Max Michael Forrest, a sophomore at Norwood Elementary School, qualified to compete in the annual Monster Energy American Motorcycle Association Amateur Motocross Championships Aug. 1-6 at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
“Max moved up two places in the event,” said his mother, Elizabeth.
He was admitted to national championships riding a Yamaha PW-50 and a Cobra 50 Junior.
Having started racing last fall, the 7-year-old has raced “almost every weekend since,” according to his mother.
In the process, Max earned 76 first-place finishes overall, in addition to wins in various categories at the 2021 Fall Series from East Bend (NC) and the Moonlight Indoor Series from Lake Sugar Tree (Axton, VA) .
He also earned his way to national championships through his performances in various qualifying, regional races and practice races at tracks in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida. , as well as in North and South Carolina.
Max’s motocross debut began somewhat unexpectedly.
“Max was with his dad, Brantley, at Terry’s Honda Repair and Service, where they were picking up a four-wheeler that was being repaired there. While they waited, Paul Fraley sent Max riding an electric bike they had at the store. He immediately flew around the store and wouldn’t get off,” Elizabeth said, “and Brantley left the store and went straight to Charlotte to buy a Max of his own.
“Max was a natural,” Brantley added, “we knew he could drive just about anything, but with that, we couldn’t keep the wheels on the ground; he was jumping on every mound he could make or find. Before long, he was asking for a bigger, faster bike.
Both parents are quick to thank Fraley, whose own son (Tyler) also competed at Nationals, cheering on Max along the way.
“Paul once came to help Brantley with mountain bikes and couldn’t believe how fast Max was. If Paul hadn’t encouraged us to take him to a race, we would never have experienced this world of racing so soon,” Elizabeth said. “He (Paul) has been the best friend and mechanic every step of the way…he prepares and rebuilds Max’s bikes after every race.”
“Starts and jumps” are what Max describes as his favorite part of racing, but the relationships built between parents and fans at events are also important.
“The friendships and racing family we’ve made along the way are what we treasure the most,” Elizabeth said.
And what is Max’s least favorite part?
“Wrecks,” he said.
“It’s an intense sport and there’s damage involved,” added his mother, noting that the motorcycle Max will be riding operates at speeds of up to 45mph.
Regardless of the final results, the family is looking forward to a good time in Tennessee.
“Max is excited to meet the finalists from across the United States as well as the pro riders,” said Elizabeth. “We’ll have an entire week full of activities, races, practices and interviews by the pros, and even an opening ceremony concert by Scotty McCreery.”
Interested in following Max to the national championships?
His races can be viewed on MAV TV, RacerTV.com and www.lorettalynnranch.net.