Scheuring Speed Sports’ Robbie Malinoski (Ski-Doo), who swept the Pro snocross classes at the season-opening Duluth National, chatted with the ISOC ahead of this weekend’s Blackjack National in Bessemer, Mich.
ISOC: You scored a second and a third last year at Blackjack – AMSOIL Championship Snocross’ first venture to the upper Michigan ski area. What are your memories of the venue?
Malinoski: Blackjack’s a great landscape with a lot of snow. It’s the ideal spot for a snocross track and I’m pumped to get back there.
ISOC: From a spectator’s standpoint the face of Blackjack’s ski hill looked to be the most rugged and challenging terrain you guys faced all last season on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross circuit. Would you agree with that?
Malinoski: Yeah, for sure. The downhill section they had was the gnarliest section we faced all year – definitely a spot for crashes, race passes and whatnot. It’s the signature area of the course for sure and I sure hope they bring it back for this weekend.
ISOC: The downhill section seemed to be the primary area where you could set guys up to pass. Was that the case?
Malinoski: Yeah, at the top with all the bumps and that was a good spot to pass. Then the bottom … if you held it on a little bit longer than the other guy there you were able to make some passes. It’s a real difficult section, but definitely a good spot to find and create new lines. I love that section and can’t wait to get back on it.
ISOC: Overall, what were the keys to your dual podium success at Bessemer?
Malinoski: I think that downhill … I felt comfortable on it all weekend and was able to stay consistent coming down it. I didn’t make too many mistakes on it, although I had a few close calls. Just try to limit those close calls.
ISOC: How key was the uphill section as well? Seemed you really had to carry a lot of momentum in that area in order to set yourself up properly for the downhill section. Both those sections really played into each other.
Malinoski: Yeah, for sure. If you didn’t get a good run coming up the hill you were probably falling behind coming down the hill. You had to be spot on with both.
ISOC: Will the guys at Scheuring set up the sleds any differently for Blackjack than you had set up for Spirit Mountain?
Malinoski: The setup should stay pretty much the same, we won’t change too much. Tune the motors for the day based on the temperature and whatnot, elevation – although we won’t have to change much for elevation. Probably won’t be that much colder than it was in Duluth. So I really don’t know if there’ll be that much in the way of changes, but who knows. We’ll figure it out after the first practice session I’m sure.
ISOC: Talk a bit about how big of a weekend that was for you at Duluth. Getting out of the gate the way you did, back to back 1st place performances – no doubt a whole lot of confidence heading out of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross season opener.
Malinoski: Just for the team itself it was a big deal. My two firsts were awesome and I’m totally excited about that. But that’s two weeks ago and now we’re at a new track with a new race. So we’re just putting our heads down and getting after it this weekend – hopefully heading into the holidays with two strong weekends under our belt.