One of the many Privateers preparing for the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Series to kick-off is Ryan Breece. Ryan is a true privateer doing it with his own program. The off-season is spent reaching out to sponsors for help and hitting as many money races as possible. After the WSX series ended he talked to us about what he’s had going on recently.
For the full interview, check out the YouTube video right here. If you're interested in the condensed written version, scroll down just a bit further.
Jamie Guida- Vital MX: For 2022 you did your own program, right? You went out, got your own sponsors and did it all solo?
Ryan Breece: Yeah, I did it solo. My fiancé, Makenna, kind of worked as my agent during the summer, and then I made some deals on my own with a few construction excavating companies and an airplane pilot. We threw something together on our own deal with Yamaha motorcycles. And we had a local dealership. As the results are happening more people want to help. And we had a couple more dealerships that popped in and were buying me boots and stuff that I couldn't get because I wasn't a factory guy or whatever you want to say. I couldn't be more appreciative of how I did it. It was pretty gnarly. All the local companies came together, and it was like, “Let's go for this”.
Vital MX: You ended 17th overall with a couple of top tens. Are you happy with your season, considering you did it by yourself?
Ryan: You know, all summer long we're contemplating what is a realistic goal for us, you know? What is compensating for what we had and what wasn't. And yeah, we're happy, we're pleased. We stayed somewhat healthy throughout the season. That's the main goal, but you want more you know? You could have done this better, and you could've done this right or wrong. I guess in the long run we're satisfied. But there's always more that we need and want for ourselves.
Vital MX: You mentioned it’s difficult to get boots and such because you're not “factory”. You get good results for a privateer. Do you find it difficult to get product or get help within the industry?
Ryan: I don't want to name any names, but it is so hard with a couple of these companies who are only giving to a certain number of riders or to their buddies. And that's where it's hard for me. But I feel like we have a good representation, and we represent ourselves pretty strongly in the community. We're so tight knit in the industry. I think you're either on the good side or you're on the bad side. And if you're on the bad side, you're not getting support at all. It's weird to find this fine line with the companies who are just product only. We do have a couple complications when it comes to that. It's crazy putting our own deal together with all these companies that we're getting some monetary support from. Because it takes, I don't know, 80 to $100,000 to run this privateer program that we have. We're starting to get money for entry fees and whatnot. But we find it hard in the motorcycle industry itself to get product out of those companies.
Vital MX: Is that the biggest struggle for you as a privateer, or is there something else that is a bigger struggle?
Ryan: With that product being not available to us that becomes a struggle because then we're financially having to fork out those funds, where we would really like to keep it focused on getting our entries paid, our flights and transportation to the races, and stuff covered. Then we're not having to stress on that. If we have to worry about getting 15th place in order to make two grand so we can race the next weekend, that's where it becomes hard. For me I put myself in the position that we need to race as many races in the off-season as I possibly can just in case we don't have that monetary support. I'm having to live in the van and go race to race and doing it the hardest way possible. That's just a super fine line where we are directing our money to product or other things like that. We do have to keep safe, we have to have a good helmet, good gloves on us. If we were to put our money elsewhere, I think you would start to see other people and myself start to compete with the top factory guys. I mean, maybe not the million-dollar guys, the Roczens and Tomacs. But you're competing with the guys who are right there on a factory level.
Vital MX: What are the positives and negatives of riding for a smaller level privateer team and why did you choose to do it on your own last season?
Ryan: You know, we were out for the year of 2021, so I had no data behind me to even get on a team. If I had the choice, I would jump on a team immediately. It would take the stress right out of my brain and release some pockets. I think I would actually be putting some energy back in my pockets. We knew the only way we can go racing is if we get some local people back on board. Then let's try to see if we can open some eyes for ourselves. I don't know if there's a benefit or non-benefit other than where you have the people you want around you. You don't have all the suspension guys, you don't have the motor guy, and those guys are important people that teams have. That's a big benefit on a team program. We struggle on practice time. The track's always changing. It's rough and not groomed up. It's rutted and stuff like that. When you don't have a suspension guy, you're doing it all on your own. I mean, good luck, man. Yeah, you have to have some raw James Stewart speed.
Vital MX: You went down to Brazil for Arenacross recently. How do you get involved with that series?
