We headed out to Milestone MX Ranch today to do a bit of riding and noticed Austin Politelli ripping up the main track, so we headed over to see how the California kid has been doing after wrapping up the Canadian MX2 Championship.
By: Casey Davis
So, to start off, you won the Canadian MX2 Championship. What is the ultimate feeling of winning your first professional championship?
It feels awesome! I have a couple amateur championships, but to get a professional title by staying consistent throughout the long season like I did feels incredible.
Would you consider the traveling, racing and the overall series a true learning experience for next year?
Absolutely. I wasn’t able to get a ride down here for outdoors, so when I was offered the ride up in Canada, I jumped at the opportunity. It was a lot of fun for me and the whole team at Monster Energy/Leading Edge/Kawasaki was great. So, yes, It was a huge learning experience for me in preparation for next year because I plan to do outdoors in the U.S. It was also a huge help in getting used to the traveling, doing my best to stay healthy and getting in proper training.
Were you spending a lot of time up in Canada testing and practicing? Or were you up there just strictly for racing?
I went up there before the opening round for about four days to get in some testing with Graham and Frenchie and basically the whole team just to work on a few things because I haven’t ridden a Kawasaki in about two years. But since then, all of my training and testing has been down here in the states. So, after the races I fly home and occasionally do a bit of testing with Graham.
Being that you spent a bit of time up in Canada, has “aye” made it’s way into your vocabulary at all?
(Laughs) I think I was already saying it just messing around, kind of being an idiot. Yeah, I do say it from time to time, but just playing around. I wasn’t up there THAT long (laughs).
How was the experience of finally racing an entire series professionally?
It’s great! In 2012 I did a few rounds of the East Coast Supercross series and this year I raced the West Coast Supercross series then headed up to Canada. It was great to race every weekend and know how long motos feel, so, yeah it was a great learning experience and I had a ton of fun because it was so laid back.
Now that the series is over, are you going to try to do Supercross? Or did you sign some type of extended contract with Leading Edge/Kawasaki?
No, I will be racing Supercross in the states for next year. I plan on doing the West Coast rounds of SX and the whole outdoor series, so hopefully I can get a ride before it all starts. Canada was great, but I really want to make a name for myself here. I had a decent Supercross season this year, so I want to better myself for next year by staying in the top five consistently. I had a fourth in San Diego and a sixth in Seattle, so I plan to continue from those finishes.
So, you were flying to every race?
Did the traveling ever affect your racing?
It started off no problem because the first rounds were on the West Coast, so basically they were right above Washington and the flights were only about an hour and a half. When we started making our way to the East Coast rounds, those flights were a bit tougher because they were about five hours or so on top of being in airports all day and sometimes flights got cancelled, too. One of the rounds we were flying to, we were stuck on the plane for five hours because of some mechanical problems. But, it was a good thing to experience just because those types of things will undoubtedly happen again.
Towards the end of the series you got Strep Throat. Did that have any affect on your practicing, training or racing?
Yes, definitely. It was the third to last round when it started, probably due to a lack of rest and my hectic schedule. I wasn’t able to ride during the week leading up to that round and when it came time to race, I was really struggling. I had a 35 point lead before the race and when the race was over I had a five point lead, so things definitely got a little too close.
Also, you injured your leg in practice of the last round, which nearly hindered your ability to clinch the championship. Knowing that you came so close to losing the points lead in the championship, What was that feeling like?
Yeah, it was really scary. I stayed fairly healthy throughout the series and then the final round, second practice, I just tipped over in a corner and the bars hit me on the knee. No huge crash or anything like that, just a dumb little mistake messed messed up my knee. I was just thinking, “Are you serious? The last round!” I had a ten point lead or so coming into the final round, nothing huge, so in order to clinch the championship I just needed to win the first moto, so I toughed it out and got it done. The whole moto I was just on the defense blocking people, but I persevered and won the Canadian MX2 Championship!