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5 Minutes With... Ivan Tedesco

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Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ivan Tedesco has had a tough season, to say the least, but it all turned around at Hangtown. It’s easy to forget he’s a former national champ, and he says he wants to stay up front for the long haul now. We talked to him after the race last Saturday in Sacramento.

Racer X: You had a tough go of it in the supercross series, and even at round one, but now you’re on the box again. Take us through the last couple of months for you.
Ivan Tedesco: Do you have about an hour?

Yeah, sure...
[Laughs] Supercross was a rough season for me and it wasn’t what I expected, and I felt like I did a few things wrong maybe in the off-season and the beginning of the season where I was a little bit tired all the time and wasn’t feeling as good as I wanted. I made a few changes around Daytona and it took a little while to get going. But now I feel like I’m back to where I need to be. I feel like my training’s going well, my speed’s starting to come back, and I don’t know... This weekend was good. I just hope I can keep the ball rolling and get myself back in the points. Last weekend at Glen Helen, with the [minor] concussion, it set me back a ways. I’ve got some work to do and hopefully I can click some off.

What was it like leading that first moto like that? It’s been a while since you could just have the track to yourself like that...
It felt good! I didn’t have to pull any tearoffs and I could just ride where I wanted... My starts were good today, and that definitely helped, especially on this track. It’s the dad strength coming out...

Yeah, because you have to make the money to pay for the kid!
Yeah, I’ve got to pay for diapers! [Laughs]

Congratulations on fatherhood, but does that change anything in the way you look at racing?
No, no, not at all. It doesn’t change anything as far as racing goes. Obviously, in my personal life, it changes a lot, and it’s awesome. But as far as racing goes, you can’t think about anything but racing when you’re here, so... But lately I’ve been trying to have more fun with it and keep it fun. Obviously, you have to put your work in, but I’m trying to have fun while I’m doing it. That’s how I operate the best, when I’m having fun. Today was fun!

Yeah, it’s always fun when you’re up front, right?
Yeah...

So do you know what you have going on for next year yet?
No, nothing yet. I don’t think anybody really knows what’s going on with the way the economy is and everything. Everybody’s trying to figure out what’s going on. It is a contract year for me, but I haven’t talked to anybody. I’m feeling it out right now.

You have a race coming up in your home state... Wait, no, you moved to Florida!
I have all kinds of home states.

That’s right, because Colorado’s kind of a home state for you, too, coming from New Mexico...
Yeah!

So what do you think about going into Texas with the heat and all of that stuff?
The heat’s always a factor there in Texas – it’s going to be hot – and it kind of sucks because I’ve been out here in California since we’ve had the baby and I’ve been doing my deal out here, and it hasn’t been that hot. That Texas heat is different. I haven’t been able to ride in Florida like I normally had in that humidity, and that definitely helps, but I’m going to go there knowing I’m fit, and the heat’s going to be a factor there, and that track is always rough, so it’s going to be a tough one.

With Ryan Villopoto out of the series – he had won round one pretty convincingly – does it change how you look at the next 10 rounds coming up?
No, it doesn’t change anything for me. I’m coming here to try and win every one of these things – or at least do the best that I can. I heard them say in the press conference that it’s open now that Villopoto’s out, and he is a gnarly rider so I’m not trying to take anything from him, but they make it sound like anybody can win now that Villo’s out. He’s an awesome rider, so no disrespect, but it’s funny how people look at it that way.

You won a national title before he did...
Yeah, but it’s been a while! What was it, 1989?

Yeah, I think it was ’89 and you were on that KX250 two-stroke alongside Jeff Ward on that team...
Yeah, it’s been a while, but I’m looking to get myself back up front and stay there.
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