Zach Bell, 20
Sponsors: Sponsorship right now is basically family and friends. I don’t really have a deal yet for next year.
Zach Bell was a surprise entry into the 250F and Open Pro classes at LA County Raceway. After having a rough start to the year, it was good to see Zach on the bike and ready to line up on the gate and get back to racing. In practice Bell had a very smooth rhythm in the sand and laid down some very fast times around the long track. When it came time to race, he had some early battles but then turned it up and got out in front and made the very rough sand track look easy as he went by. We stopped by Zach’s pit to catch up with him to see how his recovery has been and what his plans are for next year.
You’ve been off the bike for quite a while, how are you doing now?
I had a really scary accident during supercross that made me back off a little bit and realize there is a life after racing. I’m just enjoying my time off with the people that are around me. It is a blessing to be here and to even ride a dirtbike from what I went through.
What brings you out to the Fall Classic Series race today?
These amateur races are fun, I’ve always loved doing them ever since I was a little kid, so I decided to pack up and come out and race for the weekend. I won my first moto, I had a lot of fun with that and the track is really rough, it is pretty close to a pro outdoor track so it is a good track for me to see where I am at now compared to seven months ago. I am happy where I am at now and just taking little steps at a time.
Is this your first race since you’ve been back on the bike?
This is my first race in about seven or either months, and I just wanted to come out here, not show my speed or doing anything crazy, I just wanted to ride for myself and be myself out there. It is definitely fun to just go out there and by myself and try to finish a race and have fun doing it. I’m having fun right now and we will see what happens in the future.
You are out here on a Husqvarna today, is this your own bike since you said you don’t have a deal in place yet?
I just recently bought this 450 from them, they gave me a really good deal and I couldn’t pass it up. As soon as the doctor cleared me I hopped on it to go ride. My contract just ended with them, it was a good season with them and they helped me out a lot. They did what they could and I did what I could, but I had a scary mishap, sort of like what RJ Hampshire had yesterday at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm. I had a hematoma and a bunch of blood in my brain that was causing bad headaches, blurry vision and I could really focus on things. I didn’t find that out until a few months after the crash. I was racing in pain, I had a broken back that I didn’t know about. I just took a step back and decided to have fun. I decided I can do what I want, I can go to college if I want or I can go back to racing. It’s been a long seven months and I’ve had a lot of time to think about things. I’ve overcome the scary dreams that I went through and I am glad to be here today so I can go out there and race and have fun with it.
With all that said, have you made a decision or leaning toward what you would like to do for next year?
Everything is up in the air right now, I’ve had a few people talk to me but my doctors haven’t fully released me to race supercross or really go at it at that level. I’m just trying to be tame and have fun, but I saw the Instagram posts that Transworld was having the race here and I haven’t been here since 2009. It’s good to be back here, it is a lot different now. It is cool to be here and have fans cheering for me on the side of the track. I haven’t always put up the best results, but I’ve never given up. That’s what I always tell the kids that I train is to never give up on your dreams and have fun with it. Whatever comes, come and this is where I am at today.
If you don’t race supercross next year, do you have a secondary plan?
As far as right now, I am trying to work into the industry, get involved with doing testing and R&D stuff. I’d like to get a little more into that, get to know more about the teams and what they are about. As far as right now, I’m looking but nothing has popped up yet.
How much time are you training and spending on the bike now that you are somewhat cleared to start coming back?
I’ve been putting a lot of hours on my bicycle as part of my training. This is only my fourth day on the bike and 7 laps seemed really long to me today. I haven’t ridden this long in quite a while, so I got a little winded, but it really feels great being back at the races and having fun.