Interview with Gabriel Da SilvaJun 29, 2009
Gabriel is 5 years old, lives near Miami, Florida. He has been riding and racing motorcycles since he was 2 years old, and has already had great success. Who knows where this young talent may go? 2028 MotoGP World Champion? He is already well known in the Latin motorsports world, and has friends and supporters like Christian Fittipaldi, Randy Mamola, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Formula 1 engineer Fernando Paiva. Gabriel has what must be the youngest crew chief in the business, his younger brother Phillippe, who is only 4 years old! Gabriel's racing is a true family effort.
Tell us a bit about your career in racing...
I started to ride when I was 2 years-old in a pocket bike that my parents gave me when I was 11 months old. I love motorcycles and for me racing is one of the best things in life. I race in the SEMRA organization and I don't intend to stop racing, because it is my passion.
When did you start?
I started racing when I barely turned 4 and I got first place on my first race. It was awesome!
What made you decide to start racing?
A great motivation was to watch videos of my dad's races and Moto GP.
Do people ever tell you racing is too dangerous?
Not to me...
Tell us about the bike you ride.
It's cool and pretty fast!
What is the best bike you have ever ridden?
The bike I have now, which is a Honda CRF50 with a 95cc kit.
What is your best race to date?
It was the fourth round of SEMRA at Palmetto Supertrack in South Carolina in June, 2009. It was a good day for racing and the competition on the track was amazing.
What's the worst part about racing for you?
I would say that the worst part about racing is having to wait to get on the track.
Ever race any other types of motorcycle competition?
Yes, pocketbike which was one of my first races.
What do you think about your future of motorcycle racing? How long do you want to race motorcycles?
My dream is to win many Moto GP races, so I don't plan on quitting racing anytime soon. To reach this goal, I have dedicated myself to practice hard and give all I've got on the track and off the track by going to school and learning to master English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Of the tracks you have raced at, do you have a favorite?
There are two of them that I really like. One is Palmetto Supertrack in South Carolina which is a fun track, and my hometown track, Miami GP Raceway where I have learned and grown a lot.
Would you have advice for someone who is trying to make a start in racing?
I would tell them to be safe and wear all the appropriate apparel: race suit, helmet, gloves, and boots. Also, I'd say to never brake on a curve and, of course, speed it up!
How do you prepare for a race?
I always pray with my team to ask for God's protection and blessing. I get a good night of sleep, eat light, and listen to my coach's instructions.
What is the difference to you between racing and regular riding?
Riding is not half as fun as racing! You get a different feeling when you race, because it's a competition.
Tell us about your sponsors, and what they do for you.
My sponsors have always given me support and provided me with products that are crucial for my racing career. I would like to thank Motion Pro, Vortex, Chatter Box, TB Parts, P3 Racing, Broward Motorsports, WK Cargo, Rescue Tech, Miami GP Raceway, JM Computing and Services, and Bullseye Powder Coating.
What do you do for them in return?
Because my sponsors have made it possible for me to race and excel I always strive to give my best to better represent them.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing you now?
Because I'm 5 years old and too small I have difficulty in finding performance parts for my bike that adapt to my size, and also for me to wear, such as a race suit that fits me right, gloves, boots, helmet... It seems like the road racing market did not expect a rider as little as I am. Moreover, the team is also facing difficulties due to the national financial crisis.
Do you have a role model?
My main role model is Jesus, then my dad, Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner.
What do you do when you are not racing?
I like to spend time with my family, ride with my little brother Philippe, ride my jet ski, go to church and be with my friends.
Learn more about Gabriel and his racing efforts at http://www.gabrieldasilva.com/
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