We caught up with San Manuel Band of Mission Indians/Yamaha’s Nathan Ramsey at Perris Raceway so he could fill us in on his Supercross season so far. We wanted to know how he feels about his results, how the rider-designed tracks have been received, and what his goals are heading into round ten of the 2008 AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series…
So Nathan, you’ve had a pretty good Supercross season so far. What are your thoughts on your efforts?
Yeah, I’ve been very pleased with my efforts. It feels good to be where I’m at racing and building a relationship with the team. I’m having too much fun out there and I think it actually makes me ride better. My expectations are not too high. The class is wide open, so my goal for the remainder of the season is to make it to every round and head into outdoors healthy.
It seems there has been a lot of injuries this season compared to years prior. What do you attribute that to?
The level is up and the bikes are bigger and have more inertia. Anytime you take a small spill, it seems doubled since you are going faster than in the past and the bikes have added weight. We walk a fine line racing Supercross. One little mistake and your out for a few races.
What do you think of the tracks this year and the resurgence of the eighties walls?
Honestly when we all first saw them during the initial track walk we were a little skeptical. After riding them a few times, I think they have worked to my advantage. They break up the flow a little and slow everybody down. Having obstacles like that and sand in the right sections make for good racing. This was the only way to actually slow the race down and make some longer lap times. Again, I like them. As long as the wall or sand is not in the first turn; that is no good.
In Atlanta you had a very good race. For most of the main you were battling for a podium spot and eventually finished 5th. That must of felt pretty good.
It did, it felt great. Going into the first turn the door opened and I just went for it. I had moments where I felt great and then times where I mentally lost it. That’s something I’ve been struggling with that all year. If I can just link the good laps together I will be fine. I feel the rest of the class believes I shouldn’t be there so it felt great to show them that I do have the speed and do belong in the premier class.
So obviously today you are out here riding a somewhat outdoor style track. Most guys are still burning laps on their SX tracks, getting prepared for the remainder of the season. What gives?
During each respective season we spend so much time at either the SX practice tracks or some outdoor style national track. With it being a short week it just made sense to switch it up and deal with some actual bumps on the track. Daytona is not our normal SX setup. I think it’s as close as a mix to a outdoor track we are going to get in the winter, so practicing at a place like this does apply for this weekends race.
What are your goals for the rest of the SX season? Where do you expect to finish?
I’m going to take it step-by-step and let the points land where they land. I’ve dipped into the top five already so if I can repeat or better that, I would be very pleased. I guess my most realistic goal is to finish a with a podium spot a few times.