Interview: AMA Supermoto Pro Lites Champion Nicky Reimer

“Having the number one plate going into 2016 is going to push me to defend my title.”

AMA Supermoto Pro Lites Champion Nicky Reimer
2015 Nicky Reimer AMA Supermoto Pro Lites Champion aims to repeat his championship-winning performance in 2016.©Motorcyclist

The 2016 AMA Supermoto Championship kicked off recently at Kern County Raceway Park. It’s a new year and a fresh start for many, but if you’re holding the number one plate, you’d prefer that history repeat itself. And that’s exactly what 2015 Nicky Reimer AMA Supermoto Pro Lites Champion aims to do.

In 2015 Reimer secured his first pro title a round early in Sturgis, South Dakota; a dream come true for the Tri-County Powersports Husqvarna rider from Seal Beach, California.

"It definitely was an awesome feeling to finally get my first AMA pro championship," Reimer said. "Ever since I was little, I was a big fan of Supermoto. I remember watching Jeff Ward and all the big names, Brandon Currie, Mark Burkhart… I remember watching them on TV, watching all the X Games YouTube videos and playing with the toys – the little [Matchbox] motorcycles with their numbers on them – pretending that I was actually there at the big pro races. It's really cool to actually call myself a professional Supermoto racer. It's been the dream since I was little, to be a professional racer racing on TV, and here I am now. I'm literally living the dream."

Reimer fought hard for it too. After a disappointing 2014 when his title hopes were dashed with a broken collarbone, Reimer rebounded by taking first blood at last year’s season opener.

"It was definitely a heart-breaker because I thought that was my season to take it," he said. "That crash set me back and it kind of put me out of the reach of the championship. I really wanted to win it that year. It was kind of a bummer to come in second, but Butters [Sean Butterman] deserved that championship more than anyone. He rode hard all year. He was Mr. Consistent and he kept it on two wheels at every round. In 2015 it felt great to come back. I won round one and it was great to start that season with the whole mindset that you're on top. I'm more for defending that red plate than I was chasing for it."

AMA Supermoto Pro Lites Champion Nicky Reimer
AMA Supermoto Pro Lites Champion Nicky Reimer©Motorcyclist

Well now that Reimer has the number-one plate, it’s an even bigger motivation to keep it.

“Having the number one plate going into 2016 is going to push me to defend my title, and hopefully come away with another number one plate this year,” he said. “But you’re right, it definitely does put a huge target on my back. Now I feel like I’m the guy to beat, and I feel like I’m the guy that everyone wants to beat. They want to take my number one plate away from me, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to keep it this year. I’ve been training hard in the off-season with wrestling and riding and training and just doing everything I can to stay in shape to push hard through those long, 20-minute motos and try to stay on top.”

The 17 year old is also stepping up to the premier class – AMA Supermoto Pro Open – for select events in 2016, with the possibility of the whole season if it doesn’t interfere with his quest for a back-to-back title in Pro Lites.

"That's going to take a lot out of me too because I'm going to have ride the 250 class* [Pro Lites], which is up first," he said. "I'm going to have to work hard in there, and then save some energy for the 450 class [Pro Open] as well. Our main focus for this year will be the 250, but we're definitely trying to see how I shape up in the 450 class. We're going to see how I shape up in that class to see how 2017 will go when I get on a 450 and go full-time in the Pro Open class."