Shredding up dirt tracks on a motorcycle has been a lifetime hobby for Alex Torres.
While his friends are relaxing for the summer, Torres tells them he has a race to prepare for. A big one.
The 15-year-old from Camas is going to compete in the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championships, which take place July 28 to Aug. 3, in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
“I have the opportunity to go up against the fastest people in the country. It’s going to be an exciting road trip,” Torres said. “There are people who think you just sit on a bike and let the bike do all the work. It takes so much endurance and physicality. You don’t understand it unless you experience a race, and do what all of us riders do out there.”
More than 20,000 Americans attempted to qualify for this event. Only 1,386 are going to race at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Torres is thrilled to be one of them.
“I never thought I would be good enough to be one of the top riders in my region,” he said. “To be able to get to this race is the biggest pay off for all my hard work.”
Torres earned eighth place at a regional qualifying event, March 16 and 17, in Richland. He also finished in third place at the regional championships, June 8 and 9, at the Washougal Motocross Park, to advance to nationals.
“I started doing a lot more physical workouts to be able to handle the bike better, and I just got more confident with each race,” Torres said.
Torres rides a Kawasaki 250F motorcycle. He said it is more comfortable than any other bike he has been on before. He puts the engine, brakes and suspension to the test by flying over the hills at Portland International Raceway and Washougal Motocross Park.
“Jumping on a bike is so cool,” Torres said. “It’s something only a few people get to experience.”
Torres looks forward to his 2,350-mile journey across the country with his parents, Jose and Jill. His goal is to finish in the top 10 at nationals.
“I feel like I have the talent to be in that top group,” Torres said. “Anything else would just be a bonus.”