Privateer Spotlight: Michael Sleeter
2009 250 Privateer
Birthday: July 11, 1980
Height: 5′ 8″
Weight: 165 lbs
Residence: Temecula, CA
Born in: Escondido, CA
Bike: KTM 250F
Hobbies: Surfing, Mountain Biking, Road Cycling
Sponsors: KTM, One Industries, Alpinestars, FMF, Spy, Muscle Milk, Asterisk, Truth, Project 7, Renthal, Bridgestone, Maxima, VP Racing Fuels, Vans, Ogio
Mechanic: Scott Youngstrand
Trainer: Dusty Marvin
Michael Sleeter started racing in 1983, he raced for 5 years and then something that happens to so many young ridders, became burnt out. When asked why he talks about how he was “a child”. And Racing became “to much to soon at such a young age”. But in 1993 He started racing for fun on the weekends and continued that until 1997. That year Sleeter turned 16 and was able to drive. With his new freedom on the road he chose to drive to the practice track as often as possible. He would have lived there if he could, all he wanted to do was perfect the craft he already had and of course… become a Professional Supercross racer. In the year 2000 Sleeter became Pro, but unfortunately had a rough entry in to SX with countless injuries, not getting a full season under his belt until 2003.
He had good finishes here and there but he says “My career really got a lot better in mid 2005 when I started testing for KTM. Since then I have had some good races bad races but my job and goal is to make sure KTM has the best bike out there with the resources we have.” In 2007, his younger brother passed away from testicular cancer at the young age of 25. Losing him was really tough on Sleeter because they were so close, but he knows his brother would have wanted him to work hard and keep racing. Keep putting in hours at the track and work hard to make his dreams come true. Racing has always been a big part of his family in fact is part of our family, in fact Sleeters older brother Scott works at KTM and is his mechanic on the weekends. When asked about what he has accomplished in the sport and where he sees himself going Sleeter says, “If it wasn’t for my Mom and Dad I wouldn’t be where I’m at today and I owe everything to them. My goals with racing from here on out are to ride to my potential and make improvements when possible. The biggest goal I have is to make the KTM’s the best bike out there!”
Why did you start riding?
My Dad was into racing so it was only natural to want to do what Did, so I started riding at the age of 3yrs old.
What is your Favorite part about racing?
The fact that you work so hard in the off season and during the week during the season. When race day comes you can show off your skills. At the end of the day you can tell who put the work in and who didn’t.
Who is your favorite racer and why?
My favorite racer would have to be Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy Mcgrath for the simple fact that they both have made our sport what it is today doing things that the other didn’t. RC worked harder then anyone ever has and put it all out there every time he hit the dirt and Mc put the sport mainstream with the best style we will ever see in SX.
What are your thoughts as you ride past the factory teams in the pits?
It depends which team your talking about because it’s not always what you think it is from the outside looking in. I mean Heart and Hunnington is all about the show and some privateers have better bikes then them but then when you are talking about the select teams like Pro Circuit and Muscle Milk KTM and etc. I go these guys have the tools to win and if they don’t they are out of the truck just as fast as they came in hahaha.
Fees you have to pay each race? (I.E. Tickets, gas, passes, licence, ect…)
$400 AMA license
$150 entry fee
$150 mechanic per weekend
$40 mechanic pass per weekend
$35 a gallon for fuel 30 gallons for 6 rounds
Photo Credit: Brown Dog Wilson and Gerald Geronimo