A six-year-old Oro-Medonte boy is leaving his mark on the national motocross scene.
Blake Patterson hasn’t even been racing for a year, but he managed a sixth-place finish at his first national championship recently.
He was one of 42 racers in his age group (four to six years old) and class (50cc) to qualify for the 26th annual Parts Canada TransCan Canadian Motocross Grand National Championship at Walton Raceway in August.
“We went in really confident,” said his mom, Jennifer Patterson. “We had a lot of bike issues. He actually had to push his bike over the finish line in his first race. It was frustrating for him and it was frustrating for us as parents, especially since his dad is in the pit crew.”
However, “for a six-year-old, we couldn’t have asked for any more,” she added.
When Blake outgrew his four-wheeler, he said he wanted a dirt bike. He got it late last year, and when his parents took him to see the races, he decided he wanted to give it a try, too.
Now he’s hooked, and the motocross circuit has become one Patterson family adventure after another.
The national competition saw the family camping on site for a week, and it wasn’t all about the competition. There were plenty of activities and attraction to keep the young racers occupied when they weren’t on the track.
Blake also had his closeup when Gamma Powersports, the Orillia company that recently decided to sponsor him, arranged a photo shoot at the event.
Even for Blake, his impressive showing wasn’t the first thing that came to mind when he was asked what he enjoyed about the experience.
“I liked spending time with friends and family,” he said.
It wasn’t all fun and games, though.
“My dad had to fix my bike super-fast, and it was really muddy,” he said of the challenges he faced.
For a relative newcomer to motocross, he knows his strengths (jumps, as well as taking an early lead), but he is also aware of areas in which he needs to improve (corners). He’ll have plenty of opportunities to hone his skills, including this weekend, when he competes in a provincial championship at Motopark in Chatsworth. He has at least five more competitions happening between now and mid-November.
In addition to Gamma Powersports, his sponsors include JN Roofing and Contracting, Anderson Haulage, Empire Pools, Black Knight Oil Field Services, Relic Consulting, and Jenn’s Home Daycare.