Catching Up with…Dakota Alix

By Billy Rainford

Vermont native, Dakota Alix, is a name we’ve all become familiar with over the past few years. In fact, he hails from a small town that sits just 1 mile from the Canadian border, so when he came north to compete at his debut Pro event at Walton Raceway in 2012, it just made sense. 

He was a fast up-and-comer throughout his amateur career and has several Loretta Lynn’s titles to prove it. These days, he can be found on his trusty KTM competing in the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross East 250 series. It was his week for the DMX Frid’Eh Update last week and we caught up with him today to learn more about his past and his future. 

Vermont’s Dakota Alix made his Pro Motocross debut at Walton Raceway back in 2012 | Bigwave photo

Direct Motocross: Hello, Dakota. Thanks for chatting with us today. I just noticed that you qualified 22nd in East Rutherford, but your name doesn’t appear on either of the heat race results. What happened in New Jersey?

Dakota Alix: Yeah, I only did the first practice and I ended up 10th in that. The second practice the track was a lot faster but I didn’t ride that either. Basically I had a freak accident happen on the Tuesday before the race where my chain came off in a rythem section so I was still feeling pretty bad from that so We decided it would be best to be done after that first practice.

You’ve raced most of the 250 east and your best finish was at Daytona. How did that day go for you?

Yeah, it’s been a tough season. About 2 weeks before the first round I had a motor blow up in the whoops and I had a pretty bad AC separation in my shoulder, then I had a first turn Pile up in Detroit where I messed my ankle up a little bit so Ive only rode 9 or 10 times during the week since the season opener until now but I ended up sitting out Toronto which was the weekend before Daytona and maybe the extra bit of time to recover helped.

Hey, let’s back up for a second. First off, you’re from Vermont – where did your name, ‘Dakota,’ come from?

My parents both just liked the name… there’s no real reason for it other than that.  My middle name is actually ‘Tiger,’ so I guess that’s the real head scratcher.

#64 Dakota Alix is famous for his great starts and can usually be found at or near the front of the pack rounding the first corner | Bigwave photo

Can you take us back to your best memory/finish as an amateur?

My best amateur race was Mini O’s 2010 where I won 5 championships and the Fox Bronze Boot Award and the Pro Circuit Platinum Pipe Award, but I’d have to say my favorite memory as an amateur was the first moto I won at Loretta’s. The class was stacked that year and I beat guys that I had previously looked up to. Nobody had really heard of me before then so that one felt really good.

I remember following your progress in the USA as an amateur and then you showed up and raced Walton at our final round. What made you decide to come north to race?

Yeah, that was my first racing experience up in Canada! I don’t really exactly remember how that came up but it was a cool experience. I think my dad first brought it up because we live so close to Canada and he raced a few Canadian nationals back in the day and everyone at KTM thought it would be a good idea for me to do to gain some experience for my future Pro debut in America.

How did that day go?

Pretty good! Kaven (Benoit) and I had a good battle in the first moto and I was able to get on the podium. I forgot what, but something happened to my bike in the second moto, so I DNF’d. That was a cool weekend, though. That was my first ever Pro race so it sticks in my memory.

I assume your goal is a full-time ride for Supercross and Motocross. What keeps bringing you back to Canada?

Overall, I want to end up racing SX and MX in America full-time because for the most part that’s where the best of the best are, and it’s been my dream to be a part of that since I was a little kid, but what I did last year where I raced Supercross and then spent my summer racing the Canadian Nats was really cool. I’d be okay doing that again. People don’t realize it, since I’m American, but I live about a mile from Canada so it’s almost like the Canadian series is my home series… well, the east coast part at least.

So it makes sense for where I’m at in my career right now, but overall, yes, I want to be racing full-time in America, even though I feel like the racing in Canada is a lot more laid back and fun. People aren’t so serious and don’t act like robots like most of the people in the pro scene in America do and the tracks are awesome. Not to mention I love spending time in VT and Quebec and I’m not able to do that when I race the AMA outdoors because I need to train in the heat down south. My favorite perk of racing in Canada is Tim Hortons (Laughs).

#37 Dakota grabs a holeshot at Loretta Lynn’s ahead of #75 Cooper Webb, #92 Adam Cianciarulo, and #41 Jace Owen | Bigwave photo

You raced all 6 of our eastern rounds last year, and took the overall in Moncton, NB with 1-4 motos. Can you take us through that day?

Yeah, that day was pretty sweet. I actually only got to do about 3 of 4 laps in practice because I missed the whole first practice due to a mechanical and then I stalled my bike in the second practice and it wouldn’t start so I had to bump start it! The first moto went as planned and I won but the second moto was bad because I tipped over while I believe in second and once again my bike wouldn’t start so I had to bump start it again! Luckily, I was able to get back to 4th and that was enough to get the overall

What is your favourite track you’ve raced up here in Canada?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I really liked all the tracks up there on the national circuit, except Barrie. My favorite I’ve raced is probably either Moncton or a track that’s not on the series called X Town. But my favorite track is Canada is my friend Patrick Brodeur’s track in Quebec! AKA Patrick’s Playground.

Are you going out to Las Vegas for the final round this week?

Yes, I am. I was able to ride a few laps yesterday and I felt better than I did in New York so I plan on giving it a shot.

OK, so we’re a month away from the start of our series. What are your plans for this coming summer?

It’s looking like I’ll be in the states this summer but I won’t know exactly what I’m doing for a few more days or so probably.

He took the overall in Moncton last summer ahead of Dylan Wright and Cole Thompson | Bigwave photo

If someone offered you a full-time deal up here, would you take it? 

Yes, for sure, as long as I didn’t have a deal in America. Because, like I said earlier, I love being up north and racing in Canada but overall the goal is to get it done in the states.

Do you work when you’re not on a bike?

I live at MTF right now so with riding and training off the bike there’s not much time for anything else, so no.

Were you homeschooled or did you go to a normal high school?

I went to public school until 7th grade. From then on I began homeschooling and I was able to graduate almost a year early so that was nice.

What other sports do you enjoy?

I love skiing but unfortunately I don’t get to go very often since I’m down south in the winters! I also enjoy cycling and swimming which I do a lot for training. I’d for sure still do both of those for fun even if I wasn’t racing. I pretty much enjoy a little bit of any sport I’ve tried other than golf and baseball.

Dakota heads to the pits with his holeshot cheque. He had his best finish in Daytona this year in Supercross and is off to Las Vegas for the final round this Saturaday | Bigwave photo

Were do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to keep making progress until then and be a championship guy, that’s the goal anyways. I guess time will tell!

Hey, what’s a good series I should be binge watching on Netflix?

‘Narcos’ it’s about Pablo Escobar. That’s the only series I’ve ever watched on Netflix. I’ve tried to watch a few more but I’m usually over them by the end of the first episode.

OK, thanks for chatting with us today, Dakota. I hope we see more of you up here in Canada. Who would you like to thank?

Thank you and likewise! I definitely want to thank my whole family, everyone at MTF, the Rocky Mountain KTM team, my mechanic Derek, stheart clothing, VVO40 & JBae, FMF, Dunlop, 139designs, Fly, Scott, Fuel socks, my Canadian buddy Patrick Brodeur for passing on his skills and anyone cheering me on, thanks a lot.