Time is passing so fast but we can’t forget the Good Guys we admired even if there is 16 years ago.. I remember the red wristband i received to support Ernesto after his sad crash.. Time has passed but « the man from Costa Rica » is still a sportsman highly respected around the world..
MXVOICE : So, 1stquestion, for the Fans what are you doing now..?
ERNESTO FONSECA : What takes most of my time is wheelchair training I’m doing some marathons as well as track events. I started about 3 years ago & it’s what I focus on for the most part. Before that I had a couple of jobs, sports marketing it was good and all but, after a while I got let go so I decided to get back into exercising and doing things that I enjoyed most. It’s similar to what I did before, just less risky and the motor is your arms. 😉
MXVOICE : Do you stay in touch with the MX or SX business around the world..?
ERNESTO FONSECA : You know not so much. I feel it is a tough industry, it’s hard because everyone says they want to do it and be the best, but they don’t want to put in the work. And for me I don’t need to be involved in the industry. I admire the racers so, I just go to one or two SX’s a year in the US.
MXVOICE : Do you need challenges in your daily life..?
ERNESTO FONSECA : You know, I wouldn’t say I need challenges in my daily life personally, but I definitely feel that as a person I think everyone needs to stay hungry, but there also a time in a life that we need to feel content. Life goes on so, I think it’s always a challenge. I feel human beings are so capable of doing things in general, but for the most part we just keep it simple. I don’t want to say « lazy » be just in a « comfort zone”.
MXVOICE : When you were a racer, was it difficult for you to make the shift between Supercross and Motocross, did you have to work a lot to learn this specialty..? (Supercross.)
ERNESTO FONSECA : I think for me, at the beginning SX was easier than at the end of my career. I’m a really competitive person towards the end I was working really hard and I wasn’t getting the results I expected or wanted, and it wasn’t much fun because once you start pushing & you are not getting what you’re hoping in return it’s like you start asking yourself a lot of questions… At the beginning I don’t know if it was the timing or also the competition a little bit I think it was probably not as tough but things came a lot easier, I was young too but you know every year it gets more and more difficult.
But I think I was devoted and I put a lot of effort into racing I always wanted to be the best that I could be.
MXVOICE : Can you explain to us the main differences between the east and the west AMA Supercross Championship, because sometimes some say that « east was easier » than the west.
ERNESTO FONSECA : I wouldn’t say that at all because east coast for example has Daytona which it was not a normal Supercross and Daytona is a tough race as a matter of fact I would say one of the toughest, it’s just a combination of Supercross and Outdoor @ the same time so, it’s really demanding. It’s relative I think the tracks are similar the traction is a little bit different. California or the west coast is a little bit more hard pack and dryer but it’s just a matter of competition. I think when you know who the riders are and who you are competing against, is what makes the biggest difference; if you’re going to be ready to race supercross you have to be ready for everything so riders shouldn’t have to be worry about « east or west » (smiles..) we have to be worried about being ready and good in every scenario.
MXVOICE : Coming from Costa Rica to race Supercross in the US, was it easy for you..?
ERNESTO FONSECA : I think my first year I wasn’t expecting to win or to do what I did I was just a happy kid living my dream. At the time is all it really mattered so, I wasn’t really expected to win. When I won the first race the second was easier and so on. Once you start gaining confidence and you’re sure you can win it changes for everyone. It changes for yourself, your team & for your competitors because you gain their respect.
MXVOICE : This next question is a little bit « special » and sorry if it can be difficult for you to answer. After your « big crash », what did you think : « That’s unfair, that is just the way it is, or « come on man forward, keep the faith and reconsider this life as a « new life », a » chance », because « you’re alive after all”.
ERNESTO FONSECA : At the time when it happened it’s definitely a shock something you are not ready for, and there is definitely so many things that go through your mind all at once. You have so many thoughts « what’s the next step..? », « What are you going to do..? », for me I didn’t really questioned it so much why it was me because I thought I wasn’t going to get an answer, that was a situation that I was in It had really happened to me and after all the answer is to make the best of it all, it definitely took some time to get used to live with it.
I accepted too quick and to enjoy life again it took some time; it wasn’t immediate it is a very tough road that’s for sure.
MXVOICE : Am I shocked to still see so many young riders injured 16 years after your accident..?
ERNESTO FONSECA : I mean we all face danger in life. Motocross is dangerous but everything in life is dangerous. It’s not only Motocross. Man, it’s tough I always tried to have a goal and really tried to be the best version of myself. It’s going to be tough for everyone not only for you for family for people around you because sometimes it’s hard to be the same as it used to, time can help a lot too.
MXVOICE : Do You think that the actuals 450 4 strokes are too powerful..?
ERNESTO FONSECA : I was in the early stages, Doug Henry, Jimmy Button or Tim Ferry rode 4 strokes as well. I don’t know because I never rode fuel injected bikes, but they are probably back then. I think maybe the tracks, I think just in general it’s a combination of things. I don’t think it’s really fair to say that the bike « Is the problem », the bikes are not the problem. When you are at a factory level or professional level I think that they work around you and they try to please you with making a bike the easiest to ride.
MXVOICE : Can You explain to us how it’s difficult to win a race in a wheelchair..?
ERNESTO FONSECA : You have to be ready, your arms are your motor, it’s almost like your arms are your gasoline if you have no gasoline it doesn’t go. You have to prepare yourself, somedays you’re going to be good somedays you’re not going to be so good, you can’t rely on a motor like a race bike 😉
MXVOICE : What is your position about doping…? Here in France we have seen the « story of Lance Armstrong on the Tour de France », this is something special because some products are available in the US and not in Europe.
ERNESTO FONSECA : Man, I think it’s a complicated subject. In my situation I have already been tested twice for doping in this wheelchair racing stuff that I’m doing. We have to be very careful because I don’t want to take that chance, that’s really risking, an opportunity that I really been enjoying. I think time as gold something you can’t rewind, it’s too risky man.
MXVOICE : Do you still respect Lance Armstrong…?
ERNESTO FONSECA : Yes, of course, because I used to cycle when I was a professional Motocross racer and I know how hard it is. It’s a tough sport.
MXVOICE : You came in the past from Costa Rica to give success to American brands. What is your opinion about the policy of Donald Trump about the people who come in the US as an immigrant…?
ERNESTO FONSECA : Yeah, I think he’s an idiot. It’s a shame for American people they have this kind of President, it’s clear that he’s not a compassionate person, he feels he’s unstoppable and that he can do anything which I don’t think I like that. Hopefully, Americans can have a better one next time.
MXVOICE : What is your vision of the « Puerto Rico MXON Team » this year…?
ERNESTO FONSECA : I don’t like the idea, I don’t support it, I know it’s part of the US but also, I have friends from Puerto Rico and I know that they would love to participate at a MX Des Nations event. So, to have American riders like Pastrana, Windham and Sipes is not very fair. It’s bullshit, this is not « entertainment » it’s racing pride you representing your country. Marvin Musquin for example, he didn’t get to go to the Motocross Des Nations to represent his country so it’s not fair, for somebody like Marvin to stay home when he’s a professional and he’s at the top of his career to have to watch it on tv.
(Exclusive Interview © 2018 Jérôme Faraill pour MXVOICE.RACING, Photos : Divers, « Thank You So Much Ernesto..! »)