The Story Behind the Photo | Ryan Lockhart 2008 | 100%
By Billy Rainford
We posted this above photo of Ryan Lockhart at the 2008 Canadian MX National at Sand Del Lee just outside Ottawa, Ontario, and it brought back some memories for Ryan.
We asked him if he’d be willing to give us The Story Behind the Photo and he said that it was more about the 2008 season in general. Perfect!
2008 was an interesting year for me. I had just dropped back down to the MX2 class after 2 successful years at OTSFF in the MX1 class. It was not a decision I wanted to make, dropping down, but the writing was on the wall with OTSFF that I was done there a few races into the season for a bunch of different reasons, some my fault and some theirs.
Anyway, I had an opportