Guillem Farres, the racer competing on the No.109 Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing YZ250F at round 10 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Budds Creek on Saturday afternoon in Mechanicsville, Maryland, is a 19-year-old Spanish native who has been racing a KTM 250 SX-F in the 2022 EMX250 class and the MX2 class of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
“I raced three or four Grands Prix and one EMX even thus far in 2022,” said Farres of his route to Budds Creek, Maryland while in the throes of chasing a few European-based motocross titles. “I’ve been riding for a KTM team called Raths Motorsports KTM. In the 250 class in the ADAC MX Youngster Cup in the German National Motocross Championship.
“It all came together really fast. I was on a little holiday in Spain, and the team called me on a Friday and wanted me there on Monday. I didn’t even think about it. I just organized everything and arranged a flight. I was supposed to stay only for a week, but things were going good and theyuys wanted to see me riding more. So from there, they offered me to ride at Budds Creek this weekend.”
And when asked what sort of result would lead to Farres walking out of the Budds Creek pits with a smile on his face come Sunday evening in Maryland?
“The top 10,” he said resolutely.
So just how did race day at Budds Creek shake out? Less than 24 hours after competing in his first American motocross event, he reflected back on what the afternoon delivered up.
“I mean, first of all, I think while I was there I didn’t even realize that I was racing in an AMA National because that has always been my dream, you know?” he said. “It is crazy. If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that I was going to race an outdoor race here in America, I wouldn’t have believed it. It was nice. The first practice session was really short. You could do four or five laps. Actually, I felt really good. The bike is really, really good. I felt good the whole practice and everything. I felt a little bit slower in the second practice session. I don’t know if I was stressing out too much or something. The first practice, though, was really good.
“In timed practice, my goal was to be in the top 10 so I could get a good gate pick. I went to the gate and didn’t know anything about it. The mechanics helped me prepare my gate and I was really impressed. From there they played the American National Anthem and it was so cool. It was cool to be there on the gate. It was a crazy feeling. And everyone was really friendly. The crowd was unbelievable. Everyone here loves the sport and the fans were cheering so much.”
In the opening moto at Budds Creek, Farres raced to a sixth place behind winner R.J. Hampshire, Jett Lawrence, Jo Shimoda, Michael Mosiman and Max Vohland. Impressive company.
‘I just went out and I had a really, really bad start in that opening moto,” said Farres. “I don’t know, but on the first lap I came by in ninth. In that one lap I made quite a lot of passes. I got to fifth, but then Jo Shimoda was coming really fast and he passed me. From there I stayed in sixth the whole moto and was just running my pace. I was really happy with that. I didn’t expect to do that good. I was satisfied.”
Farres went on to explain the race pace and general in-race vibe of banging bars and rubbing shoulders with the American-based racers.
“On the first lap they put a lot of energy into it,” he said. “I mean, they go really fast on the opening lap. I also think tracks here – at least Budds Creek, as I have not raced anywhere else – make the racing better. You have so many options, and so many lines for passing and for making a difference in the races. Racing in Europe now is really one-lined and it makes it almost impossible to pass someone that is riding at the same level. At Budds Creek, it felt like everyone was riding different lines and not everyone was in the same lines on every lap. I really liked that. Also, the Budds Creek track was fast compared to the tracks in Europe.”
Farres reflected back on the happenings and overall atmosphere within the frantic Star Yamaha pit area between motos.
“Yeah, obviously the team was happy with the result I got,” he said. “I was the first Yamaha there. Yeah, they were happy. Also, I was really rushed after that first moto. You finish your first moto and you have a break that is not even an hour long. That is crazy. I’m used to having a two-hour break. But yeah, the team was happy and I was happy. The bike was also really good. I have nothing to say about that. I was really comfortable on the bike. I ran good in the moto, but I think I could have run a little faster. The guys in front were faster than me. I could see that. I couldn’t catch them. I was riding my own pace because I was quite alone racing there in sixth.”
Despite a few minor miscues along the way, Farres rode to a solid 13th place score in the second moto at Budds Creek.
“I was running 10th and good in 10th, but yeah, I made a stupid mistake,” he said. “It was my fault. I had a little crash and it was a little bit hard for me to get the bike running again and to get the bike good. I ended up 13th. I mean that was not so bad.. But you now what? I’m really happy. I was just a little bit upset with myself with my move in the second moto because I think I could have easily been in the top 10, but that’s racing, you know? It was good to finish ninth overall and I’m really, really happy.”
So after all was said and done in Mechanicsville, how did the worlds of European and American-based motocross compare?
“I don’t really know because I have not been racing with the guys up front,” he said. “I’ve never seen these guys here in the USA riding in real life. I was on my bike. I couldn’t see them riding. It is pretty similar. Maybe the guys are faster here, but it is hard to compare because the tracks are different and the bikes are different. It’s a whole different situation here. It’s hard to say, ‘These guys are better!’ or, ‘The other guys are better!’
“I had so much fun. The results were actually pretty good. I mean, I had no expectations coming into the race. It was my first time ever coming here. I was expecting nothing at all. It turned out really, really good.”
The penultimate round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is set for this Saturday’s Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Will Farres be there?
“Yeah, I will be there this weekend,” he said. “And like I told you, it is like a dream to ride with a factory support like this with all of the support and with everyone around me. It’s good. it’s really, really good.”