Bode Bradford was no stranger to the podium throughout the 2019 racing season, finishing on the box at every high profile race that he contested from March to December. The young rider out of Texas won the (4-6) Special Limited class at Spring A Ding Ding and continued in the same form at Freestone with two more overall podium finishes, building some serious momentum in preparation for Loretta’s. Bradford was victorious in two out of three motos in the 51cc (4-6) Limited class at the Ranch, finishing in 2nd position in the third moto in order to clinch his first number one plate at Loretta Lynn’s. The Cobra rider ended the season with a few more podium finishes at both The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City and Mini Os, ending his campaign in the (4-6) Limited classes on a high note before moving up to the Sr. divisions for the 2020 season. Bradford wasn’t doing any riding during the quarantine period and just got back onto his motorcycle at the beginning of June, so he’s taking his time getting back up to speed down at the Tapt House Training Facility in his home state of Texas. We reached out to Bode to get the scoop on what he’s been doing the last couple of months during the lockdown, review last year at Loretta’s in the 51cc (4-6) Limited class, and see what he’s got in store for the remainder of the year.
What did you do during the few months that there was no racing happening with the coronavirus lockdown?
I spent some time with my family and at the lake tubing and learning to wake surf.
Did you take some time off of riding when racing was initially canceled and postponed?
Yes, we went home to West Texas and I didn’t get to ride for almost ten weeks. It was the longest two and a half months ever!
What was your riding situation like the last couple of months during the quarantine?
I did not get to ride at all until June 1st. That’s when I finally got to head back to Tapt House to start prep for Regionals.
What do you like to do for fun and entertainment outside of motocross?
I like to go to the lake with my family and go tubing, wake surfing, and fishing. I also love to go hunting with my dad and brother.
Take us through your three motos last year at Loretta Lynn’s, winning the title in the 51cc (4-6) Limited class.
I came into Loretta’s with a good amount of confidence, I had raced the track two years before on the PW so I knew how rough and hard the track gets. When the first gate dropped for the first moto, my nerves just disappeared and I did what I trained all year to do. Ride the inside ruts and charge through the pack. It worked out for me in the first moto as I pulled away with a first place. In the second moto, I went to the gate finally thinking I might have a shot to win this. So as the gate dropped again, I just let my mind clear and had fun. I pulled the holeshot and did just what I did the moto before and it seemed to work again. Although I knew a single mistake and my friends and competition would be right there I managed to pull off another 1st place! In the third moto, I went to the gate, the 3rd moto my nerves were all over the place. I couldn’t believe I was actually in the position to win the whole thing, so when the gate dropped I tried to repeat the last two motos, but with my buddy Jaydin Smart and I battling it out, I made a single mistake and went down after the sand section. I fought to get back but ended up with a 2nd place in the third moto with my other buddy Tiny (Eidan Steinbrecher) right on my back tire. I did not know when I pulled into impound whether I had won or not until my mom was there to let me know.
How did the weekend of racing go for you at The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City?
Ponca as usual didn’t disappoint. The track was gnarly and the competition was intense. Consistency seemed to work for me again and I managed to pull off a 2nd place podium. Tiny 24 sending the step up on his junior was awesome and he gained much respect from me that weekend!
What do you think about the track layout at Ponca?
It’s good. Always super rough and that’s how I like it!
What was your week of racing like at Gatorback Cycle Park for Mini Os?
Going into Mini O’s, I knew that jumps were going to be important and I never was a big jumper but I knew if I wanted to be up there with the Cali boys I was going to have to do the jumps. So I just decided to send them and found out I had wings, too. (laughs) I ended up with a bronze in supercross and after some fun gnarly battles I ended up with a silver in motocross. It was a great week!
What has it been like moving up to the (7-8) and Open classes?
It has been a little difficult. Not having much time on it yet has made the transition hard, but I’m willing to put the work in to get it.
What was the Supercross Futures experience like for you in Arlington at the beginning of the season?
I learned that supercross is not my thing as of now. I will definitely try it again maybe when I get on bigger bikes.
What do you think about the Super Regional format for Loretta’s this year?
I’m just glad that there is going to be a Loretta’s this year! Hoping I can punch my ticket to be part of this crazy year!
You went to Baja Acres this past weekend for the Regional, how’d that go?
It was not my best race but since I had only been on the bike five days before racing I was just there to get some gate drops and see where I was against some of the fastest kids in the Nation.
Do you have any goals and expectations set for yourself going to Loretta Lynn’s this year?
Right now just to qualify, then hopefully a top ten this year. My class is pretty stacked so I would just be happy to be on the track with these kids.
Have you thought about what you’ll do after Loretta’s heading into 2021 in terms of what classes you’ll be racing?
I’m hoping I get a Cobra 65 after Loretta’s and will be racing 50cc (7-8) and 65cc (7-9) next year.