Behind Motocross

By:Cynthia Rivera

Motocross is cross-country racing on motorcycles often on tough terrain. In motocross there are two motos and you have two practice motos to prepare for the race. In motos they usually have six laps and last about 10-15 minutes. There are many things that contribute to being a motocross rider such as financial cost, physical and mental tools, safety precautions, and dedication.

This is an expensive sport. The bike costs $6,000 to $8,000. Plus all other accessories a motocross rider needs such as gear, helmets, boots, gloves, goggles, etc. It’s also expensive to repair the bike. If a bolt comes off it will cost $30. There are many company’s willing to help with discounts.

Julian Rivera has been in motocross for four years and he started at the age of 7. Although most kids start at the age of three, he is now seventeen and has not stopped racing. He attends Perris High School, he plans on attending Moreno Valley College after graduation.

When it’s race day he has to wake up around 4:30 in the morning and has to be registered and ready for practice at 8:30. There are so many amatuer riders that come from around the world to race in California, races do not end til 4 or 5 at night. On race day, Rivera is in two different classes 250cc true beginner and 250/450cc novice. It has been a long and tough journey. Especially now with the bikes getting bigger and the races becoming more intense, so every second matters.

To be successful in motocross, sponsors are a must. Rivera has one full sponsorship and seven rider supports. Julian is apart of a racing teamed called JnJ. Joined with Nathan Esqueda, BJ Esqueda, Pete, Angel, Connor, Fabian and Jesse.

Last year the JnJ had a race last year, they went to a track near Rivera’s house and practice for about an hour. Two of the member in the team  only practiced once a week because they lived far from where the track was. Preparing for a race takes more than just practicing on their bikes.The team worked hard with their exercise as well as their diet.

Racers also need a support system off the track to be successful. Rivera’s dad would work nights and take him to his race or practice,even though he was tired.

All of Rivera’s family would put in their part to make sure he does good. Also Johnny Esqueda owner of JnJ had some back problems and he still loads everything the boys need to race. As the series went on Rivera and his teammates N. Esqueda, and B. Esqueda all placed top three.

With Motocross being such a competitive sport not everyone is welcoming. Motocross is a predominantly white sport and sometimes people who are considered outsiders are not treated with the same friendliness.

When Rivera hears rude comments being directed towards him, he says, “It honestly doesn’t bother me.” His teammate, J. Esqueda added, “All that matters is what happens on the track”.

When asked about what mindset you should have N. Esqueda said, “Your mindset needs to be on point and have a heart and not give up.”

Three members from the JnJ team were asked if Motocross was something they would like to do in the future.

N. Esqueda said, “I want to be the best rider and to be a good man. To teach young kids to be successful in the sport.”

His brother, J. Esqueda said, “My plan is to go pro but if that doesn’t work I want to go to college and play basketball at ucla, hopefully get scouted.”

Rivera said, “Yes, it’s something I want to do. It’s all I’ve learned since I was seven years old”.

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