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By Jim Kimball Photos by Scott Mallonee
After taking the overall win at Thunder Valley back in mid-June, many thought Joey Savatgy would be a title contender from that point on. Absent from the podium since then Joey rallied back at Millville this past weekend to take his second overall win of the summer. Now 4th in the 250 championship standinsg, we caught up with the Joey to talk racing.
JOEY, AWESOME RIDE AT MILLVILLE. Yes, for sure. It was a step in the right direction. We had a good two weeks off, made a lot of progress with the bike, and made some drastic changes. All in all, I felt really good. The second moto I tightened up a little bit and Zach had some better lines on the back half of the track. I think if I had not gotten tight I could have picked up on his line, and I could have battled. But once he passed me, I did not put up too much of a fight. I saw where third was, and I knew that I did need to beat him to win.
SO, YOU DIDN’T PUSH IT? I knew where he was in the first moto and I knew where I was. Sometimes you just have to take what you are given, and today was a 1-2 type of day. That was a huge improvement from where we have been, and at the end of the day, I got the overall. That is the big picture, so there is not a lot to complain about. I would like to finish out the series battling for wins.
THE HUMIDITY HAS AFFECTED A LOT OF RIDERS THIS SUMMER. HAS LIVING IN FLORIDA HELPED? For me, the humidity is not too bad. If you lived in California all the time, I could see where maybe it would catch you, but a lot of the guys live on the East Coast, so they should be use to the humidity. It is a factor, but not for me.
THE 250 CLASS LOOKS LIKE ALMOST EVERYONE HAS THE SPEED TO WIN A RACE. I definitely think that if you do not get a good start, say top five to seven, it is very difficult to win. By getting a good start and being in the top three, you have a clear track, you are with the fast guys, and you adapt to the pace really well. It is stacked. One weekend you can win and the next weekend you can be fourth, and not necessarily even ride bad. It is brutal, and I would say it is one of the most stacked years that we have had in a while.
YOU WON ROUND THREE AT THUNDER VALLEY AND LAST WEEKEND AT MILLVILLE. WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE TWO? I would have liked to do better in the middle of the series, and won on a few more tracks this year, but we have been struggling. No excuses, but I have not been performing the way I need to be. We made some changes the last two weeks and to me and to the bike, so I think the combination of the two has been a good change.
YOUR TEAM HAD A COUPLE OF DNF’S EARLY IN THE SERIES, ARE YOU ABLE TO PUT THAT STUFF BEHIND YOU? Yes. I believe in Mitch. I think I have a great team behind me. We did have the DNF’s, which is a bummer, but if anyone was angrier than me with the DNF it was Mitch. He never likes to see bikes break, and he never likes to have the reputation of having bikes break. He had the two or three bikes break at Glen Helen and one in Colorado, but he figured out the problem and fixed it. I don’t stress on it any more. I know Mitch took care of it.
DID BEATING THE MARTIN BROTHERS AT THEIR HOME TRACK ADD ANYTHING TO YOUR OVERALL WIN AT MILLVILLE? Yes, you want to win every weekend, but Millville was definitely marked on the calendar, more on the side of knowing that the brothers are going to be fast here. Obviously, they have home turf advantage, and I am sure a decent amount of laps here, so it is always nice to beat them at their home track, but it does not necessarily make it any sweeter than beating someone at a different track.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEXT YEAR? 450 OR 250? For me right now, I am taking it day by day. We had a good weekend at Millville and now I’ll.worry about Washougal. That is about as far forward as I look. I am not worried about the future. I’m just here to do my job and take it race by race.
HAVE YOU SIGNED WITH ANYONE FOR 2018? That I don’t know. I have somebody that takes care of that stuff for me, and it is in negotiations. They oversee all of that and they tell me not to worry about it. I am focused on me, and taking it weekend by weekend.