If you are keen on road racing, than you’re most likely familiar with the name Chris Fillmore. Now working with KTM North America as a brand ambassador and with media relations on the road race side, we caught up with him both at this year’s Red Bull Day in the Dirt and also the KTM team intro on Tuesday of this week. What’s great about DITD is the fact that it brings out so many different people from different places all for the love of motorcycles. We sat down with Chris and reminisced about the weekend that had just passed.
Fill the people in, what’s your background and where do you fit in here with KTM North America?
My background is motocross, then Supermoto, and then road racing. I raced KTM Superbikes with KTM on their RC8 Superbike for 5 years and this is my first year as an employee of the brand. I work as an ambassador for their street bike stuff, and also work with media relations.
KTM seems like a great company to be a part of, especially with a role like that.
Yeah, the ambassador stuff keeps me on a motorcycle and I get to go to some unique races here and there. I just got back from Italy, we raced at Mugello with Jeremy McWilliams who is an ex GP guy and we raced some naked KTM Super Dukes. So doing that, working with our youth road race program called the RC Cup – I go to all of those and kind of oversee it and work with the kids. We try to give the kids an opportunity like I had, it’s not the easiest thing to get started in and I think our “spec” series is a good place to get started in.
And you originated in moto?
Moto, yeah! Just riding up in Michigan with the family, just like weekend warrior style. Then Supermoto, I jumped into that when I was sixteen and that kind of took off, I went to X-Games. Then X-Games dropped that and sponsorship fell out and I thought, “Oh what do I want to do, do I go to school or continue racing?” and decided to pick racing!
So I saw you out at this year’s Red Bull Day in the Dirt, jumping around in the mud like everyone else. Describe this race to the people who aren’t familiar.
Yeah, I have stuff scattered and still drying in my garage! I was sixteen when I did my first Day in the Dirt; I think it was at LACR? Micky Diamond was my teammate and that was my first experience with Day in the Dirt. Just everybody partying and camping out, it was just a really good atmosphere. So it’s been a few years, and last year I borrowed a whole motorhome and did the whole experience. This year I showed up Saturday night, I had to teach a Superbike school on Saturday. I showed up Saturday night, had to play a little catch up with everyone who was partying! Woke up Sunday to cloudy skies, wet weather, and got out and got muddy and played around!
Send it in the rain!
Yeah! (Laughs) It was good, man. In Southern California we don’t really have too many of those kind of days. As long as your spirits are high, which is hard not to be at that event, you’ll have a great time. I had a blast splashing around, roosting people, it was kind of like battling conditions and it didn’t really matter the competition!
Did you race the Moto-A-GoGo team race?
Yeah, I raced Moto-A-GoGo with Aaron Colton so we teamed up for that.
I came by him in the Coup De Grace survival race and we were yelling and laughing at each other sloshing through the mud! His bike was smoking, and after he said he blew through his brakes, but he definitely had a blast!
(Laughs) Dude, it’s the best! I think he blew up his bike the first day, so he rebuilt it at night at the track. He put a top-end in it and got it running so he was good for Sunday. It’s cool – it’s all about the story, right!
Yeah! And that’s the thing about Day in the Dirt. Guys like you and Aaron are super well known in your respected realms but out there you’re just two racers enjoying the weekend. I think that makes the event – all of the different people from different places coming together to celebrate fun on motorcycles.
Yeah, the whole atmosphere of camping out and coming together, hanging out at a campfire. It all brings people together. Obviously there’s a little partying involved but that brings people together and opens things up!
Kenny [Alexander] always says, “It’s a big party broken up by a few races.”
(Laughs) The fastest party in town! Every year I try to do it, and it’s all about catching up with old friends and riding motorcycles.
Learn more about Chris in his old series “Following Fillmore” – CLICK HERE
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