MPG / DAILY BREAD / FEBRUARY 8, 2017
Ramyller Alves is coming into the 2017 season with a point to prove as the EBR backed Yamaha rider will compete in his final season of amateurs before graduating to the professional ranks after Loretta Lynn’s. The Florida native began training down at Moto X Compound towards the end of 2015 and has continued to put in work at the Culloden, Georgia based facility. Alves put in some solid results throughout the 2016 racing season, but experienced a couple of injuries throughout the year that held him back from showing his full potential. He headed into Daytona at the beginning of the year and put together a solid collection of finishes, including a third overall in the 250 All Star A/B class. Shortly thereafter, he was contesting the AMSOIL AX series in order to earn his Road to SX points, but he suffered a broken collarbone in the process. After taking about a month to fully heal up, he carried his good run of form in the SX discipline at JuniorMotoX where he grabbed another third overall finish. Alves got a last minute invite to Monster Energy Cup later in the year, but ended up suffering a fractured wrist in practice -- he decided to race anyways and still salvaged a tenth place finish overall in one of the deepest Amatuer All Star classes in recent memory. Things really began to heat up for the Yamaha rider when he made the journey to Oklahoma for the inaugural Motoplayground Race at Ponca City, Alves put his EBR machine on the overall podium in every class that he contested, proving his speed and consistency against some of the sport’s top privateers. We caught up with Ramy to chat about how he’s feeling heading into the 2017 spring nationals, the famed Moto X Compound mannequin challenge, and when he plans on making his professional debut in upcoming season.
So, you’ve been training with Matt Walker down at Moto X Compound for a little while now, tell me a little bit about what it’s like training down there.
Yeah, I came to Moto X like a month before Loretta’s last year. Umm, y’know, it’s been going great. Matt Walker’s a huge part of my program, he’s helped me out a lot and...y’know, we’ve got everything here: a corner track, a supercross track, an arenacross track, a motocross track -- we’ve got everything you need here. Everything’s going smoothly and I’m excited for this year.
A couple of months ago when the whole mannequin challenge craze was going on, you guys had one of the coolest ones I saw. How long did it take to pull that off? It seemed like quite the production.
Yeah, that was actually really cool. It was actually Matt’s idea, we were at out Echeconnee that day riding and Matt got us all together, he’s the one who kind of planned it and told us where to go and stuff. It actually didn’t take that long, to be honest it took like max thirty minutes. It was actually really cool, apparently there was this page on facebook and it got like 5.5 million views in two days. I was surprised!
How’s the preparation been getting ready for spring nationals?
It’s been good. I’ve been here since the beginning of the year putting in work. I’m feeling really good on and off the bike. My personal trainer Sean White is another big part of my program, he’s got me dialed in off the bike, and in the gym, and on the road bike and everything. I’m excited and feelin’ good for spring nationals.
Is there any particular thing that you’ve been focusing on improving this off season?
Ummm, not necessarily. I just wanna get as fit as I can and just win and dominate, that’s what I really want and umm...I think I can do it, I just need to believe in myself. I have great people around me, in my corner -- I just need to believe in myself and ride like I know how to ride, and I think everything will go good.
You had a pretty solid 2016 — looking back on the year, what was the highlight of the season for you?
At the beginning of the year I had an injury in AX...like Daytona went really good, came away from there with some podiums. After Daytona, I went to get my last point in AX and I ended up breaking my collarbone there. I tried to race and I just couldn’t, so it took me a month or so to get healed up. Then from there, the next good race I’d say was Ponca, that went really good...then I ended it on a good note at Mini-O’s.
Loretta’s is always one of the gnarliest races of the year, but this year was particularly gnarly with the adverse weather conditions throughout the week. How’d the week down at the Ranch go for you?
Umm, the week at the Ranch didn’t go to good for me this past year. I struggled a lot with just myself, I wasn’t riding like myself. It was a race I kinda wanna like forget about and hope I get revenge there this year.
You came to the inaugural Motoplayground Race at Ponca City in October, what was your impression of the event and how’d racing go there for you?
I didn’t know what to expect at first ‘cause, y’know, it’s the first year and stuff but it turned out good. It’s for sure one of the best races I went to all year. Also, I wasn’t expecting some pros to show up like Jimmy Albertson and Heath Harrison. I surprised myself the way I rode; it was exciting racing with them.
