HOT’N’HANY

Josh Hansen Has A Sit Down With His Friend And Colleague, Ivan Tedesco

Ivan Tedesco may not have been a household name to all 45,000+ motocross fanatics present when the gate dropped at Edison International Field for the first 125cc West Coast main event of the 2004 series, but we’re quite sure that 15 laps and 15:52 minutes later, he was. Beating one of the most elite 125cc Supercross fields in the sport’s history, “Hot Sauce” left Anaheim 1 as a heavy favorite to win the 2004 title. Almost exactly four months and seven of eight wins later, IT rolled into the Las Vegas finale with a fat number one on his Pro Circuit KX250F. With high expectations and the pressure of facing East Coast champ James Stewart head to head for the first time on his shoulders, Ivan didn’t perform up to his standards, and left Vegas with even more to prove. We’re not sure about you, but we think that spells big trouble for his 2005 125cc West Coast challengers. Yep, Hot Sauce will be back to defend his title in ’05, and you can count on seeing that big number one on his plates.To catch up with Ivan and get the lowdown on his summer, his ’04 season, and his plans for ’05 and beyond, we decided to try something a little different. Rather than the same, potentially drab old interview, we recruited one of motocross’s goofiest personalities and one of Ivan’s close friends, Josh Hansen, to conduct our interview. The result was priceless to those in the room on the day of the interview, and we tried our damndest to convey the brilliant hilarity of those 20 minutes onto paper for you, the reader. Enjoy!

(Hansen) Okay, we’re here with Ivan Tedesco, and uh… Ivan, how do you feel about the new 2005 Supercross series that’s coming up?

(Tedesco) I feel really good, Josh. You know, I’ve been training really hard and working hard to keep that number one. Everyone says that it’s harder to keep than it was to get, so I am working extra hard right now.

(Hansen) That’s great, Ivan. You do look like you’ve got the eye of the tiger these days…

(Tedesco) (Laughs) Yeah, I am a very determined person, but you already know that, since you hang out with me almost every day. But yeah, I guess you could say I’ve got the eye of the tiger.

(Hansen) Not to bring back bad memories or anything, but what happened at the Vegas shootout last year? Was there a yeast infection involved?

(Tedesco) Well, you know I… (Starts laughing)… (Pause)…

(Hansen) Come on now… Get after it!

(Tedesco) Sorry, Josh. Yeah, heading into Vegas there was a lot of hype with Bubba and all that. They asked me almost every weekend if I thought I could beat Bubba, so going into that race I had a lot of pressure on me to try and beat him, especially because it was his last 125cc Supercross race. I won my heat race and felt pretty good heading into the main, but I can’t really explain what happened. I just choked, I guess.

(Hansen) Yeast infection will do, Ivan. Thatwould be about the same thing, right?

(Tedesco) (Laughs) Yeah, it sunk in about lap 10 of the main.

(Hansen) Was that phat number one plate weighing a bit heavier than the 29 did all series?

(Tedesco) I don’t know. You know, everyone says that, but I don’t think it really bothered me. I think it was just the pressure that got to me.

(Hansen) Do you plan on running the number one plate in 2005?

(Tedesco) Yeah, actually, I am going to run it, Josh. I think it looks good on the bike, and I hope to get it again.

(Hansen) I like that.

(Hansen) If Bubba wasn’t a part of the equation, how did you think the two coasts matched up last year?

(Tedesco) I think the results spoke for themselves. The West Coast pretty much handled Vegas, and uh… I don’t know… You rode both coasts, so you should be able to…

(Hansen’s cell phone starts ringing (“Gin and Juice”)…)

(Hansen) Excuse me one second…

(Two minutes pass)

(Hansen) Sorry about that, Ivan.

(Tedesco) Noroblem, Josh.

(Hansen) Where were we? …Right! Since the permanent numbering system was established we haven’t seen too much of the number one. Why do you think that is and why have you decided to run it?

(Tedesco) I am running it just to keep it real. I actually saw Chad (Reed) out riding today and I asked him if he was going to run it and he said no. I don’t really understand why recent champions haven’t, but they say they’ve got their reasons. I am going to run it, though. I worked really hard to get that thing.

