Dillan Epstein is one of the hottest A class riders in the Nation right now, and he's touted by may insiders as the next rider to join the powerful Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad. Fresh off multiple titles at this year's World Mini Grand Prix, Epstein used the Summer Cup opener to tune up for his summer's Mammoth Mountain MX and Loretta Lynn's Amateur National Championship.
You're a superstar in the making and you're here at our TransWorld Summer Cup kickoff. What brings you out here?
I'm just trying to get some gate time before the Loretta Lynn's regional at Honey Lake next weekend. The week had been really hard for me because I had been sick, and I didn't get to ride at all. So, this was my chance to get back on the bike, and here I am. Other than that, we're just out here having fun, and trying to stay relaxed. It's been pretty mellow out here, but the wind just started to pick up.
If you qualify at Honey Lake, will you be back at Comp Edge in two weeks for that regional as well?
No because I won't really need to at that point.
What classes will you be racing?
250 A and 450 Pro Sport.
Before the Nationals started at Hangtown, were there talks about you coming up to Mitch Payton's team to fill in for one of their injured riders--sort of like what Jessy Nelson did for Troy Lee Designs...
The possibility was there because everyone at Pro Circuit knew what I could do. What I did know was that they definitely needed a rider. But, they ended up getting Ivan Tedesco back, so I'm going back to my original plan of racing at Loretta's, and hoping that I'll be riding for Pro Circuit for the last three outdoors.
What are your goals this summer? You had a great week at World Mini with three out of four titles...
My dad sat down with Mitch and talked about what goals he wanted to see out of me. One of them was racing Mammoth, and the other was racing Loretta's. So, hopefully after my last amateur National, I'll be racing for him.
With the eminent pro debut coming, is it something that you think about all of the time? Do you get nervous?
I think the more I train for it; the less nervous I am, because I know where I'll be when I show up to the race. I also want to go to my first pro race open-minded because I don't want to be discouraged if I don't do well. That way, I can fix things for the next race and go from there. I'm definitely going to be excited, and I'm sure the nerves will be there, too [laughs].
So, have you already started training for the long outdoor motos?
Yeah, I've already started doing the 35-minute plus two lap motos because that's what the pros do.
When you come out to Comp Edge when all of the pros are out here practicing, do you ever like to see how you stack up to them?
Yeah, but you can't ever really gauge yourself off of lap times. Racing is a lot different. Usually, though, I'm running the same times as them, or I'm not that far off. Other than that, I feel that my fitness is really strong, and I'm excited.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
First off, I would like to thank God for keeping me safe, my dad because I wouldn't be racing if it wasn't for him, Ryan Holliday at Monster Energy Kawasaki, everyone at Pro Circuit, Dunlop Tires, Maxima, everyone at Fox, JP and John at Scott Goggles, N-Style, Traxxas, Toyota of Escondido, Ash at Monster, and everyone else that helps me out. Thank you! Oh, and my girlfriend!