Bryce Shelly has displayed some serious speed over the course of the last few seasons, notably impressing in the Supermini classes at the one and only Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship last August. The Pennsylvania native finished all six of his motos inside the top ten in one of the most stacked Supermini categories in recent memory, boasting a best moto finish of 6th position in the Supermini 2 class. Shelly earned impressive 7th place overall results in both of the Supermini divisions and kept busy in the closing stages of the 2019 season, claiming a handful of number one plates at KROC among other races scattered across the northeast. Shelly progressed to the 125 B/C and Schoolboy 1 classes for the 2020 season and was able to put in some good results before things went on hiatus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Pennsylvanian performed well at the Supercross Futures in Tampa, finishing on the podium in both classes which put him on the right track heading into the spring races. He kept up the same run of form at the Daytona RCSX where he finished 5th place in both of the 125cc races, reinforcing that he has supreme skills on a supercross track. We caught up with Bryce to see what he’s been up to the last three or four months and what his plans are for Loretta’s this season.
What did you do during the few months that there was no racing happening with the coronavirus lockdown in effect?
Even though our state was locked down, thankfully both of my parent’s businesses were allowed to be open. I moved back to Pennsylvania from Club MX and worked full-time for my mom. She is in the car business, so I spent most of the time detailing trade-ins and sanitizing service loaners. I was able to ride at a couple of private tracks and trained at home on our rower and skier.
Did you take some time off of riding when racing was initially canceled and postponed back in March?
Initially, I didn't really take any time off, I just didn't ride as much. Unfortunately, I was doing some test riding and the bike shut off on the face of a jump and I ended up breaking my right arm which forced me to stay off of the bike for a few weeks. I continued to work full-time and maintained my off-bike training. I've ridden a few times since I got my cast off last week and feel pretty good.
What was your riding situation like the last couple of months during the quarantine?
Like I said previously, I've had the opportunity to ride local private tracks and do some testing. I'm looking forward to getting back down the Club MX in the near future.
What do you like to do for fun in your free time outside of motocross?
I like to spend time with friends. When I’m with them I will ride mountain bikes and pit bikes and many other things. I just got my license so we will cruise around.
Tell us about your week of racing last year at Loretta Lynn’s and how things went from your perspective in the Supermini classes.
I had a good week last year at Loretta's and was able to finish under the top ten tent every moto. My fitness was where it needed to be and Fred Vertucci at VPE had my bike on point, both motor and suspension.
What was the intensity like last year at Loretta’s in the Supermini classes? It was one of the more stacked fields in recent memory.
It was intense within the top ten. Lap times were very similar throughout the 2nd to 8th position. I feel like if I had started a little bit more toward the front my finishes would have improved.
What was it like for you to make the transition to the 125cc classes for the 2020 season?
It was an easy transition. I was ready for the bigger wheels, more suspension and I believe VPE has me on one of the fastest 125s on the gate. I've grown five inches and packed on some muscle, so the 125 is what I need to be on.
What was the experience like of racing Supercross Futures at the beginning of the season?
It was a lot of fun. Being in that atmosphere and racing the same track layout as the pros was great. I was just getting comfortable with my setup and looking forward to a few more races when they shut things down.
How did the racing go for you in Tampa?
It was a great learning experience as it was one of my first races on the 125. I made a couple of mistakes but overall not a bad weekend, ended up with a 2nd and 3rd.
What was the 2020 Daytona RCSX like from your perspective and how did the racing go for you?
I had good starts and solid finishes at Daytona. I had a crash in one of the mains but recovered quickly and finished well.
What’re your thoughts on the Super Regional format this year for Loretta’s?
I think it is what they had to do. It seems like the Regionals have had more of a Mini Os crowd with everybody and anyone attending. That's okay, it will give some riders an experience they may have otherwise never qualified for. With that being said, I'm sure lappers will be a factor. Unfortunately, with my recent injury, I have to travel further but that's not a big deal.
What’s your plan with Regionals?
I’m registered to race at Bar to Bar this weekend.
What’re your plans for the remainder of the season at this point? Have you given any thought to the classes you’ll be racing at the end of the year moving into 2021?
With the recent developments of my 125s, I plan to ride them throughout the rest of the season. K-ROC, Mini Os, Main Event and maybe even some Canadian Nationals are on my to-do list. I had planned to do the 125 Dream Races but unfortunately they got canceled.