Rider Spotlight: Tomas Puerta
NEWS February 2, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
AMAPro: Where are you from?
TP: I’m from Medellin, Colombia. I grew up here racing motocross, then moved away to race in the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2008. During the race season, I will be living in Fort Collins, Colorado, which is where my team is based out of. I flew back to Colombia yesterday from California, and will stay here until the first week of March. While in Colombia, I’m going to train and get ready for Daytona.
AMAPro: What was your first motorcycle?
TP: It was Yamaha PW50. I had it for about a year before I moved up to a KTM 50, then a KX65 when I was nine. After that was a YZ80, YZ85 then I started racing supermoto on a KTM 560.
AMAPro: How did you get into riding motorcycles?
TP: My dad used to race here in Colombia. He made parts for motorcycles, so he would be my mechanic so I could race.
AMAPro: Does your family show up to your races?
TP: Not so much. My dad can’t leave that often, because he has to work still. I fly by myself and stay with Danny Walker and Mick Conkright in Colorado. I go with them to the races.
AMAP: Are you excited to be on Team RoadRace Factory for 2012?
TP: Definitely! We have lots of opportunity to get on the box this season. We did a launch in Chuckwalla, California, and I really liked the people that are on the team. We’re all very excited, so we can’t wait to do well at Daytona.
AMAP: How is it having JD Beach, Hayden Gillim and Jake Gagne as your teammates?
TP: It’s really good because we’ve all gotten the chance to race together. I know Jake, Hayden and JD from the Red Bull Rookies Cup. I also raced with them in SuperSport.
AMAP: Out of all the bikes you've ridden, what's your favorite?
TP: The Yamaha R6. This will be my fourth year riding it, and I really like the engine, handling and all that. It’s a very good bike and think it will be on the podium.
AMAP: What's your favorite racetrack?
TP: Laguna seca is my favorite track. It has so much grip, and the course is really fun!
AMAP: What draws you to the sport? The thrill, competition, speed?
TP: I think the competition, but just the overall excitement of racing with other people and going fast.
AMAP: When you’re not at the racetrack, what would a typical day like be for you?
TP: Here in Colombia, I train a lot! Motocross, swimming, bicycling, and gym all the time. In Colorado, I used to work for American Supercamp as an instructor. I would ride on two wheels as much as I can.
AMAP: What are your expectations going into 2012 with RoadRace Factory?
TP: I’m thinking championship. Last year was the best season I’ve had in the USA. Last year, I had a little bit of bad luck, but this year is going to be a good year. I’m ready to go racing.
AMAP: Who’s your racing hero?
TP: Like a lot of people, I think Valentino Rossi. He’s the guy that does all the world records. He does well on everything.
AMAP:Anyone that you would like to thank?
TP: Yes, I’d like to thank RoadRace Factory for helping me this year, Bell Helmets, Dainese, Mick and Danny, all my family, my fans and friends, people who have worked on my motorcycle, M1, LeoVince, Vortex, Yamaha, Yamalube, Faymeyrs, Addict by Bosi, Indeportes Antioquia, and all the mechanics that have helped me since I started. There are a lot of people that have helped me, so thank you!
What's your take?
Which race suit do you think AMA Pro Road Racing and Flat Track rider JD Beach looks coolest in? Photos compliments of Brian J. Nelson and Dave Hoenig.
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