We get to know Hare and Hound youth racer Bradley East.
Dirt Buzz: Bradley, thanks for letting us get to know you better. Tell us about yourself, where you grew up, and how you got started riding and racing offroad.
Bradley East: First, I would like to thank Dirt Buzz for this opportunity. My name is Bradley East; I am 14 years old and have lived in Hesperia, California all my life. Growing up my family was always involved in some sort of outdoor activities in the Desert: riding dirt bikes, hiking, exploring and going to off-road races in the Mojave Desert and Baja. Thanksgiving 2014, some friends came out to meet us camping in the Desert and we got some great riding in. Shortly after that, we had decided to have some fun and try our luck at racing Round 1 of the 2015 NHHA and maybe do just the local races. Well, we ended up chasing the entire series and got as many D37 races in as possible to gain experience. The road trips were epic and we had a blast traveling to all the National Events. It all happened quickly, and if I weren’t racing, my dad would take me out to train.
DB: Last year you finished fourth in the Big Wheel class without competing in the entire series. You’ve started out the National Hare and Hound Series with an overall win. Is it your goal to win this year’s Big Wheel title?
BE: For 2017 we had made the decision to focus more on my training and development and was pleased to see that I still grabbed fourth overall for the year, but know I can do much better. NHHA always puts on great events, and the 2018 Round 1 in Spangler didn’t disappoint. We weren’t sure if we were going to make the event because the bike still needed a lot of prep for the upcoming King of Motos but we made it and the TM ran strong and I was feeling really comfortable. It felt good to be on that top spot on the podium, and I now got that monkey off my back! Of course, my goal is to capture the Big Wheel Title this year! Unfortunately, due to my parent's work and travel schedule for 2018, competing in all the Rounds isn’t looking very good. We are planning on hitting as many rounds as we can.
DB: How long have you ridden for the TM Racing team and how did that come about?
BE: This is the first year that Ralf Schmidt (TM Racing) put together a U.S. Team. There are four of us, two offroad and two motocross riders. Last year Ralf provided a lot of support and assisted in my development as a rider. Mid-2016 we were in the market for a new bike and really liked all that the TM100 bike had to offer right out of the crate and Ralf’s dedication to the brand and sport. Coming off an injury in early November that put me out for the remainder of the year, I wanted to focus on my training and development for 2017. I overalled the entire AMA District37 Desert Youth Series raced a couple of Sprint Enduros, competed in the Last Dog Standing and went out riding with my dad as much as I could. Ralf recognized the hard work I had been putting in and the development achieved that he offered me a spot on his 2018 TM Racing USA Team. I am stoked on the opportunity and really looking forward to a great partnership and a successful 2018!
DB: How much longer do you intend to stay in the Youth division? Or will you be moving up to the big bike class soon?
BE: My dad told me I have to stay on the Super Mini for 2018! I want to move up and have been training on bigger bikes, just not racing yet. My dad thinks it is all part of the development program for me to focus on racing the Big Wheel this year. I am 14 years old and still technically have two more years of eligibility in my class, though this will be my last year. I would like to start pulling double duty by racing the youth and big bike before the summer break!
DB: Even though dirt bike racing is an individual sport, it still takes a team or family support to perform at the highest levels. Is your family a big part of your program?
BE: My family is awesome! They sacrifice a lot for me to pursue my passion and dream. Monday through Friday pretty much consists of getting things together for the weekend of racing or riding. Words cannot describe the feeling of going to a race and knowing that all I have to do is worry about twisting the throttle and staying out front. There is absolutely no way I could do what I do without them. They are my biggest fans and are always there for me. I think it’s important to note that my dad is also my biggest critic! Thanks, Mom, Dad, and Ashley for all you do for me.
DB: What is it about desert racing that you love so much?
BE: It is where I started and all I knew for years. I can recall going to bed watching Dust to Glory every night for months! My parents have been taking me camping and riding in the desert since I was born. I guess what I truly love about desert racing is the unpredictable terrain, the endurance factor, and the speed. When I am out racing I get into a zone, arm pump goes away within the first 15-20 minutes and I get into my groove.
DB: What’s your favorite type of music and what’s on your playlist at the moment?
BE: I like all music from Sublime, Smashing Pumpkins, Rolling Stones, Ice Cube, and Yung Gravy to 6 Dogs.
DB: Favorite off-diet thing to eat?
BE: Probably cherry flavored Twizzlers, placed on the dash to get warm on the way to a race.
DB: Your favorite place on earth is?
BE: My favorite place has got to be Utah! I love all the outdoor activities it has to offer and its epic scenery.
DB: We heard you mention in a video that your ultimate goal one day is to race the Baja 1000. What is it about that race that interests you?
BE: I have been lucky enough to go down and watch the Baja 1000 a few times. I remember watching one year at Coco’s (RM330 I think) and staying up all night with Coco bringing racers over to us in his compound to be around the fire to get warm and I listened to what they had experienced since they left Ensenada hours earlier. Baja is magical and fierce all at the same time. I am all about challenges, and the Baja 1000 is one that I have accepted and will one day soon conquer!
DB: Besides the Baja 1000, what is your ultimate goal in racing? Where would you like to be five years from now?
BE: I really love Hard Enduros too. I have done Last Dog Standing and more recently King of Motos. I would love to continue my development in this discipline. Something about riding your bike to and through places no one should be able to pumps me up! I would like to think that in five years I had accomplished many of my goals and would still be in my prime to conquer any remaining or new challenges. I do not want any regrets when looking back at what I had done. I only got one shot at this life and need to be sure that I have fun, stay safe and healthy, meet a lot of good people, continue to do what it is that keeps me waking up every morning and did I mention have fun?!
"Baja is magical and fierce all at the same time. I am all about challenges, and the Baja 1000 is one that I have accepted and will one day soon conquer!" – Bradley East
DB: Thanks Bradley for doing this interview with us and letting others out there get to know you better. We look forward to seeing where your racing takes you in the future. Now is your time to thank those who help and share any last words. Who would you like to thank?
BE: I would like to first thank my Dad, Mom, and my sister Ashley. I would like to thank Walter Marienschek for the ongoing training and pushing me; Jeremy Newton for his coaching and insight of desert racing; Skyler Howes for the coaching early on; and of course, TM Racing USA and Ralf Schmidt for the opportunity to represent the Team for 2018.
Last, but certainly not least, all the sponsors supporting the program.
Spider Energy Drink
Shot Race Gear
VP Race Fuels
Thunder Design Graphics
Weather Mountain Clothing