To say that Brock Sellards came into the ’02 season of Supercross beat up would be putting it mildly. The young KTM rider from Ohio reminds us of Rocky Balboa. When Rocky’s on the mat and it looks like there is no hope, he gets up and throws the knock out punch to win the match, just like Brock did at Anaheim. Well, Brock is not exactly Rocky, but his will to keep fighting is inspiring nonetheless. We caught up with him after his big win to see just what was racing through his mind as he took the checkers.
TransWorld Motocross: What made the difference tonight? Was it just a lot of bad luck and crashes that kept you from winning prior to tonight?
Brock Sellards: It all started when I came back from the race in Bercy, France in November. I got an upper respiratory infection that was so severe I almost had to get nose surgery from it. I was out a month and a half from that. All the way up until the first round I was on every antibiotic known to man. So then,, despite the fact that I was riding the best I have in my life the week before the first round, I sucked a little piece of rubber into my carburetor before going off the face of the triple at the KTM track. I thought I broke my leg. I tore the ligaments in my feet, and my left foot is shot! My heal still isn?t close to being back to 100%. To top things off, I went play riding after that because I could not even ride Supercross and over-cleared a 100-foot jump, spraining my wrist. I thought I broke my navicular bone in my hand.
TWMX: So then what happened?
BS: Basically, I showed up to the first round with about six rolls of tape to wrap my wrist and each foot. I felt like a mummy out there, it was ridiculous. I was just finally getting over the cold from Bercy. Even through all of those things, at the first round I put it all aside and thought I was ready. I got into the lead, and was cruising. I crashed in the whoops that night and salvaged a fourth. The second round is what really hurt me.
TWMX: What happened at the second round?
BS: All the injuries I could have been all right with. In San Diego, I won my heat race and in the main, I was going through the whoops and was in the wrong gear and went to jump onto a tabletop and I plowed into it. My bike hit me between my shoulders and I hyper-extended my neck.
TWMX: Oh no! You can’t tape your neck!
BS: I tore something going from my neck to my shoulder and I should have never even raced round three. I could barely ride, but I raced anyway and did terrible.
TWMX: That was when you broke your front fender off, right?
BS: Yeah, but the pain in my neck, was unbelievable when I woke up the next morning. Then, last weekend I started to feel somewhat normal. I have been going to my chiropractor Doc G, and we are trying to get the nerves to work properly. Man, he has been doing wonders for my neck. The nerve feels like it’s got a stimulator on it. It’s weird; it feels like it is popping out and I can’t extend my body properly for whoops. So finally the big difference was this week, I finally got some confidence. It is the first time since the season started that I was able to ride our practice track and jump the triples and go through the whoops. I have been off that long.
TWMX: So that has been the difference?
BS: Yeah for sure, I got to ride with Grant Langston this week. We were putting in some really good laps and I knew I was finally ready. It was a big difference for me to feel like that. This weekend was the first time I got to race without my wrists being taped. That causes tightness and pumping. With my feet I would have to go out in practice and I would wait for everybody to jump something and follow them. If I case something, the night is over; I can?t stand on the foot pegs.
TWMX: Is this your first Supercross win?
BS: It is my second. I won on April 10, 1999, in Pontiac Michigan. It was the year that Ernesto Fonseca won all those races.
TWMX: So this is your first linkage-lless win!
BS: Yeah, we did a lot of testing this year with my suspension. I think that was one of my problems last year.
TWMX: They say that sometimes when you win it comes easy because everything just flows. How was your win?
BS: At first, I had a little bit of a lead. I was thinking, ” okay, I’ve got to go wide and triple triple the straight before the finish line jump to pick up some time.” Man, I was doing the biggest endos, coming up short, hanging off the end of the bike; I did everything but crash. I eventually smoothed out and rode consistent. The track was so slippery and hard-packed that you couldn’t push it. If you could put good, consistent laps in and be smooth, nobody is going to come blazing past you. I think that is what happened to Bubba. He tried to push it. If you go inside and try to make passes you are just going to do a lot of spinning out. Thank God I got my KTM to the front quick. So yeah, It was a pretty easy win, It wasn?t like I was nervous or anything.
TWMX: You won’t be racing until the next 125cc West race in Houston. So now that you have over a month off, what will you do?
BS: Hey, now I have six weeks to get ready! No, really most people know I rode the Mount Morris GNCC last year. I was running third and my Mousse tube fell out and got caught in my chain. I had to push my bike almost a mile and a half in 110-degree weather. It was like last year at Troy Ohio. So I want to redeem myself, I want to go and race again, so I have been bugging Ron Heben, our team manager, about it. He has been saying, “no, you can’t go race that.” Tonight before the main, though, he said “the only way I will ever let you race that race is if you win tonight.” So he was just telling me ” gosh darn it! Now I’ve got to go and order you some Bark Busters!”