By John Basher
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Ryan Hughes crashed in the first moto of the 30+ Pro race this weekend during the World Vet Championship. He soldiered on to a third place, despite losing a lot of blood. He came back to win the second moto and take the overall and his fifth World Vet title. It was proof that it’s not possible to squash Ryno’s competitive spirit.
MINI-VIEW: IVAN TEDESCO
MXA: Why the decision to race the World Vet Championship 30+ Pro class?
Ivan: I’ve been doing some testing for the Pro Circuit guys on the Supercross track at Glen Helen. We were at the track the other day and we started talking about the race. We decided to build a bike and come race.
Were you using Broc Tickle’s KX450F from the Nationals?
It was very similar. It’s a 450 and they did a pretty good bike up for me. I haven’t ridden a 450 in quite a while, and in the first moto I think I got the worst arm pump that I’ve ever had [laughter].
What were your expectations coming into the race?
Obviously my goal is to win the race. In the first moto I got the holeshot and I was riding well, but my arms pumped up and I could barely hold on to the bike. Then with about three laps to go I got a flat tire.
Tedesco (9) made the most use of the Pro Circuit KX450F horsepower by grabbing the holeshot in the first moto.
What’s going on for next season?
I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine. There aren’t too many good rides left. I’ve been talking to some people, but it’s pretty limited. We’ll see what happens over the next couple of months. Hopefully something comes up and I can get on a good team.
Have you been bending Mitch Payton’s ear at all?
I have, but his roster is full. He already has his guys. I can’t ride a small bike indoor. I don’t know what his plans are for the 450. Like I said, hopefully something comes up in the next couple of weeks.
Do you think that you should be allowed to ride Supercross again in the 250 class?
They should make a 30-plus rule! It’s one of those things. If they did change the rule then somebody would be mad about it. That’s the way it goes. I do think that they should keep it the way it is, as a start-up class. If you want to race the big boys then race the 450.
Someone hire this guy!
Why should a team hire you to race for them?
I have the capability of going out and doing really well. I work hard, I’m good at testing, and I know the bike really well. The last three years has been nothing but injuries for me. I still know how to ride a dirt bike and I’m dedicated. It’s just a matter of staying healthy and getting back to where I need to be.
You showed great speed at Hangtown.
Yes, I did well there, but then in the second National at Texas I twisted my knee and that was pretty much my summer.
Would you like to do a full season in 2013?
Yeah, that’s the plan. I had a lot of fun riding the 250 outdoors. I would like to do that again, but next time be a lot more prepared. Before the Nationals started I only had a few weeks on the 250 before Hangtown.
Was there a lot of pressure to do well at the World Vet Championship? It’s a big race among older riders, but it’s not like you’re lining up at a Supercross or National.
It’s pretty low key, but I still put pressure on myself to go out and win. That’s who I am. I always want to win, regardless of the importance of the race.
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A RANDOM QUOTE FROM JEREMY MCGRATH THAT WE’RE NOT USING IN THE UPCOMING ISSUE...
“I remember when Troy Lee was wearing a fuzzy hat back in 1991 when we were on the boat ride to Catalina after the L.A. Coliseum Supercross. Back then I was a little kid. I had just met Troy and Mitch Payton, and I liked them both right away. Mitch can be intimidating at times, but the easiest way to handle Mitch is to stand up for yourself. As soon as you stand up for yourself then you gain that respect.”
WORLD VET CHAMPIONSHIP OUT-TAKES
Honda of Houston had a huge spread at the World Vet race, helping out a bunch of Vet racers throughout the course of the weekend.
If this stuff works for Ryan Hughes, it'll work for you. Not shown in this picture is the Ryno Power "Race with a hole in your arm and still win" powder. Okay, that doesn't actually exist.
Marty Smith was inducted into the Glen Helen Walk of Fame on Sunday. ABC 7 news was on hand to get a few quotes from Marty. Very cool.
Everyone wanted an autograph from Marty Smith, and justly so. The guy is a motocross hero.
Although the racing is serious, many riders had a sense of humor about the weekend's competition. Here, 30+ Pro Kris Keefer makes a stab at his wife for poorly mounting the preprinted number on his 2013 Honda CRF450. Kris, I have news for you. Your wife did a much better job than you did!
Dirt Bike's Mark Tilley raced the 30+ Pro class. He's no stranger to bike test photo shoots, evidenced by dragging the bar and spraying boot roost in this photo. No, he didn't save it.
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MINI-VIEW: DENNIS STAPLETON
MXA: You have riders from all over the world coming to Southern California to visit, train, and become better riders. How did all of this come about?
