Trent Hammer first in N.D. MotoX Assn.
Trent Hammer has one goal in mind as he throttles up to the starting line; win as many championships as possible. And he may not have to wait long for his first. Midway through the motocross season, the Mobridge-Pollock freshman leads the 250cc C class standings by a wide margin of 30 points.
Hammer grew up around motorcycles. His father, Mark Hammer, raced dirt bikes in the ‘70s and ‘80s and passed on his love for motorcycles to his son. At five years old, Trent was riding his first motorcycle and at age seven, he was racing competitively. Trent has moved up in the classes over the years and now he’s racing against the best in the upper Midwest, and winning. All season Trent battled for first place until last week, in Dickinson, N.D.,he finally took a commanding lead.
Hammer races in the North Dakota Motocross Association. The association is 300 racers strong between North Dakota, South Dakota and Canada. The NDMA is divided into three classes A,B and C based on time. Hammer races in the C class where the difference between the A and C classes is merely seconds and standings are fiercely contested.
On the track, racers achieve speeds of 60 miles per hour over jumps, rolling hills, steep turns and rugged terrain. It’s a sport that is intensely mentally and physically demanding.
“There’s a lot of stress on your arms and legs from jumping and landing,” said Hammer, “It’s very tiring.”
Each week, Hammer lines up against as many as 32 other racers and motocross racers are constantly vying for position and time on the track. Each motocross race is 12 laps, with laps based on time rather than distance. The lead racer sets the pace. Hammer said during all 12 laps, a rider is almost always standing up to maintain balance. Standing helps a rider accommodate jumps, interstate speeds and sharp turns. This places a high amount of stress on a rider’s body, especially his legs. Hammer said his training for other sports he plays like basketball, golf, and track cross over into motocross, but much of his training is racing specific.
“I do a lot of running to keep in shape, and keep up my energy,” said Hammer.
The motocross community in Mobridge is small, but active. Trent races recreationally on a practice track near the Revheim Bay recreation area with two or three friends and his father, in the Mobridge area.
Trent travels with his mother, Sharon, and father to different tracks on the weekends. Trent says his mom, while not ecstatic about his passion for motorcycles, is always there to encourage him as he competes.
“She doesn’t really like me racing, but she’s always pushed me to try hard at everything.”
Trent races next in Frederick, S.D. July 22.