Team USA Prepares For Motocross Of Nations 2009 - Dirt Rider Magazine

Perris Raceway provided the soil for the three racers of Team USA to get their first ride together as a team and show off their gear and bikes for the upcoming 2009 MXoN. The race takes place on October 3 and 4 on a track being built just for the event in the infield of the road racing facility at the Autodromo di Franciacorta in Brescia, Italy.IVAN TEDESCOIvan Tedesco had a great year, but in talking to him you get the sense he expected more. It's a pretty fast rider who's not happy with a third overall in the Outdoor series, including an overall win. He's running #3 on his Honda 450 in the MX3 (open) class in his third time on Team USA (he was part of Team USA's wins in '05 and '06).Pete Peterson: You've gone over there as a rookie already, you're taking a couple rookies this year. Are you giving them any special advice?Ivan Tedesco: Yeah, we had a little meeting this morning, and that's what this day's all about, trying to get together and get the team morale up. We talked about it, I gave 'em what advice I can give 'em, but they're both professionals, they'll adapt, and they know how to race. There are a few things with this race that are a little different, and going over to Europe and racing different guys, and it being a team event there's a little bit of tactics going on.PP: Is your bike bigger than a 450?IT: No, I'm just riding the 450. It's a good bike and it can win against anything. I think if you went any bigger you'd just be getting out of control. My bike's good, we're good to go, and we'll see what happens.PP: How important is this race in the year? You had what I would call a good outdoor season, but I know you expressed that you were hoping to do better.IT: You always want to do better and you want to win. I got third in the series. I had a few races where I got DNF's which held me back, but Chad rode well, I'm not taking anything away from him. In the middle part of the series he was the guy to beat, and we didn't answer to that. But going into the Motocross of Nations Chad will be there and it'll be cool to race him again over there as far as a team event and see if we can pull it off.PP: Who do you think is going to be your biggest competition at the MXoN?IT: I think Australia's going to be tough with Chad and Burner and Metcalfe, they all had solid outdoor seasons. Italy's going to be tough, being on their home ground, they're going to be wanting to win over there, and also they've got the World Champion and some other good riders on their team. France is always really strong, and Belgium, but you never know. Maybe a dark horse will show up and have a day of their lives.JAKE WEIMERJake Weimer had a break through year, nearly winning the AMA West Coast Lites Supercross championship, and finishing fourth in the AMA 250 Motocross series with three overall wins. He's running #2 on his Kawasaki in the MX2 (250F) class.Pete Peterson: It's your first MXoN. Tell me where this ranks with living the dream, being a factory rider, racing the AMA series. Is this something that's been a goal of yours or is this a fresh thing?Jake Weimer: It's kind of a fresh thing. Obviously if you would have asked me a year ago, two years ago, I would have said for sure. It's something that's very appealing, very cool to ride for your country. It wasn't really in my mind at the beginning of the year, and I didn't really think about it until I was told that it was possible that I would be on the team. I'm really excited to be here and to wear the Red, White and Blue.PP: Have you raced in Europe before?JW: I have actually raced in Italy once, a supercross, so I've been over there.PP: What's the biggest trick to adapting to the travel and racing in a different country?JW: When I went over there it wasn't that bad. I think some people struggle with it more than others, but I adapted fairly easy and I would say the hardest thing is just that the food is so much different. I think Italy's one of the easier ones, they do have some real good food, but some of it's really different. For me that was the hardest thing, just to find food that I wanted to eat that was healthy and all that. But as far as sleeping and the time difference, that wasn't too bad for me.PP: When team was formed... Any bad blood between you and your teammates?JW: No, none at all. I've hung out with Ivan a little bit, I've always gotten along with him. I've never really hung out with Ryan but he and I have never had any problems or any words. We talk at the races a little bit. I think every one of us is good with each other.PP: You just got through the outdoor season. Are you banged up at all, or are you in perfect health?JW: I'm perfect, I'm good to go. I took a little bit of time off after Steel City to clear the brain for a minute, and I'm just getting back into it this week.

