Filipe Souza, 19 Brazil Sponsors: Bell Helmets, Spy, Dunlop, 100%, PouPex, SLMX School The Muscle Milk/Transworld MX Series has had many racers from around the world come out to the races while they stay in the United States to train and hone their motocross skills before returning to their home country. Filipe Souza came from Brazil to train with Sean Lipanovich at the SLMX School to get ready for his next year of racing back on his home tracks. What brings you to the United States? I came here because the competition here is much stronger than it is in Brazil and I also want to improve my riding. Also, there aren’t as many tracks there to practice on like there is here. I knew Sean (Lipanovich) back in Brazil when he raced there, and he talked me into coming here. Have you learned a lot with the SLMX Schoo? Yes, I am learning a lot, Sean works with me a lot. We do a lot of sprints and he is always pushing me, helping me with body position and improve my techniques so I can get better and faster. What do you race in Brazil? I raced both of the pro classes there, but only for four races. I was still learning and I had just got a 250 and got a few races in the Brazilian national championship. I did the whole arenacross series there also. What is your goal in motocross? Do you want to stay in Brazil or would you like to come to the US to race? I would like to go back to Brazil and win the national championship there. I would like to come here and race for a long time, but right now I only have a tourist visa so I cannot stay for too long. Once that is up I will return to Brazil to race there. How did you get started racing motocross?
I had a friend that was riding his little dirt bike in the streets, I asked him if he would sell it. I then asked my dad if he would buy it for me, which he did. We had a track not far from our house and I started to ride there and entered a couple races and did really good right from the start. I have been racing since then.
With all of the other sports out there to choose from, what makes you pick motocross?
I used to play a lot of soccer before, but I also really enjoyed riding bicycles and I think it was the feeling of being on two wheels that led to my love for motocross.
What do you think of the racing here in the US compared to Brazil?
I like it here a lot, there are a lot of very fast riders. I think I am improving quite a bit racing against the faster riders here. I think it will help me a lot when I go back to Brazil to race.
How much longer will you be here to train and race?
I will be here for another four months, then my visa expires. When I get back to Brazil I plan on buying a bike and racing Brazilian Championship.
Is it more difficult in Brazil to race on your own than it is in the US? Is it harder to get support?
Yes, it is much harder for sure. The bikes there are very expensive so we have to race stock bikes in the races. Here you can also go out and get things like your suspension done, but in Brazil there is almost no one to tune your suspension. Also the expense of having to fly to the races is difficult too.
Is it even harder to get on one of the established teams there?
For sure it is. You have to be one of the top five riders to get a good sponsor or a factory sponsor.
What do you do for training?
We ride four or five times a week. We do a lot of sprints and working on sections of the track just to get good technique. I also try to get to the gym, but after I’m done riding I have to work on my bike, so some days I make it and some days I don’t.