TEAM TEDDER IS HIRING FOR 2020 SX SEASON read the Racer X Online website post time stamped November 22, 2019 2:00 p.m. That very same day a close friend of mine—and one quite close to the Team Tedder/Monster Energy/Lucas Oil/KTM Racing program—informed me that KTM had taken an even stronger interest in the team. Moves were taking place to take the team to another level in 2020. Out of action for most of 2019 due to a nagging wrist injury that has been haunting team rider Dakota Tedder for nearly a year, the Team Tedder enterprise has been somewhat off the radar. However, that’s all about to change pretty radically as we found out when we spoke with Matt Tedder, the team’s owner and operator.
Racer X: Matt, we’ve been hearing some rumors about Team Tedder and the fast approaching 2020 season and wanted to track you down to hear just what’s up.
Matt Tedder: Yes, so what we have right now is that it looks like we have signed Martin Davalos, and our support from KTM is also growing.
That’s great news.
Yeah, we were with Kawasaki for quite a long time and then KTM really had an interest in the family aspect of what we have done and what we are doing. At one time Kawasaki told us, well, the statement was that we sold more motorcycles than Ryan Villopoto one year. I guess they have these ride-ins where people ride dirt bikes and they send you a questionnaire and a lot of people wrote in and said, “Hey, I bought my dirt bike because I saw this family and they were all on Kawasaki bikes…” That was kind of cool to hear about.
Yeah, we have a great time with it, you know? Shoot, we’ve had every colored dirt bike that you could imagine. I had a Honda once and we have had Yamahas and Suzukis. A while back I was standing around at one of the races at Mammoth Mountain and Craig Martin of Kawasaki Team Green was standing next to me in line and signing up and he asked me what team I was with. I had five kids there as well as myself racing in three or four classes, and I had to giggle and say Team Tedder. From that day on we just kind of talked and next thing I knew he said, “How would you like to ride Kawasakis?” And so off it kind of went. We had a good time with it.
And now it’s grown to the point to where you have the veteran Martin Davalos racing for your team in 2020. That snuck up on me a little bit. Is KTM behind the Davalos moves as well?
Yeah, they are. We were looking at Martin, Benny Bloss, and Joey Savatgy. Roger pretty much made the decision that it was going to be Martin. He came out and rode on the KTM test track, and it went very well. We’re really, really fortunate that we have full-factory bikes—the very same things [Marvin] Musquin and [Cooper] Webb are riding. Roger told me that there are only X amount of riders on these factory bikes. They’ve got a few people in Europe. They’ve got Musquin and Webb and they’ve got Blake [Baggett] and Justin Bogle with the Butler Brothers [now officially the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS] team. We have access to everything and to anybody who comes up with a better setting. We have all that. They had the whole crew out there when Martin came. I have to tell you, he was really turning heads. He was blitzing the whoops faster. He’s not really known for his whoop speed, but still, he was really going fast. So they did a few changes and on it went.
You know that’s one good thing about being with KTM: They ask what the rider wants and they just give it to you. And it’s not just the maps. If a rider needs more bottom end, they won’t just look at the electronics—they will actually go in and change the bore and stroke and give you exactly what you need. They were that way with Dakota. I don’t know if you saw him, but Dakota did really, really well when he got on the KTM. (Editor's note: Dakota Tedder raced a KTM 450 SX-F FE during the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season). He wants to get back there to where he left off. He felt pretty comfortable in that he could get into the main events, but he really wanted to move up to being a regular guy in the top 15. That’s where we’re headed. And I’m positive that I want to continue on with racing past just Dakota’s career.
From what I have heard it appears Team Tedder is going into 2020 heavily armed. The team has a strong group of sponsorship partners.
We do. We just have a great team of people. It’s really easy for us to prepare and to put a great show on. At my corporate office in Montclair, California, we’re on seven acres. I have my own auto department. We’re up to 425 employees now.
What is the crux of your business?
We light up cities. So we do high voltage distribution. We work on power plants and we design and we install and we maintain. We light up cities and big customers like Disneyland and oil refineries. We’re really high voltage. That is what you would say we do. We have an auto department. We have an IT department. I have teams of people that help support the construction part of our company. We have a lot of equipment, so we have full-time in-house mechanics. We have mechanics with on-the-road repair equipment. For us to have a first class race team, it’s just easy. We just really have a good time with it. Any of the bigger guys that would come ride for us, they always did a lot better because there’s not a lot of pressure, there’s just 100-percent support. We’re a family company. We’re a family race team. It’s not all about results. It really is about the experience in the racing and the competition. We just love it. We enjoy it.
What’s the expectation for Team Tedder heading towards and into 2020?
Well, we think Martin is certainly capable of a podium finish. I want to carry on into the future years and to get a closer relationship with KTM and always have two 450 riders and have a first-class situation. You know, the best bikes, the best platform for these guys where there is no pressure.
Hey, before we go, any plans in competing in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship next summer?
We really don’t know if we’re going to do motocross at this time because we don’t know if Martin is up to it. He’s kind at the point of his career where he’s not sure. Dakota is chomping at the bit. He’s been dying because he couldn’t race outdoors on the KTM. Dakota had his last wrist surgery ten days ago and he’s ready to get going. He wanted the wrist to be fixed and correct. So Dakota is up and rolling and we’re looking forward to the whole season. I don’t know if we’ll add another rider when motocross comes around. Who knows? Maybe Martin will change his mind. And if Dakota is better, we’re hoping to go motocross racing.
I would really want to thank KTM and to also thank Monster Energy. It’s something I told those guys before: I could just never repay them. The experience that those kids had being connected to Monster their whole racing lives has been fantastic.
I can also tell you guys about our Military and Athletes to Interns Foundation. It’s a foundation I have created that helps veterans of the military and high level athletic competition to find employment after their careers ends. This also includes retiring supercross athletes. This foundation is a network to connect these young men and women with companies who appreciate the hard work, dedication and teamwork these individuals have achieved. There is no cost to companies, no cost to these kids, it is just a link to company employment websites, and from this website, hopefully mutually beneficial and satisfying careers are awaiting.