AllAboutBikes talks to Ant Racing and the Monster Energy rider James Rispoli about the races this season and what’s in store for next year. James Rispoli started out his racing career in the dirt on a JR50 at just 6 years old. You can now see him running in the AMA Supersport series.
AllAboutBikes caught up with James both at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Barber Motorsports Park Alabama at the end of the 2010 season.
The first part of this interview was held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca so we asked James about his first race on the Saturday.
by Julian Taylor
James, recalls that after his first race which he lost, his buddy gave him a trophy to make him feel better, and he has been chasing them ever since.
AAB: Where did you start riding?
James: “New Hampshire, my first race was terrible I was on a JR50 at 6 years old and progressed from the 50 to an 80 then onto a 250 all on the dirt flat track.”
AAB: What happened in your first race?
“I Crashed qualifying here on my A bike on lap two, qualifying 11th. And I went down in the race too on my B bike. You have to push to the limit to find out where it is.”
The second race was much better James finished fifth in that race getting nipped to the post by Elena Myers on a drag to the finish line; “lack of horsepower” was definitely the issue there said James afterwards.
AAB: How do you keep yourself fit?
James: “Eating healthy, getting on the bicycle, and really trying to put in the miles.
AAB: Where do you hope to be at the end of the season?
James: “I hope to be running top 3 on the box consistently. (James got his first win after this interview at New Jersey) if we’re there or there about’s I will be happy.
It’s still a little up in the air for next year. Do we stay in Supersport and keep learning or move up to Daytona Sportbike and get to the next level. (James has since this interview decided to run in the Supersport class again next year to get a full season under his belt)
Part 2: Barber Motorsports Park
by Dan Evon
Going into the final round of the AMA Supersport series, James Rispoli had his eyes on the podium. Rispoli had just claimed his first AMA Supersport victory in New Jersey, and was looking to end his season strong. Even though Rispoli didn’t achieve the finishes he desired, the young rider gained knowledge, experience, and confidence over the Barber weekend, and will be even stronger going into 2011.
AllAboutBikes Magazine got a chance to talk with James Rispoli after the Barber event.
AAB: Are you relieved the seasons over?
Rispoli: “No, I wish we could go back for two more rounds. I mean, after VIR I really got my head in the game. I think we really started running toward the front after VIR, so I wish we could go back to Laguna or Road Atlanta, that would be the ideal way to end the season for me.”
AAB: You took your first win of the season at New Jersey. Was there anything different going into that race, as opposed to the other races this season?
Rispoli: “I’ve never been to New Jersey, that’s one thing. But we had so many races going into it you know, it’s crazy how we pulled it all off. We did Indy, Indy Mile, then we went to Bonneville, then we flew into New Jersey on Thursday night for New Jersey on Friday Morning.”
AAB: How did you celebrate after that win?
Rispoli: “You know it wasn’t too much, it was just a huge relief, you know. We got one. We had to work our butts off for it, it wasn’t given to us. It was definitely a hard fought win, and it brought my confidence really up.”
“So yeah, the celebration wasn’t too big. It was just a normal race weekend, maybe a little bit more. But there were more races, and we just kept going, and going into the last round at Barber we said ‘alright we got a win, now we have to come out in the last round full bore and see what we can do to beat these guys.’”
AAB: The Barber weekend didn’t really go as planned, but did you take anything away from Barber? Are you hopeful for next year?
Rispoli: “I think Barber, was a tough weekend, but I think Barber went very well for us, even though we crashed out of both races, we’re taking the positives away, we claimed our first ever front row in Supersport, so we knew New Jersey wasn’t a fluke.”
AAB: So what is the goal next year? You got your first race win this year, your first front-row start, are you guys aiming for podiums, race wins, championships? What’s the plan for 2011?
Rispoli: “2011 we’re going to run the Supersport East. I just think I need another year qualifying, racing, just another year on road racing. And really, that will be my first real real full AMA season. I mean, we did the full season this year. But now it will be my first real full season.”
“But yeah, I want the championship. I want to bring home the number 1. We’re looking for that, we’re looking for consistent podiums, and yeah, I want more than 1 win. I want to make sure that I’m the guy going into 2012.”
AAB: What is the off-season going to be like this year?
Rispoli: “We’ll do some track days, definitely do some testing. I’ve been working with Jason Pridmore, a lot, and I definitely want to thank him for helping me out this season. He’ll help me out over the winter on training, and riding, and things like body position and corner speed. Hopefully we’ll be doing a lot with Jason Pridmore.”
“I trained for a week before Barber with Josh Hayes, so hopefully I can go out and train with him again. I want to go into Daytona knowing I’m the best, or at least I’m in the best shape that I can be in. Physical, mental, I want to know that I have the best shot of taking the double at Daytona.”
AAB: That’s about all I have for you, is there anything you want to add.
Rispoli: “I’d like to put a big thanks out to my dad, who was there 100%, 110% for me this year, and just couldn’t do it without all the sponsors this year.”
Since this interview was transcribed AllAboutBikes has come to an agreement with James and Ant racing and we will be one of the featured companies on this race outfit in the 2011season next year.
Written by Julian Taylor and Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com