Since the age of five, senior Austin Pecoraro has been addicted to the thrill of riding motorcycles.
During the summer of 2007, Pecoraro and his father discovered Supermoto, which are motorcycles with slick tires that race on a circuit usually made up of 80 percent pavement and 20 percent dirt. He began competitively racing in 2008 and won the championship in his class during his rookie year.
“Since I began racing in 2008, I have got on the podium, meaning I have received first, second or third, over 150 times. I have won three championships, and placed in seven others, sometime receiving championship titles in multiple classes in one year,” Pecoraro said.
Supermoto is a fast-paced, dangerous sport, so the proper safety precautions must be followed. On the track, Pecoraro is equipped with a full set of riding gear to help this body glide across the pavement rather than catching the asphalt and tumbling, in addition to wearing a helmet, gloves and boots.
Even with the appropriate apparel, safety isn’t a guarantee.
“I have been relatively lucky thus far, as far as injuries go. I haven’t broken any bones, so that’s good, but when I fall, I typically land on my head I guess because I have racked up a total of five concussions in the past four years,” Pecoraro said.
He describes the most challenging aspect of his sport to be racing on slick street tires through the dirt segments of the track, which are often very slippery, but are “one of the most fun parts.”
In preparation for a race, about 15 minutes before he hits the track, Pecoraro does jumping jacks for a few minutes to get oxygen into his blood, and drinks a lot of water while visualizing what he needs to do on the circuit.
“Once I get up to my grid position I focus on breathing and watch the flag, waiting for it to waive to start the race. Once that flag moves, adrenaline takes over and getting up to the front is all that’s on my mind until the checkered flag,” Pecoraro explained.
Pecoraro is currently sponsored by a few companies who he represents in every race. His title sponsor, Tri-County Powersports, based in Moorpark, CA, builds his race bikes and keeps them in prime condition. Jett Tuning does all of the tuning on his motor, Race Tech Suspension builds and tunes his custom suspension, Dubya Wheels takes care of wheel needs, O’neal MX provides him with gear for both protection and looks, and Avik Graphics helps him design custom graphics for his bike to represent all of his sponsors, and keep the bike looking new.
On the circuit or not, Pecoraro knows he’s not alone.
“My dad rides with me all the time, but otherwise, my family is just really supportive and I am very thankful for everything they have done to support me,” he said.
Pecoraro’s career hit an all-time high in 2013, when he was welcomed into the world of professional Supermoto. He raced only in state and successfully earned his spot in the American Motorcyclist Association National Supermoto Championship in 2014; professionals from all over America participated in this event.
That same year, he raced all over the United States and finished seventh in the national championships, his current professional title being seventh in the nation in the Open Pro class.
This year, Pecoraro is aiming to earn another top 10 spot in the same national series.
Featured Photo Courtesy of Austin Pecoraro