Young gun Canadian roadracer Alex Dumas just wrapped up the inaugural MotoAmerica Junior Cup Championship in New Jersey last weekend. His prize? He go $15,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to France to compete as a wild card in the WorldSSP300 class during round 11 of the World Superbike Championship at Magny-Cours. Dumas will race a Team Freudenberg-prepped KTM RC390R, in similar specification to the racebike he won the US championship aboard. We caught up with the 16-year-old racer hailing from Québec City, as he prepares to travel to Europe later this month to try his hand at the big show. Wanna know more about Alex? Follow him on Instagram, @alexdumas_racer23.
How was your past race weekend?
It was good. I crashed in race one, but still managed to end up seventh in race two and won the championship. As far as the crash goes, I entered a little bit slowly than usual in turn 6 or 7, and then I just picked up the gas too early and in the wet it’s hard to save the crash. But it was just a low-side.
Race one was actually good for the rain. The track was wet, but there weren’t puddles everywhere. But for race two the track was really bad. We were probably going almost 10 seconds slower than race one in the rain. It was pretty bad.
Did you think you were going to secure the championship so early this season?
At the beginning of the season I thought if I could just be on the podium as much as I would like to, that would be awesome for my first year in the Junior Cup. But it ended up I was winning a lot of races this year and I was the leader of the championship. I’m really stoked about how the championship ended and that I could win it early.
Who was your biggest competition this year?
I would say Ashton Yates. He’s always been pushing me in the back. In practice and qualifying he was usually doing fast laps. I came in the pits and doing some changes in my suspension and I saw the lap times just dropping one second like that. I could say, “He’s fast.” Then when I came back in the track I just pushed harder and harder. He really made me push my limits.
What’s it like racing? Do you enjoy it?
I love it. Compared to last year’s bike, KTM RC Cup bike, it’s a lot better. Everything about it [RC390R] is more like a real racebike. With the suspension, the new engine, everything about it is a lot better. New brakes, everything. It makes the bike feel a lot better. Compared to the other bikes on the grid, I think it’s the best bike on the grid. I would like to race it again next year.
How’d you get into motorcycle racing?
When I was 11 my dad bought me a CBR125. It was my first-ever roadrace bike. We went to a local track near my house, probably 30 minutes away. I did a trackday on normal street tires in the rain and I loved it. It was really fun.
I did a couple races that year, but local races. Then the next year my dad, because he used to roadrace too, and at that time he was racing the Canadian championship in superbike. He felt like he was on the edge of everything and couldn’t go faster. Then we found Jason Pridmore, so he helped my dad for two trackdays. After, my dad said, “You want Jason to help you for next time that we’re going to see him?” I said, “Yeah.” He helped me from there. He changed a lot my riding style and helped to teach me how to ride a motorcycle and go fast. It started from there and now four years later I’m with Jason. He helps me every year.
How do you balance school and your racing career?
Last year I started online school. I’m doing this year too. It helps me a lot because I can work on my school for when I’m home and when I’m not racing. When I’m racing I can just put the school on the side and just focus on racing, and then when I come home focus on school. So that helps me a lot.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I actually don’t know. For sure racing is something cool to make a living with, but for sure I want to go in school for a longer career. What I’m thinking about is maybe being an engineer in mechanics or something. That’s something I would like to do, but I don’t know.
What’s your favorite racetrack you’ve been to this year?
I would say Road America. It’s so fast. I like it a lot. Just because there’s three big straightaways, fast. There’s a big carousel that doesn’t end. All the corners are nice. There’s all kinds of corners. Every track you can go to, they have all the corners there. It’s an incredible track.
What’s your favorite thing about your KTM racebike? If you had to pick one thing that you think is so awesome about it, what would that be?
I would say the color. It’s all bright orange. It stands out of all the field. Me and my teammate Sean, we both stand out of the whole field. All the Yamahas and Kawasakis are all black and green and blue, but our bikes are just bright orange. It’s so cool to see. Our two bikes just stand out in the field.
What do you like most about racing in America?
There’s more competition in America because in Canada there’s the same series and all the things, but the competition is not really there. It’s not as fun as riding. Let’s say you were riding and you were three seconds a lap faster than the second guy, it’s more fun to just be battling if you’re second or third in America, than just winning everything in Canada without any competition. I am learning a lot. Sometimes I have good weekends, but other times my weekends are a lot harder than usual. That makes me a better rider and a better racer.
What’s the thing you like least about racing?
Crashing. In racing you can have a lot of big highs in winning and everything, but sometimes when you have a low it’s really down. Sometimes it’s hard to just get up and forget it and go racing again. That’s the hard thing that I don’t like about racing. But it’s racing and you got to live with it.
How excited are you to go to Magny-Cours and do that wild-card ride?
It was like my dream to go in the world stage race. I’m really happy about what KTM offered me and everything. I’m just looking forward for that race. I can be with the front-runners and battle for the lead. That would be awesome.
How are you going to get prepared for that race?
I’ve been looking at the races there, the 300 racing from last year. I watched the race a couple times. I trained a lot this past month, doing a lot of cycling and going to the gym. I’m really happy to just go there and have a blast.
What are you going to do with the $15,000 you won from KTM?
I don’t know. Probably help my dad a little bit with racing and give it to him, or maybe buy a car for next year.