Austin Schafer was blisteringly quick in the 65cc classes last year from the beginning of the season until the end, showcasing his expertise at the JS7 Freestone Spring Championship in March with a 4th place overall finish in the 65cc (10-11) Limited class, due in part to a 2nd place finish in the first moto. The KTM rider kept sharp with a few local races and Loretta Lynn Regional Qualifiers before taking on the big show at the beginning of August, proving by the end of the week that all the hard work pays off. The challenging days Schafer put in at South of the Border in the midst of summer’s humidity prepared him well for the conditions at Loretta’s as he earned an impressive 3rd place overall in the 65cc (10-11) class. He stepped it up at Mini Os in November for his last race in the 65cc divisions, massively excelling on the supercross track as he grabbed a 3rd place overall in the 65cc (10-11) class as well as the number one plate in the (10-11) Limited class. Schafer has graduated full-time to the 85cc classes for the 2020 season and has been making steady improvements with some solid top ten results and a title to start the season. He showed up to Muddy Creek ready to go for the Southeast Youth Regional and clinched his place on the gate at Loretta Lynn’s in both the 85cc (10-12) classes. We caught up with Austin to see how he’s spent the last few months without racing, focusing fully on the 85cc classes, and getting qualified for Loretta’s.
What did you do during the few months that there was no racing happening?
South of the Border was on lockdown for a little bit. We had a good group of riders and all of us put in the work every day even with no racing going on. But, I’m not gonna lie, I was on MX Sim a lot, too!
Did you take some time off of riding when racing was initially canceled and postponed back in March?
Well, I went to Texas after Daytona and had a good time until Freestone got canceled. After that we just got back to work because we didn’t know when things would get back going.
Were you able to do your normal training program at South of the Border throughout the lockdown?
Yep! Matt Bisceglia & Brandon Scharer (the trainers) really made sure our program stayed as normal as possible. We were riding every day and in the gym putting in the work.
What sort of hobbies do you have outside of motocross?
MX Sim and riding pit bikes.
Take us through your week last year at Loretta Lynn’s, grabbing 3rd overall in the 65cc (10-11) class.
That was awesome! I had some decent motos throughout the week and just tried to stay consistent. It was cool having the hard work pay off at the biggest race of the year.
How did the week of racing go for you at Mini Os to end the 2019 season?
I won a championship in supercross, but on day one of moto I landed and my foot blew off the pegs. I broke my leg and had to take some time off. Freak accident.
What was the Daytona RCSX like at the beginning of the season from your perspective?
Daytona is always really fun. Being able to ride on the same track as the pros is always sick. It was a good building block to start the year.
What was it like to finally be back on the gate recently at the Muddy Creek Loretta Lynn Regional?
Without having a lot of gate drops, it went pretty good! I got good starts and did what I had to do to secure my ticket for both classes.
Were there any big differences racing the Super Regional format for you?
Not really. The trainers made sure it felt like any other race.
Do you have any goals or expectations set for yourself heading into Loretta Lynn’s?
I’d like to be top five in both classes and just be consistent in all of my motos.
Have you thought about what your plans are after Loretta’s heading into 2021 in terms of the classes that you’ll be racing?
After this year, I have to move up to the Mini Sr classes, so that will be cool!