Catching Up With... Parker Allison
Catching up with... Parker Allison
Photos by James Lissimore
With the season fast approaching we are catching up with as many racers as possible to get their take on what 2012 will bring. I was able to talk this week with Alberta racer, Parker Allison. Now, if you haven’t met Parker or his teammates and brothers, Jared and Bryton, then you are truly missing out. Not only are they three of the most approachable riders at the track but they can tag a cow quicker than anyone I know. However, they turned down rodeo stardom at a young age to take on their true passion: Motocross. Read below to see what Parker has going on for the 2012 season!
Parker, it’s been a while since we caught up with you. What’s new in the world of the Allison brothers?
Not too much, we're just in our final weeks of school here and it gets really hectic when we are trying to do school and racing but we just had six new bikes come in from Blackfoot today. I’m taking off the suspension and going to send them out to Joe Skidd at SSS and getting one bike ready to go ride tomorrow.
Have you guys had the good weather like Ontario? Have you guys been doing much riding yet?
We haven’t gotten weather like Ontario has but today is probably the warmest day so far - it’s plus 14 out, but I think guys have been riding out here in Calgary most of the winter but they put studs in their tires to ride. Tomorrow will be my first time out.
So I assume you guys didn’t go to California this year because of school?
Ya, we’re not going to make it to California this year. There is no point anyways. When the weather is this good this early in the spring time there is no point going south to California - some guys like to but I don’t really see the point in going.
Parker is excited about being back in the MX2 class and back on a trusty Yamaha YZ250F.
Well, obviously the big decision for you guys, we talked to your brother Jared a while back and he mentioned it, and that is that you guys are dropping down to the MX2 class again and I know from talking to you both that you're both excited about it. What are your thoughts going into that and what’s the reason for making that move?
You know what? I’m not big enough to ride a 450, no matter how hard I trained and tried to gain weight the max I could get to is 150lbs. I could never get past that and neither could Jared so we just thought it would be best to ride a 250F. We ride them really well and we also have more confidence. In no way do we regret moving to the MX1 class last year because we think it will give us an advantage this year just getting the experience in the 450 class, the longer motos will help us a lot.
Have you had a chance to ride the new Yamaha before you made that decision or is tomorrow going to be your first time?
Not yet. The 250F Yamaha, even the 2010, is an amazing bike, but people have been telling me that the 2012 is even better. I’m just so excited to ride it because I don’t know how it could get any better.
What’s your goal for the season? You were up there a couple years ago, getting top 5 finishes and top 10 consistently, so what’s the goal going into 2012?
I know we can ride up front, especially after the experience we gained in the MX1 class. I definitely think we can be top 5 very consistently but we’re also going to make podiums this year. I don’t want to put too much pressure on us because I don’t like saying where I’m going to end up because I just want to ride and race the track and where ever I end up as long as I try my best is all I can ask for.
Tell us a little bit about the program you’re on. You're back with Yamaha this year and Blackfoot Direct, Troy Lee Designs and the whole Yamalube deal. Tell us about how that went for you last year, your first year on the program, and a little bit about this year - who's doing the motors and all that stuff?
Last year was just so easy - the organizing, everything, between Troy Lee Designs giving our gear to us, clothes to us, they were always on top of it. Yamaha always makes sure we have everything we need so that helps out a lot. They are really supportive and Dean at Blackfootdirect.com, he makes sure everything goes smoothly. He hooks us up with sponsors and everything like that. This year it’s about the same program except the only downfall is this year we don’t have the support from the Blackfoot team at the track anymore.
Parker and his team will no longer have the support of the Blackfoot rig at the track. They have adjusted their program and have already made sure that all bases are covered and parts are stocked up.
Are you guys going to be carrying any extra parts or necessities to cover your area because you used to be able to just go to the Blackfoot truck if you needed something?
Yeah, we're getting a lot more parts this year just to make sure we have everything, especially because this year there are three of us racing in one class. We need to have parts stocked up; we also need a mechanic at every round. We relied a lot on the Blackfoot team last year and the year before so it’s kind of a downfall them not being at the races.
As you were saying, you need mechanics this year and usually it’s just your mom, your dad, your brother and whoever else is around to help out, so what are your plans this year? Will you hire a full-time mechanic or a couple of them or what is your plan?
I think what we are going to try and do is, I don’t want to have to fly a guy in every round, we know a lot of people across Canada so if we can get a guy at each round or, you know, one guy for all the Ontario rounds it will be a huge benefit because the big thing is my dad cannot help three guys on the line at the same time. I’m not looking for someone who can re-do a motor but I’m looking for someone who knows how to maintain a bike and can come to the line with us, if anyone wants to send me an email I’d for sure be interested.
Coming into it you guys have got to be pretty stoked. I’m sure you have been watching Supercross and what are your thoughts on the season so far?
The Supercross season started off really good, all the top guys were in the Supercross class and then slowly a few of them got taken out by injury. It shows how hard those guys are trying, they are riding over their head and taking chances.
One last thing getting back to the Canadian Nationals. They announced that they are going to be doing a couple of Saturday Nationals this year and being a pro staying on the road and you travel from race to race in your motor home what do you guys think about that? Is that going to be a benefit for you if the National is on Saturday or do you prefer Sunday?
It’s kind of a toss-up for me because I’ll have to be more organized for the Saturday national because we don’t have that extra day to work on the bikes all day long. I’m going to have to be prepared coming into the race. Overall, I would rather a Saturday national because we can just hang out on Sunday and support amateur racing, which I am really into, I like to support the amateur racing. I think it’s a good idea because from what I understand we have to stay at the track on Sunday for the amateurs. We want to be there to promote our sponsors and all the upcoming racers.
For 2012, podiums are on Parker's radar.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
My mom and dad are a huge part of the team this year, especially when we’re going to school. I couldn’t do it without them, they are really helping out. Yamaha Canada, Yamalube, Blackfootdirect.com, Troy Lee Designs, SSS Suspension, X-Brand goggles and our exhaust company this year - we are pretty sure who we are going to run with this year and are pretty excited about that also. We will have more details on that soon. But make sure you follow us on twitter @AllisonBrothers.