Kyle Smith showed many flashes of speed throughout the 2019 racing season, strongly representing the RM Army in the heavily competitive Supermini classes. The Georgia native snagged a top ten finish at the JS7 Freestone Spring Championship to start the year and backed it up at Loretta’s with a top ten moto finish before the end of the week, holding his own against one of the most stacked Supermini fields in recent memory at Loretta Lynn’s. A hard crash at the beginning of the week and a DNF hindered his overall score, but he proved on multiple occasions that he had the pace to finish in the top ten. Smith ended the season as well as his time on minibikes at the Thor Winter Olympics at Gatorback Cycle Park, clinching a 9th place overall in Supermini 2 on the supercross track and an 8th place overall in Supermini 1 on the outdoor track. Smith made the move up to the B class for 2020 and has tried to utilize the hiatus from racing the past couple of months to further familiarize himself with the different characteristics of the 250. He returned to the gate at Silver Dollar and Ponca City for the South Central Amateur Regional to finally get some racing experience on the 250 as he’s hoping to earn a spot at Loretta Lynn’s this weekend at WW Ranch. We caught up with Kyle to see how he’s been adapting to the bigger bike and more.
What did you do during the few months that there was no racing happening with the coronavirus lockdown in effect?
During the few months that there was no racing going on I just stayed home, riding at some local tracks around my house, and waiting for racing to start back up.
Did you take some time off of riding when racing was initially canceled and postponed back in March?
I tried to not take much time off since I had just gotten on the 250 so it was the perfect time for me to get used to the transition from minibikes to big bikes and get comfortable on them while we had a break.
What was your riding situation like the last couple of months during the quarantine?
We have three tracks within an hour from us so I would just track hop between those three tracks and do motos. They all had different track conditions so it worked out perfectly!
What do you like to do for fun and entertainment outside of motocross?
I like to go fishing and hunting when I’m not riding and go to the lake and go wakeboarding/wake surfing too.
Take us through your week of racing at Loretta’s last season in the Supermini classes.
I had a little bit of a rough week at Loretta Lynn’s last season, I had a pretty bad get off in my first moto which led to a DNF and the rest of the week I struggled on starts. But finally, on the last day I managed to get a decent start and piece everything together to salvage a top ten finish.
How’d the week of racing go for you at Mini Os as your last big race on minibikes?
At Mini Os on supercross, I was really happy with how I was riding and my finishes. I didn’t get to ride much between Loretta’s and Mini Os cause I was working with my dad so I rode when I could. Motocross went good - I got good starts and just focused on hitting my marks and it worked out pretty good for me.
What was the transition like for you moving onto a YZ250F and riding a four-stroke?
Transitioning from minibikes to the 250 was pretty good. There was definitely a little bit of a learning curve but it was a pretty smooth transition to the 250.
How much racing and riding did you do throughout the offseason and winter months?
During the offseason and winter months, I didn’t do much riding cause we were still trying to decide if I was going to ride a 125 or not instead of going straight to 250, so at the time I didn’t have anything to ride.
What was it like to finally be back at the races at Silver Dollar after the long hiatus?
It felt great to finally be back at the races and to get my first gate drop on the 250 at Silver Dollar.
How did things go for you at the Loretta Lynn Regional at Ponca City?
The Loretta Lynn Regional at Ponca City went pretty good, I just had a couple of mistakes that lead to a couple of bad moto finishes, putting me right outside of the bubble of getting my tickets.
Are you planning on hitting any more of the upcoming Regionals or what are your plans with that?
I’m planning on going to WW Ranch this weekend for the Amateur Regional to try and piece everything together and punch my tickets in for Lorettas.
Have you thought about what you’ll do at the end of the season heading into 2021 in terms of what classes you’ll be racing?
At the end of the season going into 2021, I plan on staying in B class for one more year and then move to A class in 2022.