During the first half of the 2019 season, Dylan Cunha won about everything there was to win in the C class. The California native took home three titles from the JS7 Freestone Spring championship, grabbed a number one plate at Mammoth, and put himself on top of the 250 C class with a trio of 1st place finishes at Loretta’s in his first trip to the Ranch. Cunha took a little bit of time to adjust to the B class, but it wasn’t long until he was finishing back on the podium with a strong result in the 250 B Limited class at the AZ Open in the form of a 2nd place finish. Cunha was able to carry that momentum into 2020 when he backed it up with a 3rd place finish in the Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C class at the Daytona RCSX. The Fly Racing backed rider has been putting in some hard work on the training ground lately, riding regularly with Jett Reynolds at his private facility in Bakersfield, California. That hard work has improved his speed throughout the last couple of months as he’s been fully focused on improving his craft in preparation for Loretta’s this year. We had a quick chat with Dylan to recount his dominant performances in the C class last year, what he’s been doing during his downtime, and what his mindset is heading to the Ranch this year.
How have you been staying busy during the last few months during the quarantine?
The past couple of months I've been staying with Jett Reynolds and we've just been training and riding his track, so it's been pretty good. We haven't been slacking at all, still been riding and training.
What's it like for you to have the opportunity to ride and train with such an accomplished rider like Jett? Especially now that both of you are on 250s.
I feel like it's really good for me 'cause I get to ride with the fast guys like Jett and Ryder (DiFrancesco) during the week. You know, I get to chase them around and they chase me. I think it's really good and I feel like I've gotten a lot faster doing that.
Is it cool to be in the same class as Jett this year since you both moved into the B class simultaneously?
It's pretty good. It feels the same but now it's a little more competitive.
Apart from your riding and training, what have you been up to during your downtime?
I mean, I like goin' to the lake and riding jet skis, we've actually been playing a little bit of golf lately, and you know...always pit bikes.
We talked to Jett about a month ago and he mentioned the golf. Are you guys competitive in that as well?
No, not at all. Very terrible at it, but we're getting a little bit better. We're only like four or five over par, but I make a pretty good caddy though (laughs). Jett's actually pretty good at golf so he's been tryin' to give me some pointers.
What was last year in the C class like for you? You were pretty dominant and won a championship at practically every race you attended.
It was honestly a really big confidence booster 'cause I've never been like a top guy. On minis, I'd probably get a top ten on my good days so it honestly just felt good. I've never experienced that. I feel like winning all those titles really helped me comin' into B class, like I got 3rd at Daytona this year, so it really shows. I'm super pumped on it!
What was your mindset going into Loretta's last year? Was it tough to balance your expectations not being in that position before?
Throughout the whole year I won, so when I was going into Loretta's I felt pretty confident, but I just wanted to stay on two wheels and that was my first time there so I didn't have any experience with it all. I feel like it was good, I wasn't really too nervous and I was just having fun with it.
Did you have any issues adapting to the track considering it was your first time and you're from the west coast?
It was different for sure, but I ended up going to South of the Border in South Carolina for a week before that and just rode there, got used to the dirt and it was honestly a really great riding experience to go there. After I did that, I felt really confident going there and I knew the dirt and how soft it was. It's a lot different on the west coast, everything is all dry here, you know.
What was it like standing on the top step of the podium at the end of the week your first time racing there?
Honestly, it was a really great feeling. Like I said, I've never been a top guy and just to go there and win was a pretty big deal for me. Even though it was like C class and everyone says stuff about it, it still felt cool to be up there, you know.
What was it like for you making the jump to the B class starting off at The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City?
When I went to Ponca, I wasn't really nervous and I thought I was honestly going to do pretty good lookin' at my lap times from C class and last year compared to the B class. When I raced there, it really woke me up just how much more intense the class is. The intensity is high! I wasn't really used to it and I kind of got nervous. I didn't really do too great there but it woke me up and showed me I had to focus and keep workin' hard.
How'd Supercross Futures go for you at the beginning of the season?
The Futures, I love those things and goin' to ride those tracks. They're tamed down a little bit but it's still super fun. I felt pretty good 'cause I was riding supercross with Jett a lot before that and I felt pretty comfortable on it. Those Futures races are always fun and I feel like I did pretty good, I got a couple of 3rd places and top fives.
We touched on it a little bit before, but what was the feeling like for you to get on the podium at Daytona this year in the Schoolboy 2 class?
I was pretty pumped about the Schoolboy 2 class, I actually got a good start and then I ended up getting 3rd. I was really confident about winning the stock class, but I ended up goin' down. The goal was to get a podium spot and I ended up gettin' it, so I was pretty pumped on it.
What're your thoughts on the Super Regionals coming up soon?
It's all crazy, it's gonna be a good experience for sure. I feel like it'll go pretty smooth. We have a race next weekend in Utah.
What're your plans this year for Loretta's and what's your mindset heading into it this year?
The plan is to ride 250 B Limited and 450 B Limited, so we're gonna go for the stock classes. I'm feeling pretty good, I feel like I can do pretty well in that class. I feel really good on the bike right now so I think we'll do alright at the Regional.