Interview: Privateer Power – Erick Vallejo
Birthday: March 20, 1979
Hometown: Monterey (Mexico)
AMA National number: 179
Favorite music: Pop/Rock
Favorite TV show: Martin
Favorite food: Mexican
Hometown while in the USA: Tustin (California)
Years racing: 16
Favorite track: Budds Creek
FRIENDS & FAMILY: I have a younger brother who is 12 years old. An older brother who is 23. And a sister who is 25. Of course there is my mom and dad too. I have a girlfriend, and we’ve been dating for five months now. Her name is Elvira, and she’s 18 years old. She lives back in Monterey. I have a pet dog (German Sheppard) named Goliath.
There are a lot of people that have helped me get here today. South Bay Motorsports, Pacific Collision Centers, Shoei helmets, AlpineStar boots, Troy Lee Designs, Bridgestone tires, Pro-Circuit Racing, Dragon, Tag Metals, SunStar sprockets, and CruiseAmerica. There are also people behind the scenes that help a great deal. Steve from Pacific Collision Centers, Troy Lee, Mitch Payton, my mom and dad especially, and Marc Burnett. Marc is the main guy that’s helped put all this together for me for this year. I’d like to thank him so much. He called me up before the season started and said ‘Hey, I can help you with your racing’. Like I say, he’s helped me so much and has really put all this together for me.
PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE WITH RACING: I got into racing because my dad always liked motorcycles. He started my older brother first. And then I just followed along. My dad bought me my first bike. At first I was scared to race, because the first time I did I crashed. Then I didn’t ride again for a month. When I was younger, I was also into basketball and soccer, but not so much anymore.
When I got to the top of the 80cc class, both my day and I thought ‘This is where this racing will stop’. I was a good amateur rider here in the US. I moved up to 125 Intermediates, and I started making some good results.
1997 was my first supercross race as a pro. I finished 14th. My dad was really happy, and that’s when we decided we would keep on going. My best finish so far was fourth in Houston in 1999. Last year (2000) was a very up-and-down year for me. And this year hasn’t started out as we all would like. Right now, my confidence is building up, so I feel very good about the rest of the season.
Racing is pretty much full time, 7 days a week. If I ever can get one or two days off, I try to just rest.
One big advantage that a lot of the top factory riders have is their own supercross tracks. I think it makes a difference when you can practice on a supercross track whenever you like.
My racing goals over the next five years are to hopefully get on a factory team. And I’d like to have a few wins. But I also have plans outside of racing. I plan to have my own business back home, and that’s something I’ve been working on as well.
TRAINING: I ride three or four times per week. The best time riding is when I get on the bike and don’t think too much and just try to have fun. I try to run every day. I do weight training before the season starts, but once it starts I lay off the weights. I ride my mountain bike every day, and always do something that works on cardiovascular.
EDUCATION: My best times in school were as a senior in high school. I went to my first two years of high school in Houston (Texas), and the last two years I went back to Monterey. Right now I’m still continuing my education. I’m working towards a Business Administration degree, and that will be my career after racing. I like school. It’s fun, and I have a lot of friends there. It’s very different than this racing environment.
Special ‘Thanks’ to Miss Elissa O’Keefe for her help putting this together.