InterView: Davi Millsaps on A1
Monster Energy Supercross post A1
Davi Millsaps A1 Interview
The underdog comes out the hero at A1
Photos and Typos: Scott Hoffman
There was so much talk about who would win the opening round of the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross series. Names flew around, the usual suspects—yet, few mentioned Davi Millsaps and his Rockstar Suzuki RM-Z450. Some figured he could possibly finish in the top five, however very few, if any, had his name in the pool to take the win at A1. It had been years since the once child motocross prodigy took a premier 450 class win, but in the 2012 year of attrition, Millsaps did finish second in the series and was one of the few riders to make the main event every round. Following his A1 win, we had not seen a smile on Millsaps face that large in years—yet on this night the underdog had a very big reason to be happy.
MX.com: Have you got any words left in you after your win?
Millsaps: Ughhhhh. That’s my word right now.
Talk about that race. That was an exciting race.
Yeah, it was fun for sure. I don’t like that lap sign being right there because I can see it every lap. I looked down for a couple of laps and then I looked back up and I saw lap 8 and I was like “You’ve got to be kidding me,” but it was definitely a fun race. Me and Trey were right there the entire time. I didn’t pull away, he didn’t let me and then when he passed me I was like “Dang it,” but I stuck right there and I found a couple of good lines that I wasn’t taking before and that’s how I made the pass back on him.
Talk a little more about that pass.
There were two main ruts before the double before the whoops and those ruts were ridiculously deep and to the very, very inside there was a nice one and he went in the main one and messed up a little bit and I had more drive from the nice rut and just pinned it through the whoops as fast as I could go and that’s pretty much it.
So often when a pass is made we see people fade after it. Did you have a little extra in the tank?
I was riding a little tight from halfway on just being in the lead that long, it’s been a while. I was just a little nervous especially getting the holeshot and leading every lap. I had a little more in my tank and I just had to calm myself down and find better lines and try to make a pass again.
Coming into the season a lot of hype is on the other guys. What do you think about that?
That’s a good thing. That’s a good thing. Coming in here I wasn’t on any polls, I wasn’t up there talking at the press conference even though I got 2nd in points last year. I wasn’t anything. I was pushed aside and I think mainly everyone thinks that me going to the team I’m on now they think it’s all a B team, but I think our team is definitely an A team and is just as good as any team out there if not better.
When was the last time you earned a 450 SX win?
2010 in San Diego was the last time I got my win.
What has gone on during that gap in wins?
It’s been a rough time with getting hurt as much as I did. I lost my kidney in 2010. In 2011, I blew my knee out a couple of times and had to have surgery twice in the off-season and then had to come into both seasons unprepared. I had Rockstar Energy Racing pick me up early on in the Outdoor season and they had a bike ready for me to go when I wanted to ride and every single day I just rode and rode and rode. Yogi would give me my program then every morning I would wake up and I’d be pissed at the program but it’s paying off.
How did your confidence build after such a solid performance in qualifying and your heat races?
I just tried to take one step at a time. In practice I went out and made sure I just rode the track and just rode like me and just took my time and wasn’t really stressing about the bike, or the dirt, or the ruts, or people out there. Then going out in the heat race and winning it was definitely a confidence booster, but it also made me a little nervous because I was like “Dang it, now I can do it.” It was good, it was an emotional night especially me never having finished in the top 10 at Anaheim 1 ever in my career and the only time I do, I win.
There are two bad things—you can’t sneak up on them next week and you have to prove it again.
Yeah, proving it again is probably going to be the hardest thing, but I am going to go back and do the same thing—put my head down and train really hard. It makes me more motivated knowing that I won so I’m motivated to work harder, train harder, eat healthier, and get back up on the podium.
You look so confident on the bike and like a Davi Millsaps we haven’t seen in years. What is the combination? Is it the bike, is it you, is it your health, the team?
All the above. The team is awesome. Scott from Showa’s been doing my suspension and I can’t thank him enough. He’s been working super hard and he built me a shock yesterday, actually I went and tested it yesterday. I was like “Dude, where’d you come up with this setting?” It was awesome. The team has been super supportive and super confident and positive towards me and pushing me in the direction I need to go and the same with Yogi. He believed in me the whole time and never gave up on me and it was cool not only to have all those guys here for my first win, but it was cool that Dane, my little guy was here. When he sees pictures hanging up later on he’s going to be “What’s that?” and I will say you were at my 1st win on my new team in 2013. It’s cool that the first Supercross he went to I won.
Do you think there’s room for improvement? It’s really the first race for this team in this class.
There’s room for improvement on both sides…my end and, honestly, their end’s pretty good. Their end I’m good with that, but there’s always room for improvement for me because I only had two and a half months in the off-season to train really hard and it takes more than two months to get 100% in shape. There’s still more to come and I’m getting there.
You look leaner than you have in quite a few years so you’ve got to be doing something right.
Yes, just eating right and training right. Pete my trainer has been helping me out. He got me on a better eating program and just getting my butt kicked from Ezra. Every day I go down to the track and he’s all “You better get your ass on that bicycle.” Sorry if I just said that. Just hearing it from all ends kind of makes you want to be motivated and do something for myself and that’s why I look the way I do.
Does it feel really good to get this smile back on your face that we haven’t seen for awhile?
It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a smile and even when I almost won Salt Lake last year I still didn’t have a smile like this. I think it’s pretty awesome that a new team for the 450 class and myself on a new bike and coming out and winning the opener is a big accomplishment for everyone especially myself. I think we’re all going to go home and put our heads together and figure how we can get better. Even if we are the best we can be, we can still be better.
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