CHASING THE DREAM:
Benjamin Garib has already accomplished quite a bit in the early stages of his career as an amateur motocross competitor, winning a total of five Chilean National Motocross Championships in the 65cc and 85cc divisions. The teenager has begun to shift his focus to a racing career in the United States, competing on American soil for the last few seasons as he’s slowly but surely been able to climb his way up through the ranks. Garib raced in both Supermini classes last year at Loretta Lynn’s and managed to finish inside the top ten in a few of his motos, but he continued to improve throughout the latter stages of the season as he put himself on the podium at Mini Os in both supercross and motocross. Garib is sticking with the Supermini classes this year and is aiming to put himself at the front of the field before making the jump up to big bikes for the remainder of the year. We caught up with Benjamin to see how the coronavirus has been affecting his training, how he splits his time between Chile and America, and his proudest racing accomplishment so far in the States.
What have you been doing to keep yourself busy during the recent coronavirus quarantine?
Here there is no need for quarantine only to stay home as much as possible so I have been training when permitted. The only difference is that all tracks were closed here in California, so I´ve been riding on turn tracks and sand tracks and also working out. Now, most of the tracks are starting to open so hopefully, I can go back to train as normal, obviously taking all the precautions needed for the coronavirus.
What other hobbies do you have apart from riding your motorcycle?
When I´m in Chile, I do a lot of mountain biking and also play video games in my free time.
What’s a typical day of training like for you?
In the USA, I train with Randy Lawrence early in the morning at the track, I go back home for lunch and then I go to Randy´s gym or we do some road biking together depending on the schedule of the week. In Chile, my trainer is Kelly Andris.
Where do you typically ride?
On all the southern California tracks like Fox Raceway, Glen Helen and others.
In Chile, I ride at Rancho Tudor and AMT.
How do you split your time between the USA and Chile?
I try spending as much time as possible in the USA. To comply with the Visa requirements, I need to travel to Chile and back to the USA as soon as possible but I know it is here where I should and want to be.
Does your family travel here with you?
I usually travel with my dad or a family friend from Chile. It was very difficult for me and for my family to be apart for so long, so this year we decided to travel all together.
What are your biggest racing accomplishments back home in Chile?
In Chile, I reached my biggest racing accomplishments being National Champion of 65cc and a four-time National Champion in 85cc.
How was your first race here in America?
My first race was on a 65 at 2014 Oakhill in Texas. It was very difficult for me because the tracks here are very different than in Chile and the riders are much faster.
What’s your proudest accomplishment racing in the USA?
Mammoth Mountain where I got to be top 3 in several finals and Mini Os where I got podiums in all my classes in both supercross and motocross.
You had multiple podiums at Mini Os in 2019, talk about how your week went there.
For me, Mini Os is a very difficult race as I normally travel directly from Chile to Gatorback. I don't have a mechanic and sometimes I don't have time to get used to my bikes before the race. In 2019, it was different because I traveled one month before the race, trained in California and then traveled to Mini Os. This allowed me to feel comfortable.
How was your weekend of racing at Spring A Ding Ding this season?
This was my first time at Spring a Ding and I liked it very much, had a lot of fun and did well. Unfortunately, a mechanical problem didn´t allow me to finish my second moto in one of my classes but I did very well in all the rest of my motos.
What did you think of the track layout at Underground MX?
I loved the track, it had very big jumps and deep ruts.
What do you think of the competition in the Supermini class this year?
I think that the Supermini class this year is very competitive and fun because you never know who's going to win.
What’re your plans for after Loretta’s and the 2021 season?
Right after Loretta’s, I will travel to Chile because of my visa and come back to the USA and move up to big bikes to race Mini Os. In 2021, I plan to do the same as this year -- train hard and race all of the big important races, then go for Loretta´s on the big bike.