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Local duo prepares for Supercross
by Dan McGee - Special to the Tribune
Dec 30, 2013 | 3855 views | 1 1 comments | 96 96 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Aaron Siminoe is just touching down after taking a jump at November's Arenocross event. This Saturday, he'll begin his second year competing in the Supercross series.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Aaron Siminoe is just touching down after taking a jump at November's Arenocross event. This Saturday, he'll begin his second year competing in the Supercross series.
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Tribune photo by Dan McGee- Aaron Siminoe is about to start his second season competing in Super Cross riding in the West Coast Lites division. Here he's in the Arenocross pits this past November before racing in one of the heats.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee- Aaron Siminoe is about to start his second season competing in Super Cross riding in the West Coast Lites division. Here he's in the Arenocross pits this past November before racing in one of the heats.
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Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Brian Sjogren flies over a jump at the Arenocross event. He has been training in southern California for the start of the 2014 Supercross season. It all starts Saturday evening in Anaheim, Calif.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Brian Sjogren flies over a jump at the Arenocross event. He has been training in southern California for the start of the 2014 Supercross season. It all starts Saturday evening in Anaheim, Calif.
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Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Northern Nevada racer Brian Sjogren is ready to compete in his initial Super Cross season when the series kicks off Saturday in Anaheim. This past November, the competed at Arenocross in the Livestock Events Center.
Tribune photo by Dan McGee - Northern Nevada racer Brian Sjogren is ready to compete in his initial Super Cross season when the series kicks off Saturday in Anaheim. This past November, the competed at Arenocross in the Livestock Events Center.
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RENO - While many might think of Disneyland or a baseball team (Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim) when they hear the name Anaheim, many motocross racers don't. For them it means the start of the Supercross season.

And this year two local racers, Aaron Siminoe and Brian Sjogren, will be there intent on making the West Coast Lites main on Saturday.

For Siminoe, who turned pro in 2012 at the age of 18, it's his second year competing in this top-level series. But first he had to work his way up to get the license needed to compete in Supercross.

"I had to do a lot of AMA races to get my points," he said. "At Anaheim last year I was pretty shocked as I really didn't now what to expect so I was kind of star struck. It wasn't bad pressure wise but really a shock to have three practices and a race."

To make the main, riders get one practice and two qualifying practices to see if they are in the night show or not. Then they must finish high enough in their heat race or in the Last Chance Qualifier.

"It was a big relief because some don't make it but fortunately I made every single night show," he said. "I made the main in San Diego and was fortunate in the heat race but the rest had to do the LCQ (last chance qualifier)."

After doing well enough in that heat race Siminoe was pretty optimistic, but as any racer can tell you, things don't always work out as planned.

"It was a big relief moment then I had misfortune in the first turn," he said. "A lot of people looked at me as a disappointment but I looked at it as a learning point and will take that into this year's Supecross. I know what I have to do to compete with those guys."

Every heat race and main, no matter if it's in the Lites class or the 450F class, begins with a Banzai charge from the starting gate to a tight and narrowing first turn. It can result in some huge tangles of riders and bikes.

As he's a privateer, Siminoe is staying in his motor home and basing out of Southern California. He explained a riders need to train and practice on a Supercross style track and there are three of them close by.

Due to a tight budget he normally trains at the Milestone track. And each day begins at 7 a.m. with a light cycle ride followed by a workout session as well as riding.

He does get some support and expressed appreciation for his parents, girlfriend Sara Bradshaw, among others.

Asked which division he'll compete in, he said, "I'll compete in Lites West again."

Among the things to be careful of are other riders, tough blocks that line the course as well as mechanical things, any of which can take a rider out of the race not to mention that sketchy first turn.

And he has another goal that might lead to future opportunities.

"I signed up for the Moto Concepts Scholarship program," he said. "Basically a team that is in Supercross is doing the program based on privateers looking for a ride. There is a fan related website so you need fans to vote for you then do good in Anaheim and Phoenix after which they'll choose a rider for their team."

Brian Sjogren is the other northern Nevada rider competing this weekend. He turned pro in 2010 at the age of 16. He had hoped to compete in Supercross last year but an injury put that plan on hold until this coming season.

"I was going to try 450 but decided to do Lites first," he said. "I started training in late October and I go to the gym, have a trainer and ride at Supercross tracks for motos and testing."

For both Siminoe and Sjogren, the past few months have been full of intensive training. Motocross is physically demanding and requires riders to have their technique down pat.

"I've been down training in Temecula in southern California," he said. "It's really intense because there are so many obstacles on track. It's been hard but I'm getting somewhat used to it.

Right now he's staying with Mike Spano, who is coaching him, and his mechanic, Ryan Joy.

Saturday will be one long, action packed day for them.

Sjogren explained riders are divided into two groups, A, for factory riders and, B, for privateers. After a practice session both groups have a pair of 15-minute timed practice sessions to determine how they'll qualify.

After that, the top 40 are divided into a pair of heat races during the night program. Each heat is seven laps followed by an LCQ for those not making the cut.

Then the riders get a short break to check their bikes, have the mechanics make any last minute adjustments. Finally the fastest 20 riders line up for a 15-lap main event.

Sjogren is ready to face the challenges and start the season.

"I'm really excited about the first race," he said. "Going into there I'm ready to learn and expect to make the main event. And yes, I'm optimistic."

That first round of the Supercross season can been seen live starting at 7 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1.
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Motomama679
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December 31, 2013
Watched both these kids grow to the young men they are today". Best to both..
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