Dennis: I spent the last few years traveling all over the world. I met a lot of people while traveling, and they always ask me what it’s like to live in California, which is considered the mecca of motocross. There is a lot of interest from people wanting to come to SoCal to ride and be in the nice weather. So I decided to specialize in having interested people come here to ride and train. I teach riding schools, and I also have four brand new bikes that I got through Pro Circuit for people to use. I live in a big house that has spare rooms with bunk beds so that it’s comfortable for those visiting to rest. I’m trying to grow the program, and one day I think it will be a big venture. Right now I’m working on hiring another trainer so that when I’m racing in other countries there will be someone else available to train those riders who come to my facility. We have a full-time live-in mechanic at the house, so the bikes remain in great condition.
What can those interested in your program expect to get out of the experience?
We have very good bikes, and there are eight different motocross tracks that are all very close to the facility. We can ride every single day of the week if you want. I just had a rider from Kuwait stay for a month, and we rode a ton and also went to the Monster Energy Cup. Right now Glenn Aguilar, from the Philippines, is here staying with me. We have food at the house, and we keep the numbers small. If you come to my training school then you will be given a lot of attention. Four is the maximum amount of people that I’ll ever have at once, so you get the maximum amount of attention. This program is designed more towards racing and not just for those who are hobbyists.
You don’t just specialize in pro-level riders, do you?
No, I work with riders of all skill levels. Whether you’re a Vet Beginner or a Pro, we have all the tools to help you improve. I’ve noticed that those who come to my facility also get exposure on websites, which is pretty cool. I like my students to race, so we’ll go to Perris or REM and any other race that we can find.
What’s really cool is that you have this facility, but you also race in other countries and travel everywhere and anywhere to do so. Where are you planning on racing next?
I’ll be going to Dubai next week to train the Kuwait motocross team for the Arabic Championship. That will be pretty exciting. Then I’m going to St. Martens in the Caribbean. That’s more of a fun race, and I’m really looking forward to that. It’s almost like a vacation! After that I’ll go to the Philippines, and I’m working on going to some races in Africa.
Do you ever get nervous traveling?
I’ve never had a problem. I’ve always surrounded myself with good people, and I always research and learn about where I’m going. It’s important to understand the religions, the culture and the food. For me it’s not just about going somewhere to train a rider. It’s about adapting to the rider and finding out the best methods to teach that person. So, obviously, I need to do my homework before I travel so that I’m at my best in order to really help that rider out.
How can someone get in contact with you if they’re interested in attending your camp?
They can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter. I’m on all of the social media sites. I’ll also have a new website up and running on January 1st. You can find that at www.stapomx.com.
Finally, you help MXA out a ton with testing. We just finished the 2013 450 four-stroke shootout. In your opinion what is the best bike out of the group?
Oh man, you’re putting me on the spot! That’s a very tough question. They are all very different bikes. The Honda and Suzuki are the class leaders in cornering ability. The KTM 450SXF and Kawasaki are the kings in the engine department. The Yamaha is unique and extremely durable.
You didn’t pick a bike!
Come on, do I really have to pick out one bike? Well, there are a lot of determining factors. People should look in their area for a discount, as well as the resale value. A lot of times I’m able to ride brand new bikes, and for me I’d choose between the Kawasaki KX450F or Honda CRF450. People seem very interested in the Honda, and there are a lot of new products coming out for that bike, which make it a good bike to test with. And the Kawasaki? It’s a killer bike to get the holeshot on!
WORLD VET CHAMPIONSHIP: THE REALITY OF THE RACE
Doug Dubach is the man! I wouldn't have been smart enough to realize that a decade ago.
Ten years ago I was 21 years old, and not a single bar in Rochester, New York was safe from my shenanigans. I was young, opportunity was at my fingertips, and my mindset was on having a good time instead of planning my future. My, how a decade can add perspective and clarity. Although I still have a great time (riding brand new dirt bikes and traveling all over the world, are you kidding me?!), I’ve begun to realize what’s important. What does this have to do with the World Vet Championship? Everything. I qualify as a veteran racer now, which by motocross standards means that I’m past my prime. In another word, I’m old.
Yet I don’t see my plus-30-year-old compatriots as old. Most have gray hair and more wrinkles than a bunched up silk shirt that has dried in the sun, but they all act younger than their age lets on. Take Doug Dubach, for example. He’s older than the hills, but he convincingly won his 20th World Vet Championship. I’d almost wager a bet that he could still finish inside the top 20 at a National. Then there’s the animal, Ryan Hughes, 39 years old, who bested Travis Preston (now retired from Pro racing) and Ivan Tedesco (not retired) to win the 30+ Pro class. This, of course, with a huge gash in his arm. Ryno power, indeed.
Hughes said it best on the podium that Vet racers are the reason why the sport of motocross is healthy. Who’s going to argue with that statement? Not me. The turnout for the race was big, and almost all of the riders were on new equipment. Vet riders are spending money, which equates to manufacturers keeping the assembly lines rolling, Pro riders getting the opportunity to race, and for me to have a job at MXA. For that I thank them.
FLY RACING PAYS TRIBUTE TO RYAN CLARK