Luke Willingham, 18
Santa Barbara, CA
Sponsors: Simi Valley Cycles, Yamaha, Blu Cru, Madjack Racing, Onyx Gloves, Fox, Dunlop, Ride Avik, Matrix Concepts, Factory Connection, EVS, my trainer Taylor, SB Fitness, Mike Craig, Mika Metals, DT1, ODI
Luke Willingham came out to the Perris round of the Terra Firma series and competed in both the 250 and 450 Intermediate classes. Luke started off the day with a win in the first 450 Intermediate moto after passing several riders to take the lead and finish off taking the checkers. In the second moto of that class, he tangled with another rider early in the race and went down, but got back up and finished 12th. In the 250 Intermediate class, Luke closed the day with 2-3 finishes to take third overall in the class. Willingham rode the Perris Raceway track with precision, choosing lines that many riders didn’t see and taking advantage of the whole track. His speed and smooth riding caught our attention as he raced throughout the day.
What brings you down to the Terra Firma Series today?
I’ve been off the bike for about 2 months and just getting back going again. I raced Mammoth but I tore my ACL about 3 months ago and this is my first race back after a break.
How is your knee holding up while you are racing?
It is doing good so far, it isn’t too bad.
Are you planning to have surgery to repair it?
I’m planning on racing the Vurb Classic and Dodge races and then have surgery after that to get it fixed.
How did you day go today at Perris Raceway?
My first moto in the 450 class I got first, in the second moto I was in about 5th place and I got taken out by another rider and ended up 12th. In the 250 class I got second in the first moto, my suspension is not working that great today. Second moto i ended up 3rd for 3rd overall.
How did you get started racing motocross?
I started out playing soccer all my life, but my knees were giving me trouble and I couldn’t run anymore, so I had to pick a different sport. I’ve always watched supercross and motocross on TV and wanted to try it and I started racing as soon as I could.
How old were you when you made the switch from soccer?
I was 15 years old when I started racing.
Between soccer and motocross, which is more fun?
Motocross is by far, way more adrenaline than in soccer.
What kind of training program do you have to prepare for racing?
I do a lot of crossfit. I also do a lot of endurance training like riding a stationary bike and I also ride four or five days per week with my trainer. I also eat healthy to help me stay on track.
Are you going to finish out the rest of the Terra Firma Series?
I’ve tried to follow them in the past but have a hard time making it to a whole series. I will focus on the bigger races right now with my knee the way it is right now, just try to finish it out and get surgery and get it fixed.
Did you qualify for Loretta Lynn’s this year?
Yes, I was supposed to go, I got my ticket and was supposed to go, but I hurt my knee before it. I had only qualified in one class and I was supposed to go to Pala and try to qualify for the second class but I injured my knee two days before and it was too swollen and I couldn’t walk, so we missed that. We weren’t going to spend the money to go all the way out there for one class.
What class were you qualified in?
I was qualified in the Novice class.
What other activities do you have outside of motocross?
I like to go to the lake and go to the beach, but that is about it really.