The new MX2 Australian Motocross series leader reflects on Moree with MotoOnline.com.au.
At Moree last weekend, Ford Dale took over the red plate in the MX2 class of the Monster Energy MX Nationals after we witnessed a shock 50-point swing in the points race.
The Carlton Dry Honda Thor Racing rider won all three motos to make it five race wins in a row, and it was the tough luck of series rival Luke Styke behind him that helped cement him a 21-point lead in the standings.
Dale has been relentless in his bid to chase down the fast-starting Styke all season, and with one round to run this weekend at Coolum, the Sunshine Coast local is now in the box seat to win his first career national title.
MotoOnline.com.au spoke to Dale yesterday afternoon about his sweep at Moree, the title fight and his hopes of landing a full time MX1 ride for 2013.
Congratulations on a big day for you on Sunday, winning all three motos and putting yourself in the championship lead. You must be feeling pretty good right now?
Yeah, thanks – I feel awesome. My game plan for the last few rounds has just been to try and win races, and since Appin that has sort of been what I have been doing.
It put me in the perfect position on the weekend, after winning the three races I’m going into the last round with a 21-point lead. So I’m just going to go into Coolum with the same game plan and just take it one race at a time, hopefully everything works out.
Entering Moree, Styke had a 31-point advantage, so you must have been pretty shocked in a way on Sunday night, to think back and come out of there with a 21-point lead?
Yeah, I guess it’s racing and anything can happen. Styke has been riding awesome all year, I had a bit of bad luck at the first few rounds and then pretty much been chasing him down ever since.
It was awesome yesterday to come away with a 21-point lead now in the championship, I guess it makes it a lot easier going into Coolum.
From before Appin, I just wanted to try and win the rest of the races and I think it would of put me close to maybe getting it at Coolum anyway. But this makes it a lot better and probably a lot easier.
It’s come at a good time for you because Coolum is your home round in the series. There is going to be a lot of hype surrounding you going into that event up on the Sunshine Coast, so it really is a big deal for you and your team.
Yeah, it will be awesome at Coolum having friends and family there. Not only do I know the track, but it’s a lot more relaxed and comfortable for me. I think that will be an advantage for me and it will definitely help.
You’ve mentioned that you have been taking a little bit of a different mental approach to your racing this year. Does that have anything to do with the work you have been putting in with Ben Townley?
Yeah, definitely. Ben has kind of kept a level head on me, gives me as much advice as he can and it’s definitely helped. It’s so good having him around with all the support he gives.
This year I’m just trying to be consistent, because at the start of the series I was sort of a little bit inconsistent. These last three rounds I’ve been working with a close friend of mine as well, just preparing for the races mentally and I definitely think it has been paying off.
I’m just trying to take it one race at a time, instead of trying to look at the big picture too much, and it’s definitely been paying off.
In particular on Sunday, winning all-three motos, it was a great weekend for you despite the championship situation. What was it with Moree? Did you just click with the track or what do you think it was that helped boost you to those three wins?
I felt really good before Appin as well, and then I got those two wins in the last two races there. Before Moree I worked on my starts a lot, my starts have been my downfall all year, coming from behind in every moto.
Any time I got a good start, I’d usually win the race unless I crashed or something. On the weekend I just sort of relaxed a bit, wasn’t putting myself under any pressure and my starts were a lot better.
I was in the top 10 in the first one and then I was second for both of the second two motos. So I think that makes a big difference, it makes it a lot easier and a lot less risk of crashing, so that helps.
What is the plan heading into Coolum? It would be nice to wrap this thing up with one last win for the season, wouldn’t it?
Yeah, it would be unreal. I’m just trying to do the same thing I do every week this week and follow my usual structure. Same as on the weekend, the way I’ve been going into the last couple rounds has been good.
So I’m just going to go into it the same and just take it one race at a time, and just to win races. I think if I just do that and ride the way I know that I can, it should be all good.
Finally, for 2013 there has been a few rumors that you are going to be on a 450 for Honda. Can you give anything away there yet?
I definitely want to go onto a 450 and it’s been a plan of mine for years to ride the 450. I feel that I ride it a lot better and it suits my style a lot better.
I would really love to stay on a Honda, but whether it’s with Honda or somebody else, I definitely will be riding a 450.
Perfect, again congratulations and awesome job!
Thanks a lot man.