Friday Feature:
Ivan Tedesco Responds to the Critics

The motocross community has been buzzing with gossip, rumors, debate and down-right arguing over who should be added to Team USA as an alternate to race the upcoming Motocross of Nations, should RC be unable to ride due to his shoulder injury from Glen Helen. Earlier today the AMA sent out an official press release stating that Ivan Tedesco--RC’s teammate on team Makita/Suzuki--will be going to England as Carmichael’s possible replacement, should a backup be needed.

At this point, RC has not entirely ruled out the possibility of racing, and he is undergoing aggressive rehab to do all he can to be ready. Both he and Tedesco will be making the trip to England--along with confirmed teammates Ryan Villopoto and James Stewart. It will be a race day decision as to who rides the RM-Z450 in the MX of Nations.

Despite the AMA’s clarification, there is still plenty of disagreement about the decision, and the Internet message board “armchair captains are voicing all kinds of opinions. To help shed some light on this we talked with Ivan Tedesco to get the inside scoop, plus we have some video of Ivan practicing in SoCal, just a few days after Glen Helen...

Hey Ivan, thanks for taking some time to talk with us.

Yeah, no problem.

There’s been a lot of talk about you going to England as a backup rider for RC at MX of Nations, and today the AMA officially announced that as the plan. Tell us how that came together.

Well, of course you know RC was hurt at Glen Helen on Sunday. Lots of ideas were thrown around, but right now the plan is still for him to race in England, but since his bike is already there, I will be there if he can’t go. Ricky should be ready and it will be great if he can race, but I’ll be there just in case.

There has been a lot of chatter on the Internet boards about this, and some of the skeptics out there feel you might not be the best choice since you have been out with injury and then you got sick after Binghamton. What do you say to that?

People on the Internet are always going to have something to say. It’s true that I missed almost the whole season, but I am definitely ready. With RC’s bike there it makes sense for me to go as his backup. Plus, RC still might race. If needed, I’m ready and I’m doing all I can to be prepared.

You mentioned RC’s bike already being there. How big of a factor was that in your selection as the alternate? Do you and Ricky run basically the same bike setup on your RM-Z450s?

Our bikes are very similar. Basically we’ll bring over some different suspension setups and change the bars, and that’s it. With such little time, it definitely makes it easier on the team.

We saw you putting in some fast practice motos at Competitive Edge on Tuesday and you definitely looked fast and comfortable on the bike. What all are you doing to prepare?

Basically I’m living on my bike. [BRACKET “Laughs”] Fortunately I have a lot of good people around me, helping me to be ready to race. I’ve had enough time on my bike lately and despite what some people have said, I’m not out of shape. I’m definitely ready to race, physically. It’s funny; once I found out that I was going to England, I got into a different state of preparation mentally. I knew I might have to do it, and I am where I need to be. I am feeling better than ever.

How much does it help that you raced the MXdN last year, and were a part of the U.S. championship team?

It definitely helps. Like RC said, it is much easier racing [BRACKET “the MX of Nations”] the second year. So much goes on over there, with the pressure and the intensity. I don’t think I realized last year how gnarly it would be once we got there. Plus, with this being the first year for Ryan and James, I think I might be able to help them out with a little advice here and there.

Good luck in England, Ivan. Is theree anything else you want to tell the MX community?

Yeah, I want everyone talking crap to know that I’m doing all I can and I will be ready if needed. What it all comes down to, is I’m racing for our country.

To see Tedesco in action recently, check out the video. We may not be a Team USA Captain, but he looks pretty fast to us.

To get to the videos, you can click the individual link in the right column, or click the Video link on the left to get to our ever-growing collection of movies.

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