By Chase Curtis
RJ Warda, 13
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Sponsors: Shoei, Factory Connection, Bills Pipes, Dubya, ANSR, Factory Effex, Vertex, Maxima, ProTaper, Moto Seat, Dunlop, Eks Brand
The TWMX Race Series provides events for a rider to showcase their talent and skills on a bike, as well as enjoy the sport for what it is. RJ Warda came out to the final round of the 2017 El Dorado Nationals at Competitive Edge and made his name known as he dominated his competition in the first few motos of the day. As we spoke with the 13-year-old racer, we learned that his Supermini had been finished just two days before the race. And not only that, but this was RJ's first race aboard the bigger bike. The youngster out of Rancho Cucamonga earned the overall in his first Open 85-150F/Supermini race by executing a perfect first moto, followed by a solid second place finish in his second moto. RJ's dominating performance, despite a lack of time on his new bike, earned him this weekend’s "SPY Breakaway Rider" award.
How's your day gone so far?
Good! I got a holeshot in my first moto and was able to ride my own laps to a win. And then, I was second of the start of my next moto, but I was able to make my way up to first and grab another race win.
How do you like the supermini, when compared to your 85cc?
I feel so much more comfortable on the supermini than I expected. The supermini is way faster than the 85cc, and the bigger wheels really help me in the ruts. The 85cc feels really small, and slow, now that I've ridden the supermini.
How long have you been on the supermini?
Actually, I've only had it for about a week. We had a ton of bike problems, and my dad has had to go through the motor about three times now. A lot of little parts in the motor have been breaking and giving us problems, so I've only ridden the supermini yesterday, for practice, and then raced it here today. My dad works on all my bikes, and he just finished working on the supermini Friday.
Where do you want to go with racing motocross?
I want to race professionally, but if I can’t make it as a pro, I would like to work in the industry. Hopefully, I'll either be racing as a pro, wrenching on a pro's bike, or be a trainer.
Is there a reason behind your number?
We bought my first 65cc used, and it had 972 on it as a number. Since then, I've kept the number as my own, and ran it on all my bikes.
How do you like the track today?
The track is actually really wet today. Yesterday, it got a little dry towards the end of the day, but the tracks keeping in the moisture today.
So you've pretty much dominated your competition today, what do you think sets you apart from the rest of the field?
I'm just trying to stay clean each race, and not make any mistakes. I know I need to stay low over the jumps and carry my speed through the corners, so that's what I've been focusing on each lap.
How often do you ride during the week?
I'm able to ride about two times during the week.
What do you enjoy doing besides racing and riding?
I like hitting huge BMX jumps. I always look for spots that need some fixing up, or I build some jumps.
How key is it to not case the triple step-up?
Luckily, it isn’t too bad if you case it, cause I've cased it a couple times. But, it’s definitely faster to hit it clean.
How'd you get into racing and riding motocross?
One of my best friends told me to come out to a race one day, and ever since then I've liked racing.