For riders, entering their rookie Supercross season can be a little nerve wracking, as it's something that they've likely worked for most of their lives. Well, the same can be said for Ryan Breece and his rookie season. Breece's rookie year was successful in that he only missed out on two main events in the ever-competitive 250 class, and for 2016, he's looking to better himself each and every weekend. Unfortunately his rookie year was cut short due to an injury sustained at the Thunder Valley national, which sidelined him for the remainder of the year. However, he's back on the bike as he prepares to head overseas for the German SX series. We caught up with Breece to discuss the injury, what he's got lined up for next year and to see how the Grindstone Compound has taken him to the next level.
Photos: Mike Emery
You've been off the bike for quite some time, but now you're back to riding. For those that don't know, could you explain the extent of the injury?
Yeah, I unfortunately got hurt at Thunder Valley and the injury ended up being pretty serious. I tore the tendon in my ankle, broke my tib and fib and cracked a few bones in my tail bone. I was out for about five months, but I've already started my return, as I've been training at the Grindstone Compound with Cari Schehr.
How long have you been back on the bike now?
Today is actually my fourth ride on a SX track and I think my sixth ride in total. So I'm still getting used to everything again since I was off the bike for so long.
As far as the injury goes, how is everything feeling now that you've got a little bit of time on the bike?
Everything feels good! It's always hard to get back into the flow of things, but we're working through it and we're not going to stop. It's quite a process when you get hurt, but we're taking it one day at a time and one step at a time. I don't want to push myself and end up getting hurt again.
Now that you're back on the bike from such an extensive injury that kept you sidelined for so long, will you be heading overseas for any SX races? Maybe something to get you warmed up before A1.
Yeah, I will! I'm super excited and pleased to announce that I'll be heading to Germany for four rounds of the German SX series and I'll be riding for the Rockstar Energy/Honda/Meyer Racing team. When I get back from Germany I'll have about a month to start training and preparing for A1.
Heading overseas for some early SX races has to be a great way to stay sharp for the 2016 season, right?
Yeah, definitely. I've heard the track is pretty gnarly over there and even a little tighter than we're used to. It's going to be a great experience because I've never flown overseas to go race before. It's a dream come true, for me.
2015 was your rookie year and you made almost every main event. Was that a good feeling being able to see your hard work pay off?
Yeah, it was a great feeling, but it wasn't handed to me. I worked my butt off and I'm really happy with the way everything turned out. I was doing everything on my own and I made it happen by working for it, as I really didn't have any support. It was just me working my butt off in the offseason. I saved up all of my own money with a little bit of help from my dad and a few sponsors. Also, the Grindstone Compound helped me out with lodging. So, yeah, it's definitely something special to me, as I was able to accomplish all of that on my own with minimal support.
As you mentioned, you've been working with Cari Schehr at the Grindstone Compound. Talk about how their program has been beneficial to you.
I began as a junior, but over the last two years of training at the Grindstone I've realized that I have what it takes to turn this into a career. Yeah, It's been long process, but it's been hugely beneficial and it's helping me to get where I want to be. Like I said, I was doing everything on my own for a while and the Grindstone Compound has been another piece to the puzzle for me. Cari has been great! She's really been working out all of the kinks with me and she always makes sure I'm on top of my game. Again, it's been a long process, but we're going to stick with it because it works for me. Grindstone is just an all around great facility!
The Grindstone Compound seems to have everything a rider needs to consistently progress. That has to help being that the facility houses everything from a proper nutrition plan to a gym and a trainer/riding coach…
Yeah, absolutely! Everything you need is under one roof and it's all properly planned out for us riders. Cari comes up with a schedule for everything from riding to our sessions in the gym and we simply go about our day based on the schedule. We wake up and grind, we head to the track and grind some more. She wants you to be the best that you possibly can and when we hit the gym she's in full beast mode. Like you said, It's pretty much the complete package over there at the Compound.
What are your plans for 2016? Do you have any deals in the works?
Yeah, I do! I actually just signed with Strikt/Triple Effects Racing/Yamaha for next year. It's a privateer effort, but they're going to provide us with a semi, they're going to help out with travel expenses and obviously the support from Yamaha. This is a huge step in the right direction and I can't thank them enough for reaching out to me and giving me a solid program for next year. I'm super excited for A1!