Sorry ladies, but Red Bull KTM rider Ryan Dungey is officially engaged. We caught up with RD5 and chatted about testing, bike set up, and popping the big question.
You’re back in the United States following the Motocross of Nations and a quick vacation…when does Supercross testing start?
It is off-season and things have slowed down a little bit, and we have gotten a break in the action. As far as testing goes, we’re going to do the Monster Cup this weekend, and right after that we’re just going to get right into testing for 2014. Then we’ll take a little time off, but November and December will be full of riding and preparing. Ideally, we’ll get the bike to where I want it, so I can spend a couple of months on it, just turning in the laps. We’ll have one more testing in early December to confirm the final settings and make sure it’s all good. With all of that coming up, it’s been nice to get a little down time after Lake Elsinore. We did MX of Nations in Germany, then had a little Red Bull race after that, and took a vacation in Europe.
The 2014 KTM 450SX-F isn’t drastically changed from last year. Is that an advantage for you, when it comes to setting up the bike?
Yeah, I think it’s good because you can keep working on the same one and I think every three or four years they come out with a new bike and you have to go through everything again. Right now, it’s nice going into the third year with the same bike because it’s familiar. At times we’ve kind of gotten lost with our bike set up and we’ve come back, but now it’s a nice time to regroup and get a little bit better if we can, and that’s the goal ideally. Every season that I have been a part of, we’ve made progress and I think things change from year to year because you tend to go faster with hopes to get better. When you get stronger, your bike changes up, as well.
Through the years, have your bike setup preferences changes much?
Not a ton, but if anything we’ve gotten stiffer. I think that’s the one thing from the set up but we have to be careful to not go to stiff but that’s about it.
Because then, it doesn’t work in the turns, does it?
(Laughs) No, you get to a point where it starts to lock up and you don’t get that plushness for Supercross or Motocross. But then there’s other things: whether it’s your chassis or linkage…there’s so much that can make the bike work better. Something is always improving or sometimes there is a rider who shines in one area of the track and you have to make that ground up and get better in those areas. So, in the off-season we just try to strengthen all of our weak points.
You just got back from a multi-week trip through Europe, where you proposed to your girlfriend, Lindsey. Was popping the question the most nerve-wracking part of the trip?
(Laughs) I knew I was going to do it in Barcelona all along, but I think for me it was the anticipation of actually proposing that was hard. It was tough because I bought this ring and I couldn’t wait for her to see it. I didn’t hint about it at all, and it was a complete surprise. At the beginning of the dinner…that’s when I started acting weird, but I kind of caught myself. I was just so excited and I didn’t want to give it away. We went to dinner and afterwards we walked around and we went to this harbor area and I did it. I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me, and it was cool because she had just got done telling me how happy she was. Things couldn’t have worked out better for it.
Did you buy the ring here and take it with you? Or did you sneak away in Europe?
Yeah, I bought it in Minnesota. I got it there and then went to Florida with it and then traveled to Germany. It went on like four different flights getting there and I was trying to keep a close eye on my backpack because I didn’t want to lose it! (Laughs)
When’s the big date?
The seasons are so busy during the year that pulling it off then would be impossible. We are shooting for early October in 2014.