MXA INTERVIEW: CHASE SEXTON TALKS ABOUT HIS HEALTH, BIKE ISSUES, MXON AND MORE
Chase Sexton was back on the podium at the Unadilla National and with two rounds left he’s still looking for his first win of the outdoor season.
After Moto one of the 250 class at the Florida National we thought that we were going to see a fourth championship contender in Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton. However, unfortunately, it was not to be. With Chase’s heat stroke that happened in Moto two at Florida, it was discovered that he has other blood issues that likely would have surfaced later. So, at least he was able to move forward. Following the race in Florida, Sexton had a bit of mid-season slump while he was working himself back into racing shape. Now Chase Sexton is back where he wants after grabbing an overall podium result at the Unadilla National.
BY JIM KIMBALL
CHASE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE BACK TO NORMAL AFTER YOUR PROBLEMS IN FLORIDA. Yes, definitely. It was definitely a struggle after Jacksonville, having heat stroke, and then having to fix the problems I had with my blood. There were a few things that were going wrong that I was neglecting. It takes a while to figure things out, which I thought I had done a pretty good job of getting back to where I need to be and get my body back under control. I knew it would be hard and the first two weekends after I returned were not great. I probably should of rode better at Millville, and also Washougal. But I did go three-three at Unadilla and I got back on the podium. I was also able to run a good pace with Adam Cianciarulo and Dylan Ferrandis. The second moto was good. Now it is just time to keep building and trying to get overall wins. Now my body feels really good and I feel super good on the bike. I am looking forward to Budds Creek, and Indiana.
IT WAS NOT REALLY SIMPLY A HEAT STROKE THAT TOOK YOU OUT, WE HEARD THERE WERE OTHER ISSUES YOU WERE DEALING WITH TOO? Yes, basically all season, I somewhat struggled with not the riding the greatest, and then going to WW Ranch and racing. The first moto pushed me over the edge where I had to fix these problems that I had. I had to really check myself. WW Ranch was basically the last straw for my body that they said I could take. I am not glad it happened, but I am glad that I got it out of the way now, so I know in the future what to do, and how to take care of my body properly. I wish I would have been able to race the second moto after winning the first one, but it definitely gets the issue out of the way for the future, and I feel much better now.
WHEN I TRIED REACHING YOU THE OTHER WEEK YOU WERE IN CALIFORNIA TESTING, WITH TWO ROUNDS LEFT, ARE YOU STILL WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE THE BIKE? Yes, I was in California testing, and actually we did the same thing last year. We somewhat struggled with the same kind of deal. I feel like our bikes have been down on power, so I went to California and I said, “make it faster, and make it happen.” I have to go out there to help and try to make this thing better together with the team. I’ve never won an outdoor title, so even at the end of the season, I am not one to just say “okay, we only have a few rounds left, and I am just going to get through it”, I want to go out there and do great, especially because I had that lull in the middle of the season.
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH? I feel that I should have been close to third in the championship by now, but I missed two races, and I just want to do as good as I can. I have nothing to lose, so I want to make the bike better, and be competitive these last two rounds now. We made some progress. We are going to keep improving the bike throughout the off-season and into next year. I look to be coming into Supercross even more prepared than I did this year and try to win another championship.
WATCHING THE STARTS IN THE 250 CLASS IT CERTAINLY APPEARS THAT THE YAMAHAS ARE EXTREMELY FAST! They definitely have things figured out that is for sure, which is a bit frustrating. Because I feel like they just get great starts, which they have it figured out, and that gives them such a big advantage. But we are just trying to get better, and get closer to them at least, so we can be a little more competitive off the start. For me, that is where I struggled, and I still struggle. I came from like 20thin the first moto this weekend at Unadilla, so honestly for me, I just want to get inside the top 10 off the start. Even if I can get inside the top 10, I am good. I can reach the podium or even win from there. That is my goal, and to be up in the mix off the beginning.
I WANT TO TOUCH ON MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS FOR A SECOND. OBVIOUSLY, THEY PICKED JUSTIN COOPER, WHO HAS HAD A GOOD SEASON, BUT I BELIEVE THAT YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD CHOICE. Obviously, I would have loved to have gone. They did talk to me a little. I think it came down to obviously that Adam was the first candidate, and he did not want to go. Then it came down to me and Justin (Cooper) and they went with him. I think some of that had to do with my mid-season slump, I had some rough races and I was not there for some of them. I just started picking up momentum, had a podium at High Point, and then won the first moto at Jacksonville, but then had that problem with the heat. If that would not have happened, it would have been a different outdoor season for me. The Motocross of Nations has always been one of my dreams and I would love race it. I hope I get another opportunity to go next year, and for sure, I will be going.
LET’S WRAP UP WITH THE ENDING OF THE MOTOCROSS SERIES, ADAM AND DYLAN ARE REALLY BATTLING. BUT I AM SURE YOU WOULD LOVE NOTHING MORE TO MIX IT UP AND WIN A COUPLE OF MOTOS. For sure. I know I was in a lull, they are always up front, and they are one and two in the series for a reason. So, for me, my goal is to be up there with them, battle with them and actually beat them. Like this past weekend at Unadilla, I caught right on the back of Adam’s wheel. I made a few mistakes, he kind of got away from me, but honestly, I felt super good up there and comfortable. That is the speed I want to run, I think my speed is really good, and my fitness is good. I just have to get up there with them, and get around them, or even get in front of them at the start, and then I will be good for sure. I like Budds Creek and I like Indiana, so I am definitely looking forward to these next two races and mixing it up with those two.