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Getting a taste of the big time | Preston Citizen

Getting a taste of the big time

May 17, 2013
By

Xander rides at Supercross Grand Finale 

By RODNEY D. BOAM

Citizen editor

Eight year-old Xander Kirkbride of Fairview spends a lot of free time on the motocross track in Fairview with his younger sister, Tenley, trying to improve their times and improving his skills.

The aspiring motocross rider has a dream of being in the big leagues. Xander got a feel for the glitz and glamour of stardom when he was invited to ride in the America Motorcycle Association’s Supercross Grand Finale on April 29 in Las Vegas.

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Xander got his motocross television debut as he took three laps jumping hills and making turns during the main event. He was selected along with 14 other young riders from across the country to show his stuff.

Xander’s father, Josh Kirkbride, was a motocross rider in his day. He was surprised at the selection of his young son for the prestigious honor.

“We had to submit a resume. He had to have good grades,” Josh said. “He had to have something from his teacher saying he was a good student. He’s not the fastest kid out there. But he has won a fair number of trophies.”

There he was, a kid from Franklin County, going three laps during the main event on the same track that some of the biggest names in the professional ranks were on.

“It was awesome,” Josh said. “He got to meet some of his heroes and spend some time in their pits. He got a ton of free stuff for going.”

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The third grader in Miss Allred’s class at Oakwood got to ride a new factory KTM motorcycle with a factory technician to make sure the machine was working at its peak.

The Kirkbrides are one of about 10 families in the area that spend their time, as families, going from track to track.

Xander said it was a lot of fun and he had a great time meeting some of his favorite racers.

Nicole, his mother, said it was incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience for her son.

“It was an incredible experience. There were over 300 kids who applied for it from all over the United States,” Nicole said. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

She said she really gets stressed about him out on the track all the time.

“The older they get they have a lot more speed. But we have the proper safety materials and we try and be prepared,” she said.

Xander Kirkbride poses for a photograph on a new KTM motorcycle he rode in a national motocross event recently.

Xander Kirkbride poses for a photograph on a new KTM motorcycle he rode in a national motocross event recently.

The Kirkbrides live about four miles from the track.

“There are a lot of kids who go down to the track and ride. But not many of them ride in the series,” Nicole said.

Xander has been racing since he was five years old and his sister is going on her second year as a motocross racer.

“We travel around with our kids. We all pile in and go,” Josh said. “We do motocross all summer and arena cross all winter.”

This story is sponsored by FCMC Growing Expectations and Heritage Safe Co.


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