Kansas’ Kevin Moranz is a forward thinking privateer who’s certainly shown some improvement in year two of his pro career. This year, riding a KTM 250 SX-F, Moranz made five main events, collected 35 points, and ended up just outside the top twenty in 250SX East points. Last year, on a Kawasaki, he made a couple of main events and earned only seven points so he’s on the upward trajectory.
“This is technically my first actual full season, just because last year was my rookie season and I got hurt and didn’t come back until Daytona. So I only got to do three or four supercrosses,” said Moranz. “So to come in as this going to be my full season, a little bit more experience. I’m actually just starting to click away, starting to get more confidence, more speed. There’s a lot more in me, so I’m excited.”
When you talk to Moranz, you can tell he’s more than just your average supercross racer. He went to college and got his associate degree for one and for two, following him on social media, you can see that he’s trying to bring value for any sponsors of his program. One way he’s done that is through a helmet sponsorship each week that he ends up raffling off.
“The helmet wraps I’ve been doing per round, all the companies that have gotten behind me on that has been huge for me, not only as a privateer to help me fund my racing, but it’s been fun because I get to do good little videos and promotion stuff for a new company, new people every round,” Moranz told me on our recent Privateer Podcast. “It’s been honestly taking off. I plan to do the same thing for outdoors as well, as soon as we kind of get an actual schedule for that. So, very excited for that. Then hopefully I can just start getting people that are interested and start filling those spots for outdoors.”
For more information on this program go check out Moranz’s Instagram (@moranz77) where he lays out the program and what’s involved. This year for the Arlington Supercross, he just cold called a place called VB Steakhouse in Arlington, one thing led to another and he had his first helmet wrap deal! Just like that and he even got a free meal out of it! It’s this outside-the-box thinking that privateers have to do these days to get their program going.
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What do you guys think of this weekends helmet???? @vbsteakhouse / @bikegraphix / @flyracingusa - - This marketing opportunity has already begun to take off! This is offered to only ONE sponsor per round and there are 7 rounds left after tonight. I still have a few openings so if you are interested please email or DM me for more information before they are all full. Kevmoranz46@gmail.com - - One of the best parts of my package is that @vbsteakhouse will be receiving this helmet personally signed by me after the races to keep and present in their restaurant for all to see.
One of the things in all of the seven races in Utah that generated a lot of buzz was Curren Thurman putting on a hell of a charge in one of the LCQ’s and slamming Moranz off the track in the last corner to take the last spot into the main. For Moranz, it was a hard lesson to take but one that he bore no ill will towards Thurman.
“I knew my situation that last corner. I was like, I've got to be on the inside. I was getting that triple, triple, triple, triple all the way through the whoops really good, and I just came up short like two triples left. I was like, inside, inside! The last whoop actually kicked my rear in left when it needed to go right to cut down, so I went the opposite way I needed to so I couldn’t hold the inside. As soon as I went up in the berm, I knew it. As I turned going to the finish line, I’m just thinking, You really just did that. The last lap, the last corner. Really, Kevin? Trust me. I’m going to live and learn, but I wasn’t super upset because I tried my heart out.
“I even talked to him [Thurman] after that. I was like, ‘Dude, you’re all good. I would have done the exact same thing.’ I was obviously bummed, but I wasn’t like heated, just because that was a very hectic LCQ for me.”
Moranz has worked with Jeannie Carmichael at the GOAT Farm the last couple of supercross seasons and he says the situation has been good for him, including when Ricky Carmichael comes out for some one on one training with him and some of the other guys. For whenever the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship starts, he’ll base himself closer to home and try to improve in that discipline as well.
“Outdoors works in my favor as well,” Moranz says as to what he prefers more, SX or MX. “Just because I’m able to suffer a little bit better than the other riders. That’s honestly the best way to say it. I know last year I was always sitting around that 20th mark, and then the last ten minutes I would just start plucking people off. So I like them both. I prefer supercross over outdoors, but I guess I had different advantages, different strengths in each, I guess is what I’m trying to say.”
Making it up near the front in the 250 class is a tough task with so many factory riders. But he’s working hard on trying to make his weakness in supercross into a strength.
“The biggest thing I’ve been struggling with is just coming out intense and just coming out swinging instead of just kind of like halfway, not as aggressive as I need to be the first couple laps, just because there’s usually so much carnage with how tight it is out here, because I’ve actually already been caught up in a little bit of that on first lap stuff,” he said. “But it [this year] was huge for me, honestly. I know I have so much more potential. I’m excited to keep working and keep getting the experience and keep getting better.”
So far, so good for the personable privateer. Keep an eye on this kid this summer!