Ryan Surratt had a pretty successful Pro-debut last year, as he managed to put together some solid rides. During the off-season, Ryan opted to make the switch to KTM's for 2018. Unfortunately, he had a rough get-off just days after purchasing his bikes. Due to the crash and minor injury suffered, Ryan lined-up at Anaheim One with just over a week of riding under his belt. Though, the beginning of his season hasn’t gone as hoped, Ryan is determined to turn around his 2018 season in the coming weeks.
You had quite a few changes going into the 2018 season…
I switched to a KTM in the off-season. Unfortunately, after only three days on the bike I went down and broke my thumb, which forced me off the bike for a few weeks. Due to the minor injury, I only had about a week and-a-half of riding in before Anaheim One. All together, I only had one real day of testing before the season opener, as the rest of my days on the bike were spent getting back up to speed.
Along with the new bike, I noticed AnkleSavers is a new sponsor for you this year…
Yeah, with the addition of AnkleSavers and a few other companies, I have almost the same group of people and sponsors behind me as I did last year. While racing in Canada, I completely smashed my Navicular bone in my ankle to where it can’t grow back. Due to the injury, my leg tends to go numb while riding. So, the AnkleSavers provide that extension off of my foot-peg to help keep my leg planted.
The bike you line-up on was previously owned and doesn’t have much modifications done to it…
Yeah, however the bikes aren’t bad at all. The big thing is getting used to the KTM feel, the steel frame differs quite a-bit from the aluminum frame on the Japanese bikes. I feel pretty confident on my race bike now, but of course I would like to have something more. You just have to work with what you have.
With the beginning of the season in the books, how has it been going for you?
Unfortunately, this season hasn’t gone the best for me. I feel like I need some more time on the tracks before racing kicks off, but I know everyone gets the same amount of practice on the track. I've been feeling better and better as the season's gone on, and I've even grabbed some of the fastest laps in my LCQ's. My opening laps have been terrible, but my last few laps are good. With such short races, it's hard to get where I need to be when I'm riding tight during my first few laps.
You were able to experience the first Triple Crown format at Anaheim Two, how different was that?
Honestly, the format made for a pretty frustrating day, just because I struggle with such short qualifying sessions. I guess you could say I'm more of a racer than practicer (laughs). I felt like the track layout wasn’t the best for that type of racing either, as it didn’t have technical sections to help separate riders. I enjoy the more technical, difficult tracks.
You mentioned some of the tracks this year lacking the technical aspect of supercross, are the tracks more mellow than last years?
Yeah, I know the intention was to have smaller and safer rhythm sections, this year. However, I feel like there has only been a few races with big whoops, which is a big part of a SX track. Phoenix had a pretty good track, but I definitely favored last years track layouts more.
What are your main goals for this coming weekend?
The big thing for me is getting into the main event. I've done it plenty of times before, so I know what it takes. Transferring into that main event is my focus for the following rounds.