Gage Dunham reached the point last season where he was pushing his KTM 50 to the limits in most circumstances, reaching electric speeds during his final year in the 51cc classes. The ten-year-old out of Colorado snagged overall podium finishes at the Baja Brawl, Mini Os, The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City, Supercross Futures, and the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship. Dunham was fast and consistent all year long while also mixing it up in the younger 65cc divisions, eventually ending his campaign in the 51cc classes on a high note with a pair of titles at the AZ Open in December. Dunham has been focusing on the 65 full-time this season and the extra focus has obviously paid off as he earned a moto win and two overall podium finishes in the 65cc (7-9) classes at Spring A Ding Ding this season. Since racing came to a halt, he’s been spending his time back home in Colorado, working on completing his schoolwork and staying in shape for the inevitable return to action. We had a quick convo with Gage to see how he’s been spending his time during the quarantine, focusing all of his energy into the 65 classes, and playing Pokémon Go.
What have you been up to lately during the recent coronavirus pandemic to keep yourself occupied?
I've been doin' a lot of school work. My teachers give me all the stuff that we've been doing and we're not doing any testing. Mostly, I've been getting done with school early. We're supposed to get out of school on May 30th but they dropped that down a little bit. They've been giving me a lot of stuff to do; we have to wake up at like 8 'o'clock and get on school at 9 am. We have a meeting and talk about what we have to do, then we do it, and then we meet back at 1 pm, but if you get done early you don't have to do that.
So you've been adapting to the new school program. What have you been doing with your free time away from schoolwork?
We just set a trampoline up right now and my friends are over right now, so we just keep hanging out 'cause we're too bored. We're all hanging out riding bikes, playing Pokémon Go, and jumping on the tramp so we're having a lot of fun!
Have you been back home in Colorado for most of the quarantine?
Yeah, we've been out in Colorado riding some private tracks, having some fun riding at Thunder Valley.
What's the riding situation been like for you? Have you been able to ride as much as you'd like?
Yeah, definitely. We ride mostly every day, I'll get done with school at like 11 am to 12:30 pm, so before I'm almost done my parents load the bike in the van and then when I get done with school I get ready, grab all my stuff, and we drive out to Thunder Valley.
Did you take any time off the bike or anything when you got back from Texas?
We kind of took off a little bit. We were still in Texas when all that happened and we were just thinking about whether or not we should stay at my training facility, Quick's Moto Ranch. We decided to leave, but my dad built our gym in the garage and I've started working out and my friends come over and we probably ride like four or five hours a day after I get done with school and stuff.
The 2019 season was your last year in the 51cc classes. You ended up with a 3rd overall at Loretta's, a 2nd overall at Mini Os, and two titles at the AZ Open. Were you happy with that?
Yeah, it was really awesome 'cause I got two titles that day on my 50 and I got 3rd overall on my 65! It was kind of tough, too, because I loved the 50 so much. It's way easier for me to control and I had a lot of fun with it. I was also really excited 'cause I was having a lot of fun on my 65, but I was really excited cause when I got on my 65 I was able to ride with my friend Cole Blecha and he's one of the fastest riders in the 65cc classes. Me and Darren Pine always hang out with each other and always love to ride with each other. We always bang bars and when you get on the 65 it's next level. It's cooler when we step on a new bike and battle each other, so that's really awesome.
How has it been for you this year to only be focusing on the one bike?
You just have to train harder and spend more time on that bike than you ever have, so you can be faster than everybody. You have to work harder than anyone. Since it's a bigger bike, you have to have more control over it. If you can have more control over the bike then you have a big advantage. When you get on the bike it feels much different with the clutch and everything. In 2017, I first got on a 65 and it was a Yamaha; I didn't like it. It just got me all scared and I crashed too much, I almost broke some bones. I wanted to get on a KTM and I felt way more controlled with the KTM.
As far as this year goes we haven't had too much racing, did you do any Supercross Futures or anything at the beginning of the season?
I went to Bowers MX in Texas (for the LLAQ) and that was pretty much it.
So that led into Spring A Ding Ding for you, you got a couple of overall podiums and a moto win in the 65cc (7-9) Limited class. How'd things go for you there from your perspective?
I was really happy! I felt really comfortable, it'd been a long time since I rode on that track. It's definitely different than 2016 and '17 when we trained on that track. We ride on the other side now but I'm super happy I got to ride on the main track again. They (Kyle Regal and Zak Mashburn) do a really good job on the whole track and they're really good trainers, too.
What's it been like for you training at Quick's Moto Ranch and training with Kyle?
It's been really cool 'cause I met Kyle in 2015 or '16, somewhere around there, when he was racing in AMSOIL Arenacross. I met him when I was like 5 or 6 and we’d go to Underground and see him there, and my parents are like "Kyle Regal!?" That's when we started hangin' out and we met the Woody family and when we first went there we met Diesel Thomas and became friends. It's been really awesome and the Woody's are friends with Eli Tomac, so that's pretty cool. I have a lot of fun hangin' out there with Kyle and Zak, working on sections and working on our body control and stuff.
What're your plans heading into Loretta's this year and do you know what you'll be doing at the end of the year transitioning into 2021?
I'm just going to work on more things that I need to work on; shifting and carrying more speed. Just working on stuff I need to work on and staying in the best shape I can get for this year, so I can see what overall I'll get. Next year I'll be AMA 10, so I'll be out of the (7-9) class. I'll do the (10-11) classes and then I'm pretty sure I'll get on 85s.