Luke Kalaitzian, 13
Hometown: Sun Valley, CA
Sponsors: Simi Valley Cycles, Mitchell Environmental Concrete, Van Leeuwen Distributing, EKS Brand, Dirt First Racing, EVS, Oneal, Dunlop, Factory effex, UNI
Luke Kalaitzian has become a familiar face at Glen Helen, as it is his favorite track. Luke is surely one to watch aboard his Yamaha YZ125. Although he is only 13 years old, he is consistently running up front with the older kids in his class. Luke seems to not be intimidated by his older competition at all, as he earned a solid third place overall in the 125cc Open class and a second place overall in the Boyesen 2-Stroke Open class. The 13-year-old racer plans on making a career out of racing motocross, and loves what he does.
How long have you been racing motocross?
I’ve been riding since I was four years old, and I started racing when I was six.
How did you get into racing motocross?
Well, my dad used to take me out to the desert to ride. After a while, he got me a trainer so I knew what I was doing on a dirt bike. It was never a plan for me to race, at first I only had a trainer because my dad didn’t want me getting hurt as a result of me not knowing what I was doing. My trainer was the one that convinced me to go out and try racing, and i’ve been going at it ever since.
Being 13 years old and on a big bike, It has to be a little intimidating racing people that you know are older than you….
Yeah, it is a little intimidating. You get used to it after a while though. I’ve always been the younger kid in a class, due to my height. I have always been on a bigger bike compared to other kids in my age group, so I learned to get used to it pretty quick.
What have you done with racing motocross?
I’ve been to Loretta Lynn’s and most of the big amateur nationals. In 2015, I finished third in the 85cc limited class. I’ve also raced Mammoth and all the big races like that.
What do you plan on doing with racing?
I plan on making motocross a career. I love doing what I do, and it would be amazing if I could make that happen.
You’ve mentioned that Glen Helen is your favorite track in Southern California, Why is that?
I love Glen Helen because of how rough and brutal it gets. There aren’t a lot of jumps here, so it has more of a national feel and flow. I love the hills and elevation changes, everything about the track is just wonderful.
What do you enjoy doing other than riding and racing?
I like to ride my scooter and bike, pretty much anything with wheels is an activity that I enjoy. I also like hanging out with my friends.
Are you homeschooled or do you go to public school?
I’m currently homeschooled. I went to traditional school through fifth grade, after that I pulled out and went homeschooled. It makes it a lot easier for racing and training to be homeschooled.
What is your favorite track-snack?
That’s a hard one, probably just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (laughs)