Kawasaki Rider Interview
With a six-point deficit in the championship chase, Dietrich went into the WORCS finale in Mesquite, Nev. with a chance to win the title.
The race shaped up to be the best of the season with four lead changes in the first five laps, but bad luck at the end of the race brought Dietrich into the pits with a broken shifter. He didn’t give up and went out for the final two laps to finish 14th.
We chatted with him after the race to see his outlook on the whole situation, how he’s going to approach next year after coming so close to the championship, and if he is in favor of the changes coming to WORCS for 2011.
Q: Tell me about your thoughts coming into this weekend. You had a chance for the title.
Ricky Dietrich: Coming into the weekend I just wanted to kill it. I wanted to get out front and see what would happen. I wanted to let the race come to me. It was out of my hands a little bit because the deficit was six points. I just wanted to ride well and hopefully have a little luck on my side. That’s how I came into it.
Q: What were you thinking after you broke your shifter?
Ricky Dietrich: It was kind of my breaking point really. The race was really cat-and-mouse the whole time, people were moving around a lot. We were all in the right places where we needed to be. About halfway through, I thought it might be possible because Kurt was back and there were plenty of people up front mixing it up. We pitted and everyone moved around a lot in those two laps.
From there I tried to put a charge on since I had dropped back a little bit. I was ready to go for it. I think I started riding a little over my head trying to make up time and started to make mistakes. When I went down in that corner and broke my shifter, I knew exactly what had happened because I felt my foot blow right through it (the shifter).
I had shifted down to first gear for the corner so I was stuck in first in order to get back to the pit. I was bummed at that point. I was pinning it into the pits, but I knew I had lost the championship. I had about a quarter-lap to think about what had happened. I gave it my all, but I didn’t get that luck I needed. If anything it was the opposite.
Q: You’ve been close to championships before. How do you approach the loss? Does it motivate you for next year?
Ricky Dietrich: I think in the past I’ve let the loss of a championship eat me up a bit. It feels different this year. I do still dwell a little on what I could have done differently. That last lap when I rode around I was thinking about the days that could have added up to the points I needed. But this year I do have a sense of excitement for racing next year. I’m looking forward to the new format and wanting to win. Losing does add motivation and I’m ready for another championship.
Q: Moving onto next year, the format is going to change for the WORCS weekend. The proposed plan is to have two races per weekend that are one hour plus one lap (versus one two-hour race). What are your thoughts on the changes?
Ricky Dietrich: I’m really excited for the changes. I’m glad they are making it different. It will be good for the series. I think it will bring some more attention to it. It could possibly attract more motocross riders. The series already brings in a decent amount of motocrossers and i think the format will only help make it a bigger attraction for the series.
I think you will see more guys with true talent at the front. When we get on the line now, we are thinking about not pushing too hard in the first lap because we still have another hour and 45 minutes left. Now we won’t have to hold a reserve and I think people will hang it out a little more than normal.
I think it could feel equivalent to a 30 minute moto on a motocross track because our tracks are longer and we go for less laps. I think it will suit me really well and I’m really looking forward to it.
Q: Being an off-road rider, you don’t see much off-season. WORCS starts in January and EnduroCross ends in November. Do you ever want to have more of an off-season or are you glad to keep rolling with your training program?
Ricky Dietrich: To tell you the truth, sometimes I wish we had a little more of an off-season. It would be nice to take a solid two weeks off but with the time frame we have you can’t really do that. There definitely isn’t any time for us to take a break with EnduroCross ending in November and we jump immediately into testing for WORCS.
It is nice to stay in my routine and stay focused. It is a lot easier to stay in the routine and focus on the next year rather than having to build again. Even though it may be easier to do that, I still kind of wish there was a little more down time to not get burnt out.
Q: So do you have any plans during the off-season?
Ricky Dietrich: Well last year I took some time off to have nose surgery. I really needed it and it has really helped me. This year more than ever I want to take a long weekend and get refreshed for the new year. I may just buy some last-minute tickets to Hawaii and just take an extended weekend after EnduroCross.
I’ve never taken a vacation in my life that hasn’t revolved around racing. I’ve thankful to have been to many countries around the world, but it was always for racing. This year I’m going to do something, not sure what, but I want to do something that can pull me away for just a few days. I think it will be very beneficial.