A Matthes Report: Seattle

Insight from PulpMX's Steve Matthes

· 7 min read

We have moved past the mud of Seattle and onto the snow of Minneapolis and the exciting Triple Crown format! I am looking forward to the race; it is the final round of this Triple Crown and, so far, I would say it has been a success. Lots of different winners, some surprises and, hey, what do you know, the series tried something radical and everyone survived!

It should be a good time this weekend, the fans in the state love moto and are stoked that the series has come back there. Can hometown hero Jeremy Martin continue his great run of late and maybe take home the win?

Adam Cianciarulo has not claimed a main-event win this year (Monster Energy Media/Octopi)

Onto some other news and notes:

We had Adam Cianciarulo on the show this past Monday and he talked about his strong comeback in the mud to get on the podium. AC was his honest funny self on the show and it is hard to really not like the kid. He just gets it and is a refreshing ray of light in a sport that sees a lot of kids that are homeschooled and seem to be lacking some perspective on their careers and racing in general. A few notes from Adam on the show that caught my eye:

On being a bit shy to speak his mind when he first turned pro… "Yeah, absolutely. You are totally right. I think coming in it goes back to me thinking I needed to be a certain way when I came in. I was trying to do what everybody else does, for the most part. I think it is just I was insecure about myself too. I think too going back to the point about personality and all that stuff, I think motocross is really behind in terms of…"

On riders being more transparent with the media and fans… "The transparency is mistaken and this could be the fans fault as well. The transparency is mistaken for weakness. If we talk about, it could be anything. If we talked about something that seems a little bit open, it is "that guy is a mental case," or "that guy is weak" or this or that. Not to bring up golf, because I am into golf, but I am just using it as an example. If you watch a golfing press conference, those guys absolutely lay it all out there. They really do. Just what they are thinking mentally.

"Just an example the other week and I will not bore you with details. But this guy, Justin Thomas, he was going to be world number one if he won that day, going into Sunday. If he won the tournament, he had a chance to win, he was going to be world number one. He blew it and he came off and the first thing he said was, “Yeah, that was in my head all day. I would have won this tournament had I not, but I was thinking about it." You are never going to hear a rider say that. You would get absolutely destroyed. I think one of the things that will make the sport more popular is when we decide to all not take each other so seriously and just be open and honest. It will make everything much more interesting."

On some riders in the sport, like Eli Tomac, being more outspoken…

"It is awesome. The same thing, [Cooper] Webb and Tomac had a back and forth after Daytona at their press conference talking about the heat-race incident. That stuff is amazing. Me just being a fan of the sport and watching that, I cannot get my eyes off the Racer X article or wherever it is that I read it."

Cianciarulo slid past his teammate to take second in the series in Seattle (Monster Energy Media/Octopi)

Chad Reed had one of his better races in Seattle, because you just know he is not going to make any silly mistakes. He’ll go out there and ride a pace in the mud that he knows he can do and let others make the mistakes. Although his bike started to let go on the last lap and he lost two spots after the race he was still in a good mood. Of course, Reed lost one of the epic mudder races when his bike stopped at Daytona one year while he had a huge lead. Anyway, here is what the 22 had to say after Seattle…

You had a fifth place, looking good. In the end your clutch gave out, but you got seventh. Smoke show at the end. What are you going to do, right?

Smoke and mirrors. I felt good all day, to be honest. It was challenging and felt like I could ride it somewhat decent. We obviously got a little bit warm there in the heat race, but I do not know if maybe we didn’t do something and it blew it. I really do not know. We put a clutch in it for the main event. Right away, the first lap the thing started detonating a little bit.

You were smoking before almost anybody.

Yeah. The thing that kind of bums me out a little bit I guess is I was cautious and I was aware of the bike kind of already feeling hot, so then I started to try to ride it in a way that I was not so hard on it. But, obviously, I could feel it getting warm. I could smell it and all those things, so then I was in a pretty comfortable and pretty easy fifth. Whenever I kind of got a bit of a rhythm going, I felt like I could catch [Broc] Tickle a little bit.

I kind of had to let go of that just because every time I pushed a little bit the bike just felt like it was getting worse. So then three laps to go I am like, it is going to be close, then on the last lap there I was wide open and it was going nowhere. Then the thing was, I was trying to limp it home and the last lap, like I said, I was wide open and it was just kind of slipping.

Then I heard the crowd go off and the flame, so I knew Eli [Tomac] was kind of right there. So I am like, there cannot be too many people behind me. So I’m like, “fuck it." I’m going to pin it. It does not matter at that point. No one can beat me other than the two guys that I was battling with anyway, so I just went for it and she did not quite make it. We almost got there, but anyway it was still my best race of the year. It was a lot of fun.

Chad Reed has dominated headlines this week, once again (Feld Media Guide)

A lot of smoke. The bike locked up? Clutch stopped?

It did not lock up. I am guessing that the ring is not so much there anymore or something happened to the piston. It didn't lock up. It just lost compression. It basically did what my engine did at Daytona that year.

I was going to go back to that. What was the worst race? That Daytona or tonight? More standing water in Daytona, but you were jumping things a little bit in Daytona.

It is Daytona, right, so you are outdoors anyway. They had new dirt. I would say that they had new dirt this weekend that was basically clay and it made it really, really challenging. It was rutty but it had a hard base. Almost felt like Vegas a couple years ago. I would say that tonight had its challenges. Daytona is Daytona. I just think that that was so gnarly and brutal in the fact that there was just water everywhere, but the track tonight was really challenging. Right as you kind of felt like, I got a bit of a rhythm going, you would either exit left or right. You did not really know why it happened. It was a tough race.

You made it exciting at the end. The crowd really loved it. I thought you had to get over the finish to be officially counted. Turns out you just got to trip the transponder, so you were good.

Obviously I would not have tried pushing it up the thing if I did not think that… I also had that understanding that I had to get to the top. I really could not see a whole lot because there was so much smoke, but when the smoke cleared I could see the AMA guy kind of giving me a thumbs up, so I was like, "I’m guessing that I’m good." Obviously I would have liked to have finished fifth, but we’ll take a seventh and try to be better next weekend in Minneapolis.

Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Octopi

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