HANNAH’S DECISION: BEING AN MX PRO MEANS RACING AGAINST THE BOYS

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Saturday night in Las Vegas, Hannah Hodges will line up with the boys at the invitation-only Monster Energy Cup race in the Supermini class, but like any racer, she’s looking far ahead down the track. 2017, to be exact.

Hodges has a choice to make. With the unsafe condition of ladies’ motocross, on the off chance that she needs to bring home the bacon and a place for herself in the game, she’s most likely must do it against men. Presently 17, she is planning to make a move that hasn’t been done before: climb to the 250 class and contend with guys at the expert level without endeavoring to win the Women’s Motocross Championship (WMX), the eight-round arrangement that is the all-female national title in the United States.

Hannah Hodges could have been a tap and jazz or ballet performer, a soccer player, or a tumbler. She attempted the greater part of that, yet riding bikes was the main action she didn’t quit doing.

She was conceived, four weeks ahead of schedule, in August of 1998, yet was still sufficiently solid to stroll at eight and a half months. Her dad, Wayne, got her a Yamaha PW50 on the grounds that he needed a riding mate on the ends of the week. Today he concedes he was frightened to death when Hannah was conceived in light of the fact that he didn’t comprehend what he should do with a young lady. Presently 17, that young lady is going to climb from smaller than expected cycles and test herself on a full-sized Kawasaki KX250F.

Hodges wouldn’t be the principal female to focus on dashing against men. In May, Vicki Golden turned into the primary lady to fit the bill for a Supercross warm race. Before that, Golden dashed Arenacross, won three X Games gold awards in Women’s Moto X Racing and put in quite a long while contending on the WMX arrangement. Numerous different females have earned licenses and enlisted to contend with guys: Jessica Patterson, Steffi Bau and Sue Fish — the main female motocross racer accepted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame — are the most eminent. The distinction amongst Hodges and her forerunners is that they demonstrated they were among the best — if not the best — in female motocross first. Hodges has yet.

In the young ladies 12-16 division, she’s phenomenal. In the Supermini class, the most abnormal amount of smaller than expected cycle motocross hustling, Hodges can regularly be found in the main 10 among the 41 other male riders. At the Monster Energy Cup a year ago, she completed tenth out of 23 riders in the two-moto Supermini organize. (The current year’s Monster Energy Cup will air live on Fox Sports 2 and online at Fox Sports GO, and will be rehashed on Fox Sunday evening.)

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Hannah Hodges will try to make her mark among the guys this weekend at the Monster Energy Cup. Photo by Andrea Barnett.

The moves Hodges is making today are making arrangements for 2017, the year she might want to race capable Supercross and motocross. One year from now, 2016, is about move, grabbing quality, making sense of how to battle on a 250cc four-stroke and hustling the critical beginner events in the mostly level classes. She will race a couple WMX rounds, yet isn’t concentrating all in all game plan.

In the past Hannah had any yearnings for transforming into a WMX champion. In the prime of women’s motocross, the course of action ran races on an undefined day from the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross visit and a couple of riders were maintained by gatherings and truly benefitted. In 2014, the WMX visit was detached from the men’s game plan and lumped in with the huge beginner races spread more than eight closures of the week among March and November. In 2015, five of the rounds were held in conjunction with the Pro Motocross course of action, yet the hustling happened on Friday or Sunday, not on the major race day when the spectators and TV group were accessible. Hodges is merry to see that women’s hustling is improving, yet in spite of all that it doesn’t hold enough regard for her to need to commit her targets to it.

“I can get the most out of dashing by battling with the people,” she says. “It’s the best for me to be with the people.”

Wayne and his life partner Melissa have made colossal retributions to help their young lady meet her goals. Starting in March 2012, at 10 p.m. practically every Monday night, Hannah and Wayne have stacked into their GMC Savana to drive 250 miles from their home in Deland, Fla., to Cairo, Ga., to be at the Millsaps Training Facility, a dashing preparatory camp where Hannah smolders through three days a week working with riding and quality tutors and practicing against colleagues who are her speed or snappier.

Her quality coach, a surrendered Navy SEAL who goes by the one name of Tony, has the uncommon trial of helping Hannah — who is no doubt done creating at five feet, four inches tall and 115 pounds — get a considerable measure of value without going ahead weight that would impact her continuation, flexibility and deftness. Suspension masters incline toward riders to be no under 120 pounds, to suitably set up the forks and shocks.

Tony’s program is broken into three rationalities — mind, body and soul — and he pushes his clients to assemble the sum they can manage judiciously, and likewise physically.

“Hannah is fascinating in that she is, by far, the most dedicated and limited, male or female,” Tony says. “I incline toward not to separate her, yet she is. She’s practically a distortion of nature.”

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Hannah Hodges has been unbeatable in the girls classes at amateur competitions such as the AMA Amateur Motocross National Championships at the Loretta Lynn Ranch. Photo by James Gingerich

 

Tony told Hannah that he trusts she could build her weight to 125 pounds in one year without feeling unbalanced on her cruiser. A KX250F is more than 60 pounds heavier and three inches taller than the KX100 she at present rides and, to contend professionally, she’ll need to get ready for longer races. Readiness is the reason her dad, who claims an auto itemizing business, drives 500 miles round excursion consistently to an office intended to deliver the future champions of cruiser dashing. Be that as it may, Wayne is likewise reasonable.

“She’s made all the more a devotee out of me than I suspected she could,” Wayne says. “She’ll never win proficient races against men. That is by and large genuine. However, to keep on being attractive, to be in a position to get a paycheck and make a wage,” he says, is the reason they’re dashing basically against guys, and not females. Wayne trusts his little girl can some time or another be a diplomat in the bike business, a female delegate for the producers who can help them contact youthful racers.

Until then, the year 2017 is hovered on her date-book. That is the point at which she wants to wind up the primary female to meet all requirements for a Monster Energy Supercross headliner and score focuses (best 20) in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross title that starts each May. Winning those focuses is her genuine objective, not attempting to be a pioneer or a pioneer, however it’s difficult to disregard the impact she may have on the fate of ladies’ motocross hustling.

“I don’t consider it, however I do need young ladies to see me do it so they know they can do it, as well,” she says.

However, to begin with, the Monster Energy Cup anticipates her. She’s as of now demonstrated she’s the quickest female smaller than usual cycle rider on the planet. Presently she needs to demonstrate that she can run best five against all young riders. At the point when the Monster Energy Cup entryway drops Saturday, look for the sandy blonde hair streaming out from under the protective cap of number 172.

 

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