Features 22 Sep 2020

Five Questions: Aaron Tanti

Varied topics with highly-rated Serco Yamaha team rider.

Words: Simon Makker

While 2020 has been a bit of a write-off for most racers in Australia, Serco Yamaha’s Aaron Tanti has still managed to squeeze in a decent amount of track time, lining up in 250SX West rounds of Monster Energy Supercross, one-off events and state titles. MotoOnline caught up with the 24-year-old and asked him Five Questions to find out a bit more about what he’s been up to.

Image: iKapture.

What have you been up to since returning home from the US?

When I first arrived back home everything was still in full swing and life was still normal. I came home after racing every weekend at a high intensity and that kind of continued for a few weeks. I raced the Coolum round of the Sunny State championship, then the Mountain Man race at Toowoomba, where I finished just one point off the win in the field that combines both the 450s and 250s. I rode extremely well there and was happy with my intensity and race fitness, but went down on the first lap of one of the short back-to-back races, which meant I handed the overall win to Todd Waters. After that I went down to Sydney to visit my family and do a race down there, then a week after that the lockdown and border restrictions all kicked in. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to be able to ride at Kaleb Barham’s place a bit and am getting out cycling to keep a bit of fitness up.

When did you move up to Queensland and why?

I moved up here from Sydney at the start of last year when I signed with Serco Yamaha, just so I’m closer to the team. 250s require more maintenance than 450s, so it was easier on myself and the team to be based up here. I’m living in Ormeau and really enjoying it. A lot of the good riders are based in South-East Queensland, so whenever you go to a local race there’s always good competition. It’s also easy to jump on the motorways and get to a range of tracks and the weather here is more enjoyable than in NSW, especially in winter.

Who do you train with?

I don’t have a training coach or training programme as such, but I usually ride with Kaleb Barham and Mason Rowe, who was going to do his first season in the MX2 class this year. Kaleb’s place is awesome, it’s only an hour-and-a-half away and we ride there most of the time. He has a supercross track, a big motocross track, some freestyle ramps and some big booters, so we kept ourselves busy over lockdown. We’d put in some hard motos, then just have fun on our bikes, taking videos, doing whips and what-not.

Image: iKapture.

How did your Queensland state titles go at Hervey Bay?

It wasn’t a bad weekend considering I’d never ridden the Hervey Bay track and I’m not the strongest sand rider in the field. I went 2-1-4, but a crash in the last race while leading the points put me a point behind Todd and Jay [Wilson] for third overall. The track was super-rough – I’d seen photos, but the way I pictured it was way different to what it was like and how it formed up. It was narrower and more one-lined than I was expecting and the square-edged bumps on the straights were super-gnarly.

Where’s the first place you’re going to go when everything opens back up?

I’ll go back to Sydney and visit my family and friends. I’ve only seen them once since before Christmas, so as soon as the borders open up and, depending on what’s happening with the racing, I’ll be packing my bags for a trip back there. I talk to my family all the time and keep up to date with what they’re up to, but I definitely miss hanging out with my parents and siblings, the youngest of which is only three years old.