Photo of the Day | April 17th 2017

Presented by O'Neal

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In between races, we took some time to browse our hard drives and look at photos taken throughout the year. We'll highlight each shot in a daily post, with the image sized to fit your computer screen or smartphone and described with a small backstory…

The MTA Distributing Two-Stroke World Championships were held this weekend at Glen Helen Raceway and the sweet smell of premix filled the air at the legendary facility. Two-strokes new and old circulated the track, and a great time was had by all. Part-time TransWorld Motocross test rider Ryan Surratt earned the overall win in the LA Sleeve Open Pro class aboard a decade-old Honda CR250R, and was followed home by KTM USA’s Mike Sleeter in second overall.

Sleeter has been a good friend of mine for well over a decade and is also one of the baddest dudes on two wheels that I know. In the early 2000s, Sleeter was a pro racer who cut his teeth on a Yamaha YZ125 in the West Coast Supercross Series, and it was around then that we first met at Lake Elsinore MX Park. I enlisted him to start helping us with test riding a couple years later, and for a long while, he was one of our mainstay test riders. As his racing career wound down, Sleeter was recruited by KTM to help with the development of its motocross bikes, and I honestly believe that he is one of the main reasons the Austrian machines are so good today. He has also worked as one of the founders of KTM’s Orange Brigade amateur support division and also as a development rider for One Industries and SixSixOne through the years. These days, he does the same for 100%, and also finds time to run The Mainline Coffee Co., a brand he co-owns with a partner. And did I mention that he is also great on a mountain bike? He’s got a couple National Championships to prove it…

This weekend, at 36-years-old, Sleeter mixed it up with racers who are 15 years younger and turned in 3-2 moto scores aboard his Bonanza Plumbing-backed KTM 300SX in the pro class. How he manages to stay in shape and do everything he does – and remain a super involved and dedicated father to his two sons and husband to his wife Sarah – is beyond me. The guy is an inspiration, for sure. You can follow his crazy life on Instagram @sleetdawg, and also on his new personal blog or @mytwowheellife on Instagram.

Photographer | Donn Maeda
Camera | Canon EOS1D-X
Lens | Canon 300mm f2.8 L Ultrasonic
Shutter Speed | 1/60th
Aperture | 11
ISO | 100
Flash | Not Used