(Hansen) Do you feel more pressure heading into Anaheim 1 this coming season, knowing that all eyes are on you?(Tedesco) No, I don’t at all. Heading into last season I didn’t know what to expect, and I don’t think I was really even considered to win the championship. I put a lot of pressure on myself to win that, though. I wanted it really bad! I am the same way this year too, but now I’ve got a lot more confidence, so I am really looking forward to it. I don’t think there’s any more pressure, though.

(Hansen) Yeah, yeah, yeah… So, um… So your Kawasaki machine… Mr. Kawasaki must be really proud of you and your title.

(Tedesco) (Laughs) Yeah, all the guys at Kawi are pretty pumped…

(Hansen) But how about Mr. Kawasaki?

(Tedesco) I don’t know if there is a Mr. Kawasaki, but if there is, I am sure he’s pumped, too (laughs).

(Tedesco) How about Mr. KTM, Josh? Is he excited to have you on the team this year?

(Hansen) Well, I haven’t done anything yet, but I bet he’s pretty pumped.

(Hansen) Let’s get back to you, though, Ivan. Will your bike setup change much for ’05, or are you guys pretty confident with what you have?

(Tedesco) Right now we’re just sticking with what we’ve got. I ride for Mitch, and…

(Hansen) Mitch Payton?

(Tedesco) Yeah, Mitch Payton. We test pretty much every day, so I am sure our bike will be better by the time Anaheim rolls around.

(Hansen) I hear that you’re getting married pretty soon to your soon-to-be-wife, Teresa. Can we expect any beaners comin’ on the way?

(Tedesco) (Laughs) Yeah, all of the boys from New Mexico are coming down-my brother and all my family, so it should be nice. You’ll be in the wedding, so you’ll see first hand.

(Hansen) Kids?!? Any kids coming?

(Tedesco) No, no plans for kids for a while.

(Hansen) Because you know, Ivan, since I am with KTM now, maybe I can hook it up for your kids to run some KTM Jr. Supercrosses.

(Tedesco) (Laughs)…

(Hansen) Anyway… Are you worried about pointing out of the 125cc class in ’05, or are you just going to go for the championship? Or… has it ever crossed your mind to just do the Pingree thing and run the 125cc class for your entire career?

(Tedesco) (Laughs) Wow, that’s a big statement, Josh…but yeah, my goal’s to move up to the 250cc class one day. That’s always been my goal. I want to win a title in the premier class.

(Hansen) That one was for you, Pingree, for always throwing me under the bus in your interviews. So ah… Right back atcha, bud.

(Everybody laughs)

(Hansen) What is the biggest difference your championship has made in your personal life? Has it made you more like the man of the house?

(Tedesco) (Laughs) I don’t know about that, but it’s definitely been good to me. I’ve been more popular with the fans since I won, which is cool…well, you know all about that. You won a Supercross, right?

(Hansen) Yeah, yeah, yeah…

(Tedesco) Seriously though, it’s been really good. I got myself a house and everything, so I am stoked.

(Hansen) After being so dominant in Supercross, did the adversity you faced outdoors make for a long, crappy summer?

(Tedesco) (Laughs) Yeah, the summer was kind of a bummer for me. I had some good races, but I had some pretty crappy ones, too. Towards the end I was actually over outdoors. I was having problems almost every weekend, so I am ready for Anaheim, that’s for sure!

(Hansen) I’ll have to agree with you on that one, bud.

(Josh reaches out to bang knuckles with Ivan)

(Hansen) I kind of felt the same thing.

(Tedesco) Yeah you did! Why don’t you tell us about your outdoor season, bud (laughs)?

(Hansen) My outdoor series… Well, I went out for the first practice session and decided that I was over it. I was ready for Supercross again. Since Sacramento I’ve been dreaming of Anaheim 1 (laughs).

(Hansen) Back to it, bud… You had a few mechanical DNFs outdoors. Is that something that stays on your mind heading back into Supercross, or is your Supercross bike a whole different animal?

