It’s rare to see a rider attempt the entire Monster Energy Supercross series while working a full-time job during the week. The time needed to train, practice, and travel is often too demanding to balance with a normal career. Determined to keep racing at the highest level, Ben Lamay has found a way to make things work for 2018 and is making his reentry into Supercross after two seasons racing the AMSOIL Arenacross series. Not only has he managed to put everything together and race, he has yet to miss a main event this year. Understandably, this caught our attention, and we headed over to the TPJ Racing rig to find out more.
You’ve been racing Arenacross for a few seasons and now you’ve returned back to Supercross, take us through your decision to return.
After racing Arenacross for two years, I can say that it was a really fun experience and I loved the team I was on. They were super cool and the bikes were amazing. With the crunch time to either race Arenacross or Supercross, it really came down to me having to make a quick decision and the deal in Arenacross wasn’t quite what I wanted for this year. Then I approached Ted Parks with the TPJ Racing team for Supercross and it turned out pretty well. It started coming together really quickly between the sponsors that I acquired and the sponsors that Ted has. It was a no-brainer, really. I got two CRF450Rs from Maximum Honda in Texas and went from there.
When it comes to racing Arenacross as opposed to Supercross, how much different is it for you? Does the preparation change?
The preparation isn’t too different. I have thrown in longer duration motos for the main events. Even the heat races are longer. Not really anything else is different. I just try to push myself and do sprints. Arenacross is really all about sprinting and finessing each lap to where you’re not making any mistakes because when the lap times are only 21 or 22 seconds, one-thousandth of a second is huge. A guy can catch up onto your back tire and then if you lose a spot, you’re more likely going to lose three or four more. Here in Supercross, you can get away with some things. I think that’s what I learned from doing Arenacross. I’ve really been finessing my riding and minimizing the mistakes.
With this being the first Triple Crown race, do you think that the finesse riding and sprinting helps with the shorter main events?
I think it should. I’m really excited about the shorter main events. I guess you could say it’s more of an Arenacross style with the overall length being shorter. I really don’t know, to be honest though. I think three mains kinda suits my style.
You also have a full-time job. What is a normal week like for you?
When I fly home Sunday, that’s really my rest day. Monday through Thursday, I work from 7:00 am until around 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm. I go straight from work to the track and go ride. Then I get home, do a little bit of training at night, and go to bed and do it all over again. I usually ride about two days a week at home. It’s really tight and there’s not a lot of time to rest on the couch. I try to stay organized and prioritize everything to be prepared for work, training, riding, or relaxing and spending time with my wife. I love every bit of it and I don’t regret what my choices are. I try to make as much money as I can!
How does it compare to not working during the week?
It’s a lot less stressful for sure to just wake up and go riding or have your schedule open. That’s more relaxing for sure. I live in Dallas and have my own private Supercross track that I ride by myself or maybe with another guy. Generally, I do it all by myself. I go to work, ride by myself, train by myself, and everything is self-motivated.
You’ve been able to make all of the main events and score solid positions so far this year. What are you hoping to accomplish looking forward?
My goals are really to take this step by step. I’m not out there thinking I should be getting top five’s. Yeah, that’s where I’d like to be, but realistically that’s not where I’m at right now. I think at these next five rounds I’m looking to get around that 10-14 range. That’s a pretty realistic goal for me. As the season goes on and I gain more race fitness and experience, I want to get inside the top ten before the end.