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Travis Pastrana


5 MINUTES WITH TRAVIS PASTRANA 

by EDDIE GRAVELINE
MOTOPRESS

1-5-00

Q: Well, Travis, youíre about to enter your first 250 Supercross. How are things going so far?

A: Things are going just phenomenally. I mean, my dream my whole life has been to race with guys like Jeremy McGrath and Iím getting the opportunity to. Iím hoping to go out there and ride a smooth consistent race for 20 laps. Iím definitely hoping for top 5. Iíd like to get top 3, but even if I donít, itís going to be a good starting point.

 

Q: Let me backtrack for a second. Last year you came out, won a few Supercross races, including the East/West Shootout and then came out on top of an epic battle for the 125 National MX Championship. Could you have possibly had a better rookie season?

A: Last year, I really couldnít have. It started out rough, with a lot of crashes, and everything that comes with coming into the pros. At the same time, I realized that I had the speed to run with those guys and thatís really what it took; a little bit of confidence. Hopefully when I come into the 250 class, Iíll come out with that same attitude; that I can run with these guys. Right now I think I can. Weíll see after the first round for sure.

 

Q: How is your leg (He broke his leg in September)?

A: My leg doesnít bother me at all. It feels 100%. I got injured on a bicycle, so, I mean, I havenít been doing too much BMX training for this season, but Iíve definitely been doing a lot of training. Iím definitely looking forward to it.

 

Q: So has Roger (DeCoster) put you under video surveillance to make sure you donít operate any movable objects other than your dirt bike?

A: (laughs) Heís got satellite coverage, Iíll tell you.

 

Q: You said you want to place in the top 5 in the first round. What is your goal for the season as a whole?

A: Thatís (top 5 finishes) my goal for the first couple of races. Weíll have to go from there. Iíd like to win a few races this year. Flat out, you can never be happy with a 5th, but coming into the first race, the only thing I wouldnít be happy with is if I crashed myself out. Really, my main goal is to stay consistent and smooth, find out where my speed is, see where my weak points are and work from there.

 

Q: Since you and Kevin (Windham) have been testing together, do you feel you are consistently fast enough to challenge on a regular basis in this class?

A: Kevin is the most naturally talented, phenomenal rider Iíve ever ridden with in my entire life and no, my speed is not up to Kevinís. However, I feel, no, I know I can run the whole 20 laps at 100%. I think thatís going to be a great benefit. Mike LaRocco may not even be in the top ten out there speed wise, but heís always in the top 3 (at the finish). Even if Iím not quite as quick at the beginning, hopefully I can use my endurance to help me toward the end of the race.

 

Q: Youíre going to be running a 16 round series this year, as opposed to half of that last year. Does that change your approach going in at all?

A: No, itís still the same. You have to stay in points contention all the time. It would be nice to be leading the points, but thereís a fine line between being consistent and being off the pace. You have to be both on the pace, winning a few rounds and also consistent. At the start of the season, you canít win the championship in the first round, but you can lose it. The goal is not to lose it.

 

Q: One of the highlights of last year was the rivalry that developed between you and Stephane Roncada in the Supercross season and then boiled during the nationals. He got the 125 East and you took the National championship. The good spirited nature that you both kept throughout the season really made it fun to watch. Do you see that continuing now that you are both in the 250 class?

A: I sure hope so. Stephaneís a great rider and a really good friend of mine. Heís just so funny. If you ever get a chance to talk to the guy, heís just super. I think the rivalry is going to continue. Maybe in a few years, we might be battling for the lead. This year, Stephaneís not really thinking about me too much and Iím not really thinking about him too much. Weíre thinking about Jeremy andÖ(Eddie: ďYou both have bigger fish to fryĒ). Yes, bigger fish to fry. Weíll probably be battling each other, but we wonít be worrying about each other.

 

Q: We seem to have had a changing of the guard so to speak, with some of the older guys finally retiring and a lot of really young talent moving into the 250 class. It seems like there might be as many as 7 or 8 different guys who could win races this year. Besides Jeremy and yourself, who else do you think is capable of being a player this year?

A: Itís really a tough call. Thereís so many new guys coming in. As the sportís growing, the guys are staying in longer. Iím 17 years old and thereís guys who are over 30, like LaRocco who has a great chance to win it. The age range is so broad now that thereís so many guys. Definitely look for Carmichael to be up there. Heís trimmed himself and heís going to be tough. Kevin Windham is a phenomenal rider. Ezra Lusk and Vuillemin. All of those guys plus some more have a chance to win it so I think thereís going to be some good racing.

 

Q: Weíre going to cut this one short because your dadís trying to get you out of here for an appearance. Weíll look forward to watching you and catch up with you again after a couple of rounds.

A: Sounds good. Thanks for the interview.

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