MXP: Hey Newf! Round 2 of the Future West MX Series is this weekend in Kelowna. Can you talk a little about this event as well as the track itself?
RL: Yes Round 2 in Kelowna this weekend and I think I can speak for all of our riders that we are looking forward to getting back to the Bear Creek Track. It’s been two years since we have been there and it is a great track. It’s fast but really fun with lots of cool jump sections. The weather is looking a bit wet for Saturday and Sunday but the good news is that the track is sand-based so it can handle some moisture. Sounds like we will have Shawn Maffenbeier back along with Parker Eales and a few other fast pros. I always love when these guys come out to our local events as it’s great for our young riders to see them race on the same track as they’re racing on.
MXP: The 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Series finally wraps up this weekend in SLC. Eli Tomac was able to clinch the 450SX title last weekend on just a garbage Denver track. Tomac had just an unreal season and really was the rider to beat from Anaheim 2 on. Looking back now do you think it was the new bike, the new team, or just everything?
RL: As I had talked about months back I think we all were not sure how the switch was going to turn out for Eli. Wow, what a season and I think I would argue that this was the best Eli Tomac we have ever seen. I think everything in general just clicked for him. New team, new bike, new attitude. He looked happy in every interview, he didn’t have those weirdo races like he did on his Kawasaki and was so solid through all 16 rounds. It’s a bummer he will miss this weekend cause of the nagging knee injury but hopefully, he is healthy for outdoors as I think he will be even better in Motocross.
MXP: Last week it was announced that Ryan Dungey is coming back to race at least the opening two rounds of the Lucas Oil MX Championships. First, were you surprised by this news, and second, how do you think Dungey will finish?
RL: Surprised yes, but only because it has taken six years for it to happen. From what I know it was less than a year of retirement and he was already wanting to come back. He retired so young but I feel it was a point in his life where he wasn’t sure if he wanted to keep on with the daily grind. Honestly, I worry about him a little as being away from racing for six years. That is a long time and it will be challenging for him to return to the pace and intensity of pro racing. The good thing is Dungey was always a guy who rode within his limits and avoided dangerous situations the best that he could. As far as how he does it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s 10th or 4th I mean it’s Ryan Dungey, one of the all-time greats but I do expect him to do more than two rounds unless the first two don’t go well. Also, with Cooper Webb announcing that he’s now sitting out the outdoor series I think that’s another sign that Dungey is here for the entire summer.