Wyatt Liebeck was a front runner in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy 1 classes throughout the entirety of the 2019 season, challenging for podiums and overall victories from the Daytona RCSX in March all the way until the Baja Brawl in September. The rider out of Wisconsin landed on the overall rostrum at Daytona, the JS7 Freestone Spring Championship, Loretta Lynn’s, and the Baja Brawl. His consistent speed throughout the season came as no surprise and he was part of a handful of riders that separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the 125cc classes. Liebeck has since moved up to the B class for the 2020 season and was looking forward to the opportunity to showcase the hard work he’s done throughout the offseason at the 2020 Daytona RCSX, but a crash at the beginning of the race day left him with a badly broken finger that forced him to sit out the remainder of the event. Since then, he’s been back home in Wisconsin focusing on staying fit and honing his skills on the bike at many of the local tracks he grew up riding. We had a conversation with Wyatt to get the rundown on some of the big races back in 2019, talk about the step up to the B class, and riding his pit bike with a broken finger.
What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained and busy during the quarantine for the last few months?
Well, I've just been hanging out with my friends and riding quite a bit at home. I've been getting to ride some local tracks that I haven't gotten to ride in a couple of years so I've been enjoying that.
What's the riding situation been like for you?
I have three tracks I go to that are like thirty minutes away from my house so I usually ride 'em on certain days.
Is it cool to get back to your roots a little bit and rip some of the tracks you grew up on now that you're on a bigger bike?
Yeah, for sure. It's definitely fun. Last weekend I got to go to a track I haven't been to in like five years, so it's definitely good to get back out there, see all the local people, and hang out with 'em all.
You were registered for the Daytona RCSX this year and didn't end up logging any results in timing and scoring. What happened there?
I actually got to race just one moto and ended up breaking my finger so I didn't get to race the rest of 'em, so I just had some tough luck. On the start, you make a turn and there you hit that wall jump; the kid next to me landed in a big pocket and got a little sketchy, so he came right into me and hit me. Then I crashed and a couple of kids ran over me, I didn't realize what happened right away until I looked at my finger and the whole thing was just crooked. I went to the trackside support and they wanted me to get surgery right away, so obviously I couldn't race so I was bummed. I ended up not having to get surgery, so that was nice.
So it was good timing for you with racing getting postponed since you were just healing up for a while after that...
Yeah, I was actually kind of happy when I saw that Freestone got canceled so I wasn't missing anything.
How long were you off the bike for?
When I got home after Daytona, it was almost a month probably. It was March at the time so it was tough to ride at home in Wisconsin, so it was about a month and then I started gettin' back on the bike and everything is back to normal now.
What did you do during that downtime when you're not able to ride?
I'd do a lot of road biking and I have a little pit bike track in my backyard, so I'd go rip that.
Broken finger and all? Couldn't stay away from the pit bike?
Let's talk a little bit about the racing season last year. The 125 and Schoolboy 1 class at Loretta's was very competitive last year and you ended up with a 3rd overall, how'd things go from your perspective?
Yeah, I thought it was really good for me. It was definitely a step in the right direction from past years there. I knew I had the speed, but I just think that my fitness wasn't up to par with everybody else yet. It definitely showed in my last moto of the Schoolboy 1 class, like I had a good holeshot and I was in 3rd and then I dropped back to 4th or somethin'. It's kind of disappointing 'cause in that class I had a chance to win the championship if I would've gotten 2nd in that moto. It was kind of disappointing, but it was definitely a step in the right direction for Loretta's.
Did that help your confidence moving into the Baja Brawl? You won a few motos there and ended up on the overall podium again.
Yeah, I think it definitely did. I felt like Baja just felt weird for me this year; I wasn't my usual self there. It wasn't bad but I just had some dumb mistakes that kept me from winning championships. No excuses, but it's kind of a bummer.
You seem pretty comfortable in the sand at that track. Is that something you ride often?
Definitely, all the tracks around my house are mostly all sand. All the local race tracks are gnarly sand tracks, so I'm used to it and I feel like that's where I get a big advantage.
At Mini Os you had some solid results in supercross and then something happened to you on the outdoor track. What went down exactly?
My race bike actually blew up. I think it was in the 250 B class when I was racing it and it blew up on me, so we brought it back to the trailer and we had to do a full motor swap. So I had to run my stock motor all week and I think I got a 2nd in one moto on it, but the other races were tough. I'd just make little mistakes, not all of them were my fault, but it was just a tough week outdoors.
What's the step up to the 250 been like for you?
It's been super good. I feel super comfortable on the bike and my confidence is high on it. I showed speed at Daytona before I broke my finger and I know where I sit in that class now, so it should definitely be a good year for me. This is the best I've ever felt on a bike and the closest I've ever been.
What're your thoughts on the Super Regional format for Loretta's this year?
It's definitely a little different. I just hope that the Regionals aren't crazy packed with tons of kids that shouldn't be there but hopefully, we can just gett’er done at one and move on to start training for Loretta's.
This year you'll be racing in the B class at Loretta's, have you thought about what your plans are for the end of the season moving into 2021?
Right now I've been thinking about going A after Loretta's to see where that brings me. I might try and do a couple of the Canadian Nationals actually. I might go try a couple of those out and see what they're like. We'll just play it by ear and see how everything goes I guess.