Ask Ping!Friday, December 14, 2012 | 9:30 AM
I have a question regarding Tedder Motorsports. I was wondering how they seem to have received such good support the last couple years. They seem to have full factory backing from Kawasaki, Monster, Thor, etc....and they must have quite a budget as they have just hired Ivan Tedesco.
Obviously, anyone who qualifies for a national is extremely talented but how have these guys who are just barely cracking the top 20 gotten such good support for their team?
(Littleton New Hampshire)
Fair question, Austin and I’m sure there are others who may wonder the same thing. While they certainly seem to be a factory supported race team from the outside I’m sure they are coming out of pocket significantly to keep their team running. In this economy, free bikes, parts and products are difficult to come by. Even for a team with the potential to win or podium it is a struggle to get support. And “Factory” help is all but non-existent for teams that don’t have a very close tie with a manufacturer. Even Jeff Ward’s team struggled to get the parts they wanted and they had Dean Wilson on their payroll! For a few weeks, anyway. So, what’s going on with Team Tedder? The father of the clan, Matt Tedder, is a multi-time vet class winner at Loretta Lynn. More impressive, monetarily anyway, is that he is owner of Hampton Tedder Electric, one of the largest firms in the power business in the southwest United States. And money may not buy happiness but by George it can buy a nice race team. And with a family of boys who love to race motorcycles that is exactly what Matt did. Now, I’m sure that Kawasaki gives him a break on bikes and they probably get some free gear from Thor, etc. But the fact is the largest contributor to Team Tedder is Tedder himself.
That said, they have some cool things in place. With Steve Lamson at the helm and Ivan Tedesco as their newest rider, Team Tedder is set to have a breakout year as a team. If Dakota can keep making improvements and Ivan has a solid year they could position themselves to be a very real, very serious race team with a plan to be in it for the long term. We need more of those and fewer teams calling it quits after a couple seasons.
I have been reading your article for about a year now and look forward to it ever week. Your Halloween dog story is my favorite to date. My question is one dad to another. I have three boys (17, 15, and 9) that love motocross. We all ride and love it. When my two older boys were young we raced quite a bit in a Friday night series that was nothing but positive. Motocross has been for me as a dad a way of getting the family together to spend time and learn life lessons (work hard for a goal, sportsmanship, and family). With the economy the way it is I can barely keep the boys on decent bikes. They have more and more begun to work and buy their own equipment but we still can’t afford to regularly drop $350.00 a weekend to race and keep the bikes race ready. I even went back to school at 39 to try and change my financial status but it is slow going. I flag at a local track to trade for track time and do suspension servicing on the side to make a little extra. I realize that time spent together is the important thing but for my wife, hearing stories about a trail ride or practice day do nothing for her. She loves to be at the races and involved also. My question is, in your opinion, is it better to do motocross halfway or give it up and find something else that we can do together that I can afford? I do believe that my finances will improve but my oldest is gone in a year and a half.
P.S I know my punctuation is atrocious and you are thinking what did he go back to school for…ditch digging? Cut me some slack I am working on it.
It sounds like you need to get the family gathered around a table and have an honest discussion about what they want to do. If they love motocross THAT much then there are some cheaper ways to stay involved. Maybe they would rather have the extra money and you can all take up tennis or hockey or whatever else blows your Viking hat back up there in Minnes-Oh-da. Maybe you could try some other sports during the winter and see if anything sticks. I can’t tell you anything about those sports but if they want to keep dirt biking you need to look into some two-strokes. You can rebuild the engines yourself [or with your boys help] and still have a great time at the track together while spending much less cash. I admire a guy who has the balls to go back to school at your age to improve your family’s future; it isn’t easy. I know that. It sounds like you are a great dad and I hope you guys can make it work.
Hey Ping,As a new father I had a question I've wondered for years and I figured you would know the answer being a former rider AND team manager. I know Mitch, Decoster, LaRocco, etc. like to win, but what are the feelings they have when a young man who has dreamed his whole life of winning a race and/or a championship finally gets his first? Do you think it is akin to the pride you feel when your own children accomplish something? Payton seems like the type who would have that type of pride and happiness for his riders and not just be happy for himself.
During my two years as manager of the TLD team I learned why guys like DeCoster and LaRocco keep doing it. There is nothing like the feeling of sitting on the starting line in Angels Stadium or pulling a holeshot at a National or winning a race or a moto. Nothing. I have two kids and their births were like knitting a scarf compared to winning the season opener in Anaheim. Of course I’m only talking about the visceral, adrenaline-infused emotion of the moment, not the grand-scheme significance. There goes my father of the year award, right?
My point is, being involved with a team at that level is the next best thing to being on the bike yourself. I got to work with our young riders quite a bit and make decisions about bike development and really steer the direction of the team. And when you get results after the work you put in it is a great feeling. I’ll never forget the San Diego supercross when Cole Seely and Wil Hahn finished second and third. It wasn’t a win but it was Seely’s first podium finish and a big boost for the team. I have a picture of the whole team up on the podium and it’s one that I’ll always remember. The feeling of helping Ben Townley try to resurrect his career was something that only a person who has tried to come back from multiple injuries will understand. So to see him win a USGP moto, finish on the podium several times in the Nationals and come within a half a lap of winning in RedBud was an awesome feeling. I can’t imagine how great it feels for Mitch and Roger and Mike to steer all these kids into winning titles. I guess the fact that they are all still doing it after all these years means it’s pretty great.
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Check out MY LIFE IN MOTORCYCLE RACINGin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.