BOB AND WEAVE:
Krystian Janik took a massive step in the right direction towards the end of last season as he really started to come into his own aboard his KX85. The Team Green Kawasaki rider landed on the top step of the podium in the 85cc (9-13) class at the Baja Brawl and was able to land 2nd overall in the Mini Sr 1 class against some established competition. Janik carried that same momentum into The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City and The Thor Winter Olympics, earning a title in the 85cc (9-12) class in Oklahoma as well as a handful of overall podiums at Mini Os. The Illinois native is mixing it up with some older competition in the Supermini 1 class this year which is helping him to find that next gear on his KX85 as he’s looking to be a front runner in the Mini Sr and 85cc classes heading to the Ranch later this season. We had a quick chat with Krystian to see how he’s been staying entertained during the quarantine, how often he’s been able to ride, and how racing has been going for him lately.
What have you been doing to keep yourself from getting too bored with the quarantine going on lately?
Sometimes I just go outside in my backyard and do some workouts to stay fit. I'll play video games sometimes, but that's really it.
What kind of video games do you like to play?
I play most of the motocross games, Call of Duty, and I play lots of sports games too.
Are you thinking about doing the virtual Road to Loretta's this year?
Yeah, I want to but I don't really like that game. The physics are weird and I don't really like it.
What have you been doing in terms of riding and training to stay active with the current situation?
Usually, I just do the basics. I don't have any equipment but I do have a road bike so I'll go road bike for a couple of hours and then I'll go back home and just do some physical stuff like stretches and stuff like that, just to do legs and arms.
So, you'd typically go to a local gym but that's out of the question right now?
Oh yeah! My dad was a pro boxer so I do some private training with him and he gives some lessons. It's not really too popular, but he's really good at training so I do some workouts with him.
What's the riding situation like for you in Illinois?
Nothing's really open. We know everyone around here 'cause we live close to the tracks, so sometimes they'll invite us out there just to ride 'cause we don't have anywhere to go. There's a local track called Joliet MX and then we have Lincoln Trail down in Casey, Illinois.
How much has all of this affected your normal program with how often you're able to ride?
I used to ride two to three times a week, but right now I can only go sometimes on the weekend and then rarely on weekdays.
Are you starting to get a little bit bored?
Yeah, it sucks sitting at home!
You started to really pick the pace up last year on the KX85, talk a little bit about some of your results towards the end of the 2019 season.
Yeah, Baja is one of my favorite tracks around here. The track is so fun, I love riding in the sand. I did really good there and then I loved the layout at Ponca this year. I had a really good setup with the grates and the concrete (on the start) and the track was so fun there. I pulled a lot of holeshots which helped me win a couple of races which was awesome. I like the track at Mini Os too, and I got some good finishes there in Mini Sr. 1 and Mini Sr. 2. The track was just awesome there, I loved it and it was good leading into the new season because the good finishes I had gave me a little bit of a boost because I rode well.
At Baja last year you were able to run the same pace as Mark Fineis in one of the Mini Sr. races. Did it help your confidence to be able to run with an older kid that just earned a ride with Orange Brigade?
It felt awesome! After that race, I was like "Wow, I did that." It gave me a boost because now I know I can hang with those guys and I just need a good start. I learned that I just need to charge hard the first few laps and not go backward because at the end of the race there's not as much to gain.
How did Spring A Ding Ding go for you this year?
Yeah, I couldn't get a start in the 85 classes but the supermini was able to pull me out of the gate because I'm so light compared to those guys. I had a couple of DNFs -- the first one was because I went over the triple and it was slick on the landing, I guess I swapped and landed on the bottom. I broke my water pump, pipe, radiator and all sorts of stuff on the supermini. The last moto of Supermini 1, my bike blew up in the last corner and last lap, but the track was so sick, I loved it! The big booters are so fun and I had some pretty good battles. The one moto I DNF'd in the Mini Sr class, the first two laps I was in like 15th and I caught up to 5th and then I got taken out and hurt my shoulder. That was probably my best moto because I ended up battling with everyone to get around them and it was really fun.
One good thing about the layout there is that there are lots of different lines for passing and coming through the pack.
Yeah, there are so many different ruts and lines on the track. There could be one roller on the inside and you can go around it, still go to the inside, and make a pass. The track is fast but it's slow in some spots which are cool because the track can't always be so fast. It helps everyone out and kind of separates the pack of riders.
How has it been for you stepping up and racing both Supermini classes and mixing it up with those older kids?
Yeah, it was tough last year in Supermini 1 'cause there were lots of fast kids but they moved up already. This year it's tough -- they're so fast and I've got to work on so many things to get up to where they are. Right now we're focusing more on Mini Sr. 1 and 2, but we gotta start movin' up on superminis and hopefully, I can get into the top five.
What're your thoughts on the potential plans they have in place for Loretta Lynn's this year?
I hope they do get some qualifiers in because they're all near my house. If they do Regionals, it's going to suck because they kind of have to do a top six 'cause they're only going to have a couple of 'em. I hope they do it because it's such a big race and it's really good for you if you do well there.
Do you have any idea what your plans would be for the end of the year in terms of what classes you'll be racing?
I think so. I'm pretty sure my dad said after this full year I'm done with 85s and we'll move up to the supermini. It's so much better -- bigger wheels, faster, so I'm excited to start focusing more on that.