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Monster riders at the 2017 Las Vegas Supercross Final

Change & Redemption

May 172017

The final round of the Monster Energy Supercross Series was both dramatic and controversial. In the East/West Shootout, the deciding race for the 250SX East Region Championship, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racer Joey Savatgy appeared to track position needed to earn him enough points, and with them, the championship. However, in the twilight stage of what would be a 15-lap affair, Team Husqvarna's Zach Osborne put on a remarkable charge from dead last to stalk down Savatgy on the very last lap. Still, seemingly still in control with just a few corners left to the finish line, Savatgy backed off a little bit too much and allowed Osborne to make an incredible - and downright aggressive - banzai pass for the inside line that not only knocked Savatgy down, but cost the KX250F rider the title he so desperately wanted. Absolutely crushed, Savatgy retreated back to Florida to get it together, gather his thoughts and shake off the bitter disappointment he felt. With but a few days remaining before the opening round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship near Sacramento, California this weekend, Monster Energy caught up with the California-born rider and asked him for his take on just what played out in Vegas. Here's what he had to say.

"A far as what happened in Las Vegas, obviously there were a lot of things and I could sit here and go through detail by detail, but at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s fault but my own," sighed Savatgy, who is one of the lead contenders for this summer's aforementioned Lucas Oil Motocross Championship. "We had a good start and we were up there and I made that first little mistake, which never should have happened. Then we were behind Jordon [Smith] and I saw him go down. At that point there was some communication I took the wrong way. To be completely honest with you, man, I had no idea that Zach [Osborne] was coming. People are going to think what they want to think and I know it sounds hard to believe, but the god’s honest truth, I wish I would have known Zach was that close or that he was coming because I KNOW the outcome would have been different. I would have approached those last three laps differently and I would have made it happen, but like I said, there were some things communicated during the race that were taken the wrong way by me. There was a little bit of miscommunication and that’s simply on me. I read something and took it a different way and that’s all there is. I wish we were sitting here talking about how the night went how we wanted it to, but we’re not. I can sit here and dwell about it and talk about it, but I’m just going to address it as that. I read something the wrong way and I didn’t know that he was coming and came around for the white flag and I just didn’t know. Trust me - I wish I would have known. I could have changed the outcome. You learn from it and I should never have ben that far back, but after the crash and after seeing Jordan crash, I just I guess I rode too cautiously, I guess you could say. That’s basically the bottom line – I didn’t know he was there and didn’t know he was that close and didn’t know that something that I worked for since I was a kid could be taken out underneath me with two turns to go. It sucks, man. It’s a sour taste in my mouth and it’s not easy, but if it was easy, there would be a lot more champions. There can only be one. We’ll have to learn from it and move forward. I try to look at the positives and look at that night and even being in that position to win a title and to be there at the end with the year that we had was something in itself. We had a lot of mistakes this year that were very uncommon, and, I guess, unfamiliar for me. I’m not used to having all these little errors. I’m trying to perfect what I do and if that means that along the way that we have these hiccups and have these little crashes. Nothing easy and no one is perfect. With all these little crashes that we had this year in supercross, if that means that we’re learning from them and we’re trying to get to that next level, then yeah, we do it. In the long run, if it pays off and makes me a better rider, then it’s all worth it.


"Understandably, there has been a ton of talk about the pass Zach Osborne made on me. But you know what? The move, to be completely honest with you, yeah, it sucks on my end of it, but if I’m in his shoes, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have done the same thing. You know it wasn’t for a race win, not for a podium spot, it was for a title. At the time I was angry and it sucked and there were a lot of people on my side that were like, “Oh, that wasn’t right! That’s not cool!” Man, I would have done the same thing. I know they say rubbing is racing or whatever, and that move was a little bit more than rubbing, but like I said, it was for a title. It was for all the marbles. That’s when happens when you’re unaware of what’s going on behind you. You can’t defend yourself from something that you don’t know is there and that’s the bottom line and it is what it is. I don’t want to sit here and blame it on anyone because at the end of the day, it’s my fault. If I wouldn’t have crashed the first time on the first lap, we would have been a few seconds ahead and we would have been in a better spot and we wouldn’t have had to worry about it. I ride a dirt bike and I’m supplied with a great motorcycle and I have a great team and a great support system, but none of that means anything once that gate drops. It’s 100-percent on me and I’m the guy responsible to get the job done. It’s no one’s job but my own. It is what it is. We were down in the dumps there for a day or so, but we’re going to bounce back and come out in full effect and give it our best for 12 rounds and see where we’re at.  There’s another series coming up this weekend that is the same. At the end of the 12 rounds, if we can close out what we didn’t close out in Vegas, then guess what? You forget. Not completely. But you kind of forget about the supercross stuff. Like I said, it’s a fresh series and a brand new start and I’m excited, eager and ready to get it going."