Catching Up with…Franklin Nogueras Jr.
By Billy Rainford
Find out a little more about the 5-time Dominican Republic champion who earned #41 for the 2016 Canadian season | Bigwave photo
Last week was week #41 for the DMX Frid’Eh Update. That number belongs to the Dominican Republic rider who showed up and raced a few of the east rounds of the 2015 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals, Franklin Nogueras Jr.. We weren’t able to get in touch with him in time for the actual Update, but we did get in touch with him this week and wanted to give everyone a chance to get to know the 5-time champion a little better.
Thank you for getting back to us, Franklin. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Franklin. If we could back up to the beginning, could you tell us how you got into motocross in the Dominican Republic?
Franklin Nogueras Jr.: Well, my dad was the champion at that moment so I basically grew up in the sport. When I was 3, my dad got me a 50 and I’ve been riding since then.
What is the moto scene like there? It’s not an area most people would think is big in motocross.
Motocross here in D.R is not as big as in the US or Canada but what I’m doing now is trying to open doors to the kids that are growing in the sport; teaching them everything to become better and try to make them look at the sport the same way I do.
“I think I’m done in the USA, just focus on racing around here where I can make some money. I’m starting a riding school so I will be trying to help my sport around here.” | Bigwave photo
As a little kid, which motocross rider did you look up to?
My dad. He was a great athlete and was the champ for 10 years. I always wanted to be like him.
Have you always had the goal of racing in the USA? When did you first go to the USA to race? What race was it?
Well, you know, we are a small country… not much fast people. It’s really hard to go to another country (you don’t know even the language) and race 10000 people at your speed or faster. My first race in the States in 2011 was in C class at Dade City, FL. I won my class that day.
After that race, I when back to D.R and signed with Red Bull Dominican Republic. I was the fastest there at the moment, and thanks to them I was able to go to Millsaps Training Facility (MTF) and train for 2 years. By 2014, my best at Loretta’s was 6th place overall in A class and after Loretta’s I rode my first national in Utah. It was great and I made it scoring 2 points with a 23rd place in 1st moto and a 19th in 2nd moto.
How did you actually feel at that first race?
My first race was pretty hard for me because I didn’t know anything. I was really tense and nervous.
And then, how did you hear about the racing in Canada?
Well, in 2015 I signed with the JMR team. In the races he wanted to do, the Canadian championship was one of his races to do.
Franklin’s best finish was 7th overall in MX1 at the final round at Walton Raceway in 2015 | Bigwave photo
How did your time here go for you?
It was great. It was something new for me, new riders, new people, new everything for sure one of the nicest trips I ever did in my sport.
What did you think of our tracks and riders?
Tracks were really nice – almost the same as in the States – and the riders were really fast too. The level of the riders and events were incredible. I didn’t know Canada was that good in the sport.
Is Gopher Dunes to toughest sand track you’ve ever seen? If not, what is the toughest track you’ve ever raced?
Well, everything in D.R is hard pack, really hard, so coming from hard pack to this track, probably the deepest track ever, it was hard for me, but I love the experience of something new and something to work on. Gopher Dunes is for sure one of the toughest track I’ve ever raced.
Your best result was 7th overall at Walton. Were you happy with that race?
I was pretty happy. I loved the track. It was hard pack and I was more familiar in everything, but I wanted to do better every time, you know.
Will we ever see you back in Canada again?
Hopefully, I can come back but it’s really hard to do it on my own for me because of the money you spend and everything else that goes with it. But I would love to come back and do great.
What have you been racing this past year? How did it go?
I’m racing all around Latin America now when they call me from different teams and it’s been really good. I did the Latin American Championship and got 2nd in MX2 and just did the MX1 Latin American Championship and got 4th first moto because my bike lost all the compression. And 2nd moto, I was running 3rd and crashed pretty bad. I’m all good now and training even harder for next year.
Is Gopher Dunes the toughest track he’s ever raced? “Well, everything in D.R is hard pack, really hard, so coming from hard pack to this track, probably the deepest track ever, it was hard for me, but I love the experience of something new and something to work on. Gopher Dunes is for sure one of the toughest track I’ve ever raced.” | Bigwave photo
What’s next for you?
I don’t have anything concrete for next year, just same championships and local races here in the D.R.. I think I’m done in the USA, just focus on racing around here where I can make some money. I’m starting a riding school so I will be trying to help my sport around here.
OK, thank you very much for taking the time to do this. Hopefully, we see you again sometime soon. Who would you like to thank?
Hopefully, I can be back again soon. First, I want to thank God for everything, my family for always believing in me and my great sponsors: GBR store & Repair shop, RedBull, Suzuki D.R, Bikers, Famaconal Pharmacy, LC Designs, KNS GYM. Also, Thank you, Billy, for the opportunity and for all the doors you are helping me open by showing we are small country but with a lot of talent. I appreciate it.