With Spring fast approaching, it’s almost time to head to the track and start riding. It’s also time to sit down with Ryan Lockhart and ask him some questions about current topics in our sport. As you know, Ryan has been in this industry for over twenty years and during that time he’s been a rider, a mechanic, a riding coach, and most recently the Brand Manager over at Matrix Concepts Canada. Ryan knows a lot about a lot of things and he’s always a great guy to talk to. Here are this week’s 3 Q’s with Ryan Lockhart presented by Matrix Concepts Canada.
MXP: Well, what can you say about the opening 250SX West round in Orlando? What did you think about the carnage on the opening lap? Both Martin brothers out! McAdoo runs over the medic and Alex Martin?
RL; It was an exciting start that’s for sure. It was very unpredictable as to where everyone was going to stack up with the field being so deep. I’m sure there is a lot of riders who are on the bubble of the main that was wishing that they picked the 250SX East instead of the 250SX West Series. The Martin Brother’s deal was just terrible. Month and months of training, focus, and it’s over within 30 seconds of the race starting. I don’t think people realize how devastating that is to a rider’s mental state. As far as McAdoo goes? Well, he should have been more aware of what was going on. The medic should also should have been more aware of what was going on so I would put the blame 50/50 on the two of them.
If you had to put your hard-earned money on someone to win the 2021 450SX Championship. Who would you pick and why?
I feel like it’s a two-rider race at this point in the series. The momentum in is Webb’s favour going into Daytona which I feel could put a question mark on how Roczen’s fitness will be after 20 plus minutes on that track. Kenny doesn’t seem to be too stressed, but Webb appears to be the stronger guy at this point of the series. I feel that Tomac might get a few more wins but his riding has really baffled me. Has there ever been a top-level rider that is as good as Eli Tomac that cannot pull good starts? They are terrible.
While watching the 450SX B practice on Saturday it got me thinking about just how hard it is for some of these privateer riders. They have to search out practice tracks during the week, they have to worry about their bikes being ready, who knows if they make any money, and when they do get out on the track (like in Orlando) for practice the track is beat. You did the true privateer thing in 2006 and 2007, how much of a grind was it?
That is one thing that bothers me with SX and it’s been like this forever. Why do the factory guys or A practice get to go first? It’s completely unfair and I can’t believe it’s still like this. There should be some sort of rotation in my opinion. The tracks are completely blown out when these poor guys get out there. They don’t stand a chance.
Things have changed a lot over the last 10 years in some areas though. There are a lot more real practice SX tracks that these guys can pay to ride during the week. Supercross practice tracks were hard to come by back when I was doing it. I was always fortunate to have some connections to be able to find a place to ride like Josh Wood at GPF when I was on the East Coast. Sean Hamblin and Grant Langston would also always let me tag along to practice with them when I was on the West Coast. Finally, the hardest is and always will be the travel for the privateer riders. Driving to each round is very tiring, and then to have to race on Saturdays and then do it all over again the next week takes a lot out of you. I think the way the Series schedule is this year really benefits the privateer riders. So far they’ve been able to stay in the same place for a week at a time and that gives them more time to rest and recover between races.