Roger DeCoster: “More disappointment…”

Swap just caught up with Team Sobe Suzuki’s manager Roger DeCoster on the phone, and RD confirmed Pastrana’s shoulder injury.

TransWorld Motocross: Hey Roger, we’ve read on the internet that Travis is hurt again. Is it true, or just another bad internet rumor?

Roger DeCoster: Unfortunately, it is true. You know, we are always the last ones to know when anything is going on with the Pastrana family. They post things on the internet before they call us to tell us, and we have to hear it first from people who read it online and call us. It took some time to get any of them on the phone, but yes, it is true.

TWMX: So what happened, exactly?

RD: They say that Travis dislocated his shoulder last night while he was swimming for training. He was doing a kick flip at the end of a lap and hit his shoulder on the side of the pool. It was dislocated.

TWMX: The initial reports we read said that he would be out for the remainder of the Supercross Series…

RD: That is Travis’ mom talking. We will not know for sure until he sees a specialist. I would hope that they are making some arrangements for that to happen.

TWMX: What could you possibly be feeling, at this moment? To have your number-one rider out, only two races into the season…

RD: You know, it is just more disappointment. With Travis, it seems like there is always so much disappointment. You know, if it was a fifth- or sixth-place rider, it would not be so disappointing. But Travis has the potential to win, and that makes the disappointment even greater. But you can’t get mad at the kid. If he was doing something stupid and got hurt—like that big jump he did right before Anaheim when he hurt his knees again—you could be mad. But there seems to be so much bad luck that follows that kid around. If swimming is how he really got hurt, then that can only be looked at as bad luck. Look at what happened to him in Anaheim and Phoenix: at Anaheim he was riding good and LaRocco fell in front of him in a blind section. At Phoenix, Ricky crashed in front of him. Travis was able to avoid Ricky, but then Ricky’s bike bounced up and hit Travis and took him down. Bad luck. I don’t know why so much bad luck…

TWMX: So if the injury isn’t that serious, Travis could be out for only a week or two…

RD: Yeah, that is possible. But if it is serious, or if we sit down and think that with his knees the way they were anyway, it might be better for him to go home to Maryland, stay safe and heal up for the Nationals.

TWMX: If you guys decide that is the best case scenario, what if he decides to show up at the Winter X Games?

RD: (Pauses) Oh, man. If he did that, I would really have had it with him.

TWMX: Okay, let’s change channels here. What’s up with Stephane Roncada? Is he testing the RM125 in preparation for the East 125cc Series, since he obviously isn’t in the top five in the 250s?

RD: You know, that is another guy with some problems. All through testing and practice, Stephane looked good and rode fast. Then, in Anaheim, he got really tired and had no energy. I told him to go get a blood test that week, since there was no reason for him to be that tired. The doctors told him that he has the Epstein Barr Virus. He has been referred to a specialist, and he sees him next week.

TWMX: So is Stephane out for the series, too? Or will he continue to race through it?

RD: That will be for the specialist to tell us. If it is okay for him to race through and get better on his own, then he will race. If not, we will maybe pull him out and let him get betteer.

TWMX: Considering the fact that Travis might be out, would you consider leaving him in the 250cc class, just for some team presence?

RD: Again, that depends on what the doctor says. If he keeps turning in these bad results, it might be better to get him in the East Coast 125 Series.

TWMX: Is Epstein Barr contagious? Could that be why Tortelli faded while running second at Anaheim?

RD: No, for Sebastien, Supercross has never come easy and he was starting to get nervous and over-jump and under-jump everything. He saw the guys catching up and it made it worse. There was one lap when he didn’t even do that tabletop section. At the end of the race he started to loosen up, but by that time he was already back to fifth. I think Rick Johnson is good for Sebastien—he is looking a lot smoother in Supercross.

TWMX: Well, Roger, sorry to hear all of the bad news. Thanks for speaking with us, though…

RD: Well, what can we do? I just hope all of this bad luck and bad judgment can stop!

Look for more with DeCoster in the March 2003 issue of TransWorld Motocross, which goes on sale soon!