Alex Gatt loves being a motorcyle racer.
The passion for the sport was passed on to him and his mother Amanda Stewart by his father, Dino Gatt. It’s a family sport as they have a track at home.
When asked why he loves doing it, Alex pauses then spits out his answer.
“Getting to race against other people and not have to worry about getting up to go to school,” said the nine-year-old Twin Lakes resident, who also enjoys running.
Asked about her son’s skills, Stewart said he’s good at cornering and is smooth.
He also recently learned how to complete big gap jumps and can clear four to five metres.
“He is learning to use the power of his bike more,” said Stewart, adding that he is faster than her sometimes.
When first riding, he was just concerned with staying up. As there is improvement, concern is with speed in the corners and braking. Accelerating out of the corner.”
Racing since he was four, Alex has achieved being the fastest rider in B.C. for his age group.
Last year, he competed in the Canadian Motorcycle Association Spring Series placing third overall in the five-race series with the help of a 50cc KTM. Alex also took third overall in Amateur Day in Kamloops.
In June of this year, Alex had races in Nanaimo and Kamloops. Nanaimo didn’t go as hoped as he missed the second race when he and his dad didn’t hear the announcer.
“They were both just heart-broken,” said Stewart, whose son won the first race there.
In Kamloops he finished first overall.
“It’s exhilarating,” said Stewart of watching her son. “You are sitting there hoping that everybody ends up safe. In his little class (a lot of parents) a kid will fall down and every parent pretty much runs out on the track and picks them up.
It doesn’t matter if the kid is competing. We all kind of look out for each other.”
Alex has endured some good wipeouts, but nothing in races. Stewart said there is a smile on Alex’s face as he crosses the finish line.
“He loves it,” she said.
The youngster looks up to Australia’s Chad Reed, who has won two Australian national titles. What Alex likes about Reed is that he’s “smooth and confident.’
Now competing in the Canadian Motorcycle Association Fall series, Alex has a 25-point lead entering a race in Agassiz on July 28.
He has also made the jump to a 65 cc bike.
Alex wants to protect his lead, while his parents just want to see their son stay on his bike.
“Some kids have been riding for two or three years,” she said.
The plan is to help him eventually become a professional racer.
“I don’t want to push it on him, he seems to want to do it himself,” said Dino, who often goes out on the dirt bike with his son.