Catching Up With Kyle Partridge
By Jordan Powell
Since his pro debut back in 2005, Kyle Partridge’s motocross career has been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. He struggled for the first few years as a privateer, but then he found himself under the awning of the Star Racing Yamaha rig for the 2011 outdoor series. When things didn’t work out between the two after the season wrapped up, Partridge got a ride with his longtime friend, Carey Hart, for 2012. After some solid rides that Supercross season, a catastrophic crash at St. Louis left him with a broken neck, and a blown out foot. Once Partridge was released to ride, Hart’s team went through an overhaul for 2013. As a result, he’s back to searching for a ride. However, he’s been down this road before, and he’s definitely not afraid of pitting from the back of his truck if he has to, but he definitely could use the help. This is what he had to say.
What’s been going on?
Right now, I’ve just been trying to sponsor [laughs]. That’s the truth. I’m just trying to find someone that will help me get to the races. Today was actually my first day riding Supercross. Other than that, I’ve been hanging out at home with my son and my chick.
Obviously your 2012 season ended short when your foot blew open, right?
Well, I broke my neck, as well, in that same crash. So, when I was at the hospital in St. Louis, they fused my C4 and C5 together to repair the fracture. After that, the physical therapist that I had been going to told me that I could take off my neck brace after about four weeks, so I did. However, when I went to the doctors for a checkup a few days later, the x-rays showed that the fusion of my vertebra didn’t heal right. So, I went back into surgery two days later. They fused the vertebra together again, this time from the front, and the heal time actually went a lot faster than expected. It didn’t really matter, though, because the season was already over. That was a bummer because I feel like that was the best I had ever ridden. I had good people in my corner, a good bike, and I was battling for top-10s every weekend. Now, I’m just trying to get back to that point again.
Going back to your foot, I think a lot of people think that your peg went through your boot, and that caused your foot to split open.
No, not at all! We looked at my boot afterwards and there wasn’t anything wrong with it. What actually happened was that I slammed my foot so hard into the wall of that over-under table that it split open. The way that my doctor put it was this: if you were to take a grape and hold it with your thumb and index finger, then start squeezing it, it’s going to split open. So, basically, my foot was the grape, and from all the pressure, it burst. My boot actually saved my foot from more injury because I guess I could have lost my leg in the crash. It was crazy; too, because I was in so much pain at the time from my foot that I didn’t even know I broke my neck until four days after.
Obviously, you’re still looking for sponsors, but you have a new Suzuki. Does this give you more motivation to just go out there and show everyone that you’re still capable of being a top-10 guy?
Absolutely. 100%. When I look back on things, my results from last year were a complete 360 from my results in 2011. I worked my ass off to get there, though, and I know how to do it again. So, it’s not about whether or not if I can go fast, because I can; it’s about getting comfortable on my bike. By no means is this the last that anyone is ever going to see of me. If I have to go to Anaheim I with a bike without any stickers, I will. At least I’ll look good in my Shift gear, and have a company like them, especially Beeker, behind me. Right now I have Hinson, Works Connection, and FMF helping me. So, it’s good to know that people still care about me. But at the end of the day, I have a family, you know? As much as I hate to say this [long pause], I’ve come to a point, and I’m not trying to be emotional, where I think if the risk is worth it. Like, do I go to every Supercross race and battle for the top-10—which I know I can do—and put myself at risk for $2500? That’s kind of where I’m at right now. If I can’t really do that, I’m just going to bust my ass off and go to whatever rounds I can afford.
This isn’t the end of Kyle Partridge and motocross, is it?
No. I’m going to do whatever it takes. I’m a fighter, and I don’t quit. By no means do I feel that I can do this without any help, though. I need help bad right now. I have to do something, or maybe I’ll be working with you dudes [laughs]. I’m being serious! I don’t mean for this to be a Debbie Downer conversation, I’m just being real right now [laughs].