To say that Brandy Richards had a stellar 2021 season would be a massive understatement. The KTM-supported motocross racer turned offroad racer put together a perfect season in the WORCS Series and would have done the same in the NGPC series had she not missed one round to attend the ISDE in Italy. In Italy, she swept every test and won the individual Women's ISDE Overall Title and helped lead the U.S. Women's Trophy Team to victory. After her final race of the year, we checked in with Brandy to ask for her take on one incredible 2021 season and what some of her goals are in 2022.
EVS: Brandy, you've had one amazing season, winning the WORCS championship with a perfect 250 points, winning every round, and almost doing the same in the NGPC series. You must be super happy with your 2021 season?
Brandy Richards: Absolutely! I'm stoked with it. I honestly couldn't think of a better year or do anything more than what I did. I'm super proud of how it went. I'm stoked on it, honestly.
EVS: On top of that, you led the U.S. Women's World Trophy Team to the ISDE win in Italy. You swept every single stage and took the Women's Overall Title. That must have been the icing on the cake? Would you say this year has been one of your best seasons ever?
BR: Oh, absolutely, without a doubt, going to ISDE and winning every single test, no one ever doing that before, that was insane. I didn't even think about doing it before I went, and as it went on, it happened and doing it was incredible. It still feels like a dream. It doesn't really feel real. But it was definitely my breakout year and the best year I've ever had, honestly.
EVS: Yeah, it must be pretty surreal. To win the overall is one thing, but to win every single stage. It had to be hard to stay focused and probably even made it hard to sleep each night?
BR: It was way easier than you would think. For some reason, everything went my way, and it was just honestly perfect. I didn't stress about it too much because I just wanted to win more than anything. But winning every test is stressful, but it was kind of easy at the same time. I knew how much faster I was, and I knew kind of where I could play it safe and where I had to go. It was fun, honestly.
EVS: With the ISDE held in Italy this year, that had to have been an amazing experience. How many ISDE events does that make for you now, and what was your favorite memory from this year's event?
BR: This year was my fourth year going, but my first in Italy. Being in Italy was so incredible. It's such a beautiful country. I'd say the best memory was we got there a little early, and we weren't allowed to walk the tests yet. We were a couple of days too early, and so we got to go sightseeing. We went cliff jumping in the sea, and that was incredible. I've never done anything like that, and I'm pretty sure it was the Mediterranean Sea we were in, but that was insane. The water was just crystal clear, and some really neat cliffs to jump off. So that was probably the best part of it. We were able to get acclimated and sightsee a little bit, and that country is so beautiful. It was incredible.
EVS: You really seem to have fun riding dirt bikes, and you always seem to have a smile on your face. Is keeping it fun an important aspect of riding and racing for you?
BR: Oh, absolutely, you know because that's why we all do it. We all race because we enjoy it. When I was younger, there were times where I didn't enjoy it. So now that's what I am focused on more. That's kind of what led me to go into offroad racing because I enjoyed it so much, just keeping it fun. It's helped with not getting burned out and being able to keep progressing and pushing and just trying to find new ways to get better and learn. That's been the best part. I enjoy that I have the opportunity to ride my dirt bike and not have to work a normal job. So, I think that's what keeps it fun and me enjoying it. I absolutely love riding a dirt bike, and I don't know what I would do if I didn't race, so I just enjoy it.
EVS: You've had some fun challenges with some of your KTM teammates, like when you took part in the #ktmwheelchallenge against Marvin Musquin. It must have been fun to show how being an off-road racer requires mechanical aptitude in addition to raw speed?
BR: Yeah, that was neat, [laughs] because I do all my own practice bike work, so I'm pretty quick at changing tires. So, when I saw that challenge come up, I was like, 'yes!' I did beat Marvin, so that was cool, and it was neat for them [KTM] to do the whole challenge thing.
EVS: Having accomplished so much in your career already to date, racing motocross, winning pretty much every offroad title out there, are there still some future goals you'd like to accomplish?
BR: Yeah, absolutely. I want to go back east and race some GNCC stuff because that's such a different type of racing. It's really technical and a little bit harder for me because I grew up doing motocross and high-speed stuff. So, I want to go over there and work on doing that a little bit. But I'd really like to compete on a world stage; I'd like to do the World Enduros. I'd love to compete in those, but that's probably a few years in the future.
EVS: Is there a discipline you've raced so far that stands out as your favorite?
BR: I love the GPs, but I've really been enjoying the Sprint Enduros and other enduro stuff like ISDE. Like on the East Coast, where they have a couple of Sprint Enduro series. I truly love doing those, and that's been my favorite right now.
EVS: What's in the immediate future for you? Any fun one-off events you'll be participating in heading into 2022?
BR: Not too much. This weekend I'm going to the Kurt Caselli Ride Day to do the team challenge, so that'll be cool to do. And then come next year, I want to do some fun stuff. I really want to race Mammoth next year on a 2-stroke. So I'm working on getting a 2-stroke and getting that ready.
EVS: Brandy, thank you so much for your time today, and congrats on your amazing season. With you being new to Team EVS this year, what's been your favorite thing about being a part of the EVS Family?
BR: EVS has great products, and they're one of the only companies that make stuff for smaller people, and it can be hard to find products that fit a smaller person. EVS is a great company, and it's been around for a very long time. I was actually sponsored by EVS when I was a kid, so it's cool to be back!
BRANDY RICHARDS' EVS CHOICE
AXIS PRO KNEE BRACES
Interview by Dale Spangler.