35 Benny Solis Jr.
AMA Road Racing
Team: AMA Road Racing
Sponsors: Troy Lee Designs, Red Bull, Oakley, Alpinestars, Shoei Helmets, Drippin Wet, Galfer, Dunlop Tires, Wi2 Dynamics
- 138 lbs
- Beverly Hills, CA
- North Hollywood, CA
How did you get into Road Racing?
I got into Road racing through my dad. He used to race professionally and retired for a while. When he came back to race I was about 10 years old and I went to watch him, I was immediately interested In the sport and begged my dad to let me race. He finally gave in and that’s how it all started for me.
How old were you when you started riding?
I first learned how to ride a dirt bike when I was 6 on a KTM 50. I rode that on and off for a while and when I was 10, I got my first road race bike and started racing.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hollywood and moved into North Hollywood when I was about 6.
How did you first get introduced to TLD and/or Troy?
I got into TLD through my friend Jeff. I worked with him before I was with TLD because he was my guy at Alpinestars. I met Troy for this first time in 2012 because that’s the year TLD started painting my helmets and when I picked on of them up mid-season at TLD, I met Troy and got a picture with him!
How long have you been riding for TLD?
I first started working with TLD in 2011, so it’s been 2 years so far.
Which TLD products are you using?
I wear all their moto gear; jerseys, pants, chest protectors, gloves, etc. I also wear a lot of their shirts and pants from their clothing line. They’ve got some sweet shirts!
Do any athletes/riders influence or inspire your style?
Yes, I would have to say Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner. Valentino influences my style (off the track) because I see how many people like him not only because of his riding, but his attitude. So I myself like being real friendly and interacting with fans as much as I can since it helps me and I like meeting new fans at the track. And as for Casey, they way he rides is just seriously the best. He’s got so much speed and bike control that he makes his race wins look easy, one goal of mine is to be able to race they way he does by winning in style and making it look like I wasn’t at my limit.
What do you like to do when you're not riding?
If I’m not riding or racing my road race bike, I really like going out and doing some dirt riding. I’m more into doing high speed flat riding with much burms. For a road racer, doing MX tracks isn’t too important since it’s really easy to push a little too hard and possibly get injured which ruins our season. Other than that, I like BMX and also doing anything that gets my adrenaline rushing!
What bands/music are you into?
I like a little bit of everything except country music. I like Alternative, Dubstep, Rock, a little rap, a little Techno, and some Metal. Favorite Bands would have to be: AFI, BRMC, Eminem, Hollywood undead, PSY, Skrillex, Tenacious D, and Nickelback.
List 3 goals you have for the upcoming season:
1. Be consistent enough every race to have a shot at the championship win.
2. Try and get as many podiums as possible.
3. Represent my sponsors as well as possible with videos and social media publicity.
List a few highlights of your career:
2008: Won the first ever Red bull AMA US Rookies Cup championship.
2009: Competed in Europe for a season in the MotoGP Red Bull Rookies cup as one of three Americans.
2010: First year ever on a 600, raced in the US doing WERA Nationals and took 3 national titles.
2011: Races the only Honda in AMA, first season in AMA Pro Racing and I took 5 wins and 2nd in the championship.
What's your favorite race/event and why?
Every year it would have to be the race at Laguna Seca in July. This is because it’s one of the closest tracks to home and there is always a huge crowd because the MotoGP riders come over and race. I also always have some great fans at this track and normally my family can attend so it’s really fun. It’s also and Red Bull sponsored event, so winning there is great for me because Red Bull is one of my personal sponsors.
What's your idea of an epic day riding?
Honestly, it’s when I get my bike set up to where it feels so good it almost like the bike is like my legs and everything is just clicking every single lap with some fast lap times. Also when I have a sick battle with some of my buddies and it comes down to the last lap, it’s fun to score some good results with your friends and then go out and have fun after the races.
What's the best thing about being a professional athlete?
I would say the best thing is being able to do what you really love. I’m seriously passionate about racing and winning, and just the fact that I can make this my career makes me so motivated to wake up every day and train hard. It makes me happy that I’m a professional athlete; I don’t think there is a better career than being an athlete.
If you weren't a professional athlete, how would you want to spend your time?
If I wasn’t a professionally athlete, I think life wouldn’t be so fun for mw. I wouldn’t mind going to school and getting a career but I believe being a professional athlete is the dream career! And at this moment, I don’t know what else would interest me as much as racing a motorcycle.
If you were running things, what would you change about the industry?
I would like to improve the TV time. That’s one thing that I believe my sport is lacking, if we have more TV time it would help everyone in the industry including the riders and all their supporters. Also, I’d like to be able to find a way to get more fans to the tracks. When I go to a supercross event, it’s always packed with fans. Our road racing events aren’t nearly as full. Maybe having more track activities would help and also more promotion.
Who would you like to thank?
I would like to give the biggest thanks to my Dad and my family. They have been behind me 100% since day one, and even through some really tough times they are always still there for me because they know I love racing more than anything.
Also to all my personal sponsors that are behind me and my program, I really appreciate all their help and support through my career which is why I always try and represent them as well as possible.
Any words of wisdom?
I would say to never stop learning, always stay motivated, and also to never forget where you came from. So far, this has helped me quite a bit.