Rider Spotlight: Chris Fillmore
NEWS December 8, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
AMAPro: How’s your off-season going so far?
CF: Well, not a lot is happening right now. I’m recovering from the surgery I had on my shoulder from the crash I had at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. So… my off-season has been physical therapy and hunting.
CF: Hunting’s pretty fun, I’m not sure if it’s the “healthiest” sport to get into, but I got my first deer yesterday! We took it to get processed and turns out, it’s a big deer! I shot a buck the week before, and had to track it in the snow for over two hours, but couldn’t find it. I’m leaving for California for New Years, but I wanted to take some meat with me before I go. It’s a whole new thing, I get to meet new people, and I’ve gotten to learn a lot when they process the deer.
AMAPro: What was your first motorcycle?
CF: My first motorcycle was a Kawasaki KX-60. I was in third grade when I learned how to ride. My dad always had motorcycles. He was into streetbikes for a while, which he then got me into dirtbikes.
AMAPro: How did you get into motorcycle racing?
CF: I didn’t start racing until I was 12 on a Yamaha YZ-85. I started racing motocross for a little bit, but then tried my hand at go-karts. That only lasted one year, though. Then I got back into motocross. After that, I competed in trials. I got picked up by the Tennessee-based trials team, Trials Training Center. The only bad thing was that there was a lot of traveling involved, which made it tough while going to school. Then Supermoto came in 2003, which I did professionally until 2008. I never really thought about becoming a professional motorcycle racer until I started doing Supermoto. In 2007, I rode for Kawasaki Supermoto, and got a road race bike out of the deal. I tried my hand at road racing in club series, but in 2009, I bought a couple Yamaha R6s and rode the entire AMA Pro Daytona SportBike schedule. In 2010, I rode with Vesrah, and this past season I moved to RMR riding the XR1200 which then went to riding the KTM RC8R in National Guard SuperBike.
AMAPro: Out of all the bikes you’ve ridden, which one stood out the most?
CF: I don’t know if I can answer that.. I’ve had the opportunity to ride some amazing motorcycles over the years. My 2006 Honda Supermoto definitely stands out, but I loved KTM’s 2008 Supermoto bike too. Then I’ve ridden the KTM RC8R. That bike was very impressive. If anything came out of it, it was a great experience.
AMAPro: What’s your favorite racetrack?
CF: I’d have to say Road America. I’ve had some very memorable races there.
AMAPro: What draws you to the sport? The thrill, competition or the speed?
CF: I’m pretty competitive, and in an individual sport, you get to see who really shines. When you break it down to bare bones, I feel that it’s not as individual as you might think it is. For example, Factory Yamaha has been doing this for a really long time. They have the money, data and people to really make things work. It goes much deeper than one sees. That’s why I liked the Vance & Hines XR1200 Series so much. It’s a control class, so it really highlights the rider.
AMAPro: What’s a typical day like for you?
CF:The ideal typical day would be me cooking breakfast for myself, ride moto, come back for lunch, train on my bike and eat dinner. I’m not so much into the healthy eating, as I prefer some of the finer foods in life.
AMAPro: What are your expectations going into next year?
CF: Well, I don’t have a ride yet going into next year, so I hope that I can land a ride that I can be happy with. I’d like to find a SportBike or SuperBike ride, but I would also like to do the XR1200 Series again. If I get the ride, I plan on going out and doing the same job I did last year.
AMAPro: Who's your racing hero?
CF: Doug Henry. I met him as a little kid, and have been a big fan of him since then. I got the opportunity to be his teammate in 2007. Having him and Jeff Ward around me was pretty special.
What's your take?
Who do you think had the coolest looking leathers in 2011 - Martin Cardenas, Ben Bostrom, or Josh Herrin?
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