Anyone that’s been paying attention to the Supercross and the 125cc Western division knows the controversy that surrounds Travis Preston. Last year’s 125 Western champ is more focused and faster than ever, but because of green plastic on Travis’ Honda (contact with Eric Sorby at Anaheim II, for which Sorby apologized; and with Matt Walker in San Francisco), his finishes are not reflective of the desert dwellers true potential.
We cornered Travis at the third round of Anaheim, and questioned him on what he thought of the whole situation. Be warned, Trav never holds anything back.
TransWorld Motocross: You have been getting the short end of the stick lately, give us your two cents on all the commotion
Travis Preston: I don’t know…Those guys are just having a bad day and they are taking it out on me.
TWMX: From the outside looking in, You sure are being a good sport about this whole thing. If I were fast enough to be in contention for a title and had a number one on the front of my bike, and this happened to me, I would be furious!
TP: Don’t get me wrong, when I get interviewed after the race, everything I say is under a microscope. At those times I’m still hot after all over all that happens out there, and of course I want to fight. But what is fighting going to do? It’s just going to make the situation worse than it already is. If a fight would solve everything than fine, I would fight all day, but it won’t. I don’t know… I think it really comes down to what kind of person you are on the inside, and these are evil people I am dealing with right now. I’m just going to be a good person and take it, and hope that what goes around comes around.
Big E, I want to tell you something. How I justify my pass on Walker in Phoenix is that I was definitely faster than Matt Walker was that night. He was in my way, and I needed to get by him and win the race. He went down. If I was the slower rider that night, and Walker took me down because I was in his way, then too bad for me. I would have held my line and let the faster rider go, I would have been in the way. Everybody says that’s racing, but some nights you can’t ride and some you can. I am riding pretty well right now—I think better than Walker—so I think Walker needs to hold his line and let me pass. The thing that makes me mad is that at San Francisco, I came from way back and I passed him. I could put you on my bike, and I could pass you in the same section and you could come into that corner, just like Walker did, and you could take me out. It doesn’t take a great rider to do that. He’s just really selfish I guess. If I’m not having a good night, I’m not going to ruin his night, I am going to hold my line and let him go. I am not going to cheap shot him in the next corner, anybody can do that. I don’t know why he is doing it to me. If Bubba went into that corner he would not have done that to Bubba. He just can’t accept the fact that he doesn’t ride that good in Supercross. I can accept the fact that last year outdoors, he rode way better than I did. Last year in the Nationals, he would come by and pass me, and I would not bother him. It might not be the same case this year. So that’s what I think of the whole situation.
TWMX: Popping a win off at Anaheim one, it looked like you were going to be able to make a run to repeat as Champion. Then, two weeks in a row, green bikes stop you. Do you think there is any conspiracy in the green camp to keep you from winning?
TP: I thought that it was weird, because every weekend I would have been on the podium and the points would not be all gapped out like they are right now. If I were closer in points and Bubba did have a mistake, boom! I would be right on him in points. Now he can afford to make mistakes and there’s no way I can do anything about it. If that’s how they want to do it then fine. All I can do is…If it happens again…I don’t know what I’m going to do! It’s pretty sad when people have to ride like that.
TWMX: You are probably going faster than you ever have in your life right now. To what or whom do you attribute your newfound speed?
TP: My bike is really fast. I have been working pretty hard too. This stupid thing takes everything you have to be good. I think I rode every day last week. I am always riding or going to the gym, so I guess all the hard work is paying off.
TWMX: What do you think about the possible war that we are going to have with Iraq?
TP: I think we should send in special ops forces in, low-key style, to take care of Saddam. Then I think we need to deal with that kook in North Korea. I think we should lower taxes too.
TWMX: I think President Bush is working on that right now.
TP: Is he?
TWMX: Yeah, but not for you guys that make a million dollars a year!
TP: I don’t make a million dollars! I think that there needs to be a rule that in a sport like this where you can’t do it forever you should not be taxed. Then I could take it easy on the couch. Now I am going to have to get a job to pay my taxes!
TWMX: It’s a double-edged sword isn’t it?
TP: It is. I think I will become a politician when I’m done racing. I’ll fix everything!