Welcome to Racer X Next, where we interview up and coming amateur racers. We'll check in with racers on topics such as their training program to qualifying for and competing at the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch, and much more.
This week, we talk with Bali native Kelana Humphrey.
Racer X: You’re a long way from home out here for the Southeast area qualifier, how’d you end up?
Yeah, it was alright, we need to go back and work on some things. It was a learning experience for sure. I haven’t raced at Gatorback in three years, since Mini Os 2016, and three years ago I barely knew how to ride a dirt bike so… yeah, it’s been a learning curve since then. This weekend I raced 85cc (10-12), 85cc (10-12) Limited and Mini Sr. 1. I don’t know how I ended up in the stock class, but I was fifth overall in the 85cc Limited and 8th in Mini Sr.
So, you started riding three years ago??
Yeah! I first got on a dirt bike about four years ago, I had just turned seven. I was living in Bali and watched some supercross on YouTube with my dad, it got me all amped up and I wanted to start riding! My dad started Deus Ex Machina over there, so I was always around motorcycles, but I wasn’t really into it until I watched some racing, and it just clicked instantly. [Ryan] Dungey was my favorite rider. I wanted to be just like Dungey, so I started riding.
What were the tracks like in Bali?
The tracks were literally like the pit area is here today, super dry and hard packed, they are like oversized BMX tracks, really tight. That’s why I think I have a little more of an advantage in supercross because I first started on tracks like that. For the national championship you would have to travel from island to island on ferry boats and stuff. It was crazy.
So, then Gatorback is the complete opposite of what you’re used to riding or training on, even living in California.
Yeah, that’s what I’m working on being here in Florida, learning how to ride ruts and sand. The tracks in California like Milestone, Pala, Cahuilla are all hard pack and slick, they only get deep and rutted if it rains. So, there is really nothing out west to prepare you for conditions like this.
Where have you been training in Florida?
I got to Florida the week before Tampa Supercross for the [Supercross] Futures race and trained at Brandon Comerford’s house with Tyla Rattray. I’ve been hitting Spyder MX and Orlando MX. I’ve also been riding a lot with my friend Seth Dennis; we race together too so we do a little trash talking before the gate drops. Keep it fun. I’ve been staying in Ocala, Florida, with my friend Camillo and the whole Invictus Speed Crew. It’s a new team and they have been helping me a lot.
What is your plan for the spring? What other races or qualifiers are you racing?
I will be in Florida for a couple more weeks, race the Daytona RCSX, and then off to Texas to race Spring a Ding Ding and Freestone. Then I will be back in California, do a West Coast area [qualifier] because that is where I will probably do my regional, but if I don’t make it then I will come back east for the regional since I qualified here today.
What are your goals for the year?
I really want to focus on my technique, riding good in the ruts. Top fives or podiums would be the goal for this year, but a championship would be amazing to me.