My First Time

    Motocross Action
    Jul 18, 2008

By Mike LaRocco

The first time I rode a motorcycle: “I rode in my backyard and my dad bought me a bike. He told me that if I learned how to ride a bicycle, he’d get me a motorcycle. He bought me a Honda MR50 when I was six years old.”

My first race: “After I got my MR50, I raced later that year. I went to several races to check everything out first and get a feel for the whole scene. My first race was at a track called Knobby Hill, Indiana. I was really scared of racing at first. I would ride with my sister, and she actually raced before I did! Then when I did race, I won.”

My first hero: “As far as dirt bikes, the first person that I can recall is Marty Smith. I went to Red Bud when I was really young, and he won the race. What stood out was how friendly he was. I also remember shaking his hand, and at
that time motocross gloves stained your hands. Well, his hands were red, and I looked down to shake his hand and remember seeing how funny his hands looked.”

My first sponsor: “I believe that my first sponsor was Scott goggles. Bevo Forte from Scott still gives me a hard time because he has my first resume to this day. It was either Scott or Gear Racewear that was my first sponsor. I was around 14 years old when I got my first sponsor.” The first time I realized that I could make it as a pro: “I remember
being very doubtful in my first pro race. I was skeptical all the way through my first few years of professional
racing. It wasn’t until my first title in 1991 that I realized that I had longevity as a pro racer.”

My first injury: “I broke my arm in my backyard. I had a little ten-foot double that I messed up on [laughter]. It’s kind of funny to me now, because the jump was so small, but accidents do happen.”

The first time I met someone famous: “When I was riding for Yamaha, I hung out with Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear. That was the first time I was exposed to that kind of audience.”

My first expensive purchase:  “I bought a house when I was 19. I decided to buy it because it was close to the South Bend, Indiana, airport. I was growing up and I needed my own space. I also wanted to have it as an investment.”

Originally published in Motocross Action.

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