Newest Addition to HEP Motorsports Factory Team
Name: Alex Ray
Location: Southern California
Social media: @Alexray_62
Sponsors: Cycle Trader, Rock River Yamaha (2018), HEP Motorsports (2019), Asterisk USA, Moose Racing, Parts unlimited, Sidi, Arai Helmets, Eks Brand Goggles, trainers Pablo and Davi Millsaps.
Alex Ray #62 on the Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha factory team would be one to watch in the Monster Energy Cup located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ray would compete for the chance to take home one million dollars against the best supercross racers in the world. Unfortunately, in moto 3 of the Cup Main event, Ray collided with another rider landing on his back and would suffer from compressed fractures on his T-9 and T-11 Ray was able to make it to the finish line and is recovering from this injury. He expects to be back riding soon.
As Alex Ray ends his 2018 season the with Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha team, he has just signed with HEP Motorsports team for the 2019 season. Pressbox MX had the opportunity to talk with Ray before the big news was announced with the HEP Motorsports team to the public.
Alex Ray is often active on social media, consistently engaging with his fans. We asked Ray how he stays so involved with his fans on social media.
Ray replies, “It’s always good to give people updates on what you are doing, especially with training and riding. The fans like when you get online and show them new and exciting stuff, you don’t always have to be inspirational and post stuff like “trust the process” but rather show them your personality. I like to show everyone what it is like to ride dirt bikes and do what I love.”
Sometimes races don’t always go as planned, and it can be hard to be a professional racer in the spotlight. How do you get online and share with your fans what happened, even if it is not the results you were hoping for?
Ray said, “It’s always important, no matter if you have a good race or a bad race, to let your fans know how your race went. For me, I always shoot it straight, and I try not to make any excuses. If I’m having a bad day, then I am having a bad day, and we have all had them.”
The 2018 season was good to Alex as he was a key athlete for the Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha team, we asked Ray how this season has treated him.
Ray expresses, “It’s been great. Everything was great over here, and it’s something I will never forget even if I get Alzheimer’s I am still going to remember this Yamaha as the best bike I have ever ridden. Being on the Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha team, I worked with some amazing people, and I thank them so much for the opportunity.”
Before the 2017 race season, Alex Ray was a privateer trying to make it on his own. We asked Ray what advice he could give to other privateers trying to make it onto a factory team.
Ray replies, “You have to go in with an opened mind and try not to put too much pressure on yourself. I remember when I found out the news that I was going to be on a factory team, I did not sleep for like three days. I was so nervous on the first day of riding and testing. After you get the first day out of the way, I settled in, and it became like clockwork. They took care of a lot of the stuff, and they told me, “Hey man enjoy it. You are here; Cooper Webb got hurt, we have no expectations for you so go out and have fun.” I was really like “okay, let’s do this then.” With them being that way with me I feel like it made my results even better.”
Learning from your mistakes is often overlooked when you live life in the fast lane. How essential is it to stop and take a moment to learn from your mistakes?
Ray said, “It is super important. Every type of advice this factory team had for me I tried to absorb all of it. I was really like a sponge. Any advice they gave me as far as bike set up, what I was doing on the track and ways to improve I always listened and I tried to correct myself in any way I could.”
Alex Ray resides in Southern California, so it is not rare to see him at the local motocross tracks. Ray even races various local MX series such as the Transworld Motocross series in his downtime when he is not on the road. While Alex is at these local tracks, many younger aspiring athletes will make it a point to say hello to Alex and get a few tips from a pro. We asked Ray what advice he could give to these aspiring athletes?
Ray replies, “Don’t give up on your dreams. I was just a young kid from a small town in Tennessee that only had about 500 people and a gas station, anything is possible. Here I am at the top of the sport doing what I love. You have to keep working at it, and if you keep working at it and you do not give up, then good things will happen.”
Final question, of course, this one is geared towards the ladies. With the recent #Makeup2Mud movement there has been a lot of uprise within aspiring women motocross athletes. If there is not a place for women in professional racing, and there is little to no media attention allocated for women racers, where is there a place for women in the sport?
Ray states, “There should be a spot for them. They used to have more spots for women in the outdoors and amateur moto, but maybe they could do something on the amateur day of supercross. I think having women featured on the amateur day of supercross would be good for them and since they got rid of arena-cross, I think they could maybe showcase a class for the professional women racers. The women in the sport need something to work towards and progress too. If you are riding motocross or supercross, no matter what it is if you have that feeling inside then you are a racer. For women not to have something to work towards is rather unfair. I feel that maybe something can be done for the amateur day for the ladies in the sport.”
Alex Ray offers some wise words on the future of women in motocross. He will be one to watch on the HEP Motorsports team in 2019.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more…