(Tedesco) It must be. We didn’t have any problems last year in Supercross. In outdoors we had a heat problem for a while, but we finally got that fixed. After that, things were good. In Supercross I don’t think we’re as hard on the bikes, and like I said, we didn’t have problems last year, so we should be good to go.

(Hansen) (Mumbling the next question from his notes)… (Mumbling)… (Still mumbling)…

(Tedesco) What are you doing, dude? Just read it out loud and I’ll answer it.

(Hansen) Right… Sorry, bud… So, you’ve told me before that you prefer riding Supercross over motocross. Why is that, and why do you think there are so many more Supercross specialists than in the past?

(Tedesco) Yeah, there are, for sure. I grew up racing more Supercross-style stuff, so I tend to like it better. I used to go out jumping in the hills when I was younger while all the guys I would race against were out riding outdoors, so I am sure that’s played a part. I grew up racing those arenacrosses up in Colorado… You and me, bud… The SRAC… So I think that definitely helped me out with my Supercross skills, and we always had a Supercross track in Albuquerque, so that’s just more my background. I think the younger riders just have more Supercross-style tracks around to ride nowadays.

(Hansen) Have you been keeping an eye on those who plan to step up to you on the West Coast in ’05?

(Tedesco) No, I don’t really know who’s riding which coast. I’ll be ready to go either way, though, so we’ll see…

(Hansen) So there isn’t really a main guy who you think will be your main competition?

(Tedesco) I don’t know, what coast are you riding?

(Hansen) East Coast.

(Tedesco) (Laughs)… Then no.

(Hansen) Do you plan on jumping up to the 250cc class for any of the East Coast rounds?

(Tedesco) No, I don’t think so. I think I am just going to do what I did last year and concentrate on the 125cc class, and then move up to the 250cc class full time in ’06. You know, just do it right and move up when I am ready and have had the testing under my belt.

(Hansen) What do you expect to…

(Josh lets loose a huge fart)

(A solid minute of laughter)…

(Hansen) Sorry, bud. What do you expect to see in the 250cc class in ’05 with all of the talent that’s scheduled to compete?

(Tedesco) (Still laughing)… Yeah, I think definitely Chad and Ricky will be up there. They both looked good at the US Open, so both of them. And then Bubba, of course. I haven’t actually seen him ride a 250 yet because he’s been back in Florida, but I hear he’s really fast at the test track. And then you, Josh Hansen, on the West Coast…

(Hansen) Yeah, yeah, yeah…

(Tedesco) I think we’ll see some great racing, though.

(Hansen) What do you think is the main difference in you when you compare who you were back in the YoT days versus now with Mitch at Pro Circuit?

(Tedesco) Troy was a good team and I was happy while I was there, but I think Pro Circuit’s helped a bunch. Mitch is a determined guy and he loves to win. My bike was really good this year, and I worked really hard and improved my attitude and mental toughness. The team did a great job too, and everything just seemed to click.

(Hansen) Some riders respond well to Mitch’s high-pressure environment, but some don’t and they ride like crap. What made you respond so well?

(Tedesco) Mitch and I get along really welud.

(Josh reaches out to bang knuckles with Ivan)

(Hansen) I kind of felt the same thing.

(Tedesco) Yeah you did! Why don’t you tell us about your outdoor season, bud (laughs)?

(Hansen) My outdoor series… Well, I went out for the first practice session and decided that I was over it. I was ready for Supercross again. Since Sacramento I’ve been dreaming of Anaheim 1 (laughs).

(Hansen) Back to it, bud… You had a few mechanical DNFs outdoors. Is that something that stays on your mind heading back into Supercross, or is your Supercross bike a whole different animal?

(Tedesco) It must be. We didn’t have any problems last year in Supercross. In outdoors we had a heat problem for a while, but we finally got that fixed. After that, things were good. In Supercross I don’t think we’re as hard on the bikes, and like I said, we didn’t have problems last year, so we should be good to go.

(Hansen) (Mumbling the next question from his notes)… (Mumbling)… (Still mumbling)…

(Tedesco) What are you doing, dude? Just read it out loud and I’ll answer it.

(Hansen) Right… Sorry, bud… So, you’ve told me before that you prefer riding Supercross over motocross. Why is that, and why do you think there are so many more Supercross specialists than in the past?