RYAN DUNGEYRyan Dungey is coming off a two-championship series with the AMA West Coast Lites Supercross and AMA 250 Motocross number one plates now in his possession. He's running #1 on his Suzuki 450 in the MX1 (450cc) class.Pete Peterson: Congratulations on getting picked for the team. How long has this been something you've wanted to do?Ryan Dungey: Getting picked for Team USA in an honor and something's I've really wanted to do since I was 10, 11 - when I found out about it. It's been a dream come true. I'm riding the 450 over there. I'm really looking forward to the whole experience of getting there, to racing, to working together as a team. I think we've got great people with Jake, Ivan and Roger, to Mitch, just the whole crew.PP: Tell me how it came about that you're on the 450.RD: It's been a crazy season in the 450 class I guess. There's been a lot of... 'I think at one time this guy was going, then that guy had a little injury, then that guy was gonna go but he got hurt...' It's just kinda been ups and downs for the guys in the 450 class. They just kinda mentioned it, 'would you be okay riding the 450?' And I've had some time on it, I've had a little bit of success in supercross on it. I like the bike and I said yes, and I think I can get the job done.PP: Jake says you two are on good terms. Do you agree with that?RD: I've always respected Jake and I think we've always raced each other clean. In supercross we had a good fight and even outdoors, too, we both got some wins. Jake's a good dude, definitely really fast, and I respect him for sure.PP: Have you ever raced against Ivan?RD: The only time I've raced against Ivan was at the US Open in '08.PP: Any run ins?RD: No. Ivan and I go back a good little bit now from when we started on Team Suzuki, my first year on Suzuki he was there. And currently we both ride in Florida together, so we're kinda riding partners. No, no run ins with Ivan. I respect him also. He's got a good work ethic and he's determined.PP: What's the plan between now and the race to get you guys working as a team?RD: We got together here as a team from all the manufacturers to all the mechanics. I think getting everyone together here, and riding with each other, and getting on the same page, talking to each other. That way when we get over there it's not really new. We've already been together, and once we get together we're going to work together.PP: Have you been to any MXoN events?RD: When they came here to the USA at Budds Creek, that's the only time, but that was an experience, seeing the fans, it was amazing. I don't think there was one open spot in the whole field. It was pretty amazing and to see them when they won it kinda gave you the chills a little bit. So I'm definitely honored and really looking forward to it.ROGER DECOSTERShepherding the racers with years of experience as the Team USA Manager, as well as being a member of six winning Motocross des Nations team victories as a rider, is "The Man" Roger DeCoster.Pete Peterson: You're going over there with a couple of rookies this year. How does that effect what you do between now and then?Roger DeCoster: I think these guys are going to be fine. The 250 class was really competitive this year and Weimer won races both in Supercross and in Outdoors, Ryan won races and he won the championships, and I think getting together today is helping them feeling like a team. You know, they race against each other the whole year, and I think it was good to bring them together today. And it's not going to be easy, but I think we have a good chance to win.PP: Was it tough making the decision which rider would be on which bike?RD: Yes and no. With Mitch (Payton, of Pro Circuit) you always know he's going to be 100% on the lites bike, he has so much experience with it and he's done it so many years that it's always a safe bet. And then with the other two bikes, they're both 450s. I think Ryan by winning two championships this year, the indoors and the outdoors, earned the number one spot. And Tedesco, he's been there a couple times before and he didn't have the greatest season but he finished pretty good and I think he knows what is expected of him and he gets along good with the young guys and I think we're going to be fine.PP: Is the track going to be pretty different from what they've been seeing during the Outdoor season?RD: Yeah, but I think it's going to work to their advantage because it's a man-made track, it's not a natural track like usual in Italy. They built in inside a road race facility to have the infrastructure. It's going to be somewhat like a big supercross, which should be perfect for the Americans.