Q: First off, how have you been doing? How’s the knee feeling?
Ryan Villopoto: Everything’s been going good. My knee’s good. I go to the doctor on the 24th of this month and that will basically be my three month check up. We’ll see what he says about my progress and hopefully he’ll give me a date when I can start riding. Other than that, training and rehab have all been going good.
Q: You’ve had some down time with the injury. What have you been doing to keep busy?
RV: Actually I’ve been doing a lot of travel. A few weeks back I went to Europe for my sponsors Parts Unlimited and Monster Energy, I have Loretta’s coming up where I’ll be there for Kawasaki, and I’ll be going to Washougal this weekend. Along with training and rehab, it’s just been really busy. It almost seems like I’m more busy now than when I was racing.
Q: We are over halfway through the season. Has it been tough to watch the 450 transpire the way it has with one dominant rider?
RV: No not really. It started off looking like it was going to be pretty good with James (Stewart) winning the first four motos. You know, after he missed a few rounds, I knew that it was going to be (Ryan) Dungey. He’s really on his own level right now. Since myself, Chad (Reed), and James aren’t out there, he doesn’t really have anyone to race against on that different level that he’s on.
Q: Since it seems the top spot is dominantly taken, what about the guys behind him? Do you think anyone else could step it up on the podium other than who we’ve seen?
RV: It all depends on the weekend and who shows up, but it seems like the guys that have been on the podium are the ones that are going to stay up there. We are pretty much over halfway and you pretty much know who’s going to be there. I do think that Tyla (Rattray) has the speed to get there, he just needs to have two solid motos against some of the other guys that are showing consistency, like (Mike) Alessi or Jake (Weimer). People forget that he hasn’t really raced since Oakland SX when he got hurt. He showed up to race at Hangtown, and was doing good until he broke his hand. Now he’s just getting back into it and adjusting to a new team, so I think he’ll come around.
Q: Switching over to the 250 class. Did you think that Baggett would be in this position (the points leader) at the start of the season?
RV: Yes and no. The potential is there, but last year he showed a lot of inconsistency. He’s been way more consistent this year, which is good for him keeping the points lead. Speed wise, like Dungey, he’s on another level than the rest of the guys. Just going off the first round and his speed, I think that he is right where he should be. Hopefully he can keep it up for the rest of the season.