The ‘Fab 3’ Loses a Member | #424 Austin Watling Is Moving On

By Billy Rainford

Take a bow, Austin Watling. | Bigwave photo

When Jeff McConkey and I got to the 2017 Mini O’s to see both #46 Marco Cannella and #184 Tanner Ward lining up to race the A and Pro Sport classes at Gatorback Cycle Park last week, we assumed that meant the ‘Fab 3’ were together and going at it tooth and nail for another round of racing. Unfortunately, someone was missing.

#424 Austin Watling makes up a third of this trio and his absence said a lot. Of course, we asked the others where the third amigo was, and when they looked us right in the eyes and lied about his whereabouts, we knew something was up. Nobody wanted to say anything, but it was obvious something was going down.

Austin has been busy on social media posting photos and even making a video back-flip appearance on Kevin O’Leary‘s Facebook page. That probably wouldn’t have happened if Austin’s focus was on turning Pro and getting to any race he could, like the prestigious Mini O’s. He wasn’t there and it made us curious.

Well, his latest post on Instagram @austin_424 reads, “A New Chapter…” so we got in touch with the man, himself, to get some answers.

Although Austin said he “will be posting something this week to explain myself,” he told us this much: “I just lost my drive for it and wasn’t having fun anymore.”

Anyone who used to race and then stopped, can relate to this. I know that I sort of did the same thing after my Intermediate year and went off to Western for a few years of “higher learning.” Sometimes, you have to be honest with yourself and realize that your dream to become one of the top motocross racers in the world would take more effort and intensity (not to mention money) than you are willing to give. Just ask Ryan Villopoto if he’d do it all again, given his druthers.

Sometimes, walking away is the wisest choice. | Bigwave photo

Austin will be creating his own media business and will be focused on shooting photos and videos for clients in areas from weddings, to commercial, and real estate to help them market themselves.

We may be losing one of the ‘Fab 3,’ but lots more people out there are going to be gaining a hard-working asset to help them bring their products and services to the marketplace.

Like we said, Austin will be unrolling his new venture publicly on Instagram later this week, so be sure to watch for that. We’d just like to wish him all the luck in the world and thank him for making Amateur Motocross exciting the past few years.


Nobody said it was easy
It’s such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start.