TWMX Race Series Racer Profile
Hometown: Pasadena, CA
Classes: +25 Intermediate, Vet Intermediate Open
Sponsors: Bell, 100%, Dunlop, Mobius, Seven MX, Panic Rev, Ryno Power, Motosport.com, Lucas Oil
Tom Sullivan is one of the guys we seem to see at every single round of the TWMX Race Series, as he shows up in his pickup loaded with his trusty Yamaha and his dog to keep him company. One of the front-runners in the Vet classes, Sullivan is an easy going guy who holds down a couple interesting jobs during the week. We caught up with him in between motos at LACR last weekend to get the scoop!
You’re a regular at the TWMX Race Series and it seems like you’re at every round. Do you race with any other clubs?
No, I pretty much stick to the TransWorld series because I like the transponders and the way you guys print out the lap times and results sheets. I like being able to look at my lap times and see how I compare to guys in other classes. I will also try to do some of the other big fun races like the Dubya Vet World Championships, and I also did Mammoth this year. Mostly, though, I do all the TransWorld races.
Sitting there after the motos and analyzing your lap times is almost as fun as the racing itself, isn’t it?
Absolutely! I spend like an hour looking at the times of guys in other classes, trying to figure out who I could beat or how I would do in other classes.
You’re in the Vet classes now. Did you make a serious run at racing when you were younger?
No, I didn’t. I only raced novice when I was in high school. I won a few 450 novice class races, but then in college, I didn’t ride at all. I was kind of waiting to start racing again until I turned 25 because I didn’t want to race against the kids. It’s a lot more fun when you are racing against other guys who have to go to work the next guy. (Laughs)
What do you do for work?
I drive camera cars for the movie industry, but I am also a part-time wildlife biologist.
What does a wildlife biologist do?
I work as a consultant for a construction firm. I do surveys for large construction projects, looking for endangered species and such.
Oh, are you one of the guys who shut down motocross tracks because they discover an endangered species of woodpecker living nearby?
(Laughs) Not me! I deal with construction. I don’t go looking for trouble.
Okay, tell us your dirt bike story…
I actually grew up riding quads in the sand dunes.
Oh, you’re a quad god!
Yeah, I am! I actually raced the 450 pro quad class. On a Yamaha Banshee! I’m actually faster on a quad than a dirt bike. (Laughs) I always liked dirt bikes but my parents would never let me have one. It wasn’t until I turned 18 that I went out and bought one myself.
Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Your parents thought quads were safer because they had four wheels,,,
They chase you down!
What was the hardest thing about learning to go fast on a motorcycle?
Cornering! Cornering is opposite on quads and dirt bikes. Learning how to turn was tough, and learning to ride them in the sand was tough because the technique is really different.
Any goals and aspirations in racing this year?
Not really. I just moved up to the Intermediate class so I am still learning the pace and speed of the class.
Tell me about your bike…
It’s a 2015 Yamaha YZ450F. And it’s for sale! (Laughs) I bought it and it had enzo racing suspension already. A couple clicks here and there and I was good to go! I put a new clutch and top end in it and that’s pretty much it!