We caught up with Langston today at the KTM test track in Corona while working on an upcoming article for TWMX and asked him a few questions…
TWMX: First of all, congratulations on your first SX victory. Tell us what that was like…
Langston: It was great, especially after what happened in Houston! That was obviously really disappointing to fall three turns from the finish with an eight second lead, so I think the best thing I could have done was to come back and win Dallas. KTM has worked so hard to get a rider on the top of the podium, and it finally happened. I think we finished in every position except for first up until that point, so it was great.
TWMX: Did you expect to come to America and win a Supercross race in your first season, or did you think that it would take a while?
Langston: Honestly, I wasn’t really sure. I knew the guys were really good. I raced in a few overseas Supercrosses in ’99. I remember Brock Sellards beating me by like 30 seconds in an eight lap race, so I knew that I needed to pick up the speed a bit. I figured that I would get some top-five finishes, and maybe even top-three, but I really didn’t know if I would win one this soon.
TWMX: Many regard you as an outdoor specialist. How did you learn SX so quickly?
Langston: It’s funny, but when I came out here I had only ridden on a Supercross-style track a handful of times. There’s nowhere in Europe to practice SX. I learned ALOT in the beginning. I had to watch the other three guys on my team to learn how to seat-bump jumps, how to regain control in the whoops when you get squirrely, and other techniques like that. I had no idea what to do. I am riding with less energy now, and every time I get on a SX track I feel more confident. At Anaheim 1, I had never even gone through a real set of stadium whoops, so I was scared, to say the least! I’m way more confident out there now; I feel really good on a Supercross track. I don’t want to be known as just an outdoor guy; I want to be a Supercross champ, too.
TWMX: What kind of confidence are you entering the Nationals with? Can you beat Pastrana?
Langston: Yes, I think I can. I’ve raced against him many times. In fact, in ’95 he came to South Africa when we were both on 80s. There were three motos: the first one was muddy, and I almost lapped him, the second one I beat him by a considerable amount, and in the third he broke his thumb. We had a rematch in Vegas in ’96, and we were pretty close; he beat me one moto and I beat him the other. At des Nations last year, that was a really good test. On Saturday, he beat me in the heat race. I was riding like a real idiot. I got bad arm pump, and then we collided and my disc got bent. His footpeg also went through my spokes. I was really disappointed, because it was a battle of pride for both of us. Sunday was a different story, though. I knew I could beat him, and I did in both motos. In fact, the second moto I came from dead last, almost three quarters of a lap down, and caught and passed him. I’m pretty confident that I can beat him outdoors. I know that he will be tough; I’ve seen him ride and he’s a great rider, but I think that I will beat him again. I guess we’ll see in a few weeks!