Tedesco's title capped a roller coaster season for the 23-year-old Murrieta, Calif., rider. A sub-par performance in the season opener in Anaheim in January, looked to put his title defense in jeopardy, but the sixth-year pro never gave up. Tedesco went on to earn six straight podium finishes, including wins at Anaheim II and III in Angel Stadium.
That consistency was key to his championship, and Tedesco came into Seattle with a 36-point lead over Red Bull KTM's Nate Ramsey, needing only sixth or better to clinch the title.
With the championship nearly in his grasp, Tedesco produced some drama when he crashed in his qualifying heat race and was forced to make the main via the Last Chance Qualifier. In the final, he finished a safe third with Ramsey winning and Andrew Short taking second.
“It was a nerve-wracking night,” Tedesco admitted. “When I crashed in my heat I got a pretty bad burn on my leg from my muffler. I was very nervous going into the start of the LCQ. Once I made it into the main, I felt a lot more confident. I'm glad to win this championship for my team. Now I can go to Houston and really give it my all to go for another win.”
Rival Nate Ramsey sent congratulations to Tedesco after the race.
“Ivan had a great season and deserved this title,” he said. “I had a couple of bad races, and he took advantage of it -- and that's what racing's all about. I would have loved to win the championship, but we still had a great season with a lot of wins, so I feel good about that.”
Tedesco's title continues Kawasaki's outstanding run in AMA 125 Supercross. Kawasaki riders have now won nine AMA 125 West championships. It marks the second straight season that Kawasaki swept both East and West 125 titles.
The AMA 125 West Series concludes in Houston's Reliant Stadium April 30. The best of the 125 East and West riders will then come together for the annual Dave Coombs Memorial East/West Shootout at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on May 7.
Info AMA Pro Information, photo copyright TFS