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Monsters & Minis! AMA Pro Supercross Racer Justin Sipes talks about his Minibike World Champs aims!
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Monsters & Minis! AMA Pro Supercross Racer Justin Sipes talks about his Minibike World Champs aims!

by adminAugust 24, 2017

The world of minibike racing is buzzing for this weekends Minibike World Championships which takes place from the 25th and 27th August at the Fatcats Motoparc, near Doncaster and the many superfast racers from all over the globe it has attracted, none more so than former AMA Pro Supercross racer the American Justin Sipes.

Feature image courtesy of Scott Rich Pics

Also from the States young TBparts employee Dalton Miller has also signed up to race so we caught up with them both as they look forward to touching down on blighty and getting among the action…

Hey Justin, tell us about you, age, occupation where you are from..

I’m 29 years old and I currently drive the Megalodon truck for Monster Jam. I am from the small town of Flaherty, Kentucky, USA. 

British Supercross fans would have heard your name from racing in the AMA Supercross series, when were you riding in that and when did you finish?

I raced AMA Supercross and Motocross from 2007 to 2015.

What have been racing since then?

In 2017 I started competing in Monster Jam events driving the brand new Megalodon Monster Jam Truck. I still ride dirt bikes but don’t race them as much as I have in the past. 

How did you get involved in racing Minibikes?

I’ve always rode them in the pits at the race tracks growing up, but then Mike from TBparts gave me the opportunity to race the 2012 Mini Moto in Las Vegas on bikes that he built for me. We hit it off pretty good and I ended up finishing decent in both classes. Then in 2013, I raced a good size race in Pennsylvania and the 2013 Mini Moto on his bikes. I don’t know what it is about racing a bike that’s way too small for me, but I love it. 

What made you want to come over to race in the UK and the World Champs?

Mike at TBparts mentioned the race and asked if I was interested in going. I haven’t raced a pit bike since the 2013 MiniMoto in Vegas so it sounded like fun and a good opportunity to get back into it.

What sort of Minibike racing scene is there in America?

It’s kind of dead except for some smaller local races and the Masters of Minis race in the northeastern part of the USA. But a few more new races are popping up so hopefully it’s making a comeback.

When are you looking to come over to the UK and are you going to get in some practice while you are hear?

I won’t be getting there ‪until Thursday so probably won’t get a chance to practice until the first actual practice on Friday. I plan to practice some in the US on my pitbike but it’s a KLX110 and I imagine the bike over there is going to be a bit different.

The guys at TB Parts are helping you out, what sort of support are they giving you?

There are actually 2 companies making this trip and race possible for me. TBparts has arranged for my trip and some parts for the bike while Dave at GPcube is supplying the bike and getting it race ready.

What do you know of the Minibike Racing scene in the UK and Europe?

Honestly, not too much as figured it was kind of the same as here (slow compared to a few years ago). But Mike at TBparts informed me its continuing to do well over there so really look forward to attending this race and checking it out first hand.

Being American comes with a lot of expectations when racing in Europe how do you feel about that?

I plan on treating it like any other race I do. When the gate drops, I give it all I have and forget about all the expectations. I’ve raced my whole life and the end goal is always the same, have fun and do the best I can. 

Have you got a goal or is it an all out goal to win the World Champs and get the Stars and Stripes flag on top of the podium?

I don’t have a specific goal. I know that there will be a lot of fast riders there, so I guess we will just see how I stack up. But yes, I would love to get the American flag on the top step.

Here’s where you can thank your sponsors and those who help you.

TBparts, Dave and the whole team at GPcube, and Fly Racing

Where can we follow you on Social Media?

Instagram – @poohsipes
Twitter – @poohsipes
Facebook – @JSipes81

Thank you and look forward to racing the Minibike World Championship!

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Hey Dalton, tell us about you, age, occupation where you are from..

I am 22 and am the Warehouse Manager at TBparts.  I am from Maryland but presently live a few miles north in Hanover, Pennsylvania USA.

How did you get involved in racing Minibikes?

I grew up riding. My very first bike I got when I was about 5 was a Z50 clone. I got into Minibike racing back in 2011 when I started working at TBparts.

Is this your first visit to the UK and Europe?

Yes, I am very excited not only to be racing in the UK but to be visiting as well!

Have you raced outside of America before?

No, this will be my first time racing outside of America.

What are you expecting from the World Champs and do you have a certain goal for where you finish?

I am going to the Minibike World Champs to race for fun in 160cc Support Class and to support the TBparts name. As long as I cross the finish line and am not in very last place, I will be happy!!!

I see you have raced Minibike Arenacross in the States, the World Champs  is going to be over a bigger course and a longer racing are you  preparing for that?

Yes, I am actually more used to larger outdoor tracks.  Normally, I only run arenacross tracks in the winter here. I am going to Amesbury, Massachusetts for a race on the 19th which is almost right before I will be leaving for the UK.

Have you been keeping an eye on the scene in the UK and Europe and if so  what riders have stood out to you?

Dave from GPcube fills us in on the latest info and I’ve also looked at your site and the Minibike World Champ’s website and facebook page to see what’s going on. Of course we’re partial to the GPcube team and I look forward to watching Frank Van Homoet and Sebastian Kaergaard race next week in the Pro 160cc class!

What sort of format does Minibike racing in America run with?

Normally we run one practice and if the class is big enough, we run a qualifying round.  Then its 2 main races which are normally 5 laps each. So, the World Champs race will be a little longer than what I normally race.

You will be running under the same awning as Justin Sipes who has AMA Supercross experience what sort of help do you think that will be?

I think Justin’s Supercross experience could definitely help me out.  Since we will be on the same track, I will be able to ask for advice or tips on how I might be able to increase my speed on certain spots on the track.  Also, maybe just general racing/riding tips as I’m an amateur and mainly race just for fun. I will also be with the GPcube team as well so they will be a big help with setting up the bike for the track too.  They probably know this track inside out.

Americans always create a lot of interest when they ride over in Europe, are you ready for the attention and pressure that brings?

The attention would definitely be different but welcome as we are there to promote TBparts and have fun. I will leave the pressure of winning up to Justin and the GPcube team ha ha! As I said, as long as I don’t finish very last I will be happy and either way, the chance to race in the UK at the world Champs will be a great experience.

Who is coming over with you?

I will be arriving in Doncaster with Mike (also of TBparts), his wife Mary T, her daughter Anna, and my girlfriend Lauren.  We will meet up with Justin and GPcube there.

Here’s where you can thank your sponsors and those who help you.

Big thanks to TBparts.com and Dave at GPcube!!!

Where can we follow you on Social Media?

Follow us on instagram and Facebook  – @tbparts

Also thanks to the Minibike World Championship crew for putting together this race!