That's What He Said

450 Class

Eli Tomac (1st)

"Starts were a big push for us this week and I was happy to get out front," said Tomac. "I was hitting every line today and the guys were still right on me, so I knew it was going to be a long race. I am really happy that we were able to run a clean race with as few mistakes as possible and take home the win. We have worked really hard to get as healthy as possible and I'm feeling really good about where we're at."

Ken Roczen (3rd)

"We found ourselves on the podium again tonight with a third place, which is awesome. We had a good heat race, but I really need to work on improving my starts. I have the speed and fitness, but I just need to put myself up front in the beginning. I was in sixth off the start, made some passes, and got myself into third. I rode some solid laps and was inching up on Justin [Barcia], but unfortunately, we ran out of time. All in all, I'm happy with tonight's racing. Obviously, we want to win, but after last weekend it was important to me to come out here and ride how I did. It was a big confidence booster. The team and everyone has been putting in a lot of work each week. I'm having a lot of fun right now and loving where we're at, so we'll keep building from here."

Jason Anderson (4th)

"My practices were great today," said Anderson. "I was able to figure everything out. I got pretty set up and was good for the night show. I qualified first in practice and was able to get another heat race win. I started out great in the Main but got shuffled back to around seventh but then worked my way back to fourth. I just need to keep the ball rolling."

Marvin Musquin (5th)

"Given the last few weeks and all the rehab work I've put in to strengthen my shoulder, I'm happy with 5th place tonight. I was able to get a reasonable start around 8th and just tried to put in solid laps until the end. I'm happy to make good gains this week and I look forward to building from here."

Weston Peick (6th)

"Glendale wasn't too bad. Like the previous rounds I didn't have the best qualifying time, but everyone was very close in speed. I got off to a decent start in the heat race and worked my way up to third place. In the main event I came out swinging, passing into second and running there for a few laps. Then I started making dumb mistakes and lost some ground. Once I got into sixth place I kind of settled into that pace and kept it there until the finish."

"The track developed pretty well. The rhythm section before the finish line was pretty big. Jumping up onto the tabletop and jumping off was tough. If you didn't get it perfectly it would really slow you down. As far as the RM-Z450, the only change we made was to stiffen up the shock a bit. My hand is definitely better after taking some time off this past week [after the crash at Anaheim 2]. I'll be back on a regular riding schedule this week and get prepared for Oakland."

Josh Grant (10th)

"I was able to ride well all day," said Grant. "I made a few little mistakes in the main that caused me to give up my position, but we came out with another top-10 finish and will apply what we learn from this week at Oakland."

Broc Tickle (11th)

"Overall it was a positive end to the night in the Main Event. I think riding-wise I gained some confidence and felt a lot more comfortable on the bike, so I'm really happy with that. I need to work on my starts but from there I'm feeling really good on the bike. I think we can tweak a couple more things here and there to be better in other places but overall I'm happy with the progress on the bike."

Cole Seely (12th)

"I'm really disappointed with tonight. I didn't have a great gate pick and somehow my boot got snagged on the metal start grate so I got a terrible start in the main. I worked my way forward a bit, but I almost went over the bars coming out of the sand and it kind of knocked the wind out of me. Mentally, I couldn't regroup after that. I wasn't tired physically but after that I struggled to focus on hitting my marks."

Malcolm Stewart (13th)

"It was a great day for me. Practice went better than last weekend. I was very happy to finish second in the heat race and run that top pace. In the main event I rode really tight, which made me frustrated, so I stopped moving forward through the pack. That's part of racing. I learn from my mistakes, and I'll keep pushing forward to get better. My starts are improving every week. Overall, the day was great. I can't complain, and I couldn't be happier. I just need to clean up a few things and keep digging."

Dean Wilson (15th)

"This weekend was definitely better than last weekend," said Wilson. "I'm still trying to heal from my Anaheim 1 injury. It's unfortunate to be riding where I'm at, but I'm out there trying to get some points. I definitely want to keep trying hard, improving, and healing."

Justin Bogle (17th)

"It's always tough to come into a series unprepared and a few races in. I didn't feel comfortable all day long. I will get better with more seat time and testing. It was far from a good night of racing for me, but it can only get better from here. We made changes every time I hit the track. I was trying to find some comfort. Not having much seat time meant that I haven't been able to do much testing. Basically, we used every practice and race to try different settings. It was a trying day, to say the least, but it will come around. Regardless, I'm happy to be back racing."

250 Class

Shane McElrath (2nd)

"I was going as fast as I could, the track was slippery and the lappers were bad out there. Aaron was just going really fast – he was pulling me each lap and I couldn't do anything. But it's fun battling with these guys, this is what we do. We're moving on, looking ahead and ready to take on Oakland."

Adam Cianciarulo (3rd)

"I feel really good this season. Honestly, better than I ever have," said Cianciarulo. "I just need to focus on my starts to put me in a better position, but I'm really happy to be on the podium this week. The team is good, the bike is good and I am looking forward to continuing the progress."

"The start is definitely important with the array of talent that is in the class right now and I didn't get one tonight," said Cianciarulo. "With everyone being so ‘on' it's harder and harder to come through the pack. It really ended up being a mistake that helped push me forward, but I know that I have what it takes to win. I just need to put myself in that position."

Joey Savatgy (4th)

"I was really trying to play it smart and ride my own race," said Savatgy. "It helped me last week, but the slick track bit me a few times. I'm thankful to have been able to get up quickly and get fourth, but it's not where I want to be. I know anything can happen in this series so we'll keep working and bring our best to Oakland next weekend."

