interview by Elmo

Red Bull Honda’s Ivan Tedesco made his return to racing this weekend at Glen Helen Raceway after sitting out more than half of the 2008 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season due to injury. Although Hot Sauce has been out since early February, it didn’t show as Tedesco went 7-5 on the day for fifth place overall. We caught up with Ivan on Sunday morning to discuss his goals for the summer, and how he is feeling after such a long hiatus from racing.

How long have you been riding since you came back from your injury?

I’ve been back on my bike for two months. I opted to have surgery right after I got hurt, and I was expected to be off the bike for 10 weeks, but I made a speedy recovery; I was riding within seven weeks. I haven’t had any problems with my wrist since I’ve been back on the bike. The healing went well, the training went well, and now here we are at Glen Helen.

What was the extent of your injury?

I broke three bones at the base of my hand, almost at my wrist. I had to have two screws and a pin put in. The screws will stay there, but I had the pin removed after a month.

Has it been a bit frustrating to join a new team and then get hurt almost immediately after the ’08 season began?

Oh, for sure! It sucks. I was looking forward to coming over to Honda and having a good Supercross season. The off-season went very well, and the testing was smooth. I wasn’t riding as well as I wanted to be at the beginning of the season, and then I had my injury. It sucks, man. I was looking forward to having a good year at Honda, but it didn’t happen with Supercross. Hopefully I can repay them with an outdoor title.

How are you feeling on the track this weekend?

I feel good. I’ve been training quite a bit for the last few months and not knowing where I stand against everybody. It’s good to be out there with everybody, and hopefully I will come out of here with some good points.

What do you want to accomplish once the season comes to an end at Steel City?

I want to be up front and to be one of the guys! I want to get good starts, stay out of trouble, and be there at the end.

Is there any particular reason why you stopped wearing the Leatt Brace?

I never felt comfortable wearing it. A lot of guys were hurting their shoulders because of the brace… There was nothing proven that shows it actually works, you know? I think you either believe in it and you wear it, or you don’t believe in it and you don’t wear it.