Cooper Webb on leaving Aldon Baker and changing frames
“I felt like myself today, we made some crazy changes, we changed the frame this week and I thought Ian and Roger were going to possibly murder me! I told them to trust me,” After a frame change that left Webb fear he would be murdered by Roger DeCoster, the determined American put it on the podium at Ironman and looked much more like his old self, leading laps and battling with Ferrandis.
After spraying the champagne, a candid Webb spoke in the press conference about his podium, the frame change and leaving the Baker facility fearing burn-out plus adjusting to motocross after being in a supercross title fight.
You recently mentioned a change in chassis that you might get murdered for (in the post-race TV interview), can you elaborate a bit about that and what did it do for today?
We did a big change this week and did a frame change. It seemed to be a lot better. I was struggling with the set-up, and this seemed to help me a lot and it wasn’t ideal to ask the team for it and hear the responses, but sometimes you have to trust your gut and the team made it happen and we got a good result, and I felt a lot more like myself.
Can you talk about your season and the highs and low and coming off the 450 supercross championship, does it speak to the depth of the field in motocross or bike-up of acclimating to the motocross series?
I mean, the field is stacked, and it is totally different, because supercross is another animal. In supercross you are all in and maybe not preparing for outdoors and we needed to make changes and trying to test and ride and you need to feel comfortable on the bike and as fast as everyone is. For me it was better today, and it has been getting slowly better and better.
Your are super competitive, how do you internally deal with not being on the podium?
It sucks, to be completely honest. When you go from winning a lot and being on the podium every weekend and then you are 8th in the first round, that is shitty, for sure. So, it has been hard, and I have tried to be positive and get better. Being a competitive guy, I know where I can be supercross or motocross, but I still have some work to do in motocross and at least today was nice and gave me some confidence. Looking forward to seeing how it goes from here.
You mentioned some changes to your program and racing at Chad’s old place. What do you like about the change?
I made that change after Redbud and for me, I was on the edge of being completely burnt out and not sure how much longer I wanted to race to be honest. To ride with Jett and Hunter, they are super fast and talented and being able to ride with other guys. We can push each other, and Joey is really great during the week, Justin is fun to be around and it was just a change of pace. I felt did the same thing for three and a half years and I needed something else, I am not sure where it’s all going to lead from here. I am slowly improving and getting better with my riding and technique, and still working hard and getting quality riding and training in. It has been good and nice when you get results like this, to have it pay off a little bit.
Just going back to what you said. Is that being burnt out with the Aldon Baker way of doing things. We hear so many guys before like Dungey or Villopoto saying that burnt them out. Was it just you needed a change or was the program was starting to tire you out?
I have had great success and I don’t have issues of regrets, but doing the same thing, year after year and it was rewarding with supercross and stuff, I have always done really well and it was great while I was there. But I was at that point in my career and just needed a change. Like those guys alluded too, I am only 25 years old and to be having thoughts of retirement is crazy, just felt like i needed a change. I am still super competitive, and I have a great team behind me, that are super hard workers so we will get a super good program heading forward and looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Have you had to change your riding style for the 450 class in motocross compared to what you had in supercross or in the 250s outdoors?
I was able to win an outdoor title on the 250 and stuff, and supercross has definitely come more natural to me and that was one of the things too. I felt like I needed to work out how these guys ride, carrying a lot more momentum, a lot more standing, a lot more riding on the outside. It is a learning curve, and it takes time and doesn’t happen over night and hopefully I can improve my outdoor riding, I still feel i am a good outdoor rider but supercross comes more natural to me. We will continue to add to the program and try and get better in motocross as well.
Images: Align media
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