SITTING DOWN WITH MONSTER ENERGY / KAWASAKI / PRO CIRCUIT’S MITCH PAYTON
Since the inception of the Pro Circuit Racing team in 1991, Pro Circuit owner and team boss Mitch Payton has built his team into the most successful 125/250ccc racing team in the history of the sport. His race team has launched some of the biggest legends in the history of motocross and supercross, including Jeremy McGrath (1991 and 1992) and Ricky Carmichael (1997, 1998 and 1999), and he continues to churn out championships. During the 2013 AMA Nationals, his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki 250cc team includes defending champ (and Budds Creek winner) Blake Baggett, the most highly anticipated rookie in at least 10 years Adam Cianciarulo (who made his long-awaited pro debut at Budds Creek), Martin Davalos, Justin Hill and Darryn Durham (who led most of moto two at Budds Creek on his way to third place).
And for the first time since his team’s inception, he’s running a completely separate truck for his new 450cc team of Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray to race out of. Wilson is out injured right now, but Rattray nabbed a podium finish at the previous round at High Point and was heading back to the front in the first moto at Budds Creek when he went down and was forced to drop out for the day. We caught up with Payton to get his take on Baggett’s first win of 2013, Rattray’s crash, Cianciarulo’s debut, and Durham’s great moto-two ride at Budds Creek.
SO, WHAT ENDED UP HAPPENING WITH TYLA RATTRAY? IS HE OKAY?
Mitch Payton: Tyla? He crashed in that little section right before the finish line. And when he crashed, it kind of twisted his wrist or something. So he came back [to the pits], and then second moto he said it hurt. We’ll be all right for next week though. He’ll be fine.
HE WAS RUNNING LIKE TOP-FIVE OR SOMETHING WHEN HE WENT DOWN, WASN’T HE?
Yeah, he had just passed [Trey] Canard.
YEAH, AND TREY HAD A GOOD DAY, AND HE WAS PASSING TREY. SO HE’S MOVING FORWARD, BUT THAT’S HOW RACING GOES SOMETIMES, HUH?
That’s the way it is!
WITH ADAM CIANCIARULO, WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT HIS TOUGH TIME TODAY?
Truthfully, I think it was predictable, the way I look at it. In the first moto, he started up front and then I think he was a little bit shocked at how aggressive and intense they were. And then he fell down once. And the second moto, he got a bad start and fell down again, and then he was just buried in the back. Truthfully, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. [Cianciarulo went 14-17 on the day.] He wanted to do this, so now he’ll be able to go home, he knows where he’s at, and just learn from it. Now he knows, ‘Wow, those guys are on it right off the bat.’ So, I think he’s going to have to work on that, and I’m sure he will, and I think he’ll get better.
AND THEN THERE’S OBVIOUSLY BLAKE BAGGETT TAKING HIS FIRST WIN OF THE YEAR TODAY. HE LOOKED LIKE BLAKE BAGGETT FROM 2012!
Blake rode really good and I’m really happy for him. He needed to find some intensity and he actually loaded up and headed down [to the Stewarts’ house] and Big James and Little James and Malcolm are down there. And Big James is crackin’ the whip on him. They’re riding at the Stewarts’ house. It’s good for him; it’s different dirt. And they’re trying to just work on trying to go faster. It’s good for all those guys to ride together. And I think it’s just nice to have a break from just always riding the same tracks. He wanted to do something different, so I think he’s enjoying it there. It’s just fresh for him, so that’s good. And he’ll be back down there [after Budds Creek], and I’m sure it’s going to work out good.
AND DARRYN DURHAM, IN THAT SECOND MOTO HE LED FOR A LONG TIME AND HAD A LOT OF SPEED TO STAY UP THERE. HE’S HAD SOME PRETTY HARD LUCK SO FAR THIS SEASON.
Yeah, he’s had plenty of bad luck, so it was nice to see him get a little big of good luck. And to get a podium, I thought that was awesome. He got a little tired there at the end, like faded off a little bit, but you’ve got to be up there to feel it again. And I think that was awesome for him. He got a good start, I think he was second, and kind of went around the outside and got into the lead right off the bat. And just like any of them, you get that little gap and it helps you get away from everybody and you can ride. Then Blake [Baggett] caught up to him and they all just stayed together. Then Blake made a couple mistakes, then he caught back up. And then [Eli] Tomac was on one. He was on the gas and he caught up and passed both of them. So second and third wasn’t bad, considering.
Photos: Monster Energy