We always hear incredible stories about athletes who have some of their best performances when they’re under the weather. Whether it’s because they’re more focused when they’re sick, or whether they feel less pressure, for whatever reason the top guys find a way to get the job done. This past weekend at Round 5 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour Series, Colton Facciotti had one of those days. With very little sleep the night before the race, as well as a few other lingering ailments, Facciotti was forced to dig deep and focus on the task at hand. On a day that was difficult on every rider in the field, Facciotti persevered to win his third overall of the season and moved ahead of Matt Goerke by seven points in the 450 class. As he and his family were just getting ready to leave SDL for the long drive home, I managed to grab a few minutes of his time.
MXP: Hey Colton, I don’t want to go into too many details about your health, but it’s safe to say that you definitely weren’t feeling well today. Anyway, never mind the 40 second moto wins out west in the first two rounds, I thought today was your best ride of 2018. How did you overcome everything and still win the overall?
CF: I think we just had the bike set-up really good today. Joe (Skidd) was here and together we all just got the bike right; it just felt so easy to ride today. That definitely made the difference in both motos, because with the way I was feeling it would’ve been really tough had the bike not been right.
How was the track today? It looked a little different than it usually does, maybe not quite as rough as in years past?
The track was a little sketchy today and you certainly couldn’t override it. You just had to slow down and not really try too hard. If you pushed too hard then you were all over the place. I always kind of ride like that anyway so I guess it suited me.
You’re more of skilled rider than say a pin-it-to-win-it type rider. With the track today demanding precision and patience, did you find it somewhat easy to conserve some energy?
Yeah exactly, it was just one of those days where everything just worked well with how I had to ride today. With the way I was feeling I had to conserve some energy here and there. Kaven was able to win the opening moto, but he had some issues in Moto 2 and it was my turn to win. It was a strange day, I didn’t feel great off of the bike, but I felt okay when I was on the bike.
Over the years you’ve had some of your best rides when you weren’t 100%. Why do you think that is?
I don’t know Palms, I wish I knew.
We see with a lot of top athletes that even when they’re sick or injured, they’re still able to perform at a very high level. Whether it’s that they force themselves to focus more or perhaps some of the pressure to perform is less when they’re not feeling good, whatever the reason, it’s amazing when it happens.
Maybe it’s just a little of everything. You definitely try to look after all of the little details more when you’re sick or injured. Like today, I just focused on the start and then the first half of the race, and then I went from there.
In the final moto today, you followed Tyler Medaglia for the first half of the race. Were you just trying to be patient? As long as Goerke wasn’t catching you there was no rush to try to make a pass.
Tyler was riding great and we had a good pace going. I felt like I had a little more speed than him and a few better lines as well. I tried to pass him once using one of those lines but I couldn’t quite get him, and then he started using that line. I knew where Goerke was and I figured that he would be better in the second half of the moto, so just before halfway I pushed hard to make a pass on Tyler. Once I got him I was able to pull away.
I know it was the same for all of the top riders today, but the lappers looked really difficult to deal with for some reason?
I had a few close calls with a few of them for sure. In Moto 2, there was someone on a KTM that I thought was moving over and giving me the line, and then he just cut over and almost took us both out. Like you said, it was tough for all of us today.
I guess some tracks are just worse than others for trying to get around lapped riders?
This track has always been tough. But I also feel like some of the respect isn’t there anymore, like it was years ago. When I was younger I would look back and see JSR lapping me and I would move right over. I’d be scared to get in his way. Now, I see some riders look back and then try to race you through the next section. I understand if a few riders are battling and they don’t want to slow down, but a lot of the times that just isn’t the case. And it always seems to be the same guys. Times have changed, I guess.
Well, all of that aside Colton, great ride today, and for the fifth time this summer you’re leaving with the red plate?
CF: Yes, that has been the goal all season long. We have a really tough round coming up next weekend at Gopher Dunes. Hopefully I will feel a little better and can go out and get the same result as today.