Maple Ridge supermoto star flying high

Fifteen-year-old Dylan Ferreira of Maple Ridge is taking the supermoto world by storm

Maple Ridge’s Dylan Ferreira won the 2010 B.C. Supermoto Lites Championship and will be taking part in a supermoto demonstration at the Vancouver Motorcycle Show at TRADEX in Abbotsford Jan. 20 to 23.

Maple Ridge’s Dylan Ferreira won the 2010 B.C. Supermoto Lites Championship and will be taking part in a supermoto demonstration at the Vancouver Motorcycle Show at TRADEX in Abbotsford Jan. 20 to 23.

Westview Secondary School 10th-grader Dylan Ferreira is flying high, racking up wins on the B.C. Supermoto circuit despite not being hold enough to hold a valid drivers’ license.

Dylan says it was love at first ride when he threw his leg over his Yamaha PW50 for the first time.

“I was probably about three years old,” he says. “My dad got me into it so we would go riding every weekend.”

Motorcycles run deep in Ferreira blood.

Mike grew up in Portugal, where he learned to ride on a motorcycle built out of spare parts by his grandfather.

About three years ago Dylan began to compete seriously on the B.C. Supermoto circuit, and in the past two years he won the 2009 B.C. Novice Open Championship, the 2010 B.C. Supermoto Lites Championship, placed second in the 2010 B.C. Expert Unlimited class, and finished second at the 2010 Stateline 250/400 pro-am in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As much success as he’s had in the past, he has his sights set high in the future.

“My goal is to be on the podium for every race this year,” he says.

He has already picked up sponsorships from Green Automotive, Kal-Gard lubricants and Michelin.

Supermoto combines the high-flying jumps and high-banked turns of motorcross with the speed and precision of road racing.

“It’s about 70 per cent asphalt and 30 per cent dirt track,” he says. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

As a result, an effective supermoto rider has to be proficient racing in all types of terrain and conditions.

“My favourite section is the dirt,” says Dylan. “You can catch up to other racers if they don’t know what they’re doing.”

It’s a physically demanding sport as well. When he’s not on the track, Dylan’s hitting the gym to stay in shape – when he’s not hitting the books, that it.

“It’s not a career and he understands that,” says Mike. “But it’s a great motivator for him to do well in school. As long as his grades are good, he gets to race.”

Dylan’s mom Jean, has only recently brought herself to watch Dylan’s races.

Thankfully, Dylan has managed to avoid serious injury so far, and what knocks and bruises he has endured have done little to slow him down. After dislocating his foot in an accident on a practice lap in Montana, Dylan and Mike decided to drive back home.

After hearing about a race the next day in Abbotsford, and despite being dog-tired after 12 hours on the road, Dylan tried to cram his swollen foot back into his boot to see if he could race.

“I was telling him, you don’t have to do this,” says Mike. “But I couldn’t stop him. So he goes out and wins the race.”

Summer time is racing season, and every weekend Dylan and his dad Mike are on the road chasing the next race on the supermoto circuit

“We’ve driven as far as Las Vegas for a race before,” says Dylan. “The sport’s a lot more popular in the States, so that’s where most of the races are.”

While there is plenty of junior-aged competition to race against south of the border, in Canada, Dylan often races against the big boys, like 2010 Expert Unlimited champions Glenn Nixon.

“He really took Dylan under his wing,” says Mike. “Last year there was a situation where [Dylan] passed Glenn and beat him. That’s when we really started to realize how good he was.”

Dylan currently rides a 250cc Yamaha, and hopes to upgrade to a faster 400cc model. After competing in more than 20 races last year, and Dylan hopes to increase that number this year.

“The dream is go to Spain,” he says. “If you want to get serious you have to go to Europe, that’s where all the best riders are.”

Riders like Finnish superstar Mauno Hermunen.

“He’s as fast as I’d like to be someday,” says Dylan.

Dylan will be taking part in a supermoto demonstration at the Vancouver Motorcycle Show, Jan. 20 to 23 at TRADEX in Abbotsford. There he’ll be racing against other riders in an exhibition race on a smaller course to show off the sport.

“It’s not supposed to be a real race, but it always turns into one,” Dylan says.