Roczen and Martin recall ninth round in Maryland.
The ninth round of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is in the books, second-place finisher in the 450MX class Ken Roczen and overall 250MX winner Jeremy Martin were made available to the media for this Debrief interview feature.
Take us through your day and how you’re feeling about your performance at Budds Creek.
Yeah, I felt pretty good all day. Obviously, the conditions in the morning were a little bit tricky, I guess we got a lot of rain on Thursday and Friday. So it made it tough in the morning but Jason did really good with the track, I think he widened out some parts of it. But my races also went really well, first one I could hold everyone off for first place. The lappers were definitely a struggle this weekend. I think the track being a little bit shorter I think we were all cramped up in a tiny spot. So I struggled with that in the first moto big time, my lead got cut down pretty good, but I held onto it. In the second one, I got the holeshot and just tried to stay out front as long as I could. I struggled a little bit with my bike set up today, it wasn’t ideal for the conditions, it was pretty unstable so I just rode to what I was comfortable and it was enough for second place in the second one, second overall. So I’m actually pretty satisfied. Obviously didn’t make up any points but at the same time we rode well and we gave it everything we had and that’s really all we can do.
The mutual respect and camaraderie between you and Dylan Ferrandis, it’s really fun to watch. Talk about racing with a guy like that, that you have mutual respect for, you guys ride clean. I would assume it makes the racing a lot more enjoyable?
Yeah absolutely, all year I feel like we’ve done a really good job on giving the crowd what they want. He’s obviously going really well right now so he’s a tough competitor. It’s really difficult because even on my good days I don’t really make up that many points if any at all. Today was a pretty good day for me, besides maybe with the bike set up, but in general, I didn’t make up any points and we have fewer and fewer races to go. At the same time, it’s enough time for something to happen and to make it interesting, but it is what it is. All I can do is focus on myself and what’s going on in my camp over here. Obviously, we have a lot of respect for each other and he’s riding so well right now it’s tough.
We know that guys have different strengths at the beginning and the ends of the motos, but at the same time you guys are going obviously at such a quick pace. How much does strategy come into play during moto one and moto two?
Well really the only strategy is, is trying to go as fast as you can but kind of conserving yourself, find a decent flow and keep up your momentum. Because if you’re trying really hard like you’re doing in qualifying practice, it can definitely wear you down pretty quick. But at the same time, the top guys are strong enough where you can’t really slow down too much, it’s pretty much wide open all the way until the end. So you just kind of gotta go and make it as long as you can.
Maybe one of your best rides of the year, the way you were able to control that second moto. How do you feel about the day and how’s it feel to be kind of the middle man in between your teammate and Jett Lawrence right now?
Man, I don’t know if I really like being the middle man, but it is racing and it is a part of the sport. I obviously missed three complete motos this year. But yeah, coming into Budds Creek today I didn’t know how it was going to go, I don’t know if I’ve ever won a moto there. I’ve never really jived there well, so to be able to go 3-1 [was great]. In that first moto those guys were going really good, and Jett just straight up got me around the outside and I had nothing for him and yeah that was that, that was moto one. In moto two we made some bike adjustments and I was really a lot more comfortable. I felt like it definitely showed in that second moto, I got a great start and then was able to lead it from start to finish and get the overall, the third one on the season.
You talked about making setting changes between motos. Last week your teammate Justin Cooper said he should have made some changes that he didn’t. What settings to do you change that make a difference, is it just a click here and there or is it something more significant?
To be honest, between moto one and moto two, it was just a little change to the shock, then one adjustment to the bottom of the fork. That’s all it was. From the first practice I felt not bad, but I was kind of trying to find the setting all day and I rode into finding the set up for the day, and that was the second moto. Honestly when you’re at this level, Jett and J Coop, all the guys are going really fast. Obviously, you guys saw moto one, and then moto two I was more comfortable. Settings aren’t everything, but I think it obviously does help and my second moto proves that.
You mentioned in the podium interview that you felt you had unlocked another level in that second moto. You were on rails, what’s it take for you to get there and what’s that feeling that you search for? You can see the difference when you’re feeling it, what’s that feeling?
Oh man, it’s probably one of the best feelings that I’ve ever felt. I always feel that during the week, you hit your lines, you prep the track, I always feel it during the week. So when you don’t feel it on race day or when you haven’t found that feeling yet, I get pretty frustrated sometimes. But things lined up and I tell you what it’s just cool, you feel like you can go anywhere on the track and you feel like you can haul ass and carry some speed in the turns.
Is that something where it’s a bike thing for you or is it the lines on the track and everything gels together as one?
I think it was a combination of both. I learned some good lines off Jett when he went around me. I wasn’t ever close enough to J Coop in the first moto, so I learned some lines off Jett, and then we kind of got in the ballpark as far as what I was looking for. Then it was just game on.