289 Blaze Best
Dealer Supported Amateur
Sponsors: Troy Lee Designs, Donahue Sports Center, Amsoil, KTM, Alpinestars, 4MX Graphics, ProGrip, Leatt, GoPro, Factory Connection, Renthal, FMF, TwinAir, Hinson, UFO, MotoMaster, Kicker, DVS, Felt Bikes, NOS Energy Drink, Shock Doctor, MXMatt Moto Photography.
- Norfolk, MA
- Orono, MN
- 120 lbs
How did you get into Motocross?
I really liked riding BMX, especially jumping. There was a great KTM dealer, Cliff’s Cycles, right near my house. My dad took me there when I was 6 and when I saw those KTM minis I knew I had to try motocross. Then we went and watched a local race and when I saw the kids in the 50 and 65 class races I was hooked!
How old were you when you started riding?
I got my first bike (KTM 50) for my 7th birthday. I had to wait until the snow melted to try it, but that wait was worth it. I went in my first race a few months later and won my first race later that same year.
Where did you grow up?
Norfolk, Massachusetts (near Boston). There were a lot of good tracks in New England that I grew up racing on (Southwick, Winchester, and Hemond’s were my favorites). When I was twelve, my family moved to Minnesota.
How did you first get introduced to TLD and/or Troy?
My dad was in charge of all the Shock Doctor moto protective product development. I actually tested all the products the year before TLD introduced them, like the 5900/5955 chest protector, I was the first to test the prototypes and final product in the youth size. Doing this type of testing before a product is in the market was really interesting. I met Troy when TLD and SD were finishing the product development together – this was great – Troy is a really cool guy.
How long have you been riding for TLD?
2011 was my first year. I’ve always liked the look of the TLD gear and helmets. Now I am really psyched to be using it and to be sponsored by TLD! I feel lucky to have the support of TLD.
Which TLD products are you using?
All of my gear, protective and helmets are TLD! The new SE-3 helmet is the best helmet I’ve ever used. The 5900 chest protector is also the best I’ve ever used – I can wear it under my jersey and it fits perfectly with my Leatt. Another of my favorite products is 5705-HW pants – these are really comfortable under my knee braces and moto pants.
Do any athletes/riders influence or inspire your style?
One of my favorite riders is Chad Reed, but I don’t know if I take a style from any particular rider. I think I created my own style just from riding the way I like to.
What do you like to do when you're not riding?
I play Ice Hockey, Soccer, Lacrosse and ride BMX. All of which I enjoying doing with my friends.
What bands/music are you into?
I like Rap, Hip Hop and a little Rock. Not any particular bands or artists. If I had to name some I would say DJ Khaled, Big Sean, Mac Miller and Three Days Grace.
List 3 goals you have for the upcoming season:
1. Qualify for Loretta Lynn’s and have and race well there.
2. Qualify for Arenacross Finals in Las Vegas and get a good result there.
3. Win a Spring Creek Super Series class championship.
List a few highlights of your career:
2 New England Regional Championships (65 Class).
2 New England Classic Championships (65 Class).
4 Winchester Speed Park Series Championships (65 / 85 Classes).
Between 2004 and 2011, 192 moto wins, 103 overall wins and 235 top 3 overall.
What's your favorite race/event and why?
The AMA Pro/Amateur National weekend at Spring Creek (Millville, MN). It’s my home/favorite track and it’s a great atmosphere that weekend racing the day before the Pro’s on the same track.
What's your idea of an epic day riding?
Going to a fun track with good jumps and corners (Supercross) and riding all day with friends and having my dad snap some good pics of me.
What's the best thing about being a motocross athlete?
I think it’s the most exciting and physically demanding sport there is and it’s great just to be able to do it! For people already involved with motocross, the things we’re able to do on our bikes seems common because we’re around it all the time. But, motocross isn’t very well known outside of those who are close to it, like at my high school, so it’s cool to tell friends about MX that don’t know much about it, and when they hear about my results and watch me race they’re amazed – then they tell other kids about it. Now, I am getting known as “Blaze – the kid that races motocross” at my school which pretty cool.
If you weren't a motocross athlete, how would you want to spend your time?
In addition to motocross I play a lot of ice hockey at a pretty high level which here in Minnesota is very intense and I would play even more of it if not racing MX. I’ve tried a little high performance Karting and I think I could be pretty fast if I focused on it, so I might get into 4-wheel racing if not doing MX. Looking ahead, after I go to college I might not be racing as much MX as I do now and this is when I would like to get a job in Industrial Design & Product Development and work for a company like Troy Lee Designs, or Shock Doctor, and do what my dad is doing.
If you were running things, what would you change about the industry?
Two things come to mind, rider safety and kids getting a good education.
Using safety equipment should be at the top of the changes in the MX industry. Everyone, especially the younger riders should be protected, so they can ride for a long time in the future. Some of the pros don’t wear a chest protector and because these pros don’t a lot kids follow their example. There are chest protectors and other safety equipment that look good and can save you in a bad crash.
Additionally, I don’t think that there’s enough attention given to MX kids getting a good education. I understand that most kids think that they are the big deal now, or hope to be the next superstar, but they all need to have a good education if it doesn’t work out. I am attending a great high school and race a lot as well. I will be going to college and my plan is to major in industrial design & marketing. I think it would be great if Loretta Lynn’s had a race class that was actually for kids who went to college. I’m not expecting to go pro in Motocross, but I am looking forward to racing throughout my life.
Who would you like to thank?
My racing wouldn’t be possible without a lot of great support. My dad spends a lot of time working on my bikes and taking me to all the races. My mom is very supportive of my racing, even when I’ve been injured. And, my sister has always been proud of my racing which means a lot to me. I would like to thank my sponsors: TLD, Donahue Sports Center, Amsoil, KTM, Alpinestars, 4MX Graphics, ProGrip, Leatt, GoPro, Factory Connection, Renthal, FMF, TwinAir, Hinson, UFO, MotoMaster, Kicker, DVS, Felt Bikes, NOS Energy Drink, Shock Doctor, MXMatt Moto Photography.