Muscle Milk TWMX Race Series Profile: Jon Ames

Jon Ames, 16
Riverside, CA
Sponsors: Scott, Pirelli, JGR, Yamalube, Yamaha
At the Milestone round of the Fall Series, we saw a YZ125 ripping up the track in two competitive classes full of much faster bikes.  Jon Ames put in 1-2 finishes in the Open Non-Pro class and a 4-4 performance in the Schoolboy class.  Hearing the sound of the YZ125 was like music from the past as Ames piloted the bike around the Milestone track.  Earlier in the year when we had seen Ames at one of our previous series races, he was aboard a supermini, so this was the first we had seen him ride the full size bike at our races.
What brings you out to the Transworld Fall Series today?
I’m just looking to get some racing time in, I just got on this YZ125, so I just want to try to get back into the swing of things and start racing to see where I’m at.
How long has it been since you moved up to the bigger bike?
It’s been a week, I just started up on the big bike and got on it.
Is the move in preparation for next year?
Yeah, all of the spring rounds of the nationals are coming up and I’m riding Schoolboy 1 and 2.  No B class, I’m just going to focus on the 125 and a 250.  Any racing is good racing, whether nobody is there or everybody is there.  Racing is racing. 
How hard is it to race the 125 against all of the other bikes, including some 450s in the Open Non-Pro class, and to end up in the front of the pack?
It’s extremely challenging, but that’s the fun of it.  When I was on a supermini, I would race the Schoolboy class and it was great practice.  I had to out-corner them.  They had more power but I could corner faster.  It’s the same thing out there on the 125, it’s great practice and it’s fun.  It’s also a great mental edge because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Going along with that, do you think the 125 makes you a better rider than those who never ride two strokes?
I’ve been told that 4-strokes can make you lazy because they have so much power and so much bottom end, but a 2-stroke is all that I have ridden.  I have yet to get on a 4-stroke, so I’m thinking that a 4-stroke is going to be a lot more fun and a lot easier to ride.  I can’t wait for that to happen.
What are your racing plans for next year?
Next year is so far away it seems like.  For sure we will do the spring rounds, World Mini, Loretta’s, Mammoth and all the big races.  We will probably hit some of the Transworld races on the side for sure.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in racing so far?
My biggest accomplishment would probably at the spring rounds when I won three championships, two at Spring Creek and one at Freestone.  That’s was a pretty good time.
How did you get started racing?
I just always watched Mike Brown and all those old guys, Ivan Tedesco when he was on 125s.  I watched those guys and just loved it and wanted to do it so bad. 
Did racing come through your family or are you the first to do it?
My mom used to be into sports, she was also Miss Camel Supercross so she helped get me into it and so did my dad.  My grandpa and my uncle raced, so it’s been a little bit in my family but not this serious.
What made you choose racing over all of the other sports out there?
It’s one on one, just the man and the bike.  I just couldn’t do a team sport, there’s too many people out there, too many mistakes being made, I can’t rely on other people that much.  I guess I’m just selfish like that but it’s just one man, one bike and 42 other riders and it’s all yourself.  If you make a mistake, it’s all on you.
What other things do you do besides racing?
I like to hunt and fish, I’m an outdoors person, I love being outdoors.  I also like to go mountain biking, that’s a great time, and that’s about it.  I just train a lot.  Mountain biking is great because it is great cross training for motocross.  I train with Ryan Hughes, he’s a great guy, insane on a mountain bike, so it is a lot of fun.