Features 23 Apr 2024

Five Questions: Ryder Kingsford

Yamalube Yamaha Racing recruit on ProMX 2024 two rounds in.

It’s been a promising start to the 2024 Penrite ProMX Championship for Yamalube Yamaha Racing’s Ryder Kingsford. The 19-year-old featured on the MX2 podium at Wonthaggi’s opening round and has finished in the top three in 50 percent of the motos up to this point. We caught up with the Victorian-based racer to ask Five Questions.

Image: Foremost Media.

Ryder, we’re two rounds into the season and you’re P3 in the MX2 standings. Are you happy with your start to ProMX 2024?

I’m pretty happy with how it’s gone so far. Obviously, it was nice to be on the podium at Wonthaggi with a third. I had a crash off the start in moto one at Horsham, then another crash towards the end of lap one, so it wasn’t ideal to be fighting back from dead last. But I bounced back for a third in the second moto, so that was a good rebound for me. What could have been that weekend, who knows? But, so far I’m pretty happy with how we started the season.

After a somewhat injury-riddled 2023, you’ve fought back to be in arguably career-best form this season. You must be proud of your ability to turn things around and be back at the front of the MX2 field.

Yeah, I had quite a big injury last year with my foot. It took a long time to heal, a lot longer than we initially thought it would. I was off the bike for about four months with that, so it was a pretty long period of time. As soon as I was back on the bike I knew that I had to put my head down and grind it out and get back to work with Ross [Beaton]. We just grinded out motos on top of motos to get back to where I needed to be. I started to finally show some speed at the final round in Coolum last year, it could’ve been a good result there but we had a bike problem in one of the motos that held us back, but that stuff happens. I showed some good speed in supercross too and started to find my feet there, but we just had a really solid pre-season heading into 2024. Now it’s just a case of ticking over the laps every day and continuing to put the work in, but I’m pretty happy with where we’re at now.

We’ve seen you in the top three in two of the four motos so far this season, what’s it going to take to make that next step to contend for race wins week in and week out?

I think for me, the biggest thing is starts. If I get off top a top-three start, I know I’m giving myself a good chance. I also need to work on a little bit more endurance and keeping that intensity for longer. If I can improve on those things, I know I’ve already got the sprint speed early, then I think we’ll be in a position to start competing for race wins.

Image: Foremost Media.

After two seasons with WBR Yamaha, you made the switch to Yamalube Yamaha Racing for 2024. What has that move been like for you?

The WBR Yamaha team is a little bit of a smaller program, but they have a solid bike and I really enjoyed and am grateful for my time there. But making the switch to Yamalube Yamaha this year, it’s a lot the same, obviously we have a new bike, but it’s mainly new faces this year and a new organisation. The bike is mostly the same, so I haven’t had to adapt too much, it’s more just the people around me that have changed.

You’re one of the originals in the Beaton’s Pro Formula training crew. What’s the dynamic like training side-by-side with some of your closest MX2 competitors like Brodie Connolly and Byron Dennis on a daily basis?

I love it. I’ve been down here for quite some time now, like five or six years. If you look at the standings, the three of us are in the top five in MX2. It’s just a good crew, then we obviously have Jed [Beaton] and Kyle [Webster], who are basically dominating the MX1 class. So we have a really solid crew down here, the atmosphere is awesome to work in and Ross [Beaton] puts in a lot of work for us.