And the award for the most absent-minded racer in the sport goes to...
Hometown: Atwood, Tennessee
Classes Raced: 450 Pro
Sponsors: O’Neal, Sidi, Arai, Eks Brand, Yamaha, and Pulp MX
They say that first impressions are everything, and I have to say that my first impression of Alex Ray was not amazing. He overslept and showed up to the races late, forgot his helmet and had to borrow one from some guy, and didn’t bring his toolbox, either. But then he went out and won the Pro class with ease, and my dad seems to really enjoy riding mountain bikes and hanging out with him. Alex Ray is scatterbrained, but if he keeps my dad young…that’s good enough for me.
Alex, it’s always exciting when a national pro visits our race series, what brings you out to Milestone today?
Well, I was laying in bed deciding on what I was going to do today and I texted swap and asked him if the races had started yet. He said, “They are about to. Are you coming?” and I replied with, “Yeah, I’ll be there in 45 minutes.” That’s pretty much how it went and I booked it over here. I missed practice but since I raced the SLAM yesterday I figured I knew the track well enough.
I heard you had an interesting day at the TransWorld Slam…tell me how your day went.
Well, I struggled with starts a little bit and in the first moto I was alright, around fourth or fifth or so, but then I hit a dirt clod and tipped over in a turn. Then in the second moto, I had another bad start because they put water down in between the races and I felt like I was skating on ice and did a complete 180. The SLAM was not good for me this year. Come to think of it, it wasn’t good for me last year, either. (Laughs)
What was it like racing the Saturday night Hell on Wheels flat track after the SLAM?
It was so much fun, it was the coolest experience I’ve ever had. It’s something different and the vibe there is really fun. Yeah, I love it. I was racing the SLAM during the day but all I could think about was racing the Knobbies class at the flat track!
Any luck on leads on your stolen bike?
None yet, we are still looking.
Ray was dominant at the Terra Firma Series finale at Milestone, leading both motos wire to wire in spite of missing practice and racing in a borrowed helmet that was too big.
You had an interesting season with the highlight being recruited to fill in on team Yamaha, was it a dream come true?
Oh definitely! It was a dream come true for sure, it was everything I dreamed of. For that to come true and to be able to check that off the bucket list is something few people can say they’ve done.
So I hear you are a really good mountain biker, especially going downhill.
No! (Laughs) Who told you that? No, I am not good. My bike skills are limited on a bicycle…I try to stay on the ground. Flat road or going up is usually better for me.
How did you happen to forget your helmet today?
Well, I was in a hurry! Swap told me they were going to start racing and I didn’t know what class I was racing or what number it was, so I had to hurry on over here. I even forgot my toolbox, too. I didn’t check the air pressure in my tires or anything. I haven’t checked in in about a month, actually.
How long have you been racing and what led you to choose motocross?
I’ve been racing since I was around three-years old, my dad put me on a bike because he raced dirtbikes while growing up in Southern California too. He got me into it and I fell in love with it!
What are your favorite types of tracks and track obstacles?
I’m more of a Supercross guy, but flat track is right there with it. I like big rhythm sections on a Supercross track.
Do you participate in any other sports or hobbies?
Just mountain bike racing really!
How seriously do you take your racing?
As serious as ever. Whenever I feel like I’m going slow, I just imagine bad things are happening to my family haha!
What is your favorite thing about being a motocross racer?
Not having to get up and go to a 9 to 5. Not being a desk junkie.
What would you rather do, holeshot a race and run away or come from behind to win?
Oh, holeshot a race for sure.
Tell me about your bike and why you chose it and what have you done to make it work well for you?
Well, I choose Yamaha because they are really good bikes, obviously. They help me out a little bit and we tested with KYB when I was on the factory team. I was fortunate enough that they loaned me a set of suspension, so I have that on my bike right now. Pro Circuit gave me a pipe and I have a GET Data Ignition which really woke it up a bit. Other than that, she’s ready to go!
Motocross is a really physically demanding sport, do you train for racing and if so, how?
Me and my trainer Pablo Toribo, we have this unique way of doing things. We do gym stuff, a lot of cycling, on the bike stuff, you know just everything. It’s a grind for sure, but it’s what we got to do nowadays.
How often during the week do you have to train?
Usually every day it’s at least something. It is the off-season right now so I’ve been slacking a bit. You know, just taking my time, but when boot camp starts it will be full swing and pretty much every day- maybe one off day during the week.