Reigning FXR Sport class Champion, Hunter Patenaude, is the latest rider to confirm his move to the Professional ranks. This move will pair him with his brother, Leo Patenaude, as they both battle for a Pro-Lite Championship. With the backing of Ingles Performance, Hunter is excited to set out for another Amsoil Championship Snocross points title . Out of Hartland, Vermont Patenaude tallied 7 wins & 10 podiums on his way to his first Sport class Championship. We caught up with the Vermont Native to see how he is preparing for his Professional debut.
Hunter, with making the move to the Pro-Lite class this season, what changes did you have to make to your training regimen to ensure you are ready for the Professional ranks?
Just basically been training harder then ever. I’ve been doing lots more cardio and building more strength this Summer. I would like to think that already I will be one of the faster and more fit ones but, this way if I’m not hopefully having more stamina will give me a better advantage on the track.
Lincoln Lemieux had said you will be training with him towards the end of Summer. How will a Pro-Lite rookie like yourself benefit from working with a premier rider like Lincoln?
Yeah, I will benefit a lot working with Lincoln. I will be able to see the mindset that he has and honestly just see how he goes about everything. I have always looked up to him as a rider and friend, so now that I will be training with him hopefully it will help me progress as a rider.
This will be your 3rd full season with Amsoil Championship Snocross. Why do you think you have had so much success this early in your career?
Well, I’d like to say luck (laughs) but 3 years ago I had a serious injury. I ended up tearing my ACL, MCL and Meniscus which caused me to miss a few races. So a lot of it is just not wanting to give up or lose. I never want to quit.
Last season, after rounds 7 & 8 in Deadwood you managed to never finish outside the top 5. What did you learn last season that you can take into this season as a rookie?
Honestly, I just learned you have to be more consistent. Consistency wins championships. Also, I cannot let myself get intimidated by all the fast riders in Pro-Lite. Their is lots of fast guy and you cannot let that get to you.
With moving to Pro-Lite, you have the opportunity to obtain a 2 digit race number. Will we see any changes from you or your program when we get to Duluth?
That’s a good question. For the number, I wouldn’t count on it but hey, you never know. Otherwise, we are staying with Skidoo and Ingles Performance.
Your team is very family orientated with yourself and your brother racing and your dad as the crew chief. Will this be a benefit to you as your career continues to progress?
It definitely is because, Leo and I can talk about what lines to take on the track and everything else racing. The hard part is, is having no hard feelings if we do end up getting together. Although, I do not foresee that happening. More times then not it is an advantage working with family. Also with my trainer Jake DaSilva and Danny Poirier on the team, I am confident we will be even better this season, then we were last season. With the help of my family, Jake, Danny, Ingles Performance and Skidoo I think everything will go very well for everyone involved.
Is there anybody you would like to thank for helping you get to where you are at today?
Yeah for sure. I would like to give a huge shoutout to Skidoo and Ingles Performance for all the work and support they have given the team and myself. Also, XPS, Woody’s, C&A Pro Skis, ROX Speed FX, VP Racing Fuels, Fly Racing, 139Designs, Moto Tassinari, NGK Spark Plugs, Cyclops Cameras, Ale-n-Angus Pub, Triple 9 optics, Mom, Dad, Brother and Jake DaSilva. Without them the success wouldn’t be possible.