Parker Ross contested only a select few of the high profile amateur races throughout the 2019 racing season, but the teenager out of Northern California still impressed with the quality of his performances at those specific events. He put himself on the overall podium in both Mini Sr classes at the FMF California Classic in April and repeated the same feat at Mammoth, except he claimed the top spot in the Mini Sr. 1 class. Ross was surfing a wave of momentum heading into the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship in August, translating the positive mindset into his career-best overall finish (2nd place overall) in Hurricane Mills. Following Loretta’s, the Californian moved straight from a KTM 85 to an RM250F after linking up with the Bar X Motorsports Chaparral Suzuki team. Ross spent the offseason coming to grips with the bigger bike and he showed some good speed at the beginning of the 2020 season with solid results at the Loretta Lynn Area Qualifier at Hangtown, proving to be one of the top contenders in the B Limited classes. He had a small injury setback throughout the winter, but the 14-year-old is back on the bike and training hard to make a splash in the B class this season. We had a quick conversation with Parker before getting in his practice for the day to talk about the depth of competition in the B class, review the 2019 racing season, and see how he’s been feeling on the 250.
How's the lockdown been for you the past few months?
Well, I actually got hurt back on February 22nd, I tore my ACL, so I've just been doing a bunch of rehab and I just got back riding probably two weeks ago.
What did you do with all of that downtime that you had?
I rode my mountain bike a bunch, played some video games, hung out with my dog, and went out fishing, you know.
What video games have you been playing?
GTA and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Things are starting to open back up a little bit now, what's the riding situation been like for you?
Yeah, you just have to sign up online, pay online, and then park six feet away then it's pretty normal. Only like half the tracks back here are open.
Where have you been doing most of your riding?
Probably like E-Street, MMX, Argyll, and a lot of riverbeds and stuff.
Do you prefer being out in the riverbed by yourself as opposed to sharing a public track with other riders?
Yeah, it's nice to be by yourself.
How's it been for you moving up to the 250 and how much seat time have you had?
I got on the 250 about a month after Loretta's and it feels pretty normal now, you know. It doesn't feel that big and I feel pretty comfortable on it. I feel like I fit it pretty good.
What's the biggest adjustment been for you with the new bike?
Just trying to find where the power is and the extra workouts, like you have to work out two times as hard as before.
Going back to some of the racing we had last year in 2019, you ended up with the overall in the Mini Sr. 1 class at Mammoth. How'd things go for you there?
I was just feelin' it that week. I felt good the whole week, had good starts, and I felt really good on the downhill and I just came away with the title.
Are you bummed that race is canceled this year?
I'm bummed, but I feel like it's better for me since I just tore my ACL so I feel like it's a little bit better for me to get a little bit of extra time and not have to go straight into a big race.
You had a solid week last year at Loretta's with a 2nd place overall in Mini Sr. 1, how'd things go for you in Hurricane Mills?
I was really confident going into it 'cause I won Mammoth and I felt good on the line, wasn't really nervous that year and I did good. Then the last moto I could've won but I had some bike problems so I got 4th, but it happens. I was super pumped though because that was my best finish at Loretta's, so I was really excited.
What was your thought process moving straight up to the B class and getting on the 250?
We were probably gonna skip the Supermini class 'cause we didn't really have the money to fund that right now, so we were gonna go straight to 125s and then we got a call from Suzuki saying they wanted us, so we just hopped on the 250 straight away.
How'd that come together? Myron Short is one of your sponsors so did his involvement with the team get your foot in the door?
Yeah, because of his relationship with Chris Wheeler, he saw what I did at Loretta's and Mammoth, so I got picked up!
Were you able to get some gate drops in with it before you got hurt at the beginning of the year?
Yeah, I did some local races and I did the Hangtown Area Qualifier and that was it, then I got hurt. But they went good, I was probably one of the fastest in 250 B Limited. I was up there in the top three, passing everybody, but I still got to get a little bit faster to compete with Jett (Reynolds), Chance Hymas, and all those guys.
What do you think about the competition in the B class this year? It's pretty stacked.
Yeah, it's pretty heavy. From 14 (years old) to 17 (years old) is what you're racin' and everybody seems to be a little bit older than me, maybe two years or one year at least. So it's tough, but it's fun.
What do you think about the Super Regional format for Loretta's this year?
I think it'll go good, but there's going to be a lot of fast guys there and it'll be twice as hard to qualify this year.
Do you know what your plans are following Loretta's this season moving into next year?
Well, I have a one year contract with the Bar X Motorsports Chaparral Suzuki Amateur team so we don't know yet, we're just gonna see how I do this year.