Hey everybody, so I just got back home from Belgium last night. During my trip I actually felt well enough to throw a leg over my new KX450F and put in a couple motos (after getting approval from the team’s doctor in Spain). I didn’t plan on riding as hard as I did, but if any of you have ridden in sand you probably know that you can’t just putt around. Needless to say I was a little sore the next day, haha. But it felt good to ride my dirt bike again and I’m pretty pumped on how good it felt out of the box. Anyways, I will fill you all in on the trip later but for now here are a couple of photos from the track. – RV
Finally able to throw my my leg back over the bike after months off (released a bit earlier than expected). It feels amazing to be back in my element (even though it’s just some slow-pace testing). My new KRT team is making me feel right at home though I am thousands of miles from it. That said, check out day one on my @gopro! There may not be a day two if I am too sore to walk, ha ha
By now you probably know that I will be racing MXGP next season. What a relief it is to get that off my chest and share it will all of you. I know the suspense was driving some of you crazy but I had to keep my lips sealed until my contract with Kawasaki of America was complete. Together we had a good run with some great memories, but now it’s time to switch gears and try something a little different.
I know a lot of people were speculating that I was going to retire, and to be honest, I considered it. Life for a pro motocross racer can be pretty tough—especially if you fall down a lot, lol. Did I want to have to climb back up that ladder? Get myself back into shape? I didn’t know if I wanted to tackle that all again. I’ve done that already twice—coming back from a fairly major injury. Even at this point right now its five months or so until the gate drops in Qatar…
Once I was able to swallow that one and be like ‘okay, yeah let’s do it’, it is definitely something that is a work in progress. It’s funny because although Kawasaki is one company KMC, KME, and KHI are three separate entities. So we had to get everything correlated and running in the right direction… trying to get all the moving parts aligned. It’s taken some time.
Then there is my own physical aspect: It’s not just like coming off a season and taking two weeks off and then kind of getting back into it. You don’t lose much at all if you do it that way. Definitely the hill is a lot steeper the way I’m going about it.
There are a couple of things that make me nervous. Obviously traveling to different countries. Some of the counties are a maybe little bit sketchy, so there’s things I have to watch out for. Learning the tricks of the trade. And I have to learn them very quick, lol. It’s going to be making the mistake of eating an ice cube that was frozen from tap water, then you get sick—that’s the sort of stuff I will need to learn real quick. Not make a mistake in that area.
When it comes to the bike, the tracks—that’s all the stuff I am really good at. I have a good base coming from KMC. Our factory bike is one of the best. Kawasaki of Europe, they have a good bike as well. The great thing is that it’s going to be essentially the same bike—with a few different parts and set-up a little differently. I know how I like to ride my bike and have it set-up, so I plan on doing the same.
As far as the competition goes, I have raced the majority at des Nations, but that’s a hard race to gauge off. It’s kind of like Anaheim 1—not the best place to make assumptions. I feel like Tony Cairoli’s probably going to be one of my strongest competitors. You can’t not think he’s going to be the guy—he’s won eight years in a row! Then there’s other guys like Gautier Paulin and Steven Frossard. The Europeans are going to be tough. I think they will surprise me in areas and I will surprise them in areas.
We’re flying into Brussels on October 10 to meet the team, I’ve met a few of the guys already, and go see the race shop. The race shop is in Holland which is about 40 miles from where my friend and teammate Tyla Rattray lives—basically just outside of Lommel. He’s going to do some testing at Saint Jean. It’s where I last raced des Nations in ’11.
Most of all, I’m just trying to go over there and really enjoy this last year. This is a one-time deal. I am going to finish my career win or lose after this next season… But I’d love to win and leave on top. I’m not going to say it’s going to be easier or harder—it will for sure be different though. I know a lot of my fans are bummed that I won’t be racing Supercross or Outdoors, but I hope you tune in and follow me in GP’s as this will be one ride you won’t want to miss.
KAWASAKI CONFIRMS RYAN VILLOPOTO TO RACE MXGP IN 2015
Ten-time US champion Ryan Villopoto will contest the FIM MXGP World Championship for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in 2015, while Jordi Tixier will defend his MX2 world title in Green.
Having won the Monster Energy FIM Supercross world title for the last four years, 26 year old Villopoto, a loyal Kawasaki rider throughout his professional career, will take on the challenge of the world’s premier outdoor motocross series with the intention of bringing Kawasaki their first World Championship in the MXGP class; the worldwide series will host 18 rounds on four continents in 2015.
“I am ready for the next chapter in my career and to accomplish new goals,” said Villopoto. “I’ve never been one to look at the record books so when an opportunity like this comes around, to race against the best in the world and represent USA, I have to see it through. It will be a major change of pace and this will be the last chapter in my career win or lose, I am extremely excited about the opportunity and also to be joined by a former champion like Tyla (Rattray). He knows what is needed to succeed on the world championship stage and I know I can learn a lot from him.”
Racing alongside Villopoto for the Kawasaki Racing Team in the MXGP class will be Tyla Rattray; the 28 year old South African won the MX2 world title in 2008 and was a regular race winner during a highly successful career in the USA with Kawasaki.
For Kawasaki Motors Europe, Racing Manager Steve Guttridge commented: “Ryan Villopoto is a truly global motocross star; for fans around the world to see him race on their home tracks will indeed be a privilege. After such dominance in Supercross it is refreshing and characteristically brave to see Ryan take on the world’s best MXGP riders and set his sights on supremacy in this class as well.”
Team owner Thierry Chizat Suzzoni proudly added: “For 2015, we are very excited to welcome Ryan Villopoto and Tyla Rattray into the Kawasaki Racing Team. It’s a fantastic challenge for the team and we are aware that the 2015 championship organized by Youthsteam is going to be very demanding, but our team is very enthusiastic and has ended this season on a high at the Motocross of Nations so we are going to actively prepare with the goal of taking up this challenge. I would like to thank Kawasaki, Monster Energy and all our partners for helping us to make this project become a reality.”
I know it has been sometime since I updated you all on what I have been doing and such, so here it goes. As you know, I had knee surgery right after the final Supercross race in Las Vegas. It turned out being a bit more than I bargained for and therefore recovery time was determined to be much longer.
It was tough when I was given the time frame (still waiting to get released) but it gave me some time to catch up with some ME time. Hobby central lol:
Crabbing in the PNW………..
Just to name a few. Ha. That said, things are getting back on track and I have been putting in the miles on my trusty Specialized machines getting ready for this upcoming race season. Injury’s are always tough, but its not how you go down, IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW YOU GET BACK UP!!
Big stuff is acomin’!!!!!!!