With a variety of motocross racing forms, you tend to hear of common translations and crossovers from the likes of GNCC’s, Harescrambles, and at times, even the flat-track circuit. However, not too often do you hear of someone venturing into this strenuous genre of motorsport, from the hill-climbing scene. But that’s exactly how Parker Ross transitioned, ascending to the most perilous of mountain top’s, never once showing a blemish of fear. He views each circuit and competitor the same, believing that he has the ability to conquer all. It’s relished into daunting speed, catching our eyes at first glance. We were granted the opportunity of talking to Mr.Ross, and he was kind enough to enlighten us on his story.
You had such an early start riding motorcycles; at what age did you begin, and who was your main influence to push you in this direction?
I started riding a Honda 50 with training wheels at 20 months old. My dad is the one who taught me to ride.
Hill climbing is a unique beginning to a path in motocross involvement; can you elaborate on how you became involved on the hill climbing circuit?
My dad raced a few hillclimb events as an amateur when I was really young, so when I was able to ride my Honda without training wheels, I started hillclimbing at the same events as my dad out at Carnegie OHV Park. Then we went to watch a friend of my parents race motocross at the local track, Sacramento Raceway, and when my mom saw the 50s racing, she decided we were going to race motocross too.
Being from California, what’s your favorite local track to ride?
My favorite place to ride is HANGTOWN. It’s always rough and gets really rutted.
In the early months of the year, you competed in the James Stewart Freestone Spring Championship; how do you feel you rode at that event?
I feel like I could have of done better overall. I really like that track and I felt good out there but I was hoping for better results.
The California Classic for you was exceptional; was it tough to stay so consistent throughout all of your motos?
They did a great job with the track for California Classic. They ripped it deep and put a lot of water on it, so it was challenging and it got rough and rutted throughout the day; that's what I like to ride.
Coming into your regional at Pala, how confident were you that you could secure bids for the big dance?
I was confident but also new anything could happen, like it did at Washougal for the Northwest Regional. I was riding really well there, had great lap times and felt really confident and then boom! I crash out in the first round of motos. I'm out of the event completely and I have to go to the other qualifiers. The past two years qualifying for Loretta's has been really tougher than I expected, with freaky things happening, weird crashes or bike problems. I was just glad that this year I actually got the tickets and had a for sure spot.
Where were you doing your training prior to the national, and what did it consist of?
My training before Loretta's doesn't change that much. I work hard and train all year round. I just made sure to get my workouts in daily and we did 30-minute motos when we went to the track. It's hot in the summer out here, so 30-minute motos at the end of the practice day, the hottest part of the day, really helps get me ready for Loretta's. We've always done that too. My dad likes to get to the track early and do "EVERY" practice, no matter how hot it is. I did have a couple sessions with Jeff Pestana at MXClinic and that was really helpful, too.
Your results at Loretta’s were ultra-impressive; walk us through your racing, and assess how the event went for you.
Thank you! Loretta's is my favorite event of the year. I love the heat and humidity, the track is usually really good, deep, rough and rutted, which is what I like to ride; and I love to fish and swim in the creek all week long between motos. This year I felt really good. I was prepared for a really rough track and tough competition, Cobra and PR2 Suspension did an awesome job with my bike set up, as it was on point! Overall I think I did really well this year. I really improved my results in the sloppy mud motos, which is where I have struggled in the past at Loretta's. This year was different than years past. The rougher track and the hotter, more humid weather is better for me and it's what I was looking forward to. For some reason, they really groomed the track before every one of our motos and the weather wasn't really that hot or humid this year, I was a little bummed about that. Overall, Loretta’s was good. I was hoping for better. I always want to win but I'm satisfied. I really worked hard and rode well.
Same classes and bike for 2018? Any significant changes?
2017 is my last year on the 65, so next year I will ride only the 85 and I will stay on the Kawasaki this year. It's a great bike! I'll be working with Pro Circuit this year, which is new, and I'm really looking forward to being a part of the Pro Circuit Team.
Outside of motocross, what do you like to do for fun?
I love to fish. I really like to fish for Large Mouth Bass. Just a couple of weeks ago I caught a new personal best, a 12lb Large Mouth Bass. That thing was MASSIVE!
Any sponsor’s you’d like to thank?
I'm really luck to have a really awesome team of sponsors behind me, not only do they help with my racing but they are all really cool people, so yes I would like to thank CP Racing and Coker Pumps, Nut Up Industries, Kawasaki of Modesto, Testa Motorsports, Norcal Cobra, Knobby Shop South, Cobra Motorcycles, Fly Racing, Alpinestars, Scott. Leatt, Mika Metals, Dunlop, Nihilo Concepts, Works Connection and Krawl.
DAILY BREAD BY / LOGAN MATTINGLY
IMAGES BY / JESS TEN HAGEN
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