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5 Minutes With... Ryan Sipes

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Ryan Sipes’ career to date has been a series of highs and lows.  His highs come from the standpoint of fitness, determination, toughness, and potential, while the low points have been injuries. At times it simply seems like the 25 year old Kentuckian cannot catch a break (no pun intended). Still, with his strong work ethic, faith, and family support, Ryan can always find some good in the bad.  Missing much of the 2009 motocross season, Sipes regrouped, and came back faster than ever for the last few races, taking an impressive fourth overall at the Steel City finale.  Now signed with the MotoConcepts (MCRMX) Yamaha Team for 2010, and preparing for racing the East Coast SX Lites series, we caught up with Ryan after a day’s practice in Southern California.

  • Ryan Sipes
Racer X: Ryan, let’s begin with your rides at the last four nationals. Did you accomplish what you wanted?
Ryan Sipes:
Yeah, pretty much. I came in expecting to run in the top ten, and that’s what I was able to do.  I think that I probably came back a little early, as I wasn’t able to finish both motos at Unadilla, but the more that I raced the better that I got.  By Southwick I was riding top five most of the time. Working with my trainer Steve Hatch while I had my wrist injury, I had a lot of time to work on my mental game as well as my fitness. I feel that I was stronger in those last four outdoor races than I was in Supercross.

With the way the economy was and the rumors of cutbacks it must have been pretty stressful.
All that stuff was definitely in the back of my mind, but there is no way that you can put all your focus and energy into racing if you are thinking about that stuff! The way that I look at it is, the best that I can do is the best that I can do – and that was what I focused on as I was coming back to racing. Just to go out there and race those guys the best that I could.

And that worked out as you ended up signing with the MotoConcepts Team.
Yeah it did. I had talked to a few different teams, but most didn’t really know what they could do for 2010. Mike [Genova, team owner] at MotoConcepts at least had a planned direction that he wanted to go for next year, and he came through with a solid offer for me. I am very happy with the team, and we have some very good riders signed – Matt Goerke, Dan Reardon, Jeff Alessi and Vince Friese – I think that we will have a great year in 2010.

You are also back working with Team Manager Steve Lamson too.
Yeah, I am very stoked about that! Lammy works really hard for his riders. He’s been there and done it before, so he’s definitely an asset to the team. And with the recent addition of Michael Young, I feel like we will have one of the best managed teams out there.

Will you be racing the 250 class?
I’ll be doing the 250 East Coast series in Supercross, and then riding the 450 outdoors.

I don’t believe that you have ever ridden Yamaha’s before. How are you adapting?
I really like the 2010 Yamaha a lot. As you said, I have never raced a Yamaha before, so I didn’t know what to expect, but with the Enzo suspension the bike handles great and I felt comfortable right away. With C4 doing our engines I definitely see some holeshots in our future! Overall, I am very excited about next year.

  • Could this be Ryan Sipes' time to shine?
Everyone is talking about the all-new YZ450F. Have you ridden one yet?
No, I actually have not ridden one yet, but I hope to in the next couple weeks. Matt Goerke has been on it at the Supercross tracks, and it looks like it works well for him. I think that I’ll like riding a 450 outdoors; I’ve always ridden the bigger bikes better, and I believe that I can do well in that class. I’m ready to make the jump and take the next step in my career.

Many of us feel like you have all the ingredients to contend for a title.
I feel like I do too. I have been working very closely with Steve Hatch and my mental game is stronger than it ever has been. I want to be consistent this next year, get good starts and just make smart decisions. If I do that I will be in the hunt for a title.

What else have you been up too?
No racing, just working on my fitness and my riding. I want to come into the first race ready to win, and that starts now! I did buy a house in Kentucky in September, and that has been going well. I won’t be staying there much over the winter, as I’ll be in Georgia at GPF (Georgia Practice Facility), but it will be nice to come home in the spring.

{LINKS}Thanks for your time Ryan. Any parting thoughts?
First I have to thank God for everything that he gives me; none of this would be possible without him. Then a big thanks to my family for supporting me, MotoConcepts Yamaha Racing, Mike Genova, Steve Lamson, Steve Hatch, FMF, C4, Enzo, my mechanic Scott Adkins, FCA MX, Losi, and all the other people who support me – thank you!

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