CN III CARRUTHERS SAYS
BY PAUL CARRUTHERS
BRIGHT LIGHTS, DULL DAYS
et's pretend for a minute
that you're 12 years old. It's
Saturday night and you've
shimmied up to the couch at
your house somewhere in Middle America to sit next to dear
old dad to watch Supercross.
The lights are bright, the stars
are even brighter. The crowd is
electric, the racing addictive.
And you want in. You want
to be the next Ryan Villopoto,
qualify for big Amateur races
like Loretta Lynn's, you go there
and you win. People notice you.
Team managers from teams
like Pro Circuit Kawasaki and
GEICO Honda sign you up. You
keep working hard, you keep
getting better, you keep winning
and pretty soon you turn 16 and
your friends are watching you
on Saturday nights in the 250
Supercross Series. Two years
You hear your dad talk
about Wayne Rainey, Kevin
Schwantz… even this
really old guy named Kenny
Roberts. But those were the
glory days, he always says.
James Stewart or Ryan Dungey.
And you can be. There's
a YZ85, a KTM SX85 or the
equivalent in the garage. There's
a track within an hour's drive.
Heck, you might even be lucky
enough to have one in the backyard.
You ride a lot, you work hard,
you do all the right things. You
later and you are the next Justin
Okay we're not naïve to think
it's that easy. But it is possible.
The dream happens for some
and it can happen for you.
You've seen it happen. You've
watched the likes of Wil Hahn,
Eli Tomac and the like do it. In
fact, the list is long. Virtually
everyone in the 450 class followed this same well-worn path
Now let's pretend for a minute you're 12 years old and it's
Sunday morning. Since no one
in their right mind gets up at 5
a.m., you and dad turn on the
DVR after pounding down a few
pancakes and you start watching the Spanish MotoGP. Again,
the crowd is electric, the racing
addictive and the stars, even
though you have a hard time
pronouncing all their names, are
And you want in. You want
to be the next Marc Marquez,
Nicky Hayden or Jorge Lorenzo.
Wake up, son… that dream
might just be over.
You don't have a scaled down
mini road racer in the garage.
And if you do, you certainly don't
have a track in your backyard
and there may not be one within
a day's drive that has a race you
can participate in. But let's say
you do. And let's say there's a
track that you can go to, a series
you can race in.
Now what? You prove to be
pretty damn good. You win everything there is to win and you
come to the crossroads. Where
do I go from here?
You've got exactly two choices: You move to Spain or you
move to… well, Spain.
And if you don't have parents