Saddlemen

Vicki Golden Discusses Her Return to AMSOIL AX

| 17 February 2014 2:51 pm

Rider Interview: Vicki Golden
AMSOIL Arenacross Series
Idaho Center

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
NAMPA, ID, FEB. 15, 2014

The first night of action for the seventh round of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, in Nampa, Idaho, proved to be a memorable one for Babbitt’s Monster Energy/ AMSOIL Kawasaki presented by Maxxis rider Vicki Golden. The newest member of the Road to Supercross program qualified in the Arenacross Lites class as well as the Arenacross class, which helped her earn the first of three points necessary for a 250SX-class endorsement, as she hopes to become the first woman in history to have the opportunity to race in Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.

In the first heat race of the evening in the Arenacross Lites class, Golden got caught up in an incident while battling for position, suffering an injury to her hand. She then attempted to compete in her Arenacross-class heat race but ultimately decided to call it a night and get some rest. Despite the misfortune, Golden remained optimistic and excited about her accomplishment and is confident her hand won’t be much of an issue in the coming weeks as she continues her journey in the Road to Supercross.

Vicki Golden has her sites set on becoming the first woman in history to race in Monster Energy AMA Supercross competition.

Vicki Golden has her sites set on becoming the first woman in history to race in Monster Energy AMA Supercross competition.

It sounds like you had a bit of a tough outing in your first heat race. What exactly happened, and are you okay?
Yeah, I’m fine; my hand is just sore and a little swollen, but I’m still able to ride without any discomfort. A couple guys were battling ahead of me in the Arenacross Lites heat race and made some contact. I tried to cut under, but one of them hit me and sent me to the ground. As I was falling, another guy tried to cut under me, and my elbow ended up hitting his swingarm while my hand hit his wheel pretty hard. My hand swelled up, and I tried to race the Arenacross-class heat race but decided I should rest. I don’t think it’s broken, because I can ride okay, but it’s one of those things I think I need to rest. It’s definitely not going to stop me from getting out there and racing the rest of the races this season.

You originally were planning on returning to AMSOIL Arenacross in Reno next weekend. What prompted you to decide to come out a week earlier?
I talked about it with a few people and they all said that it just serves as another chance to get a point towards the Road to Supercross. I just thought it’d be a good idea. Also, now that Monster Energy Supercross is heading east, a lot of riders from the West Coast will probably be racing next weekend in Reno, which will make it even more difficult to qualify for the night show because of how stacked the field will probably be. So it was just one of those things where I had everything ready to go and [team manager Denny Bartz] at Babbitt’s said it was okay to start a weekend early. Thankfully I did, because I qualified and got a point already, which never happens to me. It usually takes me a while to warm up and get everything going, so it was cool.

Now you just need a couple more points and a couple more weekends to secure your 250SX endorsement through the Road to Supercross. What does it do for your confidence moving forward, considering that everything came together at the last minute this weekend?
I’d like to think things will only get better from here, but like I said, next weekend in Reno is going to be a big challenge. Reno is always a tough one, so I expect it to just be a learning process. I’m only going to get more comfortable, and I’m sure having some top-level guys in Reno next weekend is going to help me for the following rounds, even if I don’t end up qualifying. I’m only going to get better at laying down a fast lap in practice and have a lot of room for improvement to do so. I’d like to improve my times, feel more comfortable, and get a little quicker all around, but everything in AMSOIL Arenacross is different than what I’m used to and I just need to adjust to it.

What are your goals for tonight and the rest of the AMSOIL Arenacross season as you continue competing in the Road to Supercross?
Honestly, I don’t really have any expectations. I’d like to get into some main events here and there, but I’m here trying to focus on the Road to Supercross. Obviously, the more riding I’m able to do, the better I’m going to be, but right now I think my weakness is trying to lay down a fast lap, so I’m here to work on that and everything I need to accomplish to get my Monster Energy Supercross license. That’s my main focus, and it’s what the team is focused on as well with me. Anything after that is a bonus, and being able to get more exposure for my sponsors is good as well.

What does the opportunity with the Road to Supercross and the chance to fulfill your dream of racing in Monster Energy Supercross mean to you?
I think it’s one of the best ways to do it and the main reason I’m here in AMSOIL Arenacross; while it’s not a full-blown supercross track, it’s as close as it gets, and it’s the best learning process for me to eventually get to that level. I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.

If you do continue down this path and fulfill all the necessary requirements for the Road to Supercross, is there a chance we might see you at a Monster Energy Supercross race later this season, or would you make that your focus next year?
You know, I’m not really sure. I haven’t tried to think about it too much. I would love to get my points and go to supercross right away, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself too quickly. I only have one point right now, and you never know what could happen. I definitely do think I’ll get my points, but I want to take it one step at a time. If the opportunity did come up to race supercross, then there’s no reason not to do it. So if I can, I will; if not, I won’t. It’s pretty far down the road in my mind, and I still have a lot of work to do here in AMSOIL Arenacross. I don’t want to be thinking that far ahead until I get closer.

Even though you don’t identify yourself in this way, you are a female in a male-dominated sport, and what you are accomplishing is significant. Even though you position yourself as just another racer, what do you think this opportunity could mean for other women riders who might also want to pursue the dream of one day racing in Monster Energy Supercross?
Honestly, I just hope they get out of the mindset that just because there’s no women’s class, it doesn’t mean there isn’t something they can do. It’s cool to have a women’s championship, but I hope my counterparts can find a way to separate themselves in their own way. I don’t want them to think that if there’s only one series specifically designated for women, then that’s all they can do. There’s no need to think like that. I don’t race in any women’s series solely for that reason, because my sponsors and potential sponsors want something different and someone that can break new ground. That’s one reason why I’m doing what I’m doing, in a sense. I want them to also be that way and think outside the box. Just because there isn’t a class for women doesn’t mean their career has to stop there. It’s a lot harder, for sure, because you have a target on your back, since no one wants to get beat by a girl, but you just figure it out. I learned that last night, and I’ll just do everything I can to continue to improve and get used to it.

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Category: Arenacross, Interviews, National, POV, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV

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