Wyatt Avis is a household name in the Motocross game. He is one of the few South African riders that has competed in international championships, not just once or twice but for a full ten years. Wyatt has permanently based himself back in SA and is competing in the national motocross championship. We caught up with Wyatt to chat to him about his local and international career, why he came back, the 2013 championship… basically everything dirt bike.
Full Name: Wyatt Avis
Nickname: Dynamite Earp
Years racing: 24
Machine of choice: Husqvarna TC 250 love that bike.
Sponsors: Quattro, Husqvarna, Hooked Up Motorsports, Rockstar Energy Drink, Fox, Muscle & Fitness gyms, Powasol and Q&A Signs.
You have raced in both the international and local circuits. Tell us about some of your highs and lows over the years?
The first national championship I won is an amazing memory and just the support I had to win that championship will always be a big high for me in my career another awesome high in my career was my first win in the European championship I won both motos at the track Grant Langston won his world championship at in Finland. Low points in my career, destroying my knee one week before the final round of the European championship, I needed just 10 points to win the championship.
How long where you overseas racing the FIM World Championship?
I lived in Europe for 10 years and spent 8 years racing GP’s.
What were some of your best finishes and what was your top standing after a season?
My best ever finish was a 6th and I ended tie for 3rd overall on the day. Lots of top 10′s. Best championship finish was 16th in the MX1 class.
A few years ago you came back to SA and based yourself locally. Why did you come back and decide to race locally only?
I broke my back in 2008 and struggled to get back to form and mid way through 2009 as I was getting back to form I put myself on the injured list again. Shortly after that Longo changed a few rules which a lot of teams and riders disagreed with. I had been there for 10 years and I thought it was time to come home.
What are some of the biggest differences between the local scene and the international scene?
There are too many to list. The biggest one in my mind though is that there are too many classes recognized at national level.
SA has potential international talent. What does it take to get overseas and secure yourself in an international circuit?
It’s getting harder and harder to make it overseas but the key things are to be mentally strong and never give up…keep going.
What do you miss about international racing?
The fans and the pre-race paddock before the race.
What are your goals in the South African national championship?
I want to win races again, we made some mistakes with the new bike but I feel we are coming back strong.
How often do you train and what type of training do you do?
I try ride 3 times a week, not always easy with work and then a lot of spinning.
Do you ever suffer from armpump? If so, what is your best way to combat it?
Arm pump is not such an issue for me. If I do get it it’s normally because I’m tense or fighting the bike. The only way to fix it is to try be relaxed and smooth.
You are one of the only riders racing a Hasqvarna. What differences does the bike have from the more traditional brands and how does it work for you?
The TC250 is an amazing bike. It corners like no bike I have ever ridden. The TC449 is a little different with fuel tank at the back of the bike. It feels a little heavy in the air because of this but under breaking it sits and is very stable.
What changes would you make to the bike if you could?
The only thing I would really change is the tank on theTC449. Make it more fun to whip.
You are known for showing off some style while racing. Explain the feeling of throwing a big whip or Heel Clicker during a race?
There isn’t really a feeling at that moment but after the race when you start thinking about it then you kinda think well why and what for? But it’s always nice getting a reaction from the crowd.
In your opinion, what is the best thing, feeling about riding a dirt bike?
The first time you hit that big jump on the track and the back and forth passing when racing. I love the feeling of making good pass.
What goes through your mind when you’re on the bike?
If you having a good ride, then nothing, you just enjoy it. if I’m having a bad ride I’m normally shout at myself in my head.
What’s your key to getting a holeshot?[Laughs] what’s that? I haven’t had one for a while [laughs]. I would have to say traction, you can’t spin up off the gate.
Any shot outs?
Massive shout out to my sponsors! Thanks for everything they do to keep me racing! And my family for being there through the ups and downs and broken bones.. .love you guys.
On Twitter? Give Wyatt a follow HERE.