Scanning the roster of each respective division throughout the amateur circuit, many names come and go throughout the test of time. One must be both persistent and driven, to make a credible conquest of championship reign. It’s something that can’t be taught, but rather instilled and driven into the DNA of a competitor, with constant repetition. Matthew Kretzler has proven this year that he’s ready, willing, and able, to take on any obstacle placed in his path. With beyond-sufficient results, his trajectory is anything but linear, as he’s escalating with both speed and confidence at every event. Eager to have a word with Missouri’s own, we caught up with Matt, to hear a tad more about his story.
What made you take interest in motocross? Something that ran in the family? Did a friend of yours ride?
It was really out of the blue. Nobody in my family raced, and I didn't even start riding until I was 11. That's when one of my close family friends got my brother and I into riding.
Who did you look up to, while competing early on in your career? Any professional you tried to simulate?
I definitely always loved watching James Stewart, but I try to ride more along the lines of Dungey’s style.
How’s the riding scene in your local area? Many challenging tracks to compete on?
Honestly our local scene has died down a lot in the past few years, which really sucks. We have only have 3 or 4 tracks around us that are somewhat challenging.
Coming into your regionals, were you confident that you could secure bids to the ranch?
I felt decent coming into my regionals. I would have liked to ride a little more before I went to the regionals, but I was still pretty confident about my riding.
How stoked were you once crossing the finish line at both Ironman, and Spring Creek, knowing you’d accomplished a dream?
It was definitely an awesome feeling leaving the regionals with tickets to the ranch, even though I fell in all of my second motos. I would have felt so much better if I could have stayed off the ground.
Where were you doing your training between the regionals and Loretta Lynn’s?
Leading up to Loretta’s, I did a lot of my riding at this local track, Ride Organic. They are open everyday so that helped out. Other then there I went to Club MX for a little bit.
Describe the feelings you had upon arrival to the Ranch…
Getting to the ranch I wasn't really nervous at all. I knew I was in good enough shape and had the speed to contend for a championship. I was pretty anxious to ride it, as it sucked getting there 4 days before I actually had the chance to get on the track.
Coming away with a podium finish, could you have ever imagined you would do as well as you did? Do you feel you rode to your potential?
Getting onto the podium twice was such an awesome feeling. I was happy to come away with a 3rd overall, but definitely didn't ride to my potential. I crashed literally every moto. If I could have stayed up I feel like I could have won both titles.
You then tore the sands of Baja to shreds, taking multiple overall wins; did you enjoy the track in Michigan?
I loved the sandy Baja track. Probably one of my favorite tracks I have ever went to. Just the event its-self was a blast, and I'll for sure go back next year.
Claiming another victory, you yet again filled the stat sheet impressively at The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City; were you pleased with how the event went?
I'm pretty pleased with how Ponca went. I was able to get one championship there. Unfortunately I crashed out of the 250 class, and I had two horrible starts in the Collegeboy class, but I worked my way back pretty well.
Tell us about your plans for the rest of the year, and into 2018; do you plan on moving to the B class?
The next race I'll be doing is Mini O’s. After that I'll just be riding and training getting ready for 2018. As far as 2018 goes, I'll be running the B classes and Collegeboy. Hopefully I'll be at Loretta’s and few more nationals. I'd really like to do all the amateur nationals next year.
Off the bike, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
When I'm not riding I don't do much, besides hangout with friends and play a lot of basketball.
Any sponsors you’d like to thank?
I definitely have to thank my mom, dad, and step dad, as without them I would be able to ride. I'd also like to thank Bell, Scott, Troy Lee Designs, Mika Metals, DT1 filters, Powkeepsi outdoor productions, Fincher Farms, Terry at Ride Organic. Also, Ethan at Talhman Powersports has been a huge help.