Ryan: I was approached by one of the Brazilian teams over there. We're just trying to work on some deals trying to go outside of the States. Sadly, we make a little bit more money there. I don't know if you guys see the payout or not, but the payouts are not strong. We're having to accumulate outside races and outside sponsors to see if they can bring something home for us so we can be financially comfortable to go racing. It's not comfortable at all.
Vital MX: Was it a good experience going down there? How was the trip?
Ryan: Yeah, it was actually a lovely experience. I got on a podium there. The two guys were absolutely killing it, like just super-fast. You run into a little situation, you run different tires there and little funky stuff. It's not home base. You hop on the bike, hope for the best and it's a learning experience until you nail something down. We gelled really well with the team, and I think this coming year I should be focusing on that Brazilian Arenacross. We're waiting to see how everything shapes up. Then after the race, I got to spend a little bit of vacation time with my now fiancée. We enjoyed some tropical scenery. It's pretty cool.
Vital MX: I have that in my notes. After all these years, you finally asked Makenna.
Ryan: I did. I manned up finally. With the season that we had, I told her, “Hey, we've finally made a little bit of coin. Let's go dish this stuff out”. What better of a life could you get? You’re going to race dirt bikes and you bring your soon to be with you, you know? That was a neat thing and I figured if she's packing my bags, I better put a ring on this thing real quick.
Vital MX: As a kid, could you have imagined that you're going to get to race all over the world and earn a few bucks doing it? That's pretty cool.
Ryan: I'm extremely grateful. At least three times a day I look up and just tell the Lord how blessed I am. We have times where it is just a big struggle. But then you look at these times traveling the world and you're doing it racing dirt bikes. Maybe you're not making so much money. Not yet anyway. It's keeping the dream alive. It gets you to a happy point when you're moving like that.
Vital MX: What about World Supercross for Rick Ware Racing? I know you didn't get the results you were hoping for. How was the series? How did you like the format?
Ryan: I have to give a huge shout out to Rick for investing his time and his energy with me. It was a very quick situation. We were all prepped up and thought we were ready to roll. But then I'm having to run my old bikes prepping for it. There was only three days that we got to prep for it due to lack of finding motorcycles. That was a worldwide hit that everybody took. That was extremely hard. What else can you ask for really? You’re thrown on a machine and we're testing so many things with only two days of prep, and then we get one day of just try to ride the bike how it is. It was completely different from my practice bike. But the World Supercross was pretty gnarly. The action was so tight, and you almost were worried. You were almost worried because it's like you're tired, everyone else is so tired. And then they're going like a monsoon, every single corner. You're hoping you don't get hit; you know? The layouts and the tracks were kind of single file. There weren’t many options to do there. The whoops weren't too big, so the separation wasn't too crazy. But the winners won and the losers like me, suck it up, that's for sure.
Vital MX: What did you think of the format? It is very similar to a Triple Crown, but less time in between. As a fan, I thought it was cool. You get no time to rest. I'm sure as a rider you needed a break.
Ryan: Yeah. If you're a sprinter, if you're really good for the first ten laps or so on supercross, that's your jam. It was pretty sick just having to smash it the whole entire time right from the gate drop to the finish line. But when they started it was a five-minute break in between for the first round and then we went to the second round in Australia, and they gave us more time. I think maybe people were complaining a little bit. The tough guys got it done and it was cool, but there is no time if you have a bike problem, good luck. We didn't have a backup bike or anything. We just winged the deal. I crashed in Australia and then I've got bent bar mounts and bars running for the last two races. So that's where it can really bite your butt. There are pluses and negatives. I think the layout was good. But for that tighter racing I would prefer to open it up a little bit.
Vital MX: What are your plans going into ‘23? Do you know what you're doing?
Ryan: I would like to hope so. It’s almost November. We're all prepped up, we're doing our own deal, Ryan Breece Racing with Yamaha. We’re waiting for a couple other things to fit in place. But we're here in SoCal now. I’ll be going to the German Supercross series on Monday and then I've got a few more off races to hit as we're prepping up and it's pretty much go time. But I've got a few local companies that are hopping on board and I'm hoping that it's going to be better than last year. Everything is so delayed. November 15th is when we should be getting all the bikes. I'm freaking excited, man.