TIME TO SHINE:
Tayce Morgan really began to come on strong at some of the high profile amateur motocross races towards the end of the 2019 season. The Utah native finished in 3rd place in one of the 51cc (7-8) Limited motos at The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City and ended up 4th overall, but his self-assurance began to snowball at the end of the year. He had some solid performances at Mini Os and finished in 2nd place at the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge in Atlanta, fueling him up with confidence before Daytona. Morgan spent the winter away from his home state of Utah and lived in Florida for five months to train with Tyla Rattray and it was more than apparent that the extra time honing his craft has paid off. Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation and postponement of a number of races, Morgan was on a roll at the beginning of the season. The Utah native took the top spot in the 51cc (7-8) Limited class at both the Daytona RCSX and Spring A Ding Ding, proving that he’s going to be one of the main contenders this year at the Ranch. We had a quick conversation with Tayce before a Friday afternoon practice session to recap some of his races last year, the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge, and figure out who he’s rooting for to win the 450SX Championship.
What have you been up to the last couple of months with no racing going on?
We were just practicing a lot for when racing came back. I was still able to ride a lot.
Did you take a little bit of time off when racing was postponed back in March?
We took like two or three days off and then we started riding again.
With not much racing happening, what have you been doing to fill your free time?
I like to go to the skate park or ride my mountain bike.
So you're out riding and practicing today, where are you at?
There are a lot of pros out there getting ready for Supercross this weekend, what's that like to have all of them riding at the same track?
Who are you rooting for? Do you have a favorite pro rider?
Yeah, Ken Roczen!
Last year at Ponca you finished on the podium in one moto and came away with a 4th overall. What was the weekend of racing like for you in Oklahoma?
It was good. A few motos were bad but the rest was good.
Do you like the track there at Ponca? The ruts get pretty gnarly for the little bikes.
Yeah, you either have to slow down a lot or go fast around the outside.
You did Mini Os last year for the first time. What was it like making that road trip all the way from Utah and racing there?
Umm, we were already in Florida before Mini Os happened. We were there for five months! We stayed in Port St. Lucie and we were training with Tyla Rattray.
What was one of the biggest things he helped you with?
My speed and technique.
At the beginning of this season, you did the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge in Atlanta. How was that experience?
It was pretty fun. The track was super cool! The screen in the stadium that looks like a big 'ole ball was crazy!
It was also your first time racing at Daytona and you got a title there in the 51cc (7-8) Limited class. What was that weekend like?
It was super fun. All of the corners, you could go super fast in and the 50s could jump all the doubles there. It felt really good to win a title there.
At Spring A Ding Ding, you kept your momentum up and got another title there. How was your weekend at Underground?
Yeah, on my 65 in the last moto I slid out in two corners so I didn't get a good place in that class. One of my 50 classes I got 4th and I won my other one. The track was super fun!
What do you like about the track layout?
I like how they have that quad in the middle and the rollers and a lot of the corners.
Are you ready for a bigger bike so you can hit the quad?
Are you used to riding in the sand from Utah or have you not done much sand riding? You looked good in the sandier soil at Underground.
In Florida, we were riding in the sand a lot. Not really in Utah, there's a little bit of sand.
What're your goals and expectations heading to Loretta's this year?
I think I can qualify on my 65 this year. I want to get top three in my 50 class and be top five or top ten in my 65 class.
Do you know what you're gonna do after Loretta's heading into next season?
I'm going to start racing the 65 full-time and we're going to go back to Florida.