Insight: Ryan Sipes

Insight: Ryan Sipes

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For Kentucky native Ryan Sipes 2011 was considered a break through year. He picked up his first career win in Indianpolis, won the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout in Vegas and finished third in the East Region Championship. Big things were expected from the Rockstar Star/Valli rider in 2012. But although he was considered a legitimate title contender entering the 2012 West Region Series Sipes struggled early and often. Then Sipes’ season got even worse when he broke his hand and separated a shoulder testing. Sipes returned in Seattle with little expectations, but rode a brilliant race to capture his first win of 2012.

Jason Weigandt caught up with an elated Sipes after the race to talk about his big night.

Racer X: Where you sure you would be able to race this race when you were first injured?
Ryan Sipes:No. That was the plan the whole time, but the last couple of weeks, I wouldn’t say we were worried, but it was getting to be a tight deadline. I’ve been riding in a lot of pain and going to therapy every day, and just working my butt off. I worked so hard for this, it feels almost as good to win this one as Indy last year.

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After a rough start to the 2012 season, Sipes rebounded with a win in Seattle.
Garth Milan photo

Really?
Yeah! So much work went into getting ready for this. And even today in practice, I felt like a C rider. I didn’t feel good, so to win the main was special.

What did you break?
I broke my hand, and you can see it still looks pretty bad. And I separated my shoulder, it was a grade four, which is bad. Surgery on both. It’s been a lot of work to get back to where I needed to be.

So you weren’t thinking win?
No. My main goal was to get a good start and just ride at the front. Wherever I finished is where I would finish, as long as I rode good I’d be happy. The heat race I didn’t get a great start, because I wheelied. And I was bummed out, because I’ve been doing so many starts at the practice track, and I’ve been perfect on every one. So in the main I just focused on keeping it down a little bit. I didn’t even know who was in second the whole time! I just kept my head down, and raced the track.

Is that hard to do?
Oh yeah. That’s why I feel like I rode a solid race, because I was just in the zone. I didn’t push, I just rode my own race and my own pace. It was pretty cool.

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Sipes will make the move to the 450 for the upcoming Lucas Oil Motocross Championship.
Garth Milan photo

What does this do now?
I guess it shows if you get out front and ride a good race, you can do it, because like I said, I didn’t even push. I just tried to be precise. Because the track was pretty gnarly. Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to win out or anything, but it doesn’t give me some confidence. Because I was pretty far down before this, just with the way the beginning of the year went for me, and then the injuries. My confidence wasn’t there, but I just kept telling myself all day “I can do it, I can do it.”

I hear you’re racing a 450 outdoors.
Yeah, and I’m really excited about that. They gave me a choice of which class to ride, and I wanted to do that.

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