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Yesterday morning we headed for Pala Raceway and amidst the talented group of current amateur and pro racers, we spotted former 2x Supercross and outdoor champion Ivan Tedesco putting in laps. After shattering his heel at Straight Rhythm in late 2015, IT9 was forced to take a bit of a hiatus to allow his body to heal, which unfortunately ended up being a slow and painful process. He’s back on the bike now though, and after recently returning home from Mammoth Motocross’s vet weekend, Tedesco is feeling a little nostalgic as he heads for Washougal to race a Pro Circuit KX 125 in the annual two-stroke race. Check out what Hot Sauce had to say when we caught up with him between motos.

It’s good to see you putting in laps again, Ivan. What’s going on today?
Not much. Just out here at Pala on a beautiful Tuesday riding my dirt bike. I’ve been riding once or twice a week now, actually. Since I shattered my heal at Straight Rhythm, I took about four or five months off, but I’m slowly getting back to normal. Yeah man, I’ve just been enjoying myself.

What have you been up to otherwise to keep yourself busy when you’re not in the saddle?
Nothing crazy, just riding a little bit, cycling here in there and hanging out with my family. Frankly, I’m enjoying life after racing because that stuff is no joke these days. I trying to figure out what my next move is. I’m still figuring out life after racing I guess (laughs).

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It seems like the injury from Straight Rhythm caused you to go on a bit of a hiatus, right?
Yeah, this whole thing with my foot put me in a bad spot. I was testing for RCH for the last year and a half, and that put me out for a while. I don’t think I’m going to do the testing deal full-time anymore. I might help out here and there, but I’m just trying to move on from riding and racing every day of the week. I want to move on to something else, but I do want to stay within the sport.

With your heel, was the healing process a hard one?
Yeah, that was definitely the toughest One I’ve ever had to deal with in my whole life. I’ve had a lot of injuries in my day, but that one was just non-stop pain for the first three months. I had an extertal fixator on for about two months. It was a really long process to get back to walking, and then even longer to get back to a normal life.

So do you still have that YZ 250 two-stroke?
Yeah, I still got that thing (laughs)!

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Do you ever break it out anymore?
I’ve actually been rebuilding it over the last year. Unfortunately I’ve been extremely lazy with it. I have everything I need, I just need to take some time to put everything back together. I really do need to get that thing out and ripping, huh?

I remember a while back you posted a picture of it while you were riding at Pala, and it circulated around Instagram like the plague…
Yeah, I remember that. That was awesome! I had a lot of fun building that thing, and even more riding it. Actually I’m doing the two-stroke race this weekend in Washougal. I’m going to ride a race bike that was built by Pro Circuit. I don’t think I’ve actually ridden a 125 in close to 12 or 13 years, so I’m just showing up and racing (laughs). That’s the kind of stuff that I like to do, now – those fun one-off races. I went to Mammoth about a month ago to do the vet weekend, as well. I’ve just been having fun racing and riding here and there.

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Is that going to be a little nostalgic riding a Pro Circuit 125 at Washougal?
Yeah, I’m sure it will be. When I was first signed to Mitch’s team back in 2004 I started on the two-strokes. It’s actually the same bike I would have raced if I was still going to ride a two-stroke the next year. It’s going to be a really fun weekend and I’m excited to hear those 125s go up that hill.

Any expectations for yourself this weekend at the two-stroke race?
Yeah man, just to have fun. Like I said, I haven’t ridden a 125 in over a decade probably, so I get one practice on it and it’s time to race. This is obviously for fun, and I can’t wait to get up there.

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