Joey Savatgy has had a turbulent start to the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series. There have been crashes, injuries, wins and some flashes of brilliance. There have been more latter recently, which is good news, but is he satisfied? Not necessarily. Based on this exclusive MX Vice interview from San Diego, he wants so much more in the coming weeks.
MX Vice: Kind of similar to the recent rounds. Little flashes of speed and brilliance. A couple of mistakes, but things are definitely trending in the right direction…
Joey Savatgy: Yeah. Nights like tonight it's tough. I don't have the longest legs, by any means, so I'm a little bit at a disadvantage. I think lap times-wise we were good and really set out to do what we wanted to do – that's to show up and make the main event or make the full distance main event. Get experience and learn for the following weekend. That's my personal best this year. Definitely going in the right direction.
Did you come into this event with a little more confidence or a little something about you after last week? That kind of confirmed that you can do this, you can run podium speed. Did you kind of believe a little more this week?
I'd be lying if I said no. I think, once you do it, it definitely helps. It's one thing to think and to tell yourself you can do it, but when you actually go out and you are up front and you are doing it, definitely it's different. I've had goals set since A1. We kind of got off to a rocky start, but I've been working hard and trying to turn it around. These last two weekends have definitely gone in the right direction, steady. Trying to make progress every weekend and put ourselves up there and in a good spot to learn and to experience what it's like.
I guess at the same time, after last weekend, you kind of have to remind yourself to stick to the goals that you set out before A1. Remember that you are a rookie and try to not run before you can walk, kind of thing.
Yeah, which is tough. Coming from the 250SX class for the last three years where we have basically been in a title fight and been expected to win all the time, it's different. It's tough from the mental side of it, because I always expect to win. It might not be achievable right now, but at the same time you don't want to settle and you don't want to tell yourself, "All right, we got seventh. I'm happy with that." That's not the case.
Obviously I'm happy that it was our personal best and we're making strides in the right direction, but I'm hungry for more and I'm not okay with seventh. But, again, it's that fine line where I get to remind myself that it's my first year and for the most part no one comes in and just crushes it their first year. It's tough to keep that balance, but I have got a good group of people around me to remind me. We'll just keep moving forward.
Speaking of coming from the 250SX class, this was your first mud race on a 450. Did that extra power come in handy at times?
Yeah, it's nice. It's both, because you don't have to work as hard to get some of the jumps, what few jumps we could do, but at the same time it's that extra weight that you have to manage for fifteen minutes plus one lap. It's a double-edged sword. It's like that I think even in the dry. It's nice to have that extra power, but it's a little bit more to hold onto and the weight's a little bit different. I think every condition has its advantages and its disadvantages. We have just got to keep learning.
What did you think of the track conditions? Was it one of those things where once it stopped raining it was the worst thing, because it started getting all claggy? Obviously if it would have kept raining you would have been able to plow through puddles the whole night.
That was the worry from the beginning was that, once it stopped raining, it was going to get heavy. That's when it's the worst, when it gets heavy like that. It's tough because it sticks to the bike. The ruts get deep and everything just gets so sticky and heavy. When it's raining like it was during practice, it's so easy to kind of just keep the mile an hour up a lot easier. Once we looked at the radar, and we knew the rain was gone, it was kind of one of those deals where we were trying to kind of prepare for an absolute disaster, because that's what it ends up being. Bottom line is when it gets like that, we are still racing but basically trying to survive and maximise points which is unfortunate. It's a gate drop and a checkered flag and someone's got to win. It is what it is.
Finally, what's the plan from here in the next few weeks? Have you got things that you know you need to work on? Something that you want to try and fix?
Honestly just gate drops. I'm still bummed about the night because of the two tip-overs that I had, but all in all it's another gate drop and another full main event. Moving forward, all I want to do is keep improving and gaining seat time. I think in the long run that's going to be key.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX