and bummed tonight, but at the same time happy with the progress that I showed. I felt strong all day. During the main event, I got another great start and was hitting my marks well. I was putting down consistent laps but couldn’t shake Kenny; he was applying pressure on me the whole time. We came up on lappers and one didn’t get out of the main line for a while, which forced me to take another line that I hadn’t taken before. That’s when I made that big mistake that cost me the lead and even a podium. I got back going in around fourth, but it took me some time to get back into a rhythm and I ended up losing two more spots. It’s part of racing and everyone out there was dealing with the same conditions and situations, but it’s still unfortunate that lappers play such a huge factor. I know I’m capable of running up front and really want to get a win.”

Broc Tickle (8th)

“We’re continuing to build each and every week. I feel like I’ve had the best week that I’ve had in a while, so I’m going to continue to work on improving for next round. I feel like I’m in a good spot to keep going but I’m not showing myself 100 percent – I feel like I’m showing 85–90 percent compared to what I’m capable of – so I know I need to keep working. It’s Round 6 next week, we’re getting close to the midpoint of the season and that seems to be when I turn it around so I’m looking forward to going back east and heading back to Florida in a couple weeks.”

Josh Grant (10th)

“Today went well,” said Grant. “I think we made a lot of progress during the week and I felt comfortable on the bike all day today. I just need to eliminate some of the mistakes and I’ll be where I want to be.”

Dean Wilson (11th)

“I definitely had a better weekend,” said Wilson. “My shoulder is still recovering, and it’s so tough to try and recover but still race. It’s still a little weak. Overall, though, my day was better. I’m just going to try and keep improving. I was in a top-10 position but then was waived the blue flag and wanted to get out of the way of the leaders, which lost me my top-10 spot. I was just trying to be a good guy and get out of the way for the guys up front. I want to steadily improve every time I’m out there."

Weston Peick (12th)

“During track walk in the morning I knew that the dirt was going to rut up, but I had no idea it was going to be nearly that bad. Even before the main event began the track crew went out and smoothed out the two rhythm sections, but the ruts returned almost immediately. I think it was a result of the dirt sitting outside all year and collecting moisture.”

“This weekend I wasn’t getting the best launches off the pad, but I still made it work. In the main I was right behind the leaders going into the first turn, and I figured they would push wide. I stuck to the inside and made it work. For a while I was in good position, but then I began making mistakes. Then, with about four laps to go, I cross-rutted on a jump and did an endo off the track. My RM-Z450 had gotten stuck on a hay bale, so it took about 20 seconds to get back going. That dropped me about four positions.”

Eli Tomac (13th)

“Today was a rollercoaster,” said Tomac. “I struggled all morning with the track conditions and I couldn’t put in one clean lap in timed qualifying. I felt better in the heat race and heading into the main event we made a small change which would have helped if I hadn’t got tangled up with a few riders and gone down. There’s nothing we can do, that’s racing and we’ll rebound next week.”

Justin Bogle (17th)

“After spending the week testing in North Carolina and having a race under my belt, I was much more comfortable this weekend, even though the results don’t show it. Bad starts really put a damper on my night. Then, in the main, I crashed and was stuck between lanes of the track for a while. I struggled through another rough night, but we made progress with the bike and myself. We’ll continue to get better as we go.” 

Benny Bloss (21st)

“It was an up-and-down night,” said Bloss. “It was one of the toughest supercross tracks I have ridden, and I am happy to come out of here healthy. Unfortunately, I had a little issue in the main event that hindered my performance. We leave here on a positive note and ready for next weekend in San Diego.”

Malcolm Stewart (22nd)

“Oakland didn’t go as planned. I had a get-off in the heat. Then I got going, but made another mistake a few laps later. I was riding in so much pain during the main event that I couldn’t hold on anymore and had to call it quits. Nights like that will bring the best out of you, that’s for sure. We’ll keep moving forward. There’s still lots of racing left. Thanks to everyone for sticking behind me.”

250 Class

Joey Savatgy (2nd)

“At the beginning of the race I felt like I was riding a bit tight,” said Savatgy. “By about halfway, I settled in and tried to hang with the rider in front of me and see what he was doing different. It helped me relax and then I was able to turn it on at the end. Overall, it was a good weekend. I felt we improved throughout the day and put it all together when it counted. I’m pumped on the finish and moving up to second in the points.”

Justin Hill (3rd)

“The day was honestly pretty average. It wasn’t like, ‘This is going to be the day to end all days.’ I felt decent in practice. I didn’t do anything spectacular, but everyone was close on time with the last practice. I knew that the track was going to break down and get really difficult, which would work to my advantage. I wasn’t rushing the track, because if you did then you were going to hit the deck pretty hard. When I came through the first turn in a decent spot it gave me a bit of oxygen to breathe and go to the front-runners.”

“I’ve been saying the whole time that I want to battle with some guys and cause a ruckus. It was clean racing with Joey [Savatgy], and it put me back into a good mindset. I remember how it feels again. That’s the silver lining. It was a third, but a third that could have been a first. I’m learning more and more about myself, and also the RM-Z250. It feels good to be a guy on the box again.”

Christian Craig (4th)

“I honestly had a good day in Oakland,” said Craig. “I finally have myself in a good spot mentally which is I think is a constant battle in this sport. I was super happy with my riding all day. I qualified third. Had a terrible start in my heat but was able to work my way up to third. For the main, I went in the completely inside gate and was just hoping for the best. I ended up with an awesome jump and was second out of the first turn. I was able to pass Alex Martin pretty fast and got into the lead. I led a good portion of the race before cross rutting and going off the track. Luckily I was able to get up into fourth but pretty far back from the top three. It's a huge bummer because my first win of the year was so close. But things happen and I'm lucky to be safe and moving on to San Diego where hopefully I can get a win in my home town.”

