It seems that each year one highly touted amateur rider takes the full attention of the industry and leaves the rest of the incredibly talented field to battle for the remaining spotlight. This year’s graduating class of riders is one of the more stacked groups of recent memory, but only a few will be able to make their presence known enough to earn the necessary support to stay relevant in the professional class. Dillan Epstein is currently one of the fastest riders in the A class, but with the end of his amateur status drawing nearer, the Thousand Oaks, CA resident is still unsure as to what his plans for next season include. We caught up with Epstein, who is coming off a banner week at the World Mini, to hear how the final season for an amateur goes.
By getting seven of eight holeshots and three championships, did the World Mini go as you expected?
Yeah, it did. I was at home and working for all of it, so I expected to be up front getting good starts.
Your Dad and I talked a little about your day to day program and how you are always somewhere in Southern California, that you are in Hesperia three days a week. What is your weekly schedule like?
Tuesday when go to Comp Edge and on Wednesday we go to Honda Valley. There is a track there that the Alessi's made when they were amateurs, but they stopped going there in 2007. Thursday is Glen Helen and then we do something different on Friday, skip Saturday, ride Sunday, take Monday off, and then it starts all over again.
Are you homeschooled or do you manage to do a normal school program?
I do independent studies, so I see my teacher once a month.
What are your plans for the rest of the year after World Mini? You knew who your competition would be in Alex Martin there, and with Justin Hill and other riders missing, where do you see yourself now?
I want to get my program up and stay healthy so I can hit the next level. I want to hit a faster pace than I was here and I want to keep stepping my game up so I finish the rest of the amateur Nationals and hopefully get a ride by the end of the year.
Was it a confidence boost for you after your injury?
Yeah, because I had to leave Oak Hill early with a separated shoulder, so it was good.
How bad was the injury? Did it require surgery, or did you only need therapy to heal it in time to race?
We just did physical therapy. Once I got my shoulder stronger, I started riding again and was able to train and workout for a month before we showed up to the World Mini, so with my fitness up I was ready to race.
You were Kawasaki's main focus while at the race. How involved are they in your program?
I am one of the main Pro riders; Justin Hill and I are the two kids. Their help was huge, because I blew my modified 250 out in second practice and they swapped the motors quickly with the back up motor.
Becoming a professional is your goal for next season, but would you do any Nationals like Lake Elsinore after Loretta's is finished?
It depends on what offer I have, or even if I get an offer. Once that happens, I'll know what I will be doing at the end of the year.