Catching up with Kyle Keast
|An early look at Kyle Keast on his #4 KTM. Keast spent some time in Florida this week on his new ride.|
|Crystal Keast photo|
By Allison Kennedy
Photos courtesy of Crystal Keast
The snow is gradually melting here at home and Canadian riders are making their way south for their first rides of the 2011 season. It’s an exciting time of year, we finally get to see the top riders boasting their 2011 numbers, new gear, new bikes, and a new season is just around the corner. We caught up with KTM Canada’s Kyle Keast to see how his first week on the bike has been.
Thanks for letting us track you down in Florida. How’s it going?
Hey, no problem. We are just heading to the gym. Things are really good.
Where are you and when did you get down there?
We’re in Kissimee, Florida, and we got down here on Sunday afternoon. We rode at Pax track on Monday, didn’t ride on Tuesday, Wednesday at Bartow, yesterday at Bithlo and we are going back there today. The track is pretty rough and sandy there and I am getting my suspension dialed in. I’ve been emailing Mike Haist at Factory Connection back and forth and he’s been helping me with stuff. Andy White came down yesterday too.
How long are you down for, what’s the plan?
Just until Sunday, just for a week. We are going to watch Daytona on Saturday and then come back to Kissimee and then leave Sunday and maybe go riding on the way home. We have to be home by Monday.
|Keast spent the week communicating with Factory Connection's Mike Haist to get his suspension dialed.|
|Crystal Keast photo|
So I take it you’ve had a little bit of seat time on the bike? What are you first impressions?
It’s awesome. Everything works really well on it so I’m really happy with that. Then they also sent some gear down so I’ve had a chance to try that too. We’re wearing Thor gear and helmet, Smith goggles, and Alpinestars boots.
Is Andy headed to the race with you?
Andy came to the track yesterday and then took us out for dinner last night. Today he is going up to Waldo to watch Jeremy ride. Then he’s meeting us in Daytona tomorrow.
Have you been to a Daytona SX before? It should be a pretty intense weekend…
A long, long time ago, when I was a kid. It’s should be good, seeing as Stewart and Reed hate each other again… I heard it was pretty bad.
So what happens after this trip?
Well, I go back to work.
Then do you get another chance to come south?
I’m not sure yet, if I can. Racing should be starting in Ontario soon anyway, in April so we’ll see. Andy mentioned the possibility of doing more testing in April but we’ll have to see. So for now the plan is to come home, and hopefully start riding at Gopher Dunes in a couple of weeks.
So not too long till outdoors starts now. What is your pre-National race plan?
I’ll be doing as many Ontario Provincials as we can and hopefully a few Quebec ones as well. Other than that, I’ll be doing my same old thing and then riding for Royal at the Nationals.
Have you been in touch with any of your new teammates?
No, not really. Jeremy is a riding up at Waldo and Benoit is still racing sleds. Willard is in South Carolina at Zach Osbourne’s place, and we don't really know who the other 450 rider is yet so…
Well you sound like your usual chill self…
Yep, that’s me.
Thanks very much for your time. Enjoy Daytona!
Thank you! Talk to you soon.