The 2019 racing season had an abundance of solid performances from Florida’s Tyler Mollet, producing strong finishes from the beginning of the season to the end. He started off with a title in the 65cc (10-11) class in his home state at the Daytona RCSX, backing it up with a 2nd place in the (7-11) class as well. Later in the season, Mollet impressed in a few of his motos at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship, finishing as high as 2nd place overall in the 65cc (10-11) class. Unfortunate luck and circumstances held him back from overall finishes that reflected his true potential, but Mollet still proved his grit and determination each time he lined up on the gate, never giving up until the checkered flag. The Floridian returned back to fine form in his home state for Mini Os to end the season, recording multiple top-five finishes to close out his campaign in the 65cc classes in strong style. Mollet has carried the same top-five pace into the new season, seamlessly transferring his speed into the 85cc classes. He spent lots of time during the quarantine grinding away on the track at the Fasnacht Training Facility and he’s recently begun riding three days a week with Tyla Rattray in preparation for Loretta’s this season. We got the scoop from Tyler on how he spent the last couple months during the lockdown, how he’s feeling in the 85 classes, and what he’s aiming for at the Ranch this year.
What did you do for the few months that there was absolutely no racing happening?
Pretty much since I was six years old, I have trained on Wednesdays with Kylie Fasnacht at Fasnacht Training Facility. Luckily, we were able to keep this up because of the generosity of the Fasnacht family. They gave us a place to ride when everyone else was closed. After motos, we would swim in the pool or in their pond. My gym, Burritt Built, was unfortunately forced to close. But my trainers did some Zoom sessions that I could do from home. Most of the time I spent training and having fun with my homies.
Did you take some time off when racing was postponed?
Not really. I pretty much kept the same schedule of training one day a week and one day on the weekend if I could. I also did some mountain biking (well, as much as you can in Florida), and built some bike jumps at my house. We don’t have a lot of land, but I made a little twelve-second pitter track. I try to stay busy as much as I can and not get bored.
What was your riding situation like during the quarantine?
Kylie worked hard to maintain the track so that people would have a place to ride. I did my usual Wednesday training. With all the kids being off of school, there was a good group of riders which made it really fun.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time away from riding and training?
I like to stay active, so I do a lot of fishing, go to the skate park, learn some new tricks on my trampoline, work on my little pitter track, build some dirt jumps in my side yard, and hang with my friends.
How did your week go at Loretta’s last year from your perspective?
I’m pretty happy with my results at Loretta’s last year. I was under the tent in four out of six motos so that’s always a good thing. One moto, I had a coil go bad and I had the only mud moto of the whole week which didn’t go well. I was sitting in 3rd overall going into the last moto and the skies opened up. The mud and I didn’t get along and my finish wasn’t so great. I ended up 8th overall, which I am still very proud of. One moto I was chasing for 3rd, I had a small tip over in Storyland on the last lap and it took it all out of me. It was so hot and I was pushing so hard that I ended up puking in my helmet three times on the last lap. I salvaged a 6th place in that moto. Then in one moto, my bike popped into neutral on the start. I came from dead last to 5th. Nothing ever comes easy at Loretta’s.
How has the transition to the 85 classes been?
I have always been one of the smaller kids and this year I finally got the growth spurt I needed. That has helped me on the 85. It’s nice to finally flat foot the bike. I also have a good gym routine with my trainers at Burritt Built which has helped me to get a lot stronger. I can feel that on the bike for sure and it’s helping me up my whip game.
Tell us about how the week of racing went for you last season at Mini Os.
Mini Os was my last race on my 65s. I don’t miss them as much as I thought I would. I ended up with two 4ths on MX and two top tens on SX. I was really hoping for a podium but missed it by a bike length. In August, I had a bad get-off which left me with a lacerated spleen. So I wasn’t able to train quite as much as I would have liked before the race. It’s definitely one of my favorite races of the year though.
What was your experience like racing Supercross Futures at Tampa in February?
It was a cool experience because they didn’t make a whole lot of track changes from the pros. I like racing in big stadiums like that. We were working out the kinks on a new bike so my starts weren’t quite dialed in. I won both of my heat races but ended up with two 4ths in the mains. I ended up with a lot of 4ths this year.
We saw that you went to Breckenridge for a vacation at the beginning of the year and tried snowboarding for the first time. What was that vacation like?
I always enjoy trying new things and picked up snowboarding pretty quickly. It was a blast, and I think I’ll stick with it next year. We try to go to the mountains for a non-moto vacation every year. We usually go skiing with a few other moto families but this year it was a solo trip.
How did the Daytona RCSX go for you this year?
Well, not quite as good as last year when I won a title, but I did pretty well. One class, I had last gate pick from a crash in the heat race, and got stuck in a first turn pile-up, but managed to make it back up to 10th. I had a clean race in the other class and got 4th. It was the year of the 4th place.
What was it like finally being back at the races a couple of weeks ago at Silver Dollar?
It felt good to get back to racing again and made me look forward to racing more. I always liked that track back from the Vurb Classic days, so I was stoked to get to go back. I came home with a 2nd and a 3rd. It felt good to be back at the track with some full gates.
What do you think about the Super Regional format?
I think it was the best option for making Loretta’s happen. Our classes usually have no less than sixty kids anyway so it’s not much different for me. I’m looking forward to going to Muddy Creek and just hoping that we don’t have a repeat of two years ago when the track really lived up to its name. I did end up with a ticket though so maybe it wasn’t so bad.
What’re your goals and plans heading into Loretta’s this season?
My first goal is to make it in both classes. I feel like I am capable of an overall podium finish. But if I can get clean motos with no mechanical issues or falls, I will be happy. I just started ramping up my training program, riding three days a week with Tyla Rattray so I’d love to see that hard work pay off at the Ranch.
Do you know what classes you’ll be racing heading into 2021?
Next year I’ll be moving on to Mini Sr. 1 and Mini Sr. 2. My Dad with some help from Conrad at Gizmo Mods are gonna build me a badass supermini. I can’t wait to rip that one!