Ivan Tedesco, who rode for the MotoSport sponsored Rockstar Energy KTM team during the 2014 AMA Supercross season in place of Davi Millsaps, announced his retirement from Motocross and professional racing last weekend.
Tedesco won the 2004 and 2005 West Coast titles in the 125 class for Supercross and the 125 title in Motocross for 2005. His 450 career never quite took off though. He fought through many injuries including one this year in Indianapolis that made the highlight rounds when he bounced off his bike at the start of the LCQ and got both legs stuck between the rear-wheel and fender of Tevin Tapi's bike.
He started the 2014 Motocross season riding for the RCH Suzuki team as a replacement rider for Broc Tickle where he will remain as a test rider. He started the season well but has only raced in one round in the last five.
The following is his letter released on Saturday announcing his retirement:
It's never easy to quit something you've done for so long, but the day has come where racing just isn't the same to me as it used to be. I always told myself when the day comes that I'm not competitive anymore that I need to walk away; that time is now and I have nothing to be bummed about. I started racing pro at the end of 1999 at Millville- so I have been at it a while and have seen it change a lot, for the good and bad...those 14 years of professional racing have definitely been a roller coaster ride. I have had a lot of success and also a lot of failure. There's is one thing I can do, walk away from this deal knowing I gave it my all every time I got on my motorcycle. In the end that's all you can ask of a person- "give it your all" .
I grew up in Albuquerque, NM and started riding a dirt bike at 8. The only reason I got into it was because my older brother Gio was a motocross fanatic since he could walk. I wanted to be like my big brother so I pursued racing too. I didn't take it very serious through the amateur ranks, I got by on talent because I didn't do a thing as far as training goes. I went to my first outdoor national at Millville at the end of 1999. Me and my buddy showed up in a pickup truck and trailer and jammed it in the pits next to all the semis. I was my mechanic/ trainer/truck driver/ rider. I didn't do so well but it wasn't lack of effort just lack of preparation. That was the day I realized I needed to start training and taking it serious if I wanted a chance to make it. Kenny Watson saw something in me and hired me for the following year to ride for Plano Honda, a privateer team out of Texas. I was supposed to race west coast in 2000 but had an injury in the off-season that kept me out. I finally made it back for round 4 of the outdoors in Southwick. I had some top 10s and was trying to learn the outdoor game; I was definitely more of a Supercross rider earlier in my career.
I re-signed with Plano Honda for the 2001 season and I rode west coast. Had some fun teammates that year, Travis Elliott, jiri Dostal, Gio Tedesco and Paul currie. Ended up 5th in the supercross series and grabbed my first podium. After that I moved on to the power house YOT, the fifth dragon. I rode their yz125 for two years. I would have to say those two years I was pretty out of control. I wanted to win so badly and put a ton of work in but just was a basket case. I finally got my first win at the final east coast round in Pontiac 2003. Larry "sausage" Alexander was my mechanic both years, and I also worked with Phil Alderton. Phil is one of a kind and I am thankful to have worked with him.
After that I moved on to pro circuit for the 2004-05 seasons. I learned how to win while I was at pro circuit, I meshed really well with that team. We worked are butts off those two years to have the best bike out there and we did! I won three out of four titles including an outdoor title that nobody thought I could win. Working with Mitch and Bones helped me mature into a racer that didn't lack anything so I could go out execute and win. I thank all the guys on the team Timmy Tyler truck driver, Brent Myron mechanic 04, Jon Mitcheff mechanic 05, Zack White, Aaron Johnson, Derin Stockton trainer. After that it was the move to the 450 class. I made the decision to go over to Suzuki to be teammates with Carmichael. I learned a lot from that guy, It was good having him in the truck my first year 450. I am thankful for his friendship, the opportunity to train with him and the help his parents have always given me. They treated me like family and did everything they could to help. I had a successful rookie Supercross season finishing fourth behind Carmichael, Stewart and Reed.
After that my 450 career was tainted with injury.
I never gave up and kept coming back for more. I was motivated to get back to the top but it would never happen. I had some good races over my 8 year 450 career but never got to that winning level. Even though I never had the success I hope for in the 450 class, I cannot complain. I've met a lot of good people and have seen a lot of cool things. While I've rode for a lot of teams, have had a lot of mechanics and worked with a lot of different people, there was one guy that stuck with me for most of my career; that guy is Dr. G. I want to thank him for being there for me through the good and the bad, always someone I can count on. As far as the future for me goes I'm going to continue with RCH as there test rider and get the bike ready for their future rider.
I have been the guy that people believed in or counted on to win,but I can say I have never given less than 100% and have enjoyed proving people wrong. I'm grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the friendships I have made. I love dirt bikes and racing and look forward to finding my new career within the sport because this is what I love to do.
Thank you to my fans, who have always had my back and motivated me to keep going! I hope to see you all at the races soon.
- Ivan Tedesco