Monday Kickstart: Catching Up With Laninovich
Michael Antonovich / Transworld Motocross
For those of you with Hollywood connections, you may want to get on the phone with the story of Billy Laninovich’s comeback. Our former cover star went AWOL for a handful of years before popping back up at A1 2012, and since then his career has been back on the rise. Solid finishes in Supercross landed him a spot as a fill-in for TLD Honda, a place at X Games Best Whip, and the attention of many diehard fans. As soon as his helmet was off after a 15-lap SX sprint at Pala, we sat down with Lano to hear what the future holds.
After your time on the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda wrapped up, you did the X Games and are now in full Supercross mode. Considering what you started out with at Anaheim One, how do you feel the year went?
It was good. After taking two and a half years off, coming back, finishing every main event, and finishing in the top-ten was a blessing and was awesome. I get to do what I love to do. Coming into next year, we have a little over two months to go, it’s my third week on the bike, and I am doing 15’s (lap practices). We are a lot farther than we were going into last year, so this year is going to be good. I expect myself to get on the box at some of the races and I am looking forward to it.
Are you doing the 250 West again, and will you be on a 450 at all?
Yeah, 250 West. 450, I don’t know yet. We are mainly focusing on the West Coast right now, but if we can get a couple of 450s in the next month or so, then we will do that.
Where will you be training at this year?
I get to ride the Troy Lee track. That was kind of in our agreement; if I filled in for Christian, because they needed someone pretty bad, they gave me a Supercross track to ride for the next year.
Are you getting anything else in means of support, other than the track and gear?
Nope, just wearing the gear and riding the track. It’s an awesome deal, though.
Will it be yourself and your dad again this year?
Yeah, my dad, my mechanic, Shawn, and me.
How was it to be on the 450 this summer?
It was good. It was a struggle at the first couple of rounds, because it had been three or four years since I had ridden an outdoor. It took me a couple of races and we did some suspension testing, so when we came to Colorado, I was a whole other Billy there. I was able to get in the top-ten and finish ninth overall. I think it is going to help me a lot this year, because I really struggled in the ruts. I tried to stay out of them, but going to the outdoors, it is all ruts. It was really good for me to go do that.
How was it to go to X Games and get the exposure?
X Games was a lot of fun. I didn’t do as good as I thought I would because I tried to learn a new whip, a turndown whip, and I was too focused on that. I didn’t stick to my normal upside down whip, but hopefully I get invited next year to prove myself again.
Is there anything else you would like to say to wrap this up? It had been a while since we had seen you, but we know you are coming back for good next year.
You know, I have just been riding my motorcycle and going to church. I completely gave my life to God and it is going to be a good year. That is what I was lacking before: my relationship with God. We have a new team name now; it is John 3:16 Jentronix Racing Ministries. That is going to be the title of the race team and I am looking forward to what God is going to do. I give him all the glory. I want to thank all my sponsors and all of the fans. I have some pretty crazy fans that came up to me in the outdoors that still had my back, which was pretty cool to see. I just want to thank of them and I’m looking forward to next year. It is going to be a fun time.
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