Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes: L.A.

January 17, 2012 3:15pm

·   Dodge Motorsport and Hart & Huntington will field three Dodge/Sycaun Casino/Hart & Huntington/Bell-Ray Racing Kawasaki 450s in Saturday night’s event at Los Angeles.  The riders are Ivan Tedesco, Josh Hansen and Kyle Partridge.  Teammate Josh Hill remains sidelined after fracturing his left tibia at the season opener in Anaheim.
·   All three riders advanced to the Main Event last week at Phoenix.  Hansen finished 10th, Tedesco 13th and Partridge 17th.  

·   Dodge Motorsports is entering its second season with the Hart & Huntington Kawasaki team.
·   Dodge Motorsports riders earned one top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 2011.
·   Ivan Tedesco led the Dodge Motorsports/H&H team with seven top-10 finishes in 15 AMA starts in 2011.

·   Josh Hansen will be making his first career start at Dodge Stadium.
·   Ivan Tedesco started seventh and finished 17th at the AMA Supercross event at Dodger Stadium last year.
·   Kyle Partridge is looking to earn his first Los Angeles Main Event start.  He finished sixth in LCQ 1 last year.
·   This will be the second time the gates drop for a Supercross event at Dodge Stadium.
·   CBS will broadcast the Supercross race at 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.

Ivan Tedesco
No. 9 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing
Birthdate: 08/12/1981                                 
Hometown: Albuquerque, N.M.                  Mechanic: Tony Berluti

·   Season best 11th-place finish last weekend at Phoenix.
·   Entering his fifth season in AMA Supercross competition
·   Finished 11th in the 2011 AMA rider standings
·   Best 2011 finish came at Jacksonville, the 11th race of the season, he started sixth and finished sixth

Josh Hansen
No.100 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing
Birthdate: 02/16/1984                                 
Hometown: Simi Valley, Calif.               Mechanic: Kenny Germaine

·   Finished 10th at both Anaheim and Phoenix SX events in 2012  
·   Posted career-best Supercross finish of eight at Phoenix and Anaheim 2 during the 2008 season
·   First year racing with Hart & Huntington/Dodge Motorsports
·   Gold medal winner in Supercross (2008/09) in the ESPN X Games

Kyle Partridge
No. 83 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing
Birthdate: 11/26/1986                                 
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.                      Mechanic: Sean Trihey

·   Made first 2012 Supercross Main Event start last weekend in Phoenix.  He finished 17th.
·   First Supercross start was at Salt Lake City in 2009
·   Career best finish of 13th came at Salt Lake City in 2010

Josh Hill
No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing
Birthdate: 07/30/1989                                 
Hometown: Portland, Ore.                          Mechanic: Shawn Bell

·   Sidelined since breaking left tibia at Round 1 in Anaheim
·   Earned his first win at Minneapolis in 2008
·   In addition to a win, has 15 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes in 46 starts
·   Finished fifth in 2008 Supercross standings

Starts  Main Events   Wins   Top 3s  Top 10s
Hansen                 2               2                 0         0          2
Tedesco                2               2                 0         0          0
Partridge             2               1                 0         0          0
Hill                    1               0                 0         0          0       

JOSH HANSEN (No. 100 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing Kawasaki)  YOU’VE RODE TO TWO TOP-10 FINISHES TO START THE SEASON OFF.  YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LOT OF CONFIDENCE HEADING INTO LOS ANGELES?  “Being in the top 10 is cool considering how stacked the 450 class is this year.  Our Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing Kawasaki has been fast off the truck.  We just need to get around that first corner and get off to a better start in the Main to make things easier on me.  (James) Stewart and I connected last weekend in Phoenix on the first lap and (it) ripped-off my back brake.  I just needed a little bit of a break and I may have a couple top-five finishes.”

HAVE YOU GUYS HAD TO MAKE A LOT OF CHANGES TO THE BIKE AT THE TRACK?  “Not really.  We’ve been fast the first two weeks of the season.  I think that we can be a top-five bike for sure.”

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FAST ON THE TRACK THE FIRST TWO RACES?  “I think it’s more about being really consistent on the seat.  There hasn’t been one area on the course where I’ve been faster than the other.  It’s just my mental attitude and being in great shape.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RISK-REWARD OF PUSHING HARD VERSUS A MORE CONSERVATIVE APPROACH ON THE BIKE? “It’s crazy.  Coming from the back of the pack from 20th to 10th last weekend was awesome.  All those guys that I was passing in the pack are riders that can be in the top five.  They’re all factory riders.  It’s such a deep field that guys are really pressing hard to put together fast laps.  Some guys are running hard and pushing it too hard and crashing.  It’s one of those classes that you really have to play it cool and keep your head together and maintain composure for all 20 laps of a Main.”

KYLE PARTRIDGE (No. 83 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing Kawasaki)  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT HEADING INTO LOS ANGELES THIS WEEKEND?  “I’m excited to get back on the bike for Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.  Everything is good.  I had a pretty good weekend in Phoenix last Saturday.  I just need to get a solid practice and Heat run on our Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Kawasaki and I think I’ll be solid.”

WHAT ARE SOME KEYS FOR YOU HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND?  “The biggest thing for me is to get out of the Heat race and straight into the Main and not have to go through the LCQ.  The first two races of the year the LCQ’s have been pretty stacked so it’s really important to get a good start in the Heat race and transfer into the Main.  I need to really focus on staying on the bike.  I made a couple of mistakes in Phoenix that could have really cost me.  It’s all about making the Main.”

YOU MADE YOUR FIRST MAIN EVENT LAST WEEKEND IN PHOENIX.  HOW’S YOUR CONFIDENCE HEADING INTO LOS ANGELES ON SATURDAY?  “My confidence is good.  I know that my fitness is solid. This is the first time in four years that I’ve been able to say that and be confident in how I feel on the bike.  I ran really good in practice last weekend.  I just need to get a good start on the bike in the Heat race and put myself in position to ride inside the top nine and get a transfer.”

IVAN TEDESCO (No. 9 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/Hart and Huntington/Bel-Ray Racing Kawasaki)  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HEADING INTO ROUND THREE THIS WEEKEND IN LOS ANGELES?  “I feel good heading into the weekend at Los Angeles.  The last two rounds I felt like I’ve rode really well.  I feel like I’m riding better than my results have shown so far.  I’m looking to keep riding like I have been and I’m sure the results will come.”

IT SEEMS LIKE IT’S A DOGFIGHT TO GAIN THE ADVANTAGE COMING OUT OF TURN 1 AFTER THE GATE DROPS.  HOW AGGRESSIVE IT?  “It’s pretty crazy.  The way that they build the tracks these days is simpler than they use to be.  The starts are so critical because everyone is going about the same speed out of the gate.  There is such an importance put on the start of the races that you’re seeing a lot more aggressiveness when the gate drops.  There’s only so much space and everybody is fighting for the same space that it makes it really hairy getting into that first turn.”

DOES THE AGGRESSIVENESS GOING INTO TURN 1 CHANGE YOUR APPROACH TO THE STARTS? “The first twenty-feet out of the gate you pretty much have to get a jump of the guy next to you.  If you get that jump you can control the situation.  If you don’t get that jump you have to slam your way through the pack and see what happens.  You have to anticipate contact.”