PR-MX Pelletier Kawasaki’s Lorenzo Locurcio put in his best ride of 2020 on Wednesday when he crossed the line in ninth. The Venezuelan native is about to wrap up his fourth season of supercross and continues to make strides towards the front in 250SX East.
With no plans lined up for this summer’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, he’s making the most of his current opportunity to impress teams around him. We caught up with the 23-year-old as he prepares for the East/West Showdown on Sunday.
Racer X: You just put in your best result of the season with a ninth on Wednesday. Do you feel like you’re really hitting your stride with everything down the stretch here?
Lorenzo Locurcio: Yes and no. I’ve been feeling like my riding now, the whole offseason and this season now, it just hasn’t worked my way. We had some issues with the bike that were out of our control. We finally got the bike working decent and I’m riding the best I’ve been all year also. So yeah, it’s a combination of everything.
How has the experience been with the PR-MX team this season? I know you talked a little bit about the bike issues. But getting everything dialed in, what has the team been like and how has the atmosphere been?
The atmosphere has been good. Julien [Perrier, team manager] has been really helpful. I mean, he’s done everything he can in his power to get me comfortable and get me the best bike possible. Unfortunately, the 2020 Kawasaki has a new engine that has very little development, so we’ve been struggling with that. But everything that’s in our power and all the parts we can get, we’ve been testing. Like I said, we’ve struggled with it. For the first five rounds, we tested every single day non-stop. Even between races, we were just testing dyno, try this, try that, do this, do that. So, the effort has been there, it’s just unlucky that we’ve been in this situation.
Has the altitude been an issue at all trying to work things out with the engine?
Yeah, luckily, we have Williams Motorwerx. He’s been doing the engines now. So, he got a good base map and when we got here, we got lucky that there’s practice tracks and what not. We got with a Kawasaki tuner and we’ve been working out all the mapping issues and just trying to get the bike as best as possible. The good part is everyone is struggling with it, so it kind of gets it all a little more even for everybody.
Yeah, you’re not alone there. I heard you don’t have anything lined up for outdoors. Is that true? Are you speaking with teams currently, and if you can’t get a team are you just going to rough it out as a privateer again?
Yeah, I don’t have anything right now. Everything is so crazy right now with this pandemic and COVID and all that, so I haven’t really talked to any teams. I’m just waiting to see how it’s all going to pan out. If anything, I’m just going to do the first two rounds and try to get some people’s attention and what not. I know results haven’t been what I wanted, and I know people look for results. So, I just want to get results and let the riding do the talking.
You’re actually coming to the end of your fourth supercross season at this point, and you’re probably starting to develop a good sense for it all. Where do you feel like your strengths and weaknesses lie with supercross at the moment?
Honestly, I felt the best I ever have on supercross with confidence, fitness, just being smart with the rhythms, and just being comfortable. I feel like that’s the biggest thing when you come from amateurs to pro, just to be comfortable with jumps and nailing them down as quick as possible. So, I feel like I got all that lined up. Unfortunately, I haven’t been putting in the results I’ve wanted to earn a factory ride. You know, that’s the shot you want. If I say something else, I’d be lying, because that’s the goal for everybody. To be on a factory ride, to earn a salary, to be comfortable, and have the best equipment possible. So, that’s the ultimate goal. I thought this year I was going to have a really good shot to impress some people because I’ve been riding really good during the week. But there were some other plans and I’ve just been trying to adjust, and work on myself more, and forget about the bike or anything. If I don’t have the fastest bike, then I’m going to be the fastest rider to make the bike go fast.
I’ve always been interested in your story too. Coming from Venezuela and the long road you had to make it to the professional ranks, what does it mean to you to have accomplished what you have in your pro career so far?
It’s been great. I tell people, I didn’t grow up from when I was 4 years old with the goal to be professional. My dad, my cousin, and my uncle, they raced for fun and that was the environment I grew up in. I actually didn’t get serious until I was like 14 or 15. Like I said, I didn’t grow up with that racing mentality. I looked at motocross as a fun, family sport. So, that’s been tough for me just to have that switch and kind of be fired up. I didn’t grow up knowing anything about supercross. In Venezuela, it’s prohibited to have doubles, triples, whoops, or rollers. So, it was a big change of pace and it took me longer than most of them, but it’s really satisfying that my family supported me through it all. When I said I wanted to be serious, and I wanted to make it to where I’m at today, they were all in with me.
When you decided that you wanted to make that shift and go all in, was the dream always to race in the US? Or did you have aspirations of racing world motocross of any other series at all?
Everything was out of range coming from Venezuela, honestly. But I had the opportunity to come to the US. So, that was more of the goal because I had been here before, I followed it more because we used to see more races on the internet. It always leaned out to be US, just because we knew more about it and it was more accessible. It was closer to home. It wasn’t a 10-hour plane trip, it was only a few hours, so as soon as I knew what I wanted to do, we chose the USA just because it’s more like home.
You talked about wanting to end up on a factory team at the end of the year. If you envision yourself in October or November, what would you like to accomplish in the next couple of months to put yourself where you want to be moving into 2021?
Honestly, I just want a shot. I mean, everyone wants a shot but you gotta earn it. So, I can’t just sit here and be like, “I deserve this,” or, “I want this,” I’ve just got to go out there and earn it and that’s been my biggest issue. This year, I got a trainer, I lost 20 pounds, I’ve been riding at the Moto Sandbox in Florida with all the big hitters and I’m right there. So, it’s frustrating, honestly because I know I have the speed, but that’s the cards I have to deal with. I learned that not everyone has the same possibilities. I have to make the best out of it. It is what it is and like I said, I have to better myself and excel more with what I have.
Lastly, I just wanted to ask who you’d like to thank for getting you to the races this year and everything so far in your career?
Yeah, for sure the team PR-MX for getting me to the races, supplying me with equipment. Just1 Racing, Pelletier Kawasaki, Active Ride for giving me the best suspension, Hoosier Tires. There are a bunch of people involved with the PR-MX crew. They’ve done an outstanding job to provide me with the best and get me comfortable with anything that I ask. And for sure my family, they’re my everything and they always supported me with everything. They are always there day in, day out. And my dad has actually been my mechanic so it’s pretty cool that we get to throw it back like amateur days and being together through it all.