Chase Sexton (5th)

"Phoenix was pretty solid," said Sexton. "Felt pretty good on the bike all day qualifying fifth in practice. Track was fun and super hard pack which was tough for sure but I think this was our most technical track so far, which I felt suited me well. In the night show I never really felt that intensity and spark that I've had at the other rounds. I felt like I was riding good at times and my speed was good once again but I have to work on being more consistent. Overall thankful and happy to come away with a top five and looking forward to Oakland."

Justin Hill (7th)

"We're looking a little bit better than in previous rounds. I felt like I rode well. Unfortunately, I made contact with another rider about a lap and a half into the main event and lost my clutch for the whole race. The silver lining is that I felt like I was riding well once I put the pieces together. The speed is back, and I'm feeling confident. Glendale was more like a Supercross track and less like a fair race. I'm game to go after what's needed to get where I feel I belong. On paper the result doesn't look good, but this weekend was a bit of a win. I feel in tune with the RM-Z250. Every race has been about the start. I'm getting a good jump, but we are going to work on some details. This weekend I changed the gearing by going to a 50-tooth rear, which was way more manageable. Contrary to popular belief, I'm still in this thing. I can't wait for next weekend."

Mitchell Harrison (8th)

"I felt amazing on the bike all day," said Harrison. "I had a great heat race, but I unfortunately fell. I was able to get up quickly finish sixth. I worked my way through the pack in the Main and finished eighth. It was good progress for me, and I'm looking forward to more progression at the next race."

Kyle Chisholm (9th)

"I'm happy with another solid Top 10," said Chisholm. "I actually thought I was riding tight in the heat race, but it's good to finish up front like that and have times that were close to the leaders. In the Main I was able to click off consistent laps and take advantage of other rider's mistakes. The bike's great, my fitness is up to par, and I'm ready to keep the momentum moving forward."

Christian Craig (10th)

"Hard day overall in Glendale. Couldn't get comfortable at all but worked my way through it," said Craig. "Had a solid second in my heat race. My start for the main was pretty bad. I started mid pack but was able to work my way up pretty quickly then got taken out by [Justin] Hill early on which put me half a lap down because I had to go into the mechanics' area. Then made my way through the pack up to tenth. Super bummed on the night as that's one of my favorite races of the year but hopefully I got my bad race out of the way! Lucky to be healthy and moving on to Oakland where better things are in sight."

Phil Nicoletti (11th)

"The weekend was going decent for me. I really enjoyed the track. The dirt was super muddy and rutted in practice, while in the main it was very hard packed and slippery. I had made a few improvements with the bike during the week, on things we had learned in the past few weekends. My heat race went okay, which led to a fairly decent gate pick for the main. I got a great jump, but when I got down to the first corner I had nowhere to go. Still, I was riding well and made some passes. Then I tipped over, and I had a hard time mentally recovering after that."

Hayden Mellross (14th)

"Arizona was a tough weekend for me.  I was involved in an unlucky crash in my heat race and also crashed another two times in the Main," Mellross stated after the race. "DI wasn't riding myself this weekend but I'm going to train extremely hard and do everything I can to bound back this coming weekend in Oakland."

Team Personnel

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

"I'm happy to say that everyone on the team continues to improve. Malcolm had a really great heat race. I was excited to see how well he rode. Weston doesn't qualify very well, but his racing has been great. He saved his best riding for the main. Every week he's getting closer to finishing on the podium. Hill rode with aggression and put in a better result. He had a problem with his clutch when he and Christian Craig came together, but that's racing. Nicoletti was starting to feel better, but he had a minor crash in the main. Glendale was Bogle's first race back. He didn't have any crashes, and everything went well. He will get better as the series goes on."

"Glendale attracted a lot of fans. They were cheering like crazy when Stewart blitzed the whoops in the heat race. He and Peick rode really well in that heat. Overall, the day went well. Suzuki had good presence, which I was excited about. The atmosphere at the track was awesome to see."

Keisuke Inomoto (Representative Director: Team Honda/ HRC Motocross)

"Overall it was a good night for us with Roczen finishing third on the podium. Seely crashed in the heat race and did not get a good gate pick for the main, but he showed the speed and was moving forward until the end. I'm sure he will figure it out. We have our two riders in the top five in the ranking and we will keep fighting for the championship!"

Erik Kehoe (Team Honda/ HRC Motocross Team Manager)

"I was very excited to see Ken back on the podium today. I think overcoming last weekend's mental hurtles and being able to rebound like he did is a big confidence builder. He was strong all day, even to the very end of the main event. He made a couple mistakes, which he knows, but he didn't let it rattle him and he continued to charge. I think we're seeing a much more patient Ken. Unfortunately, it was an off day for Cole. I think his starts are definitely what killed him today. He was able to make some good, solid passes in the heat race to get into a transfer position, but you don't want to be put in that situation. The back is where all the bad stuff happens because it's so hectic and there's a lot of bar-banging going on. He almost went over the bars toward the end of the main, and from that point on, his lap times fell off. I think that's just a mental-toughness thing he needs to work on. When things rattle him, he needs to snap out of it and get right back into his flow. It's still early in the season and points are pretty close so there's a lot of time left."

Oscar Wirdeman (Mechanic for Ken Roczen)

"Tonight was good, especially after last weekend. I think Ken had the speed to win, but he made two mistakes when he caught up to those guys, and that cost him some time. He's definitely getting more comfortable and confident each weekend. We made the bike quite a bit stiffer on press day, both front and rear, and continued to go that direction throughout race day."

Rich Simmons (Mechanic for Cole Seely)

"I'm disappointed in tonight's overall finish, but there were also good things to take away from today. Despite struggling in the first two practices, Cole qualified well in the third session. Then he rode really well in his heat race, going from last to sixth. I also thought he rode well in the main until the end. For this track, we made quite a few changes to the bike. We lowered the rear and softened it, then actually raised and stiffened the front just because of the way the corners were."

1 comment
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment