Friday, August 1, 2008
Updated: August 4, 12:08 AM ET
Things Josh Told Me, Grant and Demuth Edition
By Brian Kamenetzky
Big day in men's Moto X Racing. The top qualifier in today's seeding process was Josh Hillthe only guy to clock a lap under a minute, at 59.56. Behind him was Josh Hansen, whose fastest time was 60.16 seconds. Justin Brayton was third at 60.28, followed by Josh Summey (60.31) and a strong showing from privateer Jeff Alessi (60.57).
I had a chance to talk today with Josh Grant, who will be the number seven seed tomorrow, and Josh Demuth, who finished down in the 12th spot. Both are considered by some to be dark horse candidates to medal in a wide open field.
A smattering of stuff they said:
EXPN: Have you had a chance to see the adaptive racers before this event?
Grant: It's pretty cool. I can't believe how far it's actually come. Ricky James, he's pretty much the inventor behind all that. I think it's cool that these guys can come out here and do that, still have fun, and get that experience. It's insane. For them to come out and show they can ride despite all that adversity? It's unreal, and I give those guys so much credit for doing it.
EXPN: Looking at your race, how's the track setting up?
Grant: I think it's alright. It's not bad. Definitely a lot different than a Supercross. I think all the jumps are a lot deeper and taller. They didn't build the same exact track we race every weekend, which kind of switches it up a little bit.
EXPN: Does it favor a particular type of rider or bike?
Grant: It probably favors a 450 a little better, just because you can get over a lot more jumps, and it's a lot easier. It's a little bit tighter. And I think the ramps are pretty cool, how they brought those in.
EXPN: And it's a wide open field. All six guys in last year's final aren't here.
Grant: There are a lot more guys who didn't make it, but I like having this opportunity to come out here and ride and show off in front of the fans and have a good time. Anyone has a chance to win. You want to go out and do the best you can, but at the same time you want to be safe and focus on our real job, and that's racing (the pro circuits).
EXPN: So how have you been feeling on the bike these days?
Demuth: Awesome. I had a good couple weeks of practice down at Carey Hart's place in Vegas. I had been a little dormant since Vegas Supercross. I had a couple injuries, and let that heal up. I just started riding a couple weeks ago and feel like a million bucks. I've got a good team (Hart and Huntington) behind me, and it's going really good. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
EXPN: Were you pushing pretty hard today, or just taking it easy?
Demuth: I've never been one of those guys to be able to go out and put in one fast lap. I try to ride at the same pace all the time, so I was out there and putting my laps in. I felt great as far as the length of the race. I have plenty of stamina. It's just tough trying to get up front doing those one lap speed sprint deals (to establish seeds) that I'm not very good at.
EXPN: You touched on it, but health has been a big problem for you. Are you healed up?
Demuth: It's been really rough for a while. I broke my left wrist right before the Supercross season last year, and I've been struggling with it until two weeks ago, basically. I dislocated it real bad. I really wasn't supposed to come back racing when I did, but I tried to push it, and ended up getting hurt again, breaking my heel in Seattle. I just needed to take the time to let everything heal up. For a while, too, I didn't have any feeling in my clutch fingers. Getting all that stuff taken care of has made a huge difference.