250 Words: Kyle Peters Interview

250 Words Kyle Peters Interview

December 15, 2011 3:20pm
After taking home the 2011 250 A title over longtime amateur rival Justin Bogle at Loretta Lynn’s, Kyle Peters was ready to take his talents to the big leagues. The North Carolina native was set to make his pro debut with Star Racing, alongside Bogle, at Unadilla. But in the weeks leading up to the race, it was revealed that he had suffered an injury to his T-10 vertebra. After missing Unadilla and the following round at Southwick, Peters was healthy enough to make his debut at Steel City. The injury proved to be a bigger setback than first thought, though, and he was unable to show his full potential at the final two nationals. Now fully recovered, Peters is ready to show what he’s capable of.

Racer X: You were coming off a big [250 A] win at Loretta’s going into outdoors, but you suffered a setback with the T-10 vertebra injury. Do you think you were 100 percent at the last two rounds? And do you feel that you were able to show your true potential?
Kyle Peters: Looking back now, I definitely wasn’t prepared at all for the last two nationals. I wish I wouldn’t have raced them ... almost. I didn’t get to show my speed. I didn’t really get to show anything. I guess it helped me with my experience and everything, so I think it was good to do them.

Do you think you’ll have a better understanding of what lies ahead for next year by doing the two nationals?
Yeah, it definitely helped me out with being on the starting gate with all those guys, just pretty much being there. It definitely helped out a lot.

What are you doing to prepare yourself, both physically and mentally, for the “big stage.”
I’ve always been good with my head game. Right after Pala I took a week off and just relaxed for a little bit and then jumped right back into to supercross. I headed out to Cali and started testing and putting in lap after lap and getting more and more comfortable every day.

Peters took home the 250 A title over Justin Bogle at Loretta's.
Photo: Garth Milan

You’re on a team with a strong veteran presence—guys like Kyle Cunningham and Ryan Sipes. How have they helped you make the transition to the pro ranks?
It has helped me out so much. Just being there and riding with those guys and seeing how they do things, there’s nothing like it. They’re really great guys, and they’re really supportive of me, seeing that I’m the rookie on the team.

Sometimes when riders make the move out to California they go down the wrong path. I know you recently made the transition from North Carolina out to Cali. How has the transition been?
Yeah, it’s a huge change, but I love it. Being out here is really cool. The weather is always great. There are always a bunch of different tracks to ride, which has been awesome. I also have a lot of people out here helping with my training and diet, so everything has been really good so far.

You and Justin Bogle headlined the A class this past season. How was it having someone like Bogle pushing you to be better?
Every time we were on the track together it was give and take. Every time we were on the track, we both gave it everything we had, and you had to if you wanted to win or be on the podium. That last year in the A class there was some really good competition. It definitely helps out coming into the pro ranks to have someone like that pushes you.

Star Racing is expecting big things from Peters in his rookie season.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

You dealt with injuries during the last two nationals last year, so you were unable to really show what you are capable of. Where do you see yourself fitting in next year?
I’ve been feeling really good at the test track and my times are where they need to be, so I’m definitely expecting some top-fives and hopefully some podiums. I know it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to take a good start, but I really feel like I can run in the top five.

It has to feel comforting to be with a strong team like Star, which has a history of picking up rookies and really enhancing their productivity.
It’s great. The team is great—all the guys, Bobby, all the managers. I can’t thank those guys enough. The bikes have proven themselves and [shown] that they’re capable of winning. That’s definitely a big part of it—the bike being good and being competitive with the other teams. We have an amazing bike this year and I think we can get some wins on it.

You also rode for them in your last year as an amateur. That has to make the transition to the pro ranks easier for you, seeing as you’re familiar with the team.
I came out here two times before in my last amateur year, but this is the big step. Being able to hang out with these guys and ride with them every day has been great.