Rider Spotlight: Benny Solis
NEWS December 22, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
AMAPro: Where are you from?
BS: I’m from North Hollywood, California. I’ve lived in Hollywood for a few years, but then moved and have been here since.
AMAPro: What was your first motorcycle?
BS: It was a KTM 50. It was a fast little bike. I got a dirt bike, because I used to ride BMX. I only touched the bike a few times until I was 9. That’s when my dad got me a KTM 65, so I could learn how to shift. I actually asked him to get me a bike when I saw him race. He told me he would, only if I learned how to control the power, properly shift and handle the bike. When I learned how to shift, he got me a road race bike.
AMAPro: How did you get into riding motorcycles?
BS: Well, my dad used to be a former racer. When he did club racing, I went along and watched him ride. When I was at the races, I watched this kid racing, so I asked my dad if I could do that. If the kid could do it, I know I could! My dad got me the KTM 65, to teach me how to shift, and I progressed from there. He actually didn’t want me getting into racing. He told me how dangerous it was, but it didn’t stop me.
AMAPro: Tell us about the U.S. Red Bull Rookies Cup.
BS: During the 2007 season, they announced they were going to have the American Cup. I was excited, because I wanted to do the European Cup, but my family thought it would be very hard traveling overseas. When I saw the commercials for the American series, I was very interested. I got selected, did a full season in the American Cup. I took a few wins, learned a lot, because I got to race with riders my age. After that, I flew overseas and did the European Cup after all, where I learned even more. I got on a 600, and have been improving since.
AMAPro: Out of all the motorcycles you’ve ridden, which one was your favorite?
BS: I think it’s the Suzuki that I’m currently riding. I liked the CBR600RR I rode last year, but since I’ve ridden the Suzuki, it has more power and great handling. It’s so much fun to ride, and I’m really pumped for next year.
AMAPro: How was your time at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
BS: It went really well. It was pretty much like the first real test for me, because I went to Barber the month prior to test the bike. I actually ended up taking a few podiums and one win, so I felt really comfortable on the bike for it only being my second time riding aboard the GSX-R.
AMAPro: How would you compare the Daytona SportBike to a SuperSport bike?
BS: The power is a big difference. The Suzuki seems to rev a lot higher and has more power all around. The brakes were much stronger than my SuperSport bike. Handling felt the same, so I found myself very comfortable from the get go. We’re talking about doing another test, but I’m not too sure as to the exact date.
AMAPro: How do you like having Cory West and Jake Lewis as your teammates?
BS: It’s really awesome, because I met Cory during the AMA Pro season, and Jake a little while back. We have a lot of fun like we did at Homestead. When we’re on track, we’re really pushing each other, but when we’re off the track, we’re having fun and making jokes with one another. They’re really good teammates and with Cory’s experience, it will be great to learn from him.
AMAPro: What’s your favorite racetrack?
BS: It’s always been a tie between Barber Motorsports Park and Road Atlanta. I can’t choose between the two. When I saw Road Atlanta on the schedule for next year, I got really happy, because I’m now very excited to go there.
AMAPro: What draws you to the sport? The competition, thrill or speed?
BS: It’s a combination of all three, but when I’m on the bike, I’m having so much fun. Nothing else compares to the adrenaline rush, nervousness, and pumped-up feeling I get when I’m racing my motorcycle. Although, I get nervous before a race, that’s the feeling I want, because I perform the best. It’s a combination of all three though, because speed is fun, but you’re doing so much not to make any mistakes and do the best you can.
AMAPro: What’s a typical day like for you, when you’re not at the track?
BS: Now, I’m home schooled, but most of the day, I’m online doing my homework. For five to six days a week, I’m training after I finish schoolwork. Typically, it’s 4-5 hours of homework and then 2 hours of training. On the weekends, I’ll hang out with the family or ride motocross. Right now, I have YZ-85, but I’m waiting for a 250F.
AMAPro: What are your expectations with Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki in Daytona SportBike for next season?
BS: For sure, the goal is to be in the front pack. I want to see if I win some races. The bike can do it, we’ve got a great team, so it will really come down to me being physically and mentally prepared. The ultimate goal would be to win the GoPro Daytona SportBike Championship. I know it’s going to be hard, because there’s so much talent in the class, but it’s not impossible. We’re going to go race-by-race, but in the back of all racers’ minds, they want the championship!
AMAPro: Who’s your racing hero?
BS: Gary McCoy. I’ve seen some of his races and watched how he rode the bike. Especially, because it was a two-stroke and the way he slid it, which really impressed me like nothing else. I’d really like to ride a bike like that.
What's your take?
Have you done any holiday shopping on your motorcycle?
blog comments powered by Disqus