Kelowna motocross rider ready for nationals

Casey Keast is racing in the 2017 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals in Kamloops this weekend

A Black Mountain resident is aiming to place in the top five at the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals.

Casey Keast, 18, got into dirt biking when he was 11.

This will be his second time competing in the MX2 category (250 cc) during the national competition, which starts this weekend in Kamloops at the Whispering Pines Raceway.

According to the motocross website, “the MX2 class is the breeding ground for up-and-coming talent and throughout its history has been mostly dominated by young Canadian racers.”

Keast feels confident about the races, after placing ninth overall last year.

“I don’t know what the expectations are this year. You always figure out your realistic expectations after the first race,” he said.

Keast will be racing against 40 other motocross riders, starting on what he calls “his home turf” race track, which he has grown up racing on.

The Rutland Senior Secondary graduate hopes to make it to the podium in this competition, racing full-time after graduation last year.

His love of dirt biking and the realization that he was good at the sport came to him at 11. By 15, Keast was starting to think about becoming a professional racer.

So far, one of his favourite things about competing is the places he’s had a chance to visit.

“What I like about it the most is the traveling and the places I get to see… all the cool places that people normally don’t get out to go see,” he said, adding he’s enjoyed visiting places tourists wouldn’t normally visit.

Keast travels to California in the winter to train because there aren’t as many opportunities in the Okanagan for a professional racer. “It’s almost a second home to me,” he said, adding Kelowna and California have a similar feeling due to climate.

Sitting on the bike, revving his engine and waiting for the start, Keast doesn’t think about the race as it’s happening.

“Most sports you don’t really have time to think about what you’re doing, you just go as hard as you can,” he said, loving the adrenaline rush.

“After the first two laps in a race you don’t even remember anything, it’s just like pure adrenaline. You just go. My favourite thing about it is just riding as hard as you can and your body is completely dead after.”

In his spare time, he plays basketball and snowboards at Big White in the winter. “That’s one of the harder things about the sport. I don’t get to hang out with friends (as much),” he said.

His mom got him into the sport professionally.

“My mom was the one that wanted me to start racing. She inspired me to get out there. She must have just known that I’d like it a lot.”

Keast’s father loved dirt biking as a kid but couldn’t do it professionally due to financial circumstances.

It makes Keast grateful for the opportunity.

“Anytime I’m in California riding and I have a bad day, I think about my parents and what they do for me and how fortunate I am to be able to ride just this day, let alone staying down there for a month.”

The nationals, celebrating its 25th anniversary, starts June 2 and 3 and will stretch across Canada, from Kamloops to Ontario.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Water-ban in effect for Black Mountain Residents

The 24 hour water ban has been imposed to fix a leak

Power out in West Kelowna

More than 1,500 West Kelowna residents are in the dark.

No Kelowna Rockets taken in 2018 NHL entry draft

NHL teams pass on three ranked players — Topping, Zabransky and Mattson

Boat for Hope back on Okanagan Lake

The Variety Children’s Charity pirate themed fundraiser returns to the waters off Kelowna

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Residents association plan gathering to discuss Pandosy waterfront park

KLO Neighbourhood Association has scheduled a public meeting with developers and city staff June 27

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Cozy Bay to close

Summerland seafood restaurant’s lease will not be renewed

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Reported stabbing in Lake Country

Police are believed to be investigating after a reported stabbing at a house party Friday night

Most Read