Alex Martin (5th)

“I didn’t really know what to expect coming back,” said Martin. “The top guys were all going really good so to get fifth feels pretty awesome. It’s definitely something to build off of and we can only hope to improve as we head to San Diego.”

Chase Sexton (6th)

“Oakland track was a tough one!” said Sexton. “Felt really good on the bike all day and qualified fourth out of practice. Heat race got an okay start and got into third and stayed there. Felt like it was my night to get a good result! Got a really good start in the main but ended up sliding out in the first corner and had to come from pretty much last to sixth. Not what I wanted but I’m going back to work for San Diego!"

Adam Cianciarulo (7th)

“I felt really good today,” said Cianciarulo. “I qualified on pole again and finished second in my heat. After the start and going over the tough block I was trying to not get too flustered but I was forced to regroup after going down on the first lap. It’s mentally tough knowing you have the speed to at least run up front, but not being able to be there and battle with those guys.

Kyle Chisholm (8th)

"Definitely happy with the progress we've been making," said Chisholm. "The bikes looked so cool today with the Race for Autism graphics and I had a lot of fun from start to finish. My starts were on point once again and it was awesome to race up front with those guys. 8th is strong but I want to up in the Top 5 and making strides to get there."

Mitchell Harrison (9th)

“I had my work cut out for me today,” said Harrison. “I didn’t have the best qualifying time, then went down in the first corner in the heat race. I ended up having a strong ride in the heat race and came back to an 11th, then took the win in the LCQ. I got a great start from the outside in the Main. I rode strong and came away with a ninth. It was great progress for me, and I’m excited to come back next weekend for San Diego."

Hayden Mellross (10th)

"The track was really challenging today but I had a great heat race and felt like I'd be up front in the main.  I just didn't get a good jump out of the gate but overall I'm satisfied with the outcome of the night," Mellross stated after the race. "I feel like I continue to make strides in the right direction every weekend. Really happy to see the team get two Top 10's and looking forward to keep that momentum moving forward."

Shane McElrath (15th)

“Tonight was tough for me because we had the speed all day and I got impatient after being pinched off and held up at the start,” said McElrath. “After losing so much time for coming into the pits it was about getting as many points as we possibly could. There is still a lot racing left with this only being the halfway point so I’m looking forward to redeeming myself next weekend.”

Phil Nicoletti (22nd)

“I don’t even know where to begin. I’m banged up from the main event crash. I re-injured some old injuries that I suffered at the beginning of the season. The crash was a racing deal. I’m super gutted, and at a loss for words. I don’t even understand it. It’s difficult to put your time in during the week and feel good, only for things to crumble on Saturday. The good thing about racing is that there’s always next weekend, but at this moment I need a break. I’m excited to get back to North Carolina after the San Diego Supercross and work toward getting the results.”

Team Personnel

Jeremy Albrecht (Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team Manager)

“The track was gnarly. It was the type of situation where you needed to make the jumps as many times as you could and limit mistakes. I’m really happy with how Hill rose to the occasion. He was riding well all day. After daytime qualifying we didn’t talk about how he needed to go fast. Instead, we focused on how Bogle was taking a few lines in the heat race that Hill should use. He executed and put the Suzuki RM-Z250 on the box. If Hill wasn’t sick all week then I think he would have had the energy to finish second or first. Nicoletti was riding well, but had that crash in the main.”

“Peick put himself in a good position for the main. He gave it everything he had, trying harder than I’ve ever seen him try. He fought the track the whole time. I thought he was going to pull through in the main, but he made too many mistakes. All of the 450 guys struggled in the main, having crashes or costly mistakes. Stewart caught his leg in a rut in the heat race and was in a lot of pain. He wasn’t going to line up for the LCQ, but he fought through the pain.”
   

Erik Kehoe (HRC Honda Team Manager)

“It was definitely an exciting night! I know Cole is disappointed with the end result and even Ken was upset that the win kind of slipped through his fingers, but they both made good progress today. Ken was really able to turn his day around after struggling in qualifying with bike setup. I like Ken’s fire; that’s what makes him who he is and really drives him to want more. Cole led almost half the main event, which is a huge confidence builder. He knows he’s right there and what he has to do to get up front, but the track was just really tough and a mistake cost him.”

Oscar Wirdeman (Mechanic for Ken Roczen)

“The day didn’t completely start how we’d like. After first practice, we put a new shock on that we’ve been testing and that Ken has really liked, but it didn’t really gel with this track or the conditions, so for the heat race we ended up going back to last weekend’s setting. In the main he got a great start and was up front, led a lot of laps, but a couple mistakes in the end cost him the lead. It was a hectic and crazy last two laps. I thought after the first mistake Ken made that it was over, then they just kept swapping back and forth. It sucks losing it on the last lap but every week we’re getting closer and closer, so we’ll just keep plugging away for that first win.”

Rich Simmons (Mechanic for Cole Seely)

“From last week to this week, I think the main difference we saw is starting off the first practice with intensity. For Cole, he has to ride consecutive laps to get going and really get warmed up, and he did that today in every practice—charged out with aggression and laid down good times. I also know he was disappointed in himself from last weekend, so I think that probably helped provide a little extra motivation today to show that the work he has been putting in is paying off. The guy that we saw last weekend in the main event isn’t who he is, and tonight he really showed what he’s capable of. Everything was better tonight. For bike setup, we started off the day a little stiffer in the front than we normally would run and a little taller in the rear, but we didn’t change much—only one click in the rear all day. The track was changing all day, even every lap, but you couldn’t really set your bike up to anticipate that. Overall he’s really happy with his setup right now.”

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