After a stellar rookie season in 2005 that included a podium finish at the Phoenix Supercross, Ryan Sipes really looked like he was going to shine this year. To date it has been anything but shiny, to say the least, though the Kentucky kid is upbeat and ready to show his talent. If you’ve been waiting, wait no longer, because this weekend at Unadilla the WBR Suzuki rider is getting back on the national circuit.
Racer X: Ryan, what are you up to?
Ryan Sipes: I’m just getting ready to go riding tonight at a local track.
I broke my foot real bad before Anaheim 2. The damage done was five bones; I had to get two pins, a plate, and five screws. So there is a bunch of junk in there.
You were supposed to make a return to racing at Hangtown. What went wrong?
Yeah, I was out in California at Competitive Edge doing some outdoor testing. I had been on the bike for three weeks and was feeling good. I was going up a fast jump—I had been dragging my back brake to slow down up the lip—but one time something went wrong with the motor because it locked up. I went over the bars, breaking my hand, plus I got a bad concussion. So there went six weeks.
Man, you’ve for sure have had an unwanted vacation. What’s kept you busy, and how has all this affected you mentally?
It sucks to be hurt a lot, for sure. I’ve learned a whole lot of other stuff, too, and as far as training, I have stayed up to date the entire time. Physically, I feel stronger. Mentally, stuff went down, but I went and saw someone who helped. I did some soul-searching, and I’m better off.
Do you have any idea when you'll come back?
I’m coming back this weekend at Unadilla. I think I'm ready—it’s time to go for it.
You have to be pumped.
Yeah, one of the things I learned is no matter what, I want to be on a bike somewhere. I was riding the other day and guys I didn’t know were passing me. I was like, Who was that? But then I thought to myself how much I was loving riding, and it didn’t matter.
What expectations do you have for yourself?
To be honest, I don’t know. I’m not saying I’ll win, but I think I have the speed to run up front. A good start and I’ll be fine with those top guys. I know I haven’t raced since January, so the racing part might be rusty.
I heard you hooked up with a new agency to handle your career.
I started working with Bobby Moore at The Familie. He’s getting me lined up as far as my future.
Your rookie season in 2005 was strong: eighth overall in supercross, 12th in outdoors. Where are your goals for the future?
This year I feel I had the speed to win; it just didn’t work out for me. Everything happens for a reason, and it will be way better next year. My plan is to win races and have fun. I would like to give a shout-out to my great team, WBR. A big thanks to Brad, Tony, Scott, and everyone for sticking by me.