(Tedesco) Yeah, there are, for sure. I grew up racing more Supercross-style stuff, so I tend to like it better. I used to go out jumping in the hills when I was younger while all the guys I would race against were out riding outdoors, so I am sure that’s played a part. I grew up racing those arenacrosses up in Colorado… You and me, bud… The SRAC… So I think that definitely helped me out with my Supercross skills, and we always had a Supercross track in Albuquerque, so that’s just more my background. I think the younger riders just have more Supercross-style tracks around to ride nowadays.

(Hansen) Have you been keeping an eye on those who plan to step up to you on the West Coast in ’05?

(Tedesco) No, I don’t really know who’s riding which coast. I’ll be ready to go either way, though, so we’ll see…

(Hansen) So there isn’t really a main guy who you think will be your main competition?

(Tedesco) I don’t know, what coast are you riding?

(Hansen) East Coast.

(Tedesco) (Laughs)… Then no.

(Hansen) Do you plan on jumping up to the 250cc class for any of the East Coast rounds?

(Tedesco) No, I don’t think so. I think I am just going to do what I did last year and concentrate on the 125cc class, and then move up to the 250cc class full time in ’06. You know, just do it right and move up when I am ready and have had the testing under my belt.

(Hansen) What do you expect to…

(Josh lets loose a huge fart)

(A solid minute of laughter)…

(Hansen) Sorry, bud. What do you expect to see in the 250cc class in ’05 with all of the talent that’s scheduled to compete?

(Tedesco) (Still laughing)… Yeah, I think definitely Chad and Ricky will be up there. They both looked good at the US Open, so both of them. And then Bubba, of course. I haven’t actually seen him ride a 250 yet because he’s been back in Florida, but I hear he’s really fast at the test track. And then you, Josh Hansen, on the West Coast…

(Hansen) Yeah, yeah, yeah…

(Tedesco) I think we’ll see some great racing, though.

(Hansen) What do you think is the main difference in you when you compare who you were back in the YoT days versus now with Mitch at Pro Circuit?

(Tedesco) Troy was a good team and I was happy while I was there, but I think Pro Circuit’s helped a bunch. Mitch is a determined guy and he loves to win. My bike was really good this year, and I worked really hard and improved my attitude and mental toughness. The team did a great job too, and everything just seemed to click.

(Hansen) Some riders respond well to Mitch’s high-pressure environment, but some don’t and they ride like crap. What made you respond so well?

(Tedesco) Mitch and I get along really well. He’s never yelled at me or been mad at me…well… I am sure he’s been mad at me, but he’s never yelled at me like he has some of the other riders, and we get along really well. I think he’s happy as long as I am winning races.

(Hansen) Has Mitch lightened up at all now that you’ve got a title?

(Tedesco) Yeah, for sure… I think once you’ve won a championship with Mitch you gain some respect from him. He knows I work hard and he respects that, and I respect all of the hard work that he puts into the bikes, so things are good.

(Hansen) Do you have any superstitions?

(Tedesco) I have one…

(Hansen) Would you like to talk about it?

(Tedesco) (Laughs) When I put my gear on I put everything on the left side first. I am not sure why, but I’ve done that since I was about ten years old. That’s probably about it. I am not a very superstitious guy like you.

(Hansen) Superstitious… What do you mean? What are you trying to say?

(Tedesco) You’re psycho, bud! (Laughs)…

(Hansen) Wow! That was big. That was a big wow!

(Hansen) Okay… Um… Are you a better 125cc rider, or 250cc rider?

(Tedesco) Ah… I am good at riding a 250 in the 125cc class.

(Tedesco) How about you, bud? What are you?

(Hansen) I don’t really know. I though I was a 250 guy before I got shown up in Vegas (US Open), so I’ll have to say 125 (laughs).

(Hansen) So anyway, back to you, Ivan Tedesco… Where do you hope to be in ’06?

(Tedesco) I hope to be in the 250cc class with a good factory ride-hopefully winning races.

(Hansen) What would you be doing right now if you weren’t a professional motocross racer?