You said at the time that you weren’t entirely sure how you’d fit in with the pros, but you ended up battling for the podium in pretty much every race. What did that do for your confidence?
Yeah, I felt really confident leavin’ there. I wasn’t really sure what I was gonna do there -- I was really nervous, I’m not gonna lie. When the gate dropped, I just hammered down and stayed focused and it was just an awesome race. And umm...it was great racin’ with them. I actually surprised myself, I didn’t expect to be with them. I was feelin’ great. EBR, my team, had the bike in perfect condition, I was just feelin’ good on the bike.
You got invited to go run the Monster Energy Cup. Things didn’t get off to the best start as you fractured your wrist in practice, but you decided to race anyways and still pulled a top ten overall. How’d the night go and what was it like having to put aside your injury to go racing?
Yeah, actually there’s a really good story to this Monster Cup thing...I was just training at Moto X for MX actually, I got the call Thursday morning before -- Monster Cup’s on Saturday -- I got the call Thursday morning that I was gonna race Monster Cup with no SX practice, no nothin’. Me and my Mom left Georgia, we stopped in Texas -- actually I called my team right when I got the call and they did up my suspension for me. I did AX last year, so they kind of had like history of what I like and stuff. So, we stopped in Texas, got my bike, and we got to Las Vegas Friday night at 2am. I struggled so much in practice getting used to the flow, y’know what I mean, of the track and stuff. In the last practice, I actually crashed in the rhythm section where Ken Roczen crashed, that’s where I cracked my wrist. I was already there, so I wasn’t not gonna race. So, I tried my best in the mains...but yeah, the wrist was hurting a lot, I just did my best with what I had and it was an awesome experience.
The last big national of the year at Mini-O’s went pretty well. You ended up grabbing a third overall in the motocross portion in the 250 Pro Sport class, what was the week at Gatorback like for you?
Yeah, it was a really fun week. I feel like I could have done a lot better, but I just struggled with my starts. In the first motos, I would have to come all the way from the back and I would finish like fifth or sixth, and that would my ruin my overall score. But, the second motos were a lot better and I got better starts, I was running up front with the guys. It was a fun week.
I have to ask about the incident in the 450 Pro Sport SX race with Julio Zambrano. What went down from your perspective?
So, it started in practice...I was riding my own practice and stuff -- I go outside and he comes inside and kind of tries to take me out, like pushes me out. I was like ‘Hey, what’s up? What did I do?’ and then in the next corner, I did the same to him and he actually ended up hitting my bike and crashed. Then in the 450 A race, umm...I got a poor start, I was in like eighth or something. I caught up -- I don’t know where I caught up to, but I ended up passing him down the straight away, did nothing to him, and then in the next corner...I go outside and then I tripled, but I cased the triple so I doubled and went outside, and that’s when he came straight (into me) and we both went flying over the berm. From then I was just...y’know, I’m trying to ride my own race and get results, not be out there tryin’ to fight people. I was just...like it wasn’t me, I just got really, really mad ‘cause he did that to me and when the race finished, we had conflict off the track. It just turned into a crazy story. After everything finished, I was like ‘Man, that was not me.’ It was kinda like the devil inside me, y’know, haha. After it happened, I wish I had like a time machine to bring it back. But y’know, all this work goes into it and I’m doing good and something like this will ruin your week, y’know, or your race.
What’re your plans for 2017? Where can people expect to see you racing, making your pro debut, etc…?
I’ll be racing all the A classes: 250 A, 450 A, and both the Pro Sport classes at the spring nationals and also Loretta’s, then I’ll make my pro debut at Unadilla.
What sort of goals/expectations do you have for yourself this year?
Well, obviously everybody wants to win, but umm...realistically, I just wanna be on the box every time I race. It’ll be good on the top, that’s what I’m shooting for, but just being on the box consistently will be good.
Who would you like to thank?
EBR Performance, Altus Motorsports, Yamaha, MotoXcompound, Answer, Alpinestars, 100%, Bell, DeboStyles, Ethika, Dunlop, FMF, AnkleSavers, ODI, MotoSeat, HBO Graphics, Vertex, GET, Sunstar, Matrix Concepts, Xtrig, Boyesen, P3Carbon, TMDesignsWorks, Cycra, Torc1, Nihilo Concepts, Rekluse, Works Connection, Tamer, MotorEx, Kicker.
/ Words / Lake Kilpatrick
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