Stoppin’ In: Ivan Tedesco
Hot Sauce goes outdoor racing on a 250.
Stoppin’ In: Ivan Tedesco
Story and photos by Shan Moore
Ivan Tedesco seems to have gone full circle by signing with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki to ride a 250 in the AMA 250 Pro Motocross Championship, the same team that backed him en route to an outdoor 250 title back in 2005.
After spending much of last year recovering from injuries, the 30-year-old New Mexico native contested this year’s Supercross series on the Dodge Motorsports Hart & Huntington Team, but since the team was “Supercross-only”, Tedesco had to go looking for a ride when outdoor season came around. That’s when Mitch Payton stepped up and hired Tedesco to fill out his 250 team.
How long has it been since you raced a 250?
It’s been seven years; 2005 was the last time I raced one.
How does it feel to be back on a 250?
I’ve been on the bike for about two weeks now, and I’ve ridden it 10 or 11 times and it’s starting to feel more and more like my bike every time I ride it. The bike is awesome; it’s fun to ride. I’ve got some work to do but I’m working on it.
Did you have to change the way you ride the bike coming from a 450?
Yes, completely. You gotta kind of hang it out, but at the same time you can’t bury it in the corners because you don’t have the power to pull it out. I’m still trying to figure it out, I’m still burying it and doing a few things wrong, but I’m gonna keep working on it and see where we get.
You’ve struggled with injuries the last couple of years. Has that been frustrating for you?
Yes, it’s been real frustrating. The last three years have been horrible. I haven’t made it through the last three years without an injury. I had a couple of bad ones during that period, with my ACL and hip, and then my lungs and ribs in 2010. I’ve had a lot going on the last couple of years, but this is still what I love to do and I’m having fun with it.
How does it feel to be back with Mitch?
Great. This deal we have with Mitch is cool, I definitely wanted to race this summer and what better guy to be riding for than Mitch.
You had some good outdoor finishes in 2009, which I believe was the last year you raced outdoors.
Yes, that was the last time I raced outdoors and I had some wins and I had a good year. I didn’t start it out very good though. I knocked myself out at Hangtown and started out in a hole. Had it not been for that I might have been in the title hunt with Reed, but that’s looking backwards. But it’s been a couple of years, but this year Hangtown went pretty good for me, and hopefully I can have a good year.
Do you feel like you’re more of a Supercross guy than a motocross guy?
I don’t know. For sure, at the beginning of my career, for sure, I was better at Supercross. But I learned to ride outdoors over the years and I won an outdoor title, which I didn’t think I would ever do. I feel comfortable on both, it’s just a matter of getting everything in order. In this sport you have to have all the pieces, you can’t be missing a part of the puzzle, and that’s what I’m working on now is to try to get all the pieces so I can maybe win one of these things.
You’re 30 years old. Is that a factor?
I don’t think so. I feel like I’m getting better with age, so you have to constantly evolve. Like these kids coming in, they are bringing new techniques and you have to learn them to keep up. I’m trying, I still work hard and I still enjoy it.
Is this just a steppingstone back to 450s?
Yeah, I felt like I needed to race this summer to get myself back to where I want to be for next year’s Supercross, and Mitch gave me a chance. I’ve had so many injuries and setbacks over the years that I felt I needed to ride. I still want to do this and I feel I still have something to offer, so I think this is going to be a good thing.
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