Catching Up with…Kade Walker
By Billy Rainford
This may be the Kade Walker you remember. Things have changed… – Bigwave photo
The name Kade Walker probably gets you wondering whatever happened to that young, super-fast Quebec rider who was moving up the ranks at all the big American amateur nationals. Kade was a highly-touted up and comer and then sort of fell off the radar when he moved to the big bikes. He moved straight to competing in the Pro Am class in Pro events, spent about a year in Canada and then disappeared again.
We’ve had sporadic contact with him through his dad, Dave, the past few years, and after seeing his great performance in the SX2 class at the ADAC Stuttgart Supercross this past weekend, we wanted to catch up with him to see where he’s been and where he’s going. You want to talk about gaining valuable life experiences and memories? Read on…
Direct Motocross: Hello, Kade. I’m sure most of Canada has been wondering where you went! Can you tell us what the last race you did in Canada was?
The last race I did in Canada was the amateur week at Walton.
What happened next? I know you went to Italy to ride for a team. How did all that come about?
At the end of 2012, I didn’t have any ride or deals, nothing, so I started looking outside of North America. I had already been to Europe so I asked some people, and in December before Christmas I came to Italy. It was a deal for 3 races. I took that and got 3rd in the championship so I got signed for a year, and that has turned into 3 years.
What was it like being over there on your own? How was life different in Europe?
It wasn’t that hard at first because all we did was ride and train for about 3-4 months. It’s hard when the season starts. Sometimes we have 20-21 races in a row and then you miss the family.
Kade crashed in August and the result was the loss of his spleen. – Photo supplied by Walker with permission.
So, what were you hired to race? How did it go for you?
In 2013, I was hired for the European SX and MX and Italian 125cc championships. It went great for me and I had a great time traveling Europe. In 2014, I was hired for the Italian and German SX and MX championships. That was really good and was the most fun of my life–great racing and people.
In 2015, I was hired for Italian SX and MX championships, and the French SX and German SX. I started the season really good and had some great races.
Can you take us through your daily routine?
My daily routine: get up in the morning, do about 1 hour cycling then eat breakfast, pack the van and go ride. Come home, eat, then go to the pool for about 1 hour. It’s not much but it’s a good program in the season.
I read that you suffered some sort of injury. Can you tell us what happened?
I was practicing in August at a dry motocross track. [I had a] great day of training, came into a corner, lost the front, went over the bars and I broke my spleen in half and my shoulder blade. The spleen was hard–so much pain. It burns inside and you can’t see what’s wrong, so I took it pretty slow driving to the hospital. I got there and was rushed into the operating room. After about 45 minutes, I was out with no spleen.
Now you’re riding for the Sturm Racing team out of Germany. How and when did this come about?
I was asked to race in Germany by Sturm. Last year, the team and I had talked and this year I’ll race German SX for them. I still race full-time in Italy with my team (Team Castellari). It’s like a home here.
“Last weekend was pretty good in Germany. I took it slow in Stuttgart. German tracks are soft, so focus is very important.” – Photo supplied by Walker with permission.
What have you been racing lately?
I’ve been racing Suzuki 250f . It’s been about 3 years. I’m on Suzuki and love the feeling of the bike. I’m very happy with them.
You did very well last weekend in Stuttgart. Can you take us through those races?
Last weekend was pretty good in Germany. I took it slow in Stuttgart. German tracks are soft, so focus is very important. On Friday, I was happy with my bike and felt great and I think it’s the most important–just enjoying it, having fun and riding the bike. Happy riders go fast and at the moment I’m very happy.
What’s next for you?
I have a lot of Supercross this year. Next for me is Milan then Chemnitz in Germany, Geneva, Switzerland, and Montpellier, France. Then I’ll spend a couple weeks in France.
Will we see you back in Canada any time soon?
I haven’t been focused much on the racing in Canada. I haven’t had any plans to go back there, yet.
What is your long-term racing goal?
I really want to be French SX champion and German SX champion. At the moment, these are my goals.
Kade considers Italy home now but still misses his family. The 18-year-old is also in the process of learning his 4th language. – Photo supplied by Walker with permission.
Is there anything you miss about North America?
I definitely miss my brothers and parents. We spent 7 years traveling and racing together. Growing up in the camper, everyone becomes closer and I really miss the years we had together.
How many languages do you speak now?
I speak English, French, Italian, and I’m learning German but I’m not very good yet.
OK, thanks for talking with us today. Good luck with everything and who would you like to thank?
No problem guys. I would like to thank my mom and dad, Team Castellari, Suzuki Italy, UFO, Forma Boots, and Raven Goggles.