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MXP: Hey Newf, let’s first talk about what you’re up to this weekend. It sounds as though you have a fun family riding trip down south planned?
RL: Yes we do. Hitting the road on Wednesday and heading to a track called Horn Rapids. It’s in Eastern Washington and is about a 6-hour drive. Really cool facility with a couple of outdoor tracks, a kids track as well as a SX track. Meston is on Spring break so I thought it would be good to get away for a few days and get in some consistent riding with our first outdoor race only a month away. Will be nice for Randi and Bowen to have a change of scenery as well. Actually going to be bumping into Parker Eales there Thursday as he going to be riding the SX track. He’s on the entry list for Seattle this weekend. You guys probably didn’t know that (laughs).
MXP: We saw some great action last weekend in Indianapolis and a few riders had to pay the price for their infractions. With the Barcia/ Anderson incident, did you see anything wrong with JB51’s pass, and what did you think of his penalty?
RL: To be honest not really. It’s Bam Bam and these guys need to know what to expect. It was very aggressive and it wasn’t a normal line that Justin took by any means but he was doing what he had to do. Anderson should have checked up in my opinion and realized that he was there and was going to do that. Nicoletti has a very similar situation happen to him in the LCQ and never went down and Jett checked up on McAdoo in the same section. I think Anderson was so focused on racing ahead that he forgot who was behind him. As far as the penalty goes I’m not suspired as Barcia was on probation and the good thing is he was able to keep his second-place finish. I’m sure he is happy about that as far as his bonus goes, but man those three points could be very costly come the final round as right now there isn’t too much space between 2nd and 5th in the 450SX Series.
MXP: Unfortunately, Tanner Ward came up a little short of making the 250SX East main event in Indy. Two questions in one here. Are you happy with Tanner’s SX effort? Also, we witnessed a rutted track on Saturday night, what is the most rutted SX you ever raced?
RL: I think Tanner gave it a good shot. I really thought he would make at least one main event but he did get better as the series went on. You could see it in his riding that his confidence was there and he really started to figure it out. He had a lot of things to overcome not from just gaining experience in supercross but also switching bike brands a few weeks before the first round. He did more of his SX preseason prep on Honda than on Kawasaki so mentally that would have been hard. Overall, it was good for Tanner and I’m happy for him. He’s a good kid with a ton of heart who put his own money on the line to give this a go and sounds like he will try again next year.
I have done a few that sticks out but the worst was the mud SX in 2006 in San Francisco. That was one of the toughest races I have ever done. There was so much water on the track that would fill the ruts. All of the riders were getting stuck everywhere, but the only good thing was you couldn’t jump much so made it a little safer. Abbotsford AX in 2018 stands out as well as that track was just one continuous rut around the track and the dirt was heavy.