So Jake, you dominated in Phoenix. Tell us about it!
Arizona was good. I didn’t even know what to expect. Honestly, I didn’t even know if I was going to race or not. I wrecked at Anaheim 1 and hurt my shoulder which was bothering me really bad. I rode the Thursday before, and I felt like I could ride so I decided to go. Both practices felt really good. I got a bad start in my qualifier but I ended up riding really well and finishing it off right. In the main I got a really good start, but I started to ride a little bit tight which made it easier for dungey and helper to pass me. When they passed me though, I stayed calm. I tried not to freak out. I just sort of followed them and watched them do their deal. Dungey ended up making a mistake and going down, then helper went down and I lead the last four or five laps.
Just as everyone else, you must have been in shock crossing the finish line…
I was stoked! It took a little while for it to completely set in that I won, so I was pumped. For any of us, to win your first AMA race, you know, it’s huge. I remember coming here when I was ten and eleven years old, watching the races in “ooo and “awe. For me to win my first race, especially the way I won, in that gnarly of a battle, it was huge.
How do you feel about the whole 80’s theme?
Well, you know whatever. It’s cool. I’m down. But this track… I’m not down. (Laughs) As far as the other side of the 80s theme, I mean, the new goggles and all that, it looks way cool and its fun to switch stuff up. But the track, I am just not feeling it. (laughs) We make progression for a reason I suppose. I guess if everyone is enjoying ii, and the all the old timers are having fun, then let it be.
Do you feel comfortable with the track set up?
I just feel so freakin weird. Nothing is flowing. I just feel weird because normally all the tracks are pretty similar. Since I started riding Supercross in 2006, triples have always the same, finishes are always similar, whoops are the same, you know, everything is the same just mixed around. And now, everything is completely different. It’s just the way I’m used to it, and now I feel like the biggest goon ever! I literally feel like a novice rider.
After going through a couple practice laps, would you say you have any weak or strong areas? I noticed that during practice several of the riders were a bit skeptical about that back triple…
The triple actually doesn’t bother me too much. I was out here Thursday morning for some this TV deal, and I was just like, “Oh My God. I think the toughest part is right before the finish line where it’s all sandy and soft. I feel like a fish out of water. I’ll be alright though. I just need to get comfortable. Then again, when the gate drops, it all changes. I’m not really stressed though. It’s a medal rollercoaster versus a wooden one, and I feel like I don’t even have a seatbelt on. So we’ll see!
You just turned twenty, and you have been racing since you were just a tot. Would you say this is the most difficult track you have raced on?
I would definitely say it’s the most awkward. I can’t say it’s the hardest, but I would have to say I have the most awkward feeling when I am riding on it. Every time I try to go fast, again, I feel awkward. Haha, there is just no other word to describe how I feel out there.
After taking the win last weekend, what are you going to do to keep up in front the rest of the season?
I think I just need to get a really good start and ride consistent. I’m going out again for another practice, so I think during this practice I need to try and get comfortable. I need to get comfortable to the point where I can at least do the jumps, I guess. (Laughs) I just need to go out there and deal with the track.
Do you think you gained more exposure after Arizona?
I’m sure I did. As far as fans and autographs, everyone just comes through and grabs posters and stufff, but I’m sure I gained a few fans from last weekend. I mean, I hope I did. That’s the point, right?
Have there been any recent changes to the bike?
Not yet, but we might be making some. I hope not at this point though.