Features 29 Jul 2011

Industry Insight: CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha’s Craig Dack

MotoOnline.com.au gets an insight to the Pro Open championship battle from Craig Dack.

CDR Rockstar Energy Yamaha team manager Craig Dack enters the final round of the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals, Australian Motocross Championship, in a strong position with both of his team riders on target for the Pro Open title.

Kiwi Josh Coppins leads the series by 18 points over teammate and three-time champion Jay Marmont, the pair set to go head-to-head in what turn out to be the battle of the season.

MotoOnline.com.au tracked down Dack on Friday at Coolum Pines Motocross Park to see how he’s feeling ahead of what’s sure to be a pressure-filled weekend.

CDR Rockstar Energy Drink Yamaha team manager Craig Dack.

CDR Rockstar Energy Drink Yamaha team manager Craig Dack.

This weekend it’s somewhat of a familiar position for you to be in with two riders battling for the championship, so I guess that’s a pretty nice position to be in?

It is a nice position to be in. You would rather be in this position than any other, but it’s also very difficult. Both the guys I really like a lot, and both the guys have really stood up in this championship after the dramas we had at the first and third rounds.

We’ve been playing catch up so much of the time in this championship. We’ve been the fastest, both guys have won races, won rounds, taken podiums.

The guys have been great apart from the two rounds we’ve gone bad at. It’s just going to be a bittersweet feeling on the weekend, without counting my chickens yet because we haven’t won it.

I’m pretty confident that our guys can go 1-2, but in saying that one of those guys are going to be very disappointed. Angulation is easy, but to see two guys who want it so bad, one’s going to be very disappointed.

I did a similar interview with you a couple of years ago with Jay and Boydy…

The feeling’s the same [laughs].

One thing that is different this time though is that Jay’s been champion three times, but now his rival is a well-credentialed rider and a former world championship contender in Josh. How did it come about to bring Josh into the team for this year as another very real title contender?

Well the way that it all came about was just a matter of circumstance. What it costs us to have Jay on the team, deservedly so after winning three championships, there’s quite a massive cost to us. So therefore we couldn’t really afford a motocross and supercross guy.

What did come up was Josh Coppins coming home from Europe and we could share those costs between Australia and New Zealand. He did the New Zealand championship with our technical support, and then he’s been doing this series here.

I didn’t have to come up with a fee for a motocross/supercross guy. It was appealing at the time because he was coming home, and obviously the salary and other bits and pieces that go toward Jay are so costly now.

I couldn’t afford to have two full time guys, if that makes sense. He’s a world-class rider and deserves every bit of it. For me tomorrow, we’ve done all the hard work now, so they can go and slog it out I guess.

Watching Jay last year, you could say that Billy Mackenzie was faster most of the time and Jay was his consistent self. This year, you could argue that Jay’s the fastest guy on the track.

Jay’s quick, absolutely. Last year he only won one round, at Moree. When I say only, well he’s done it by consistency.

And then the year before, remember Boydy had that strong run and won the last three or four rounds so it became pretty close here at the end, but Jay got through.

This time, apart from those terrible rounds, Jay’s been really, really quick – probably the quickest he’s ever been I reckon.

Being in this position as a team, does it add pressure to yourself and the crew to make sure everything is done properly, everything equal from top to bottom?

Yeah, well we always give them equal footing. Nobody ever goes without, because we have a policy in this team that technically we will always offer them the same amount of stuff.

If on the rare occasion, which really never happens, we have a part that’s an advantage, we’ll give it to the person who’s best in the championship and they know that. That’s never really happened though, so they both get equal support.

And yes, we are feeling the pressure. I think we’re all feeling the pressure more for the person who doesn’t win.

There can only be one winner and we’ve got two guys who are so determined, but one of them has to be long faced Sunday afternoon and I don’t like that.

Okay no worries, well best of luck throughout the weekend to yourself and the entire team.

Thanks, Goey.