Hometown San Jose, CA Years Competing 10
Nicknames Ralfy, Rafa
Team Loera Racing
Honors Dodge Amateur National Champion, AMP Summercross Champion
How does FOX contribute to your success?
They are the ones who give me what I need to excel in racing. I defintely couldn't go as fast as I can or do the obstacles I do without the suspension they give me. It is for sure the best stuff out there.
Tell us about your best race or event and how it changed you.
The race that I would say changed my view on racing and was the decision maker on whether I should pursue it or not was the World Mini Grand Prix in 2006. We went because someone told us about it and to see how we stacked up against the big dogs. It was our first national and I went into it planning on riding my 85. I had just gotten a big bike but I hadn't ridden it yet so I was just going to ride it for some extra track time there. When practice came around I was riding the 250f a lot better than we had expected so my dad decided to let me race it. I shockingly ended up taking 2nd place. So from that point on I got real serious about my training and my racing.
Tell us about your bike/vehicle setup.
Well right now I'm riding a 2008 CRF 250. It's the special addition black one so it looks pretty sweet. I'm running FOX Shox's best stuff in the front and rear. Richard from Yoshimura hooked it up with a complete exhaust system for it - which makes it sound pretty crispy I must say ;) But other than that its pretty much stock.
What else is in your garage?
We have some bicycles, a workout station, some video games, trophies, and a lot of tools.
What's your training regimen?
I like to get at least 3-4 days of seat time in per week. In between those days I like to bike ride and hit the gym. Lots of cardio and a good amount of strength training. I like to do CrossFit once a week as well. That stuff is intense.
Any major injuries, and how did you recover?
The major ones would have to be breaking my ankles at Reno Arenacross and getting knocked out at Dodge. Both sucked really bad but I was able to be back and at em in no time.
What's your typical pre-race/event meal? Guilty pleasure?
We try to stick to lean meats and things that are high in protien and carbs. So usually some chicken and pasta with a bowl of beans. The beans are pumped with protein. It's a family secret ;)
How do you determine which races or events to enter each year?
It all depends on our budget. It's hard to pay for everything ourselves so if we have the money, we'll do it but if not then we gotta pass on that national. (hint hint. if anyone wants to sponsor a rider let me know)
What motivated you to get started professionally?
Probably my dad. He used to road race in the 80's but he quit when I was born. I have always been interested in motorcycles even though I never saw him race or ride. My uncle took me riding a few times when I was real young but that was it really. I was still really inerested in it so my mom got me a beater bike wen I was 11 and I've been hooked on the feeling I get wen I ride ever since.
What separates you from other professional athletes?
My determination and will. I will never give up and never let what anyone says get in the way of accomplishing my goals. I have the heart and drive to be at the top.
What would you be doing if you weren't a professional athlete?
Probably playing baseball or something. I played baseball my entire life before I got a bike and I was pretty good so I probably would have pursued that.
What's the best thing about being a professional athlete?
I'm not too sure. I haven't experienced it to it's full extent yet so hopefully I get to see what it's like one day.
What other sports are you interested in?
I like football, baseball, golf, wakeboarding, snowboarding, BMX, anything to do with the water.
Any advice to the readers dreaming to turn pro?
Give 120% because the people who support you and get you to the races give it there all so you need to show them that you are going to give back everything you have inside when it comes to training and racing. Never give up. If you fall in a race or get hurt, get up and keep racing. The industry doesn't like quitters, they like the kid who is going to get up and give everything they've got not matter what the circumstance is.
What are your favorite magazines and websites?
I like Transworld Motocross Magazine and the website. I unfortunately like Facebook haha. But other websites would be Fail Blog, Today's Big Thing, and Youtube.
Favorite movie quote?
"Don't you wanna little of the glory?! See what it taste like!" - Nacho Libre
Who is your hero?
I'd say Ricky Carmichael is my hero. That guy is just so beyond everyone else in racing, physically and mentally.
Are you a Mac or PC? PC
Top 3 bands I have too many. Anyone who is hip hop from the West Coast. All that East Coast rap is whack.
Greatest strength My heart.
Most frustrating challenge Lack of Money