Emerging from “Sin City” comes a 17-year-old with nothing to lose but rolling the dice and seeing where they land. Born and raised in the heart of Las Vegas Devon Bates has learned he has nothing to lose but give it his all and hope for the best. In 2017 Bates turned heads winning 13 AMA number 1 plates and finding himself on podiums across the nation. I first took notice of Bates watching him race at the Freestone James Stewart Spring Championship. Bates caught my eye in large part due to his calm demeanor on the bike and what appeared to be effortless wins. By the time I saw him racing at the Cal Classic at Pala Raceway I knew Bates was going to be a podium contender for the remainder of 2017. I was able to get a hold of Bates to find out how he felt about the 2017 season and see what his goals are for 2018.
Let’s talk about your 2017 year. How’d you feel
2017 couldn’t have gone any better for me! I spent most of 2017 hitting nothing but Nationals and Qualifiers, which took me to places around America that I probably wouldn’t have visited. It was hard being away from my family, as Mom and Dad had to stay in Vegas for work, but that made me work harder to show my appreciation for everything they do and sacrifice for me. I felt really good, physically and mentally, going into the season. My first National of the year was Oakhill in March, where I won 4 Championships, then headed to Freestone to snag 3 more. That gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year, as I won 6 more ending with Mini O’s and Arizona Open. It’s been a journey for sure. I was hoping to snag a Title at this year’s Loretta’s, but I broke my hand mid-week. With some encouragement from Ricky Carmichael and Matt Walker, I continued to run my motos, but just couldn’t ride to my full potential. I walked away with two 2nd Place finishes, which I’m proud of.
What was your proudest moment of the season?
I’d have to say it’s a tie between qualifying for Loretta’s and claiming my first ever Championship Title at Oakhill. I’ve tried for Loretta’s the last four years, and whether it was injury or results, I never made it to the big show.
What are your goals for 2018?
My biggest goal for 2018 is to get a top 15 at Loretta’s in the B Class. I think that’s a realistic goal for me. That and to just stay consistent and show everyone I just didn’t get lucky this year.
What classes will you be racing in 2018?
For 2018, I will be running 250 B, 450 B and Schoolboy 2 classes.
Events planned for 2018?
After opting to stay C for the AZ Open, I plan to race B Class at the RV Cup at Pala. Then it’s off to training for the Spring Nationals and qualifiers for Loretta’s. I’m hoping to hit all the major Nations, but it just depends how well I adapt to racing with the faster kids. My next race will be the RV Cup at Pala over New Year’s. It’s their inaugural debut, and mine in the B Class, so I find it fittingly to race it. I’m excited to see how it’s run and what the turn out will be!
Are you planning on staying on Huskies for 2018?
As of now, I will stay on Huskies for 2018. They did right by me this year and I feel really comfortable on them.
I think everyone wants to know… Do you hear your momma when she’s hollering like an Indian?
Ha Ha! I heard my mom a lot when I was on 65’s and 85’s, but now that I’m on a 4 stroke and the bigger bikes are louder, I don’t hear her as much while I’m riding. Sometimes, if there’s a spectating area close to the track, a gap in riders or my bike isn’t revving too loud, I can hear her. She’s currently looking into trademarking it!
I’d like to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for keeping me safe, along with my Papou and Yia Yia (Greek grandparents). Definitely my Mom, Dad, sisters and extended family and friends. I have a great support group behind me here in the states and in England that support and believe in me. My Mini O’s Awarded “Mechanic of the Year”, Kyle Kellett; Buddy Antunez, Matt Walker and Crew at Moto X Compound, ALiAS MX, Atlas Racing, 6D Helmets, MotoCutz, Mika Metals, DT1, Dunlop Tires, Eks Brand Goggles, Ryno Power and Acerbis. Thanks for a great 2017 season!