BOLIVIAN MOTOCROSS RACE DAY!
Woke up a little tired this morning, got ready and headed out toward the shop to meet everyone at 8am to head to the track for the day. I caught a ride with Nicky’s friends and we headed off. We stopped to get gas for everyone but the first place was out of gas so we headed back into Sucre to find a gas station with gas. On the way I asked what time the race started, because I thought it started at 9am and it was 9am. They laughed and said yes it is supposed to start at 9am but we are in Bolivia and nothing starts when it is supposed to. The race started at 11am I think haha. We arrived and got a small collective of cars, trucks, and bikes together around a tent. I met tons of new people, a lot of Nicky’s brothers, sisters, and Nephews. Four of his family members and three of his close friends were racing.
Let’s talk about the course, it was just finished today, nobody except a few had even done a lap on it. The course was quickly sprayed down with water in the morning, but was dry and dusty when the races started. When I say dust I mean DUST!!!! When the racers past the bystanders we all had to turn away because who couldn’t see or breath, also the track was full of rocks. The day before we walked the track throwing rocks the size of baseballs to bowling balls off of the track. Nicky and his friends joked saying they could use “Medieval Nights metal armor” to help keep the welts down from the spray of rocks.
His nephew Sergio is 14 and is racing in the teenage 250f class. In the first heat he got the holeshot and was gone with one other racer who was as fast chasing after him. On the first lap they came into the last berm and the other ride went inside and slammed into him knocking him to the ground and taking off. As he was getting his bike up (he is a small 14 year old kid tryiying to lift the bike) as he got it up he almost got hit and then he did get his legs hit but stayed up and kept the bike up as well. Nicky and his dad ran to him got the bike up and had a little trouble getting it going, while 5-6 riders past him. Finally they got it going and he took off like a bat out of hell on a mission. He rode hard and was able to get into second closing the gap on the leader who had made him crash, but the checkered flag was out and he came in second. There was a little controversie about the pass and crash but no big deal he blew it off as racing and got ready for the next race. I found out that particular family of racers were known for sleazy moves. The next race he was determined to ride to the best of his ability, the racer who got first last time got the holeshot and was gone with Sergio right on his tail chasing him up the hill. They ran 6 laps that way with Sergio right on his tail, they went up and over the hill out of view and when they came back around Sergio was in front with a little lead. From then on he layed on the throttle and slowly started to pull away at one point I counted and he had over a 20 second gap from the rest of the field and then he took the checkered flag for the Second heat and over all win.
Nicky, his brother Juan Paul, and their friends were in the expert 450 class. First heat Juan Paul got the holeshot and was gone holding the lead for a couple of laps until a young guy passed him he was flying and going huge. Juan Paul stayed right on him all the way through, Nicky fought hard and held onto 4th place all the way through the race. The next heat the young kid got the holeshot and held the lead the whole race with Jaun Paul close behind him leaving the rest of the field in the dust. Nicky rode hard but crashed into a wall due to getting a face full of dirt, rocks, and dust making him go blind and crashed into the wall. He fought back and claimed fifth at the end of the race. Juan Paul took second overall and Nicky claimed 4th over all.
It was incredible to first hand see the compassion and traditions they had for each other. Every time a new person would come over to the group they would walking around to the whole group shaking hands and or hugging right as they got to the group even if they did not know them (like me!!!) and the ladies would walking around kissing everyone on the cheek. Same thing when they said good bye. The compassion they had for each other and the amount of respect they had for each other was awesome to see. I was so lucky to get the chance to be a part of such a cool group and to see and be a part of something almost no tourist would ever get to do or see. We loaded up the bikes and headed back to the shop to unload, I jumped on Gus’s 400 and headed to a local dinner spot with a small group from the race where we had deep fried pork, potato wedges, and massive pieces of corn kernels. Then we said our goodbyes and I headed back to my room to grab my computer and head for the café for some internet and coffee.
FIRST HEAT, NICKY'S NEPHEW SERGIO TAKING THE HOLESHOT #41
ENLARGE THIS PIC, MY FAVORITE FROM THE RACE
SERGIO CATCHING UP
ENLARGE AND TAKE NOTE OF THE ROCK SPRAY ABOVE THE DUST CLOUD
NICKY HITTING THE BIG TABLE TOP
JAEN PAUL HITTING THE BIG TABLE
NICKY PASSING BY
GAPPING THE TOP
GETTING THE CHECKERED FLAG FOR FIRST PLACE IN THE SECOND HEAT AND FIRST OVER ALL
LIKE I SAID DUSTY!!
ONE EXHAUSTED DUSTY FACE AFTER THE RACES
SERGIO TAKING FIRST
JAEN PAUL TAKING SECOND
HAPPY RACING FMAILY
OUR LITTLE SETUP
NICKY AND HIS FAMILY
NICKY, HIS BROTHERS JAEN PAUL, AND PETER
FILTERING THE BOLIVIAN GAS
Such an awesome weekend!!! I am so lucky and stoked that I got stuck in Sucre and met such awesome people who are now friends.