Ryan Sipes made history by becoming the first American to not only claim the E2 victory but also win overall individual honors at the ISDE. He put a lock on it by running away with the final E2 moto with the second-fastest time of the day.
1. Congratulations with the ISDE Overall in Slovakia. What this as much a surprise to you as to everyone else?
Thank you! I have to say yes. I expected to be competitive, but never expected to win the Individual Overall. It’s a great feeling.
2. When did you really start to realize that you could win the Overall?
Up through Day 3, it was a really tight race for the overall lead and nobody could create any separation. Day 4 was the turning point for me, as I gained 32 seconds on second place that day alone and built a nice lead for myself. I knew I could do it then. I just had to hold it together!
3. You rode the ISDE in 2013 but did not race in Argentina. What was the reason not to go to South America?
My son due to be born the week before we had to leave for Argentina. I didn’t want to miss that time with him.
4. Lots of time goes into walking the special tests even before the ISDE starts. Tell us how important that is and what the key is?
We do spend a lot of time walking, but I think it is very crucial if you want to do well in the race. I put a lot of focus into walking and remembering key points of the tests, so when we get there to race them, its like I’ve already practiced it. That was one of my strong points this year.
5. Did it help to solely focus on your own ride after the team was out during day 4?
It was the only way I could do it! Once the team was out, I had to make sure I did everything I needed to do to ride well and avoid mistakes. All the Team USA support crew and other riders were great too, as they rallied around me and did anything they could to help. It was great.
6. What is the key to a good ISDE bike set up? Did you make changes during the event?
I used my GNCC set-up all week. Husqvarna, WP, and Factory Services together have built me an awesome motorcycle that works good anywhere.
7. You turned a lot of heads here in the USA. How did the rest of the world respond?
The response has been amazing. Everyone has been super positive and happy for me. What’s cool is that I think there is a lot more attention being paid to ISDE after my win. I’m glad, because its a great event and we need that support.
8. Many riders have received good offers after a good ISDE effort from top EWC teams to ride for them the year after. Did you?
I actually got offers to race World Enduro for 2016, and was very appreciative for that, but I want to stay in the U.S. with my family for now.
9. Top riders do receive a nice bonus for winning the ISDE and the make sure it's in their contract. Did you have that in yours?
Nope. I got a pat on the back and an “atta boy" for winning.
10. You just finished in third in Unadilla. Was is hard to recharge the battery after such a high in Slovakia?
For sure. I just had to forget about the week before and focus on what I had to do at the GNCC. I feel that I was better than third that day, but two small mistakes held me to that spot. Looking forward to having another chance at it this weekend at Mountain Ridge.
11. You race with Super B batteries. How did they perform in Slovakia and do you feel you can pull a hole shot with a Super B battery at the GNCC?
My Super B batteries were awesome in Slovakia! Six days and over 800 miles later, they were still going strong. Yes I can pull the holeshot at GNCC! I’m still working on my technique, but I know Super B gives me the best chance at making it happen!