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Catching Up With: Ryan Lockhart

Interview -

  • Ryan Lockhart
  • Ryan Lockhart
  • Ryan Lockhart
  • Ryan Lockhart & Cycle North Powersports owner Kourtney Lloyd

By: Kyle Carruthers

It seems like we’re always catching up with the “Newf” here on DMX. It might be because he just keeps making news including landing an Arenacross ride with Cycle North Kawasaki to take a shot at Brock Hoyer's #1 plate. Ryan is fit, ready and hungry to get back to racing and he tell us all about his 2012 here and what to expect coming up for him. Check it out.

Hey Ryan, looks like we’re catching up again. You might have earned the title of the most popular rider on DMX this summer.
Ryan: (laughs) Yeah, the most popular rider that doesn’t really race!

If we had a fan poll you would probably have a good chance at winning it.
Yeah, most people would vote for the most over rated rider!

Well what is it about you? Is it because you always have something to say or do you self promote yourself too much? Is there anything other riders could learn from you?
I don’t know, I would say maybe I should keep my mouth shut a little more than I do. I guess I just always have something to say and I speak my mind and I think that’s why people enjoy talking to me.

Well, let’s take a step back. You had an interesting summer starting off as the mechanic for Kyle Keast and then becoming the rider after Kyle injured himself, a top ten rider at that. Tell us about the roller coaster of year you had.
This summer started out really good with me being back out in Ontario this summer with Keast. We made really good progress with him and his riding and the bike and we came into round one ready to go. We walked away from Naniamo with a 4th in the mud which was great because we really wanted to get through the round since it is his worst track. Thankfully it was muddy so it turned out to be a good one for him. Unfortunately everything came crashing down for Kyle at Kamloops when he broke his femur during the second moto and that was the end of it.

Basically the Monday after Kamloops we had to decide what we were going to do. There was lots of talk about putting an American on the bike. We wanted somebody on it that was going to get good press for the sponsors and what was going to work out best for Yamaha and Machine Racing. It was pretty funny, John Nelson texted me saying “Do you want to ride the bike?” I replied back saying not really! I haven’t been riding or training for such a long time but I said I would go riding and give it a shot. I went to Kamloops the Monday after the national and went riding and felt good so I put my head down for the next 4 weeks and started getting ready for Gopher Dunes.

When you got that top ten at Sand del lee what was going through your head? Did you ever think you would get back to that point in your career ever again?
I was hoping to. I think if you would have asked me six or eight months ago if I would of ever ridden a Canadian National again I would of said no way! I didn’t have the intentions to or the opportunity to do so. It wasn’t about me so much wanting to get back to racing at that level it was more about the opportunity I had in front of me. I had to take advantage of it when I had a good team and good program like that to work with and a great bike. The whole goal was to get a top ten after looking at the speed of the class. At Gopher my speed was top ten but I wasn’t in shape and didn’t finish anywhere close to that. It was a goal for me to work at it. At Sand del lee I got 10th the first moto after qualifying 12th. I went 10-12 for 10th overall which was awesome! I was super happy about it and it felt good to get back into the mix. The next week at Walton the first moto I was 6th and the second moto I was 7th or 8th. It felt good when I was beating the guys who were training all year.

It now looks like you have yourself a full ride for the Arenacross series with Cycle North Kawasaki. Tell us about how that came around?
Arenacross has always been something I have been really interested in. It has always come a little bit easier for me then outdoors. I like it when it’s a little bit more technical and challenging like that. I really wanted to ride it this year even if wasn’t riding this summer like I was. Coming into this year I feel good and I am on a great bike with my Cycle North Kawasaki. I rode it last year and felt good considering I took a couple years off, but now I am so much further ahead than I was last year. I have kept the training up since I started back in the summer and I am definitely ready to go racing.

What do you think about the competition this year? You have guys like Jeremy Medaglia racing it and Brock Hoyer defending his title. How difficult are those guys going to make it on you?
With Jeremy doing the series, well that sucks for the rest of us, but he is definitely beatable, especially indoors in a hockey arena and I am going to give it my all. When I first heard it I was thinking he is going to be tough but if you look at the big picture it's good for the series because that series has been on a steady downfall over the last 4 or 5 years. If you rewind to 6 years ago you had guys like JSR, Darcy Lange, myself, Dusty Klatt, Facciotti, Simon Homans, Brady Sheren and it’s been really dead for the last 5 years or so I think this is good for it. Hoyer is riding well and now we have Medaglia and I see that Eric Jeffrey is coming also and some fast Americans. It’s going to be a bit better then it was a few years ago. I am actually pretty excited Jeremy is coming and I’m sure Brock is too. Jeremy is obviously one of the best in Canada and we’re going to be going for him.

Outside of your racing career you have a pretty cool new gig. Tell us about your new job with Matrix Concepts and Atlas Brace.
Yeah it’s awesome! This is something I have wanted to do for awhile now. I was talking with Brad and Brady and everything fell into place. To sit here with two of my really good friends and help grow the brand is great. Getting riders to wear our product and seeing the impacts were having is awesome. I held out and didn’t take on any other things too serious before this but now I couldn’t be happier where I ended up. To be able to be so involved with racing day to day is great and the way I want it so its really good!

Thanks for doing this Newf and is there anyone you want to thank for helping you out?
I want to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am including Atlas Brace, Matrix Concepts, 1.7 Cleaning solutions, Cycle North Kawasaki, Troy Lee Designs, 100 Percent goggles, Fox Shox, RMR Suspesion, Golden Tyre, Rekluse Clutches, and FMF.

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