Between the Motos: Manuel RivasWednesday, February 7, 2007 | 9:42 AM
Manuel Rivas has come out of nowhere to make three out of the
first four main events of the season. A lot of people in the pits were
wondering who this guy was. At first we had some trouble, as my Spanish
was about as good as his English, but James Lissimore came up with
Ricky Jurado, the Star Racing transport driver, who served as our
interpreter. It’s kind of funny: he’s way back in the pits working out
of a Fun Mover. His dad, Manuel Sr., is his mechanic, and here is his
Racer X: Where are you from and how old are you?
Manuel Rivas: I am 24 years old and from Spain.
Have you ever done any GPs or World Supercross rounds?
I did some GPs a while ago, not the whole series. I raced 125s for a small team back home. I did the ones that were close to home. I raced the supercross series in Europe as well. I missed three races, but I got third in the series. I still had commitments to do in Spain for sponsors.
Have you much experience racing against the Americans?
Yes, in Spain and some other countries. Three years ago I raced a few races against them.
Who is helping you over here?
Kawasaki Spain and Kawasaki America. Kawasaki Spain got me my bike and gave me some good parts, but they got lost at the airport! We think they might have stolen them! If you notice at Anaheim 1, I had a stock pipe.
Are you doing the whole supercross series?
No, I have races that I have to do in Spain. Just up to San Diego, and then I will go home. I have to honor my contract, and plus it is far to go to the East Coast.
Are you surprised by how good you are doing?
Yes, for sure! I am very happy. It has been a lot or work—it is very hard to qualify and to be able to do it. I have been very lucky. I am super happy with all the things that have happened to me. [Ed note: With an 18th, 12th, and a 16th in the mains, I think he has been more than lucky!]
Are you impressed by any of the American riders?
Everybody! They are very professional and all super, super fast. Also, people have been very friendly to me as well. I have to work on the whoops; I need to get faster there.
What’s the racing plan for the rest of the year?
I am going to some of the GPs and whatever international supercrosses I can go to. We are trying to be very well prepared for next year; we want to be ready next year to do the whole series. We want to thank Kawasaki of Spain, Kawasaki of America, Oakley, Fox, and all the people that helped me get here.
If you want to learn more about Manuel, go to www.manurivas.net. It’s in Spanish, but you can use a translator tool!