Ivan Tedesco Joins Rockstar Energy Racing KTM

By Antonovich/Kimball

A bombshell was dropped during the 2014 KTM Racing media intro: Davi Millsaps had recently suffered a knee injury while testing, and Ivan Tedesco was added to the team as a precautionary measure. This is extremely bittersweet, as the injury could delay Millsaps debut on the KTM 450 SX-F until after the Supercross season, but gives the veteran Tedesco another chance at racing on the professional circuit. We spoke with both on the details of the situation at the press conference, and here is what we came away with.

Millsaps has a doctor’s appointment on December 3rd, which will give the rider and team more insight on the damage and what options they have. Later in the month, they will decide to either race Supercross or wait for the Nationals and allow the knee to heal.

Davi’s Injury and What Comes Next

The crash occurred on the Supercross track built at Pala Raceway the week prior to Thanksgiving. Millsaps entered a left-hand corner at the end of a long rhythm section when the front-end of the bike washed out and sent him over the handlebars. In the crash, the bike essentially did a front flip, with Millsaps’ left knee (his good knee) pinned beneath. Millsaps has a doctor’s appointment scheduled for today, December 3rd, which will give the rider and team more insight on the damage and what options they have.

There are two scenarios. They could A. ride through the Supercross season with the injury and wait until the Nationals to repair the damage, or B. skip the Supercross series and allow the injury to heal, then attack the Nationals in just over five months. They will make a decision later in the month, when the have a prognosis from the doctor and have weighed both options. Millsaps feels that he can be strong in either series, as his track record both indoors and outdoors is impressive.

Ivan’s Role At Rockstar Energy Racing KTM

There are plenty of loose ends that must be tied up for Ivan Tedesco’s return, such as if he will even get the chance to race if Millsaps is deemed healthy, and if he will be able to use his once permanent number nine. That last detail is unclear, because he did not line up for a round of AMA professional racing in 2013.

Despite not racing one stop of the 2013 AMA schedule, the former 250 National and Supercross champion has been a common sight at tracks around Southern California and appears as quick as ever. Tedesco jumping onto the KTM 450 SX-F will not be the sudden switch that some may think, because he has been aboard a bike for the last few months. “That is the one reason why I have even considered this,” said Tedesco. “I really enjoy riding the bike and with KTM and how much they are supporting the team, the bike is going to be good and not a worry.”

Until the Millsaps and the team have reached a decision on racing at Anaheim, Tedesco will test and develop the bike so that it is ready to race for either rider. Testing a KTM is also not a new role for Tedesco, because he stated that he has spent the last month developing suspension settings for the Red Bull KTM team and Ryan Dungey.

Although the start of the season is only days away, the veteran feels confident that he is the time and experience to prepare. “It’s not like I am jumping on a bike the month before the season and saying, ‘Let’s go racing,’” he continued. “I have some work to do, but I have been helping them out and have some time on Supercross. If I felt like a goon, there is no way that I would be doing this.” A boot camp of sorts will start almost immediately, with focus on getting his fitness levels where they need to be. With things occurring so suddenly, Tedesco intends to ride to the best of his capabilities and has no concrete expectations.

There is a chance that Millsaps could be healthy enough to race at Anaheim, but in the meantime, all testing for the Rockstar Energy Racing KTM 450 SX-F will be on Tedesco. “I’m going to prepare like I am going to race, and if Davi is ready, then the bike will be ready for him,” he said. “But if he is not, I will be ready.”