The week leading up to it was wild! I'm 19 years old, almost 20. I've ridden dirt bikes since I was 6 with the dream of turning Pro that started after watching "The Great Outdoors" when I was probably 7 or 8, and it was finally time!! Throughout my whole life I couldn't wait for this moment, but during the weeks leading up to it I felt the same anxiety a lot of people can probably relate to, the deadline was coming too soon! I wished I had more time to prepare for my first season as a Pro, but there's really no amount of time that it would take for me to actually be "ready."
My Dad always says "Motocross is one big mistake" and you can interpret that in a few different ways, but what I think he means by it is that you'll never have a perfect race and there will always be something to improve on. So you can't let a crash or a bad corner ruin your lap or your entire race. You have to push on without letting your mistakes slow you down. That week I was wishing I had more time, but now I look back and realize that there was no way for me to 100% prepared without actually getting out there and doing it. I gained more by trying and failing than I would've by staying home and practicing.
We brought out our motorhome and trailer and we were able to get a really good parking spot right behind Dunlop and across from JGR and Cycle Trader Yamaha.
The Thursday before every race a few of the top riders show up and ride the track. The purpose of "Press" day is for the media to get photo and video content of the top guys riding the tracks for their websites and social media to get everyone excited for the race on Saturday. I was lucky enough to get into the Hangtown Press day and it was crazy! Normally there's only 10-15 riders total that show up. But since Hangtown is the first race of the season, every factory team was there with all of their riders! The track was packed with what felt like 1,000 riders, but it was probably only 50, with the top 25 guys from both the 250 and 450 class on the track.