MOTOR SPORTS: After claiming youth title in 2018, Anthony Ferrante looks to continue meteoric rise
It was about four years ago when Anthony Ferrante got his first dirt bike. A year later, he was racing it. Since then, the 15-year-old Penn Valley resident has been tearing past the competition, claiming trophies and quickly moving up the ranks.
The key to his meteoric rise in the sport of cross country motorcycle racing — balance and confidence.
“Consistency is a big thing, and then there’s just flat out speed,” Ferrante said. “I feel like I sit pretty even between both… Confidence is also a big thing, and envisioning what you can do.”
Ferrante competes in the American Motorcycle Association’s District 36, which encompasses much of Northern California. He is coming off a 2018 season in which he notched four race wins in the highest youth class (AA), claimed the overall points title and earned the coveted Ben Davis Memorial Award which goes to the top youth rider.
“I like the mentality it takes, the challenge of it,” Ferrante said of the sport. “It feels good to see how far I’ve come. Four years ago I was in the beginner class and it’s cool to see how I’ve grown. That keeps driving me to keep getting better and improve myself.”
Ferrante also tested himself in adult divisions throughout 2018, and is making the jump to the Adult B Division this year, and already doing so with great success. Ferrante won a muddy season opener in the Adult B200 Division at Prairie City State Vehicle Recreation Area in Rancho Cordova.
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Youth and adult divisions are broken up into C, B, A, and AA divisions, with C being the lowest division and AA being most competitive.
“I never foresaw any of this,” said Mike Ferrante, Anthony’s father. “He wanted to do it along with his cousin and it was fun to go. Then he started winning and having fun, making connections and meeting lots of great people.
“It’s just something that kind of happened and we’re just rolling with it. As long as he wants to do it and is enjoying it, we’ll support it and help him get to where he wants to go.”
Mike said the sport has taken the family all over the western United States for competitions. Mike also does most of the work on Anthony’s motorcycle.
Jaimelyn Ferrante, Anthony’s mother, said it’s her son’s mental game that makes him successful.
“It’s his smarts,” she said. “The way he uses his head. The way he thinks about things prior to doing them… It’s about the whole picture and Anthony is able to break it down. He breaks down corners, breaks down tires, he sees every piece of it and is able to put it all together.”
The whole picture is a lot to breakdown, considering cross country races usually last longer than 90 minutes, and riders often do not get to ride the course beforehand.
Despite the success he’s found along the way, Anthony said he still gets nervous before each race, but the nerves don’t last long.
“Usually for me, once I start riding and racing, get a lap under my belt, you get into the race pace and you don’t think about anything else,” he said.
There have been several crashes, complete with bumps and bruises, along the way, but Anthony said he doesn’t let the fear of injury hinder his approach on the track.
“You’re not thinking about an injury when you’re out there racing,” he said. “You’re in your own world.”
Anthony expressed gratitude for those who have helped him along the way, including his parents, grandparents, and Anson Maloney of Maloney Training facility in Grass Valley. Maloney is a pro rider who won the Adult AA Division in 2018.
Anthony’s success has not gone unnoticed as he has garnered several sponsors, including Construction Et Cetera, Maloney Training Facility, SixFive0 Racing, Sierra Motorsports, Oso Tuff, ODI Grips, Fly Racing and IRC Tire.
As for Anthony’s future in the sport, he hopes to win the B200 Division this season and compete in the A250 Division in the fall.
“I want to keep this going as far as it will take me.” — Sports Editor Walter Ford, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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