NO BAD VIBES:
Back in 2018, Ryder D’Arrigo had a first-place overall finish at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship with a clean sweep of all three motos. The young Californian earned himself a spot in the KTM Orange Brigade lineup for the next season and immediately began to find success in the older age divisions. D’Arrigo snagged a pair of podiums at the JS7 Freestone Spring Championship in March and also managed a 2nd place overall finish at the FMF California Classic in April, getting his 2019 season off on the right foot. He continued to gain valuable experience in the older 51cc classes over the course of the season and also began to put in some seat time on a KTM 65 in preparation for the (7-9) class this year. D’Arrigo has been enjoying his time off with the family for the last couple of months but he’s been able to get back into the swing of riding lately as more and more tracks have started to reopen in southern California. We got on the phone with Ryder to talk about doing school virtually, racing an electric bike, and his goals for this season at Loretta’s.
What have you been up to the last few months during the lockdown period?
Just doing a lot of schoolwork and playing video games here and there, playin' outside in my backyard mostly.
Are you doing virtual school now, too?
Yeah, it's better than going to school 'cause you don't have as many hours to do. I like it way better.
Were you in public school before doing this?
No, it was a private school so we had to wake up at 6 'o'clock and be there by 7 am. Now the virtual meetings are at 10 'o'clock so it's really nice.
What kind of video games have you been playing?
I play Supercross 3 a lot on my Xbox and I play online with a bunch of my friends. It's super fun!
Do you like building custom tracks on there, too?
Yeah, I've done a couple but it's hard because you have to edit everything and you don't know if it's gonna be good or not.
What's the riding situation been like lately for you?
I've been riding like every other week and I've been riding like two days a week. One time I even rode five days, so we get to ride a lot still.
Where have you been riding at?
Sand tracks, Perris Raceway and Fox Raceway.
After all of this started back in March, did you take some time off riding?
I took like two months off just to chill for a little bit, so I got to have some fun with my baby brother and my aunt was here for a while.
We saw on your Instagram that you also play hockey and baseball. Do you enjoy doing that?
Yeah, I do flag football now. I'm pretty bummed that this thing happened 'cause it was pretty fun. I don't really do baseball anymore; I did baseball when I was like 5 but I play hockey here and there.
What was it like getting your first title at Loretta's back in 2018?
That was huge for me and my family. We got a lot more support and that was like the best week of my life. I was so happy! No bad vibes.
What was last year like for you moving up to the 51cc Sr classes?
Well, it was pretty hard because they're pretty fast, you know. They'd always beat me but I'm starting to get up there now. Last year I didn't have the most success, but a couple of races were actually really good. I won a couple of races that year, but I didn't get any championships.
At the end of the season, you moved up to the 65cc (7-9) class at the AZ Open. How's that been?
Yeah, we've been riding 65s for like seven months straight, we haven't been riding 50s. The last time I rode a 50 was at Hangtown at the Area Qualifier, so we've been riding 65s a lot.
Are you going to split your time between the two classes this year at Loretta's?
Yeah, we plan to do all of the big races on 50s and then after Loretta's we're gonna do 65s.
How're you liking the bigger bike?
It's definitely way better than the 50 because you can do more stuff on it. Say you case a jump, it handles it a lot better than the 50. And you have a lot more speed and you can clear the bigger jumps like the older kids!
At the beginning of this year, you raced the Supercross Futures at Anaheim in the E-Bike class. How was that experience?
It was pretty sick having all the E-Bikes, we expected a couple but we had like five E-Bikes in my class and it was a really fun experience on the track. That was my only race on E-Bikes.
What'd you think of those things?
Yeah, it's pretty weird 'cause it's electric and you can't hear anything but at the same time, it's super fun! You can literally go in the hills and no one can hear you. I have hills right next to my house and there are trails, but nobody hears us. There are bigger E-Bikes so my dad can ride them with me, too, and we go trail riding.
Was it weird racing against other kids when you can't hear the other bikes around you?
Yeah, the hardest part about the E-Bikes was the start 'cause you're not revving or anything so you just go from nothing to everything.
What's your mindset like heading to Loretta's this season?
Well, in the (7-8) class my goal is to get 1st and in the (7-9) I want to get top three.