Ivan Aldama was mixing it up in the Mini Sr. classes last season, performing well at many of the main stops on the national amateur motocross circuit over the course of the year. The Floridian earned a spot within the top ten in both of his classes at the 2019 Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship and also found the overall podium at a couple of other major events such as the JS7 Freestone Spring Championship and the Thor Winter Olympics. Aldama has graduated to the Supermini classes in 2020 and he immediately picked up right where he left off in terms of speed, earning a spot on the podium at the Daytona RCSX back in March. He kept his head down and his nose to the grindstone throughout the coronavirus downtime, maintaining his fitness on and off the bike in preparation for the return to racing. He split his time between training sessions with Tyla Rattray and also at MotoSandbox with Ronnie Tichenor in addition to some time spent in the Carolinas at South of the Border. Aldama came out swinging at the Muddy Creek Super Regional and had no problem securing his spot on the gate for Loretta Lynn’s and he’s looking forward to the upcoming battle at the Ranch.
What did you do to keep yourself busy and occupied when the lockdown started back in March?
Once the lockdown started I was at South of the Border training facility where I had been training for regionals. Florida cases kept rising, so my family and I decided to stay a couple more months training for Loretta’s even though we had no idea if it was still going to happen. After two months we decided to come back to south Florida because my parents had to work. Until now I have been training alongside Tyla Rattray in Florida at his new facility, as well as a couple of days at the MotoSandbox with Ronnie Tichenor. I will be making my way back up to South of the Border this week to finish my Loretta Lynn 2020 training.
Did you take some time off of the bike at all when things were initially postponed?
When things were initially postponed, I thought to myself that this was the best moment to keep training and pushing myself to new limits so I decided to keep training no matter what the situation was because it would soon come to an end. However, I did take around a week off at home, after coming back from South of The Border, to enjoy some time with friends and family.
What has your riding situation been like at South of the Border throughout this whole process?
There have definitely been many ups and downs during this time of training. However, I’ve had a great group of trainers and people around me that have been able to help me throughout the process and have taught me that not every day is a good day and things won’t always be perfect. We have a great group of riders at South of The Border and we are always pushing each other to do better.
What do you enjoy doing outside of motocross for fun and entertainment?
Anything that involves the ocean! I live in the southernmost tip of the United States in the Florida Keys so whenever I’m not at the track or riding dirtbikes, I am usually riding jet skis, fishing, wakeboarding, bridge jumping, snorkeling, or at the beach.
Take us through your week last year at Loretta Lynn’s and how the racing went there from your perspective.
It’s always a good time at the Ranch! I stayed up in the top ten every moto and enjoyed racing, but I just did not feel like myself on the bike. I noticed that it’s not only the time put on the bike that matters but also the time put in while off the bike. I was not in the greatest shape which caused me to fade back throughout the motos. But I believe that everything happens for a reason and last year was a lesson learned for this year. I have been focusing way more on training on and off the bike and keeping in shape.
What was the last race of the 2019 season at Mini Os like for you?
This year was definitely a tough one for me at Mini Os. I was not feeling the greatest on the supercross track and I just did not feel like my confidence was where it needed to be. I ended up with a podium in the Mini Sr 2 class which raised my confidence level just in time for motocross. In the first moto of the Supermini class in MX, I was leading the moto and crashed right before reaching the finish line on the first lap which ended up in a broken humerus and the end of the week for me. It was a bummer because I expected more out of myself for my last race in the Mini Sr 2 class. I definitely felt that if I did not crash, I could have won a title.
Although you raced the Supermini class last year, this year it’s your one and only focus. What has it been like putting all of your concentration into the Supermini class this season?
Since it is my main focus right now, I can say I definitely feel more pressure than I did last year when I was more focused on the Mini Sr class. However, I feel excited to race the supermini this year and I feel like racing this class last year definitely prepared me for what was to come.
How did the weekend at the Daytona RCSX go back in March?
That race has been the highlight of this year for me! Not only did I get a good result, but I felt great on the track. The track layout was awesome and I just had a great feeling coming into that weekend. In my first Main, I was running 3rd when suddenly my bike blew up with one lap to go. My mechanic and my dad managed to switch out the motor just in time for my Supermini 2 Main Event where I ended up finishing with a 3rd overall. I went into that moto wanting a podium finish since I had just let one go, so I made sure that nothing stopped me.
How did it feel to finally be back on the gate at the Muddy Creek Southeast Regional?
It was a great feeling to be back on the bike and behind a starting gate again! The jitters definitely got to me for that race as the Super Regional was something that was all new to me. I was not too pumped with my results at the Regional but I’m just happy that I was able to make it through with no problems and that I’ve had some time to get back to work just in time for the Ranch.
How did things go for you there? Were you able to get qualified?
Yes, I was able to qualify with a 5th in Supermini 1 and a 3rd in Supermini 2. I was not too happy with my results because I knew I had a lot more in me, however, I played it safe and just worried about gaining a qualifying spot into the Ranch.
What’re your thoughts on the Super Regional format this year?
I didn't really have any feelings towards the Super Regional. Going into it, I felt a little nervous because I was not sure whether it would feel much different than a regular Regional but once racing started there was only one thing on my mind which were those two golden tickets!
What’s your mindset like heading to Loretta Lynn’s?
This year I will be focusing on enjoying the races, I am coming in calmer and more confident in myself. I know I have the capability of doing really well this year if I just believe in myself. I have spent many months of hard training leading up to this moment and I have never felt more ready for any other race. This year I have put in a lot of work on and off the bike and I am ready to see all my hard work and dedication pay off.
Have you thought about which classes you’ll be racing heading into the 2021 season?
I have not planned that far ahead but I have put some thought into it. I am thinking about moving onto Schoolboy 1 and Schoolboy 2 for a year and then moving up to 250s.