Villopoto is allowing Baker to work with some of his friends, too - most notably his new 450cc team-mate Jake Weimer (who broke his arm in the run-up to the SX season opener).
"Ryan realises that he has a lot of potential that he hasn't put together - and obviously some injuries didn't help - but he knows he needs to make those areas better so it's good," says Baker. "From my end, getting approached by him, I always knew he was a talented rider and has a lot of potential but I felt also that that hasn't been fulfilled. When my deal changed with James and then he approached me it was a good fit because Ryan was at the right place to do the work and put it in and stay committed to it. I'm pumped and I kind of feed off the riders I deal with. I'm pretty serious and get pretty involved. It's good to feed off of a guy that is committed, that wants to do it right and also has all of the ingredients to do it. So I'm pretty happy and excited."
Villopoto won more supercross events in 2010 than anyone even though he missed the last three rounds altogether. "I think it all starts with looking at the guy and factoring if he has the ingredients to be a winner and be a champion," Baker says. "Obviously, we know he has because he has won, even though I don't think he's put himself always in the best position to do it - but that's my own personal feeling. So, that shows that he's got it and has huge potential but I always also look at the big picture.
"When you have everyone running on all cylinders then it's maybe a lot tougher and you've got to be better prepared for that. So I always look a little bit down the line with what the challenges are possibly going to be and I think that he can definitely take it on. I think he's got still a lot to prove.
"Even though he didn't have a bad season at all until that crash messed him up, you still have to be in it to win it. That's part of it. So I think even in areas in that department getting him better prepared will hopefully prevent that kind of stuff from happening.
Ryan and Jake have a great friendly rivalry
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