(Tedesco) Hmm… I don’t know…

(Hansen) Taco Bell, bud? Do you make good Gorditas? Tedesco Gorditas…

(Tedesco) I grew up kind of in the ghetto of Albuquerque…

(Hansen) Yeah, you once told me that you hung out with a gang when you were a little kid. Is that right?

(Tedesco) Yeah, I hung out with a gang when I was little, and started getting into that bad scene, but I finally got home school once I started traveling a lot, and that helped get me out of that crowd. To be honest, if I didn’t keep racing I’d probably be in jail right now.

(Hansen) Well, I am glad you’re not.

(Tedesco) Me too, bud.

2004 At A Glance…

Edison International Field-Anaheim, CA 1st Place (+2.909 seconds)

Bank One Ballpark-Phoenix, AZ1st Place (+8.231 seconds)

Edison International Field-Anaheim, CA1st Place (+1.632 seconds)

Qualcomm Stadium-San Diego, CA1st Place (+4.141 seconds)

Edison International Field-Anaheim, CA1st Place (+1.883 seconds)

SBC Park-San Francisco, CA2nd Place (-1.455 seconds)

Texas Stadium-Irving, TX 1st Place (+4.479 seconds)

Rice-Eccles Stadium-Salt Lake City, UT1st Place (+7.557 seconds)

well. He’s never yelled at me or been mad at me…well… I am sure he’s been mad at me, but he’s never yelled at me like he has some of the other riders, and we get along really well. I think he’s happy as long as I am winning races.

(Hansen) Has Mitch lightened up at all now that you’ve got a title?

(Tedesco) Yeah, for sure… I think once you’ve won a championship with Mitch you gain some respect from him. He knows I work hard and he respects that, and I respect all of the hard work that he puts into the bikes, so things are good.

(Hansen) Do you have any superstitions?

(Tedesco) I have one…

(Hansen) Would you like to talk about it?

(Tedesco) (Laughs) When I put my gear on I put everything on the left side first. I am not sure why, but I’ve done that since I was about ten years old. That’s probably about it. I am not a very superstitious guy like you.

(Hansen) Superstitious… What do you mean? What are you trying to say?

(Tedesco) You’re psycho, bud! (Laughs)…

(Hansen) Wow! That was big. That was a big wow!

(Hansen) Okay… Um… Are you a better 125cc rider, or 250cc rider?

(Tedesco) Ah… I am good at riding a 250 in the 125cc class.

(Tedesco) How about you, bud? What are you?(Hansen) I don’t really know. I though I was a 250 guy before I got shown up in Vegas (US Open), so I’ll have to say 125 (laughs).

(Hansen) So anyway, back to you, Ivan Tedesco… Where do you hope to be in ’06?

(Tedesco) I hope to be in the 250cc class with a good factory ride-hopefully winning races.

(Hansen) What would you be doing right now if you weren’t a professional motocross racer?

(Tedesco) Hmm… I don’t know…

(Hansen) Taco Bell, bud? Do you make good Gorditas? Tedesco Gorditas…

(Tedesco) I grew up kind of in the ghetto of Albuquerque…

(Hansen) Yeah, you once told me that you hung out with a gang when you were a little kid. Is that right?

(Tedesco) Yeah, I hung out with a gang when I was little, and started getting into that bad scene, but I finally got home school once I started traveling a lot, and that helped get me out of that crowd. To be honest, if I didn’t keep racing I’d probably be in jail right now.

(Hansen) Well, I am glad you’re not.

(Tedesco) Me too, bud.

2004 At A Glance…

Edison International Field-Anaheim, CA 1st Place (+2.909 seconds)

Bank One Ballpark-Phoenix, AZ1st Place (+8.231 seconds)

Edison International Field-Anaheim, CA1st Place (+1.632 seconds)

Qualcomm Stadium-San Diego, CA1st Place (+4.141 seconds)

Edison International Field-Anaheim, CA1st Place (+1.883 seconds)

SBC Park-San Francisco, CA2nd Place (-1.455 seconds)

Texas Stadium-Irving, TX 1st Place (+4.479 seconds)

Rice-Eccles Stadium-Salt Lake City, UT1st Place (+7.557 seconds)