Team Suzuki?s Mike Kiedrowski did something in the opening round that he wished he had achieved in last year?s opening round – finish. Jog your memory back a year when the swampy Florida opener gobbled up much of the competition, including the entire Suzuki team. That was not the case this year, as the series began in Texas and Kiedrowski finished second. With only four seconds separating race winner Rodney Smith, Kiedrowski, and defending champ Barry Hawk, it was a battle to the end. We made like E.T. and phoned home to Mike Kiedrowski to talk about round one, round two, Ryan Hughes, and mind racing.

How did you feel about your second place finish in the Lone Star GNCC?
I feel really good about it. Our bikes worked really well in Texas, and the power on the new Suzuki is great. It?s a responsive bike and tracks well for the GNCC?s. We were basically running a stock bike and the suspension was working perfectly. It was a rocky race, but after the first lap I was so stoked on my bike! Rodney [Smith] passed me with about a lap and a half to go, and although I had him in my sights I just couldn?t catch him. Steve Hatch was in there too, but he unfortunately got caught up with some lappers on the rocky uphills. You really needed to carry your speed on the uphills, and it made a big difference if you didn?t.

The GNCC series changed their schedule layout this year in that there isn?t such a huge hiatus from racing. How do you feel about the schedule?
It was kind of hard before the season started because we were trying to get our bikes ready for the opening race. With Christmas and then the New Year, it was tough trying to get testing done for the first race. Now that the first race is done I?m chomping at the bit to go racing again. At the same time some riders had problems and they?ll have some time to get those problems figured out. In between these races I?ve been riding and training harder than ever, but I just want to go racing again.

Will this be the closest series ever in regards to close finishing?
Yeah, I think so. I think it?s going to come down to Rodney Smith, Barry Hawk, and myself for the title. You also can?t count out Steve Hatch. It?s weird because a lot of guys had a funky first race and they didn?t do what I thought they were going to do. Mike Lafferty is sidelined because he blew out his knee and Jason Raines broke his shoulder. It?ll be a battle to the end but it won?t be as deep of a field.

What have you been doing to get ready for the Hurricane GNCC (round two in Florida)?
I?ve been riding at Rodney?s house. We?ve been working on coming up with some different suspension settings. We?ve been trying to ride at places that are similar to back east. You know, tracks and riding areas that will rut up. We?re also trying to make the suspension better. It?s good now, but we want to make it the best it can be. Really I?m just waiting for the next race because I?m sick of training. We?ve also been testing out different FMF pipes and working on the powerband a little bit.

Last year the race in Florida was literally a swamp and the whole Suzuki team had mechanical problems. What have you been doing in preparation for any rain?
Not really too much actually. Our bikes are pretty bulletproof as far as what we can do to them. If you?re going to ride your bike into a mud hole of course it?s going to stop and have problems. I?m going to just pick good lines, think, and just do my best. But hopefully this year it?ll be sunny [laughter].

What do you think of Ryan Hughes contesting the first few GNCC races?
Right now there are nine really good guys in the series, where a few years ago it was only three or four guys. It?s weird racing GNCC?s after racing supercross and/or motocross because the pace is totally different and the racing is longer. I do think it?s good that Ryan?s racing because it brings more publicity to the series.

What do you think about when you?re racing a GNCC? Does your mind wander?
Yeah, sometimes my mind does wander. I hope to get a good start and be right up front off the bat of every race. The first lap I just look at the track and see what I?m going to deal with for the next five laps. Then also I get comfortable with the riders I?ll be riding with. I concentrate on where I?m at on the track and I?m always looking for my mechanic to give me a pit board. Basically I?m always thinking about the race and where I am on the track.

Thank you very much for the interview, Mike. Good luck at Florida and we?ll keep our fingers crossed for you that the weather will be sunny and warm.
[Laughter] Thank you!


Comments are closed.