Rider Spotlight: Aaron Colton
NEWS March 14, 2012
AMAP: So what have you been up to lately?
AC: I was at Josh Herrin’s house for the past week or so hanging out and riding. We’re really good buds. He’s been getting into Flat Track riding, and I think I’ve finally convinced him to get a big bike. Yamaha won’t let him race, but will at least let him ride flat track bikes at his house. Actually, we rented auxiliary lights, set them up on the track and rode until 2:00 a.m. in the morning.
AMAP: Are you excited for DAYTONA® Flat Track?
AC: Yeah! I’m going to be going to almost every race. I’m pretty stoked about it; I’ve been really lucky to be able to do these. I’ve done a few AMA Pro Road Racing and AMA Pro Flat Track events before, but usually, I don’t have the time with my Freestyle program. I went from Trinidad to Indy, Indy to Orlando, then after Bike Week, I head to Atlanta and New Orleans.
AMAP: So, you’ve been stunt riding since 13 years old, but have gotten into Flat Track riding recently.. how’d that come about?
AC: Two of my best friends are Jimmy and Alex Wood. I met Jimmy at Miller Motorsports Park two years ago, and from then on we started hanging out more and more. Then I hung out at their house in California after Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2009. We were cycling and training, all the while I was riding Freestyle and he was road racing. He said he was going to quit doing road racing and get back into flat track racing. He had an extra bike and was going to Paris to ride flat track, and I went with them. I spent some time aboard the bike and was hooked. Three days later, I went out and bought a brand new 450cc singles bike.
AMAP: So you got hooked then?
AC: Yeah, I rode it, thought it was cool and decided to set it up.
AMAP: With the 2012 season here, have there been any learning curves you’ve had to pick up on since starting back in 2009?
AC: There’s definitely a learning curve. I get overly aggressive riding my freestyle bike, and I did the same with my flat track riding style. It took me a little while to figure out that’s not how you do it. Also, in road racing, there’s a certain push you can make. You know where your limits are in a certain section when you push it, you can’t go faster. With a flat track bike, the harder you push the faster you go. You’re riding a flat track bike with speed, getting it settled and have it hook up on the exit. The faster you enter the corner, the slower you’re going to leave it. I had to learn that there’s a lot of finesse when riding a flat track bike. My first ever flat track race ever was the Salinas TT, and I made the main. I think I got 13th place, and I liked it a lot, so I did Calistoga and Pomona.
AMAP: Between flat track racing and free styling, do you ever get any spare time?
AC: I try to ride 6-7 days a week. That works out for me, because I try to ride moto, desert, free style, flat track. I’m plenty apt to ride as many bikes as possible. I also do a lot of my own marketing and web site upkeep. Practicing free style is my main focus, so that would be my big push to make a living. Flat Track is different competition than free style. Flat Track is who crosses the line first, whereas free style is judge based. I guess I have a little bit of free, but I spend it primarily riding. I’m planning on going to 100 events this year, total. I’ll see how many races I’m going to be able to get in. I thought I was only going to be able to do four AMA Pro Flat Track races, but I got lucky with my Daytona deal, so I should double it.