|Sun, Mar 26, 2017 06:23 AM
|Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
|Perry qualifies to race in his third straight AMA regional championship|
by Lilly Adkins
Martin County Bureau
LOVELY — Last weekend, eight year-old Taylor Perry of Lovely finished third out of 58 riders at Bloomingdale, Mich., to qualify for the third year in a row to race in the AMA Loretta Lynn Youth Regional Championships.
Out of the 58 riders in the 51cc, seven- to eight year-old stock class division, only seven riders advanced.
New sponsor KTM and Champion Cycles provided Perry with a new KTM 50 pro senior for the race.
Since Perry’s father, Doug, was unable to be his mechanic for the race because he had to work, Perry had a professional drag bike mechanic from Ohio set up his bike, and it paid off.
During the first moto, the 58 riders were split into two groups of 29. Perry got the holeshot and kept his lead until encountering some kickers on the backside of the track. He would maintain a qualifying position and finish fifth in his first race. On Sunday, Taylor raced his last two motos and needed single digit finishes in both races or receive a spot for nationals.
In the first moto on Sunday, all 42 of the remaining riders were at the gate together.
When the gate dropped, Perry took off and again got the holeshot. This time, keeping his lead until going down in a turn with the second place rider. When Perry got his bike up, he came around the first lap in 14th place. Within a couple of turns Perry was in 11th, and quickly moved into the 8th position. By the next lap, he had advanced and finished in the fifth position.
With only one moto to go, Perry needed to be consistent in order to get into the nationals.
“When he lined up at the gate with the other riders for that final moto, he told me that he felt confident he could qualify,” Perry’s mother Tammy said.
When the gate dropped, for the third time, Perry began the race by taking the holeshot, and this time held his lead for two more laps. Perry finished sixth in his last moto, but came in 3rd overall. Perry could be a contender again this year for a top spot in the AMA Loretta Lynn Youth Regional Championships.