Loretta Lynn Ranch, Hurricane Mills, TN — July 29, 2019
The 38th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by Lucas Oil at Loretta Lynn Ranch is the largest gathering of motocross riders in the country. Participants must qualify in their age group at an area event. Then progress through a regional moto finishing in the top eight to make it to the AMA Amateur National.
Ryan Valade knows how difficult it is to compete against hundreds of riders nationwide to earn a place at Loretta Lynn’s. In 2017 Ryan qualified in the Senior(40+) age group and finished 9th in the country. After taking last year off to work on conditioning and recover from a foot injury, he is back in 2019.
Ryan lives in Fenton and is the General Manager of Grand Blanc Mitsubishi. When he can, nights and weekends, he rides motocross. Ryan travels throughout the Midwest to compete in amateur events. His road to Hurricane Mills, TN took him to Dutch Sport Park in Bloomingdale, MI, Sunset Ridge MX, Walnut, IL, and Spring Creek MX, Millville, MN. In the Senior(40+) class Ryan finished 2nd in his area qualifier and won his regional. He also qualified in the Vet(30+) age group, giving him the advantage of extra time on the track during race week.
AMA Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Amateur National Motocross Championship
Racing at Loretta Lynn’s MX consists of 36 Amateur National Classes, primarily based on age groups. Each racer must compete in three motos during the week with the best average finisher earning the top spot in their group.
Racing in two groups gives Ryan an advantage in extra track time, experience in racing conditions on the track and the ability to judge himself against riders of different ages. Besides, its fun to race.
Prepping for Race Day
Arriving Saturday before race week allowed Ryan to claim a premium campsite and set up his motorhome, trailer, and canopy workspace. He will race with the #59 placard on his bike, even though his regular AMA number is 509.
Monday’s Senior division practice gave Ryan an opportunity to test the track, he finished with the 2nd fastest time of the 40+ age group. A lap of 2:04.962, topped only by former professional rider Michael Brown who set a blistering pace of 1:56.215
Rain is in the forecast for Monday night and possibly Tuesday. Motos at Loretta Lynn’s run rain or shine. Ryan is scheduled to run the first competitive race of the week, Tuesday at 7:30 am in the Vet division. To prepare for the possible sloppy conditions he will put 21 tear-offs on his 100% Goggles brand eye-protection.
According to Ryan, “Rain is not an issue for me, I am confident in my ability to compete on a wet and sloppy track. The draw for starting positions is the key to getting off to a good start.” As riders enter the staging area prior to their initial moto they draw numbers that determine the order in which they may select a starting gate. Starting closer to the first turn is more advantageous than starting on the outside of the track. Finishing positions determine the order of selection for starting spots in successive motos.
Sponsors are an important part of racing at any level and Ryan is keen to display logos and equipment of those businesses that provide him support.
Another of Ryan’s primary sponsors is Answer Racing, uniform and equipment supplier to all levels of motocross. The jersey, pants, and protective gear Ryan wears come from Answer, their goal is to provide hardcore motocross enthusiasts with products they can trust. Looking awesome on the track is a bonus of wearing Answer products.
Mid Michigan Crushing and Recycling of Fenton are avid motocross fans and are one of the many local connections on Ryan’s team. Pro Taper, FMF Racing Mufflers, and 100% Goggles provide equipment. Check out these impressive googles from 100%, one pull on the yellow tab gives you a clean new screen and perfect vision on the track. Now that some impressive innovating to solve a constant issue faced by motocross riders.
Local sponsors include Lasco Ford, a notable supporter of Michigan Motocross. TCD Racing of Clarkston, an area business providing assorted services to the motocross community including at-track support.
Another important sponsor is CrossFit Fenton, where Ryan trains. Ryan credits CrossFit Fenton with helping to raise the level of his competitive abilities. “Crossfit enables me to overcome obstacles easier, both mentally and physically, because of the improved stamina gained in training workouts.”
We are anxious to watch Ryan take on the best in his age group. The Lasco Press is live at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch this week to cover Ryan as he competes in the AMA Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Amateur National Championship.
Look for daily updates on his progress and the stories that pop up during our visit to the Ranch just west of the Nashville metropolitan area.