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Between the Motos: Kyle Regal

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A lot of fans were probably wondering who #475 was in the second moto at Millville. After qualifying sixth in timed practice, crashes relegated Kemp, Texas’ Kyle Regal to 25th in the first moto, but in the second moto he rebounded with an impressive sixth-place finish. And it wasn’t because he got a good start and faded. In fact, he tipped over on the second lap and fell back to 13th, then clawed his way back up to sixth, finishing right behind Factory Honda rider Andrew Short. In the waning laps of the moto, Regal was actually the fastest bike on the track. Did I mention that he was on a 2008 Honda CRF450R that he purchased for full retail off the showroom floor the weekend prior? We gave Kyle Regal a call today to get his thoughts on his breakthrough ride in Millville.

  • Kyle Regal's strong second moto performance in the 450 class at Millville earned him the Muscle Milk Recovery Award.
  • Regal went from thirteenth to sixth in the second moto.
Racer X: Kyle, first of all, great ride at Millville this past Saturday. Did you know that you were the fastest bike on the track in the waning laps of the second 450 moto?
Kyle Regal: Yeah, I figured that out as soon as I pulled off the track. It was a good ride. I actually tipped over on the second lap, unfortunately. I could’ve done a little better, I thought, but it’s all right. We’ll see what’s coming up and hopefully I could do better at the next one.

I’ll admit, that sixth-place shocked a lot of people. That was only your fourth pro national, right?
Yeah, I only raced Freestone, High Point and RedBud.

I understand you were on a 2008 450, also.
Yeah, I was. I rode a 2009 at RedBud, but I just didn't feel very comfortable on it, and we just don't have the resources to get it where it needs to be. So then I tried a 2008 and I really liked how it handled and everything, so that’s what I decided to do. My motor guy had a lot of experience with that bike, too, so I went down to Honda of Houston and bought one for $5500 bucks.

It looked like it was a good decision.
Yeah, the bike was really fast, handled good, and I was strong through the whole moto.

Have you ever raced Millville before?
No, never. I thought it was a good track, for sure.

Well, let’s back up a bit. Last year you were a top Suzuki amateur prospect, and you won a championship in the Four-Stroke class at Loretta Lynn’s, so many probably assumed that you’d race another full amateur season again this year and then turn pro after Loretta Lynn’s. Well, the Suzuki thing fell through and you now you’re racing a privateer Honda. So, what made you turn pro at Freestone?
My step dad and I both decided that there really weren’t any rides available, so we might as well just go show my pace at an actual pro national instead of still hanging around the amateurs. The point that I was at, we just decided to go on our own to see where we were at. Freestone wasn’t that good—it could’ve been better, the same with High Point. At RedBud, I was in ninth that first moto but ran out of gas.

  • Regal flew under the radar and made his pro debut at Freestone back in June in the 250 class.
Does it hurt your confidence knowing that last year you were Suzuki’s top guy and looked to possibly be the next Ryan Dungey, but now you’re racing out of a van driving yourself to the races?
Stuff happens, you know? It could’ve happened to anyone. Honda of Houston gave me an opportunity to ride for them, and I’m just doing my own thing now, riding my own bike that I bought, just seeing how it goes. I’m just trying to get the best result that I can just to try and get one of those rides that I think I should’ve gotten. I just have to show what I can do on my equipment.

You raced the 250 class at Freestone and High Point, took a few races off, then raced the 450 class at RedBud and Spring Creek, which looked to be a good decision. Why did you make the jump up to the 450?
To be honest, we had some motor problems with the 250, and there was a week off after High Point and I raced Mammoth instead. I just had some issues with my race bike, so I decided to move up to the 450.

How much more confidence do you have after finishing sixth in the second moto, even after tipping over?
I would have to say just a little bit more. I know I’m as fast as those guys. I qualified sixth, so I felt good about that. I had a lot of confidence in the first moto, but unfortunately in the first corner a guy crashed in front of me and I had to slow way down, and then in the back of the pack I tangled and couldn’t get my bike started for a while. I really didn’t push it because I was already lapped, so I just checked out the track for the second moto. And the second moto I was in like fifth or sixth on the second lap, but then I tipped over and fell back to 13th, then I charged back up to sixth.

Anyone talk to you after that moto?
Just a couple guys said ‘good race’ after the moto, but I didn’t talk to anyone else.

Will we see you in Washougal?
No, it’s too far for us. We’d have to leave tomorrow morning, and unfortunately here in Texas it’s been raining the past three days, so I haven’t been able to ride. So instead we’re going to do a little more testing on the bike and come out strong for the last four rounds.

What’s your goal for the rest of 2009?

I’m really hoping to stay in the top ten. I want to be in the top ten every moto no matter what happens. But I’m sure I can do better than that. My fitness is awesome and my bike is going to be awesome by then, so I’m hoping top ten, but I know I can get in the top five, obviously. I fell at Millville and was back in 13th and I caught up right to fifth place right at the finish and almost passed him, so I know I can be up there.

  • Kyle was aboard a 2008 Honda CRF450R in Minnesota.
Are you intimidated by any of those guys?
No, I’ve ridden with a lot of fast guys, so intimidation is not a factor.

A big factor when signing a rider is his ability to ride supercross. Can you ride supercross?
Oh, I can ride supercross, for sure! I got a full-blown supercross track in my backyard. I practice all winter long with Chad Johnson, who won the arenacross championship two years ago. I rode a ton with him last year, so yes, I’m a good supercross rider.

If someone wants to help you out for the last four nationals, can I give them your contact information?
Yeah, for sure.

Who's helping you out this year, Kyle?

Merge Racing Technologies, Yoshimura, Answer, Oakley, Gaerne, Dunlop, Twin-Air, Wiseco, Cometic, Renthal, Boyesen, Factory Backing, Honda of Houston, Honda Chemicals, Freese, Concept Haulers, Complete Fitness and Jo-Jo's Clothing.

If you're interested in helping Kyle, email us at letters@racerxonline.com.
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