Rockvale racer rides into AX Tour spotlight
DAVID HUNTER, email@example.com
Once again, another sellout crowd witnessed some of the top professional and amateur dirt bike racers in the area. Racers of all ages, including some from the Rutherford County area, participated in the event.
One of those included 10-year-old star Emily Bean, a Rockvale resident who raced in five different classes on her new KTM bikes.
Along with her father, Junior Bean, they have made several trips across the southeast for most of the races on the AX Tour this season. On this night, however, the Beans got to stay home to race in front of family and friends.
“It’s pretty good to get to race here,” Emily Bean said in between races. “This is the only one that they can come to see me ride.”
Emily Bean, along with about 400 other riders who took part in the one-day event, started early with morning practice and continued into the afternoon with the first moto in each of her classes. She finished up during the evening with the second moto.
Before the evening races got started, Emily Bean was showcased as part of the AX Tour’s Amateur Spotlight. She got a chance to be introduced to the soldout crowd and received a tremendous ovation from supporters.
She finished on the podium in four out her five classes, including a victory in the 65cc 7- to 9-year-old class. She was runner-up in the 51cc 4- to 9-year-old open and the 65cc 7- to 11-year-old beginner division. Emily Bean also placed third in the girls 9- to 13-year-old class, and she placed eighth overall in the 65cc-85cc open beginner division.
Emily Bean said she decided to get into racing after her dad took her to watch the event a few years ago.
“When I was 6 years old, I came here, and I was like I wanted to do it,” Emily Bean said.
She has been doing it ever since.
Along with her family, she has packed up the bikes and gear and raced around the region with her dad cheering her on. This year, she got a new bike, a KTM 65cc, which Junior Bean said he has been pleased with the way she has adjusted to it.
“I was kind of hesitating to put her on it, but she has exceeded my expectations,” Junior Bean said. “She has out run some boys, and she has done awesome.”
After the AX Tour season ends Saturday, Feb. 9, in Mississippi, Emily Bean will be running outdoor motocross at Fast Farms, which is located outside of Manchester, and at the Christiana MX Park.
In the near future, she said she hopes to be able to move to an 85cc bike and qualify for the prestigious Loretta Lynn Amateur Motocross Race later this year.
Besides all of the local up-and-coming racers, the card was filled with riders from as far away as Canada, like 18-year-old Taylor Ciampichini.
Ciampichini’s weekend got started off the track on Friday at Erma Siegel Elementary.
Ciampichini was invited to speak to students about practicing good sportsmanship on and off the track.
Along, with showing off his new Honda race bike, he signed autographs for the students. He said the kids were excited to see his machines.
“It was a really good reaction,” Ciampichini said during his first trip to Murfreesboro. “The kids lit up when they saw the motorcycles. It’s not something you see everyday. Every sport requires you to have good sportsmanship.”
As for Saturday, he raced in a few classes on a track designed by his training partner and current points leader in the AX Tour, Cole Thompson.
Ciampichini raced in three different classes with his best overall placing of second in the youth 16- to 29-year-old open outlaw division.
As for the professional classes, it was another exciting night of action, in AX lites and pro classes, as well as the Clash for Cash finale.
In the pro class, Thompson made it six out of seven wins on the season sweeping both motos in the division.
While in the lites class, Johnny Moore won both motos for his fifth victory of the season in the class.
In the last race of the night, the 20-lap Clash for Cash, Moore got the hole shot, but Thompson made quick work of him, and he led wire to wire to make it a perfect seven for seven in the special money race this season.
“It was another great night, including winning three motos,” Thompson said after the event. “I continued my streak in the clash, and I just got to keep working harder and getting faster during the rest of the season.”
The next round of the AX Tour heads Saturday to Hattiesburg, Miss.