TWMX Race Series Racer Profile
Hometown: Bishop, CA
Classes Raced: 40 Expert
Sponsors: TransWorld Motocross, Factory FX
Pat Foster has been one of the main test riders at TransWorld Motocross since the magazine’s inception, and he’s gained a fan following for his honest, in-depth bike reviews. Though he had a great professional racing career in his youth, he only lined up behind a starting gate a few times per year these days. We were pleased to see him at the LACR round of the Terra Firma Series last weekend, so we thought we’d bring some of his personality to light…
Pat, you’re a familiar face to TransWorld Motocross readers and viewers as one of the main test riders. Can you tell me about how you got started testing and how you became involved with TWMX?
Kinda pure luck how I got to testing at TransWorld Motocross. My buddy Ryan Cooley was an editor and I went down to go riding with him one day at Perris with him. He was supposed to test a bunch of Husqavarnas and he got hurt on the first lap and wasn’t able to test the bikes. There were like seven bikes lined up and he asked me if I could test them for him and so I did! I had a great day; I loved it, it was like a dream come true. At the end of the day, he asked me if I could write an outline for him and he would write a story. Well, I’d been reading MXracer, TransWorld Motocross, and motocross magazines my whole life so I just wrote the story and sent it to him. They loved it and said, “Gosh would you want to do this again?” So that’s how it came about and that was almost 15 years ago. Like I said, dream come true.
Is it tough to get onto so many different bikes and get used to them? Is it tough to go fast on a bike you don’t like?
You know, nowadays all the bikes are so good that there are some that you’re more comfortable on than others, but for the most part, I’ve been doing it long enough to where I can get onto a bike and feel pretty comfortable in the first couple of laps. Like I said, the bikes are so good that there are no bad ones, so it’s not too difficult.
What’s looking like the best 450 so far in 2019?
Gosh, the new Kawasaki is really good. I also am a big fan of the Yamaha, I haven’t ridden them back to back yet. So the shootout next week is going to be interesting.
You live in Bishop, and drove many many hours to race with us today, what got you out here?
You know what, the TWMX Race Series is such a cool atmosphere, they’re some of the most well-run local races there are. I’m to the point where I’ve been racing for 30 years and local races don’t appeal to me, but the TransWorld series are just so fast, they don’t take all day, they run multiple tracks, everything just runs so smooth. It’s just fun to come down to hang with the guys! It’s worth the long drive.
My dad says you had a nice pro career when you were younger, can you give me Cliff Notes rundown?
I did really well my last year as an amateur, won a lot of races when as an intermediate, and got the attention of the Suzuki support team. They helped me out with bikes and parts for a couple of years. I turned pro when I was 17 and traveled the country with my sister, who was 16. We couldn’t afford for my mom and dad to take off time, so my sister and I just loaded up the motorhome and we did Ponca City and Loretta Lynn’s and maybe six pro Nationals: we went to Minnesota, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma. There are so great memories with my sister, we were kind of young and on our own. No cell phones, no GPS, just paper maps and calling home on 1-800-Collect on pay phones. In 1997 I had a good year in the Nationals. I had a lot of top-20 finishes and earned national number 78, which I’m pretty proud of. I made a lot of friends and very grateful to still be involved in the industry.
What do you do during the work for the week?
We own a company called Hot Creek Aviation and we provide all the services for the private jets and the private planes at the Mammoth Yosemite Airport. It’s a total 180 from my testing with TransWorld cause I sit at a desk and I get no exercise. It’s always fun when Donn calls me to come test bikes, cause it’s a total change of pace.
How long have you been racing and what led you to choose motocross?
I’ve been racing motocross for about 30 years, my dad was a really good local pro motocross rider. I just wanted to be like him and started riding when I was three years old. I have great memories of me riding with my dad and to this day, some of my most fun days are still riding with my dad.
Do you participate in any other sports or have any other hobbies?
My good buddy Swapmoto has got me hooked on mountain biking! He kind of forced me into getting a bike a couple of years ago and now I’d ride every day if I could. I love it. Plus it’s a great excuse to get together with Donn and we always have a good time.
What are your favorite types of track and track obstacles?
I love LA County…I love this type of dirt. Softer, sandier dirt is what I grew up on, however, this track is really fast and I don’t necessarily like going this fast. But some of my favorite obstacles are the more technical, the better. I seem to be pretty good when the whoops are gnarly or there is a jump that’s pretty difficult. I’ve always been very technical and I’ve always liked those types of obstacles.
Tell me about your bike and why you chose it and what have you done to make it work well for you?
I’ve been riding the Yamaha YZ450F and that was my favorite bike in the 2018 shootout. I’m very grateful that Donn let me ride it for the year, but I rode it completely stock. I raced it in Mammoth and the bike is fantastic right off the showroom floor. I didn’t do anything to it and the thing rips! Yeah, my bike is totally stock.