MIKE LAFFERTY – LIFE AFTER RACING
From hanging up his professional racing boots to putting them on again to help build courses for the AMA National Enduro Championship, Mike Lafferty finds himself kept busier than ever…
At the end of the 2014, eight-time national enduro champ Mike Lafferty retired from racing and began a new job with KTM’s Ride Orange program. The New Jersey native will now also be working with the National Enduro Promotions Group at the national enduro rounds, helping with the clubs to ensure courses are up to NEPG quality. With years of racing experience under his belt, it’s a good fit…
Although not racing you will still be a familiar face at the National Enduro Series in 2015. What are you going to be doing?
“This year I’m working with the NEPG on the courses. The plan is to make sure everything is ready for the race. I’m really excited about it and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from Alan and the crew on how to set up the course and things like that. Offering some input on the tracks from a pro rider’s prospective will hopefully help the series to continue growing.”
Have you anything specific in mind that you want to achieve?
“We want to build a course that everyone enjoys. It’s about keeping the guys on row 1 to the guys on row 100 happy. We want them to get in a quality ride on quality trails at a quality event. I’m not going to jump in and change everything. I’m just looking forward to giving my input and making it a better quality event. Mainly, we want the guys at the rear of the field to have as good of an experience as the guys on the early rows and ensure its all equal and fair. Hopefully, that makes for better race and a better experience for all involved.”
You’re also involved with KTM’s Ride Orange program. What’s that about?
“The biggest thing Ride Orange does is handling all the rider demos for the SX-model bikes at the motocross tracks, to off-road demos with XC models and the W line. In addition to that is the ARS or Amateur Race Support at the amateur races like Mini O’s. We’re bringing Ride Orange to all the national enduro races. We will have activities on Saturday afternoon, like spaghetti dinners and things like that. Then during the summer, when the new models come out, we’ll be doing some bike intros and demos. There’s plenty going on.”
Finally, is it going to be tough not lining up on a row for round one?
“I think so, but I’ll be riding the course, so at least I get to ride, which is cool. I’m at the point where I don’t need to be competitive any more and I’m enjoying just being a part of it all. But honestly, the whole “racing void” that I had when I retired has been filled by my nephew Ryder racing. Every time we go ride he’s busting out new moves and getting better and better, and for me that’s cool to see. I find myself being as excited for him as I was for me back in the day.”
Round one of the 2015 Kenda AMA National Enduro Championship starts on February 1.