Mays revs up motocross career


A recent Hayes High School graduate will spend the spring training, traveling, and competing in motocross after he completed high school early to take a run at becoming a pro.

Gavin Mays, 17, said Wednesday he’s been racing motocross since the age of 3, when his father bought him his first dirt bike.

“Since then I’ve fallen in love with the sport and can’t picture myself doing anything else,” Mays said.

Over the 2022 winter break, Mays said he and his family discussed his future in the sport and decided he should try and graduate early in order to train and compete for the motocross competitions this spring.

“We decided that with the goals I have, the best option for me would be to graduate early so I can travel this spring,” Mays said. “I scheduled a meeting with my guidance counselor and told her what I want to do, and since I already had all the credits needed to graduate, I was done.”

The Delaware City Schools Board of Education approved Mays’ early graduation last month, and Mays said he now spends one to two days a week training on the bike and five days a week training off the bike. Mays added he’ll ride more as the weather improves.

Mays said when he trains using the bike he does sprint laps, section work or “motos.”

“Motos are good for endurance and focusing on hitting your marks when you’re tired,” he said. “Section work is good for learning new techniques and trying different things to get faster. Sprint laps are good for piecing sections together and finding speed.”

Mays said his off-the-bike training is similar to other sports, and he runs or cycles almost every day.

As for his upcoming schedule, Mays said he plans to compete in Texas this month in both the James Stewart Freestone Spring Championship and the Spring A Ding Ding 2023 event. After those events, he hopes to qualify for the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motorcross Championship at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee, which he has done for the last three years. After that, he plans to earn his pro license and hopes to race in the Pro Motocross National Championship this summer.

Mays said he’s a little nervous but mostly excited for his first competition later this month, and the way he feels while riding is indescribable.

“I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is that I love about racing other than the rush I get every time I’m on the bike,” Mays said. “At this point I have such motivation for my goals it feels great to see really progress towards that. It keeps me going and makes me hungry for more.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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