ANAHEIM, Calif. – The reigning king of mini bike racing, Monster Energy/BBR’s Derek Costella, is on his way to Vegas’ Orleans Arena to defend the world’s premier mini bike titles – 10” and 12” Expert – at this Friday’s (May 1st) Maxxis MiniMotoSX against such notable mini bike racing names as Browning, Beat, Abrigo, Blose, Weigand and, quite possibly, JLaw.
A three-time consecutive 12” champ, the easy-going Costella, who qualified this year for a number of WSX Lites main events on the Monster Energy Supercross tour on his Carter Powersports/Monster/All Access/Fox Honda, is the sport of mini cycle racing’s marquee name these days. A motocrosser since age 12, the 25-year-old Costella figures he’s been riding minis for six years, racing MMSX for the first time in ‘05. On a bike thrown together by a friend (Charlie Rennie), Costella managed to make the main event, but crashed (“Just couldn’t put it together in the race,” he said.). Costella’s hyper-fast lap times did, however, catch the eye of the industry.
“BBR approached me and offered to build me a bike for the following MMSX (’06),” said Costella. “That year I got a 2nd and a 1st – beat McGrath.” Costella’s 2nd was in the 10” class, and his win over McGrath in the 12” class would begin a three-year reign of terror on the 12” bikes for Costella.
“It was amazing beating McGrath,” said Costella. “He’s a super nice guy, gave me his phone number afterwards, told me to call him if I ever want to go out and ride when I’m in southern California. I’ve always looked up to that guy, so it was indescribable when I actually beat him.”
In 2007 Costella and McGrath teamed up on the newly-formed Monster Energy/BBR team and Costella successfully defended his 12” title, but faltered in the 10”, getting 4th.
The 2008 MMSX featured Costella getting the 10 “ class monkey off his back, winning the first time in his career. “The main goal last year was to win the 10” championship – really wanted to win that,” said Costella. “When I went out there and did that I was so pumped, didn’t even really think much about the 12”, but ended up winning a championship in that one as well.” Note: Costella was the first racer in the history of MMSX to sweep both premier 10” & 12” Expert classes in one night.
So with three-straight 12” titles, Costella’s ready to get back after it here on Friday at the Orleans as the most successful racer in MMSX history. And what makes him so good?
“I don’t know, really,” he said. “One theory that I have that’s cool about mini bikes is anybody can buy the best equipment to make their bikes go fast, whereas in supercross you’re racing against factory equipment that you have no chance of getting. So on mini bikes when you get beat it’s by another rider, and I can handle that. And when you do well it helps with your confidence, so that, along with the help from BBR, is why I think I’ve been successful the last few years.”
Costella’s basically your average-size motocross racer (5’-8”, 145 pounds). The fact that he rips on a full size dirt bike is a given – all those guys do. So he’s quick to give props to BBR in helping him complete the MMSX success package. “BBR has the best equipment out there. Everyone wants to be on a BBR bike,” he says. “They put more time, effort and testing into everything they build. I mean, even the owners (Brent, Duane and Chris Brown) ride and test on top of what we do.”
On Browning: “He’s a really, really fast guy,” said Costella. “But he’s always had either something happen to his bike, or got taken out – so he really hasn’t gotten a fair shot to win one out there. He’s one of about ten guys out there that can win this thing.”
And on Lawrence? Costella didn’t hesitate: “He’s just another guy. I’m not too worried about it at all. Maybe he’ll be one of those ten guys - we’ll have to see how he rides when that day comes.”
The annual AMA/Maxxis MiniMotoSX is the largest indoor motorsports competition of its kind. With more than 700 registered riders in 2008 the event literally allows for mini bike enthusiasts to become part of the show. As one racer put it: “At MiniMotoSX you don’t just show up and watch racing in Vegas – you boot up and get on the track yourself to race in front of a packed house at the Orleans.” Featuring numerous classes at all age and ability levels, AMA/Maxxis MiniMotoSX delivers an unforgettable day of racing action for both fans and racers alike, along with an affordable ‘Vegas experience’ given the hotel and ticket package at the Orleans Hotel and Arena, April 30th – May 1st. Registration for the event is open right now on www.minimotosx.com
Tickets On-Sale NOW at the Orleans Arena, 888-234-2334; or online at www.OrleansArena.com
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Encompassing the highly successful AMA Maxxis MiniMotoSX, the AMA EnduroCross Championship Series and the AMA EnduroCross Grand Championships, the Source Interlink Media Motorsports brands reach millions of motorcycle enthusiasts with live events, DVD packages, web sites, television and magazine coverage. Visit www.minimotosx.com or www.endurocross.com.