A few years ago, very few people knew the name Bradley Taft. He was just a kid from one of the flyover states without a single national championship or even moto win to his name. Things slowly started changing for Bradley. In 2013, he made the move from Nixa, Missouri to Hamer, South Carolina and began training at South of the Border Training Facility. He quickly began to get his program on track with some guidance from trainers like Taylor Futrell. He came into Loretta Lynn’s in 2013 completely under the radar and opened some eyes with a moto win in the Schoolboy class. From there, he had his sights set on 2014 and earned his first ever national championship at the JS7 Classic at Freestone County Raceway. He then followed that up with another championship at Loretta Lynn’s in the 250 B Limited class. The name Bradley Taft was finally becoming a well-known one in the sport. As 2015 rolled around, Bradley made his move to the A class. Now training in Southern California at the Grindstone Compound, Taft had his sights set on 2015 with intentions of really making a name for himself in the sport. He came into Loretta’s swinging and walked away with a title in the blazing fast 450 A class, proving that he is one of the top amateurs in the sport. After taking a few weeks off, we caught up with Bradley out at Pala Raceway on Tuesday. Dakota Procter sat down with him to talk about his plans for the rest of the 2015 season as well as what will be in store for him come 2016.
|Current City:||Murrieta, California|
|Yamaha YZ 250F & 450F|
|250A, 450A, Open Pro Sport|
Glory Hog: Talk about your week at Loretta’s. I’m sure you came in expecting to finish well, but did it go as well as you planned?
Bradley Taft: It didn't go as planned. Obviously the plan was to win but it was to win both classes and I wasn't able to do that. It's great to win but I needed to go out there and open some people's eyes.
You’ve been somewhat under the radar for most of your career as an amateur. It seems like every year coming into Loretta’s, not many people expect you to be a contender for a championship, yet you have delivered for the past two years now and walked away with a title. Is there anything you like about being under the radar or is it frustrating to you?
It's a little frustrating but the only way to change that is to start winning regularly.
Tell us about your training program. How did you prepare for Loretta’s and how are you preparing for races to come in the future? Who is your trainer and what tracks do you usually ride at?
I was doing a lot of riding and gym work with Johnny Louch. Now I am training with Gareth Swanepoel full time to prepare for Monster Cup and I really feel like his program is working for me.
Is there anything else you enjoy doing in your free time or is it just eat, sleep, ride, and train every single day?
I pretty much just ride and train. I like to play videos games too but that's about it.
How do you like California? I’m sure the tracks out here are a lot different than the ones you grew up riding on in Missouri. Do you like the tracks out here?
California is alright. It's not my favorite place because of all the traffic and it never rains out here so the tracks aren't usually very good. It's the best place for me to be though because of all the good riders that are out here and my trainer is out here so it's definitely working for me.
Other than family I’m sure, is there anything about Missouri you miss?
I miss having no traffic and that it actually rains there. (Laughs)
What are the lowest and highest points you’ve had in your career so far?
Lowest point would have to be when I was going to be done racing last year and the highest is when I won both my Loretta's championships.
So you were close to throwing in the towel and being done with the sport not that long ago? Tell us about that.
Yeah my brother was about to get married and he had a baby on the way and he was at the point of focusing on the stuff he had coming up in his life. So it was really hard for him to continue paying and supporting me for everything. I ended up getting some help from some other people and took some of it off of him.
So what is the plan from here? Are you talking with any pro teams about a possible deal for next year, or will you continue to do this on your own?
The plan is to go give it my all at Monster Cup and see where I come out. We will see what happens at Monster Cup before I know anything about the pros.
So we will be seeing you at Monster Cup in the Amateur All-Star class then?
Yes that's what I'll be racing at Monster Cup. I'm training and getting ready for it now.
So where do you see yourself at in five years?
Hopefully I'll be the top pro in the sport by then.
Tell us who you would like to thank.
Rock River Yamaha, Monster Energy, Alias MX, Scott Goggles, FMF, Drill Tech, EVS, Alpinestars, Dunlop, Ticket Emporium, Black Diamond MX, Enzo, Tag Metals, RAD Manufacturing, Ride Klothing, Cycra Plastics, RK/Excel, In House Racing, My brother Daniel, Shannon Creeson, Mom, Dad, mechanic Jordan, and the Wheeler family.