It happened! Haiden Deegan of the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing squad answered the critics and climbed up onto the podium in just his fourth Monster Energy Supercross event. Even more impressive is the fact that he did that at the toughest round of the season, Daytona! It certainly feels as though he is making massive steps forward each week and that is discussed in this exclusive Vital MX interview, which was made possible because of DeCal Works. Visit DeCal-MX.com for all your graphic needs.
Vital MX: We have been talking about your consistency at the last couple of rounds. When it was go time and you were close to the podium, did you put the hammer down?
Haiden Deegan: If I am being honest, I liked this track. I could hammer and tonight was… My Dad was like, "It is time to man up, buddy." I was like, "Alright!" It was time to send it. That was what my goal was. On those tighter supercross tracks, I still have the same mentality to ride smooth and smart. This track was just a man's track and whoever sent it the hardest won. I did not get a great start and knew that I had to send it. I rode to my limit and I would say that it was about on the edge. Not crashing edge, but that was as fast as I could go. I felt great! I felt like I had speed and could see [Max] Anstie up there – he did not get too far away. For my first podium, I am super amped. Me and Jordon [Smith] got into it for a little bit and I ended up opening a gap!
I actually thought he was going to get on you more and we would see a battle. You started dropping him again as soon as he got within striking distance of you.
Me and Jordon got into a little battle and I got around him. I was like, "It's go time" once I passed him back. I could see the leader and second place. I started hammering down and I had to pass [Jeremy] Martin still – we hit a little bit. I got into third and rode hard. I rode as hard as I could. We ended up on the podium! Hunter [Lawrence] and Anstie are going fast. They have got some good speed, so we are going to go back and keep working. We will keep on trying to get better each weekend.
That little bit of rain in the main, was it enough to impact the conditions or was it just frustrating as far as vision goes?
I liked the rain! I like it when it starts raining. I felt it on my arms and stuff – it was a little cold. It was kind of nice. We have tear offs, so we just ripped those things off and kept pushing. The rain does not bother me.
The whoops became jumpers pretty early on. Naturally, are you pretty good at jumping whoops? Is that a little bit of a new thing?
I have not been the greatest in the whoops, especially as it is my rookie season, and it is just a place where I lack. I have been working hard to try and get better at them – I have been working on the whoop track at the training facility. I have been putting in the work. It is a thing that will come with time. If I am not the greatest in them right now then I will give it some time. I will get better.
I think that going to jumping early was good for you. A couple of guys around you were still trying to blitz – it was just getting slick and inconsistent.
Yeah, it was solid. I hit the triple and those guys started going inside. I was like, "Why are these guys going inside?" I thought it was weird. I followed them in and the jump line was quick. They were slick! On the sight lap, I was thinking that they were not going to start blitzing them. They were slick. One more thing! Frick, after the finish when you go down the section and turn left... The three, on/off, four was so gnarly. It had the biggest pocket in the bottom. I thought I broke my ankles every lap – I hit my face off the bars.
How close did you come to going down in the sand? I saw that you fully hit your whole shoulder one lap and it about yanked you off the bike. You were paddling afterwards!
Yeah, that corner was tighter than I expected. I hopped into it and was like, "Shoot! We are right against the bank." I smashed the bank a little bit, but just man strength… I pushed myself out of it. That was the only mistake in the sand! I felt great in the sand, besides that.
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