Supermoto is a such a welcoming sport. Unlike a lot of other more “cut throat” sports, the people who ride supermoto only want to see each other succed. That is why I stick by this sport, and keep coming back for more. I can remember when I first started racing, it was maybe my second or third race and we were out in Pennsylvania at BeaveRun and my first real impression of supermoto was ingrained into me that day.
I was very new to racing, and only had race rains. I had no idea where to get slicks, or even what tires to run, so I just ran what I had. This was maybe my second time traveling far for a race, so I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. As I'm rolling over to tech, I hear someone ask me, “Are you really running race rains today?!”.
It was Anthony, looking at me like I was absolutely insane, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and since this was the middle of August, it was insanely hot out. I told him how I only had the rains, and I wanted to race, so I wasn't going to let something so silly as tires stop me from getting on the track. He quickly responded theres no way thats happening, tells me to come over to his pit, and not only gives me a set of his take off slicks for nothing but proceeds to install them for me.
That was without a doubt, the day, the moment, the tangible thing that hooked me to this sport. People like Anthony doing everything possible to get people into this sport. Trying to get new riders to stick around and offering any and all help he can to see riders do better. And that is why I find this sport to be so amazing. And its all thanks to one pro level rider who took a little bit of time and effort to help a new rider get into this sport.
It's the reason why we picked Anthony as the feature for our first ever Rider Profile, in the new SMR Magazine. People like him continue to improve the sport, push it in a great direction and keep people around. Without more riders like him this sport would not be the same. It also doesn't hurt that he’s one of the fastest riders in the SMEC series.
Anthony Franco came in third place in the SMEC 1 class for the Supermoto East Coast Championship. Here is a little More about him:
What was your first bike? When I was a kid I had an Italjet 50. After school I would ride around my yard every day. I got into some woods riding and then moved onto motocross. I heard about this [supermoto] back in ‘05. I came up to OVRP to check it out and it was incredible. This paddock was packed with guys like Doug Henry, and all the pro motocross riders were here riding, it was quite a sight.
What's your racing history? I did road racing at the expert level from 1992-1995, Hare scrambles at the expert level from 1995-1999, then Motocross from 1999-2005 at the expert level.Back in 05 I did a couple and I was doing woods riding too, going back and forth. I got serious into Supermoto in 06 and since then it's all I've done.
What’s your Favorite racing moment? Probably with SMEC (Supermoto East Coast). When I went to Wisconsin. That track was so professional, so fast and it was just a really cool experience. Great riders and they put on a really good show. It really hooked me onto the series and got me to want to travel. It got me to up my game and try and get better.
What’s your Favorite riding style? Well in Supermoto my favorite thing is backing it in, sliding the motorcycle around on the asphalt is a really cool feeling and riding the dirt with slicks, that's really cool too. It's really amazing how good the slicks do work in the dirt. It takes a little time to get the feel of backing it in and a good setup up machine but once you conquer it, it's a really rewarding feeling.
What are your current goals for the season? My ultimate goal is to win a championship but that's probably out of reach so I would like to finish in the top three. We'll see how that goes. There’s a lot of faster guys this year, it's a little more difficult, but I think I'm a bit better prepared this year and a little more focused.
Any particular big race you want to get to the most? Eventually when I get up to that speed. I'd like to get out to do the AMA National Supermoto Series. I'd like to see how I’d measure up to those guys over on the west coast. I'd like to see how far I can go with it you know, I always want to go further and further, I always want to get better.
Thanks to Mike Poli and Martin Hanlon for the Photos