If things go the way Red Bull KTM plans, Dakota Alix may be our sport’s next star. The team has recently signed Alix, an Intermediate class racer from Jay, Vermont, to a deal similar of Ryan Dungey’s amateur days at Suzuki, complete with assistance from Roger Decoster. The teen is competing against the likes of Matt Bisceglia and Jayme Gardiner, and the trio has made the B class one of the most discussed topics of the week.
Classes: 250 B Stock/Mod, 125/250 Schoolboy, 125 Two Stroke Non-Pro, 250 Four Stroke Non-Pro
You are one of the favorites for the title in each of your classes. How do you feel this week?
I feel pretty confident. I got a little bit of testing done with Red Bull KTM because they are helping me out, and my bike is awesome. On Tuesday, the track was sandy and my times were good, so the biggest thing is nailing my starts and getting used to the hard pack dirt.
How long were you in California testing with Red Bull KTM?
Usually I am at MTF in Cairo, Georgia, but I was in California for a week and a half testing with the team to get my suspension dialed and working with Mike Sleeter. I will be there again next week, so I will be in Southern California for a total of two and a half weeks.
How does the week set up the rest of your year? Do you feel more comfortable this week than you have in years past?
Yeah, I feel a lot more comfortable this year when compared to years past. My bike is awesome, obviously, and being able to ride in California and getting used to the dirt has helped a lot.
How did your deal with Red Bull KTM come about? You are the only amateur rider on the team.
In September I started with KTM through Mike Sleeter and I have gotten good results, so they see the potential. Mike talked to the guys at Red Bull KTM and they began to help me out, and it has been a huge confidence boost. And a huge part of the deal is having Jade Dungey as my mechanic. He helps me with everything I need on the bike.
Is it essentially the same concept that Suzuki did with Ryan Dungey?
I am not one hundred percent sure to be honest, but from what I hear, they are trying to get me to do the same as they did with Dungey. I just need to get the results to do that.
How involved is Red Bull in your program? They are one of the most active sponsors in the sport with the ways they aid their athlete's performances, like the videos of Roczen training at the facility in Austria. Are they able to do that with you here in the United States?
Last year we did a lot of stuff and got to go to the Red Bull facility, which is really cool. I haven't done much there, because a lot of my program is at MTF, and they do a lot of testing there with me.
Who do you feel you biggest competition is this week?
This week it is Matt Bisecglia. He is another Red Bull Jams kid, and he is getting good starts. I will need to get good starts to get out front early.
How do you prepare for riding in the wind and the other conditions you will face this week?
Riding in the wind is crazy. Back home, I don't ride in any wind and here you have to set the jump up. I'll take off on the left side and get blown all the way to the right side. The conditions get pretty gnarly.
What are your expectations for the week?
My expectations are to win, but to do that I will need to get my starts, because they are hurting me a lot. I would like to win some championships, and if not, top three for sure.