450 Words: Thunder ValleyTuesday, June 30, 2009 | 3:16 PM
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The transition from small-bore champion to big bike success has always been slippery, and Tedesco looked to maybe be just another victim—joining names like Matiesevich, Lamson, Swink, Huffman, Roncada, Pastrana and perhaps even his own current teammate Davi Millsaps as those who won titles on the smaller bikes, but could never find the same mojo after graduation.
But Tedesco had a special trick up his sleeve. He’s used to fighting for it. Many of the past dominant small-bore pilots came through the amateur ranks with their prodigious talent on display. They dominated at every level they competed in, and the rough road in the big class came as a shocker. These men were not used to losing.
Tedesco’s last few seasons would have been enough to extinguish the fire for most men. But not Hot Sauce. He kept doing what he did to climb the mountain the first time: training, working, believing. When he found himself leading laps for the first time in years at Hangtown, he tightened up a bit, and the same thing happened while out front at High Point. But those races made Ivan comfortable with riding out front again. Using those lessons, he delivered a dominant 1-1 ride at Colorado.
After crashing out of the season opener at Glen Helen last month, Tedesco found himself 50 points away from the series’ lead. He’s just 35 points down now. If he wins the series it will look like an upset, but for Tedesco, this fight back from the bottom will look very, very familiar.
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Check out 10,000 MILES FROM HOMEin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.