When it comes to competing in motocross, Michle Smith’s approach is simple and effective.
“It’s all about keeping your hope up, and keeping it on two wheels,” said Smith, a 9-year-old Penn Valley resident who recently put his skills to the test at Loretta Lynne’s AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships in Hurricane Hills, Tennessee.
After earning a spot in the prestigious competition through qualifying events, Smith lined up against 42 other elite riders in the 51cc (7-8) Limited Class in early August.
In the first race, out of three, Smith placed 30th.
He fared better in race two, earning a 17th place finish.
“On the second day, it actually went really good. I had a good gate start,” he said, adding the competition was intense. “It’s scary because bikes are flipping over top of you, you’re getting hit by people and bumped around.”
Smith said one of his best attributes when it comes to racing is his strength.
“I can take more on my body, like hits and bobbles,” Smith said. “If I almost go down, I just say, ‘bike stay up.’”
Another one of Smith’s strengths is his positivity.
“I just try to think positive and stay up, and just try to act all hyped up,” he said of his mindset just before a race starts.
In race three, Smith raced his Cobra 50 motorcycle to an 18th place finish, putting him in 20th overall.
“I’m very happy about that,” said Smith, noting his next big motocross goal is is winning a California State Championship.
Smith, who will be moving into the 65cc class next year, expressed gratitude for his sponsors Cahoon Construction, Sweet Aroma CBD, Flowvision Goggles, DRS Suspension, 317 Mods and 195 motorsports. And, Smith gave a special thanks to Anthony Case, a local mechanic who helped get his motorcycle race ready.
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