WHAT’S YOUR OPINION OF VINCE
FRIESE’S RIDING STYLE? He is one
of those riders who is just fast enough
to be in the way and be an issue if you
are lapping him, or if you are racing
him in a heat race that is only a cou-
ple laps long. He is always in the way.
I got into it with him at A1 because I
was trying to pass him, and he was
cross-jumping me. It is just the same
old thing from the same old rider. He
will never change. It is kind of a shame
that he never seems to get talked to or
penalized. He will take those shots and
antagonize you, but he never has to pay
the price. That is the situation, and we
all have to deal with him.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOENIX
CRASH? I did press day and the track
was perfectly fine, but when we showed
up for track walk on Saturday, they had
completely submerged the track under
water. It was a complete disaster.
I went out for the first practice and
did the generic line. On the third lap I
went to hit the normal line that I did on
press day—inside the single, double,
triple—and as I was taking off the face
of the triple, it was still a little bit muddy
between the transitions. I lost traction
and did a full endo into the face of the
DO YOU HAVE A ROUGH
TIMELINE ON YOUR RETURN? With
my injury, I have pins holding it together. Once I get the pins out, I can start
on physical therapy and then I can kind
of put more of an estimated time on
when I will be able to get back on the
bike. But until I get the pins out, the
best I can say is that I’ll make a decision then. It is one of those injuries
where you should not rush it. I want to
let it heal, but it is my wrist and throttle
hand, so everything definitely has to be
100 percent it.
YOU STARTED THE 250 WEST
SLOW BUT CAUGHT ON FIRE. HOW
DID THAT HAPPEN? This season is
probably the absolute least amount of
time I’ve had on the bike before a season began. I honestly didn’t think I could
get enough work in before the season
started, but I made every single day
count from the moment that I got that
fifth place at race one. I said, “We can
do this. It’s just going to take a lot of
WHEN IT COMES TO THE MAINS,
IS IT ALL ABOUT THE STARTS? No
doubt. The start is the worst part of
the night. If you can start and you’re
away from everybody, that’s nice, but
that hardly ever happens. You’re always
going to have the guys you have to beat
right next to you.
WHAT IS THE BIG PICTURE?
Truthfully, it’s also a little bit of a mixed
emotion. It’s great to win in the 250
class and it’s great to show everybody
that I’m still around. But, the 250
bike isn’t my bike. I want to win this
Championship, and I want to get on a
big bike, because that’s my bike. I’m
older and I’ve learned a lot. I have been
through some things—and not all good
things. In the past, when I had the ability, the speed and the fitness, I don’t
think that I gave it everything I could
have given it. There was a lot left on the
table over the last four years. The game
plan is to keep the mentality that I want
to win every single time I ride—that’s it!
WHERE DOES SUCCESS COME
FROM? When there’s 25 points to be
had, I’m going for it. That’s what I have
to do. That’s what I have to think about
all the time. That’s what Dungey does.
These guys that are successful, when
you look at them, it’s because they want
to win. These guys are persistent, and
they do what they have to do to win.
By Jim Kimball
By Eric Johnson
PROFESSIONAL RACING IS A
TOUGH BUSINESS? Absolutely. It’s not
like we’re doing this until we’re 40 or
50 years old. If you’re going to win, it’s
right now. We’re on Monster Energy/
Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, but if somebody
doesn’t get good results, they could
be gone. I could be gone next year.
The time is now! There are a thousand
people who want the opportunity, so
there is a sense of urgency. You do it
right now and you give it your best shot,
because in 10 years, when we’re done
racing, I want to be able to look back
and say, “I tried my best and I wasn’t
trying to be friends with everybody.”
AUSTIN FORKNER IS NOW
WHERE YOU WERE THREE YEARS
AGO; WHAT DO YOU THINK OF
AUSTIN? It is hard to watch a rookie
sometimes. They just want to pin it.
Austin has been doing an amazing job.
It’s cool to see that. Supercross is
the pinnacle of the sport. The energy
doesn’t really get any bigger than that.
I think he’s going to be really successful
for years to come.
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE
ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST
RACE? Yes, absolutely. A rider could
win the first three Supercross races
and then get hurt on week four. People
would forget that he even existed until
he came back and won another race.
That’s the nature of the sport.
MANY PEOPLE THINK THIS IS
YOUR LAST SHOT; DO YOU AGREE?
No. You can get lost trying to prove
people wrong and forget why you’re
doing it. It’s my mentality to do the best
I can every day. The idea bothered me
back in 2014 when I was 17 or 18,
but I’ve already overcome it. It’s never
going to make me miserable, and it’s
never going to do any of that stuff. I’ve
conquered that aspect of it, and now
it’s about me proving it to myself.
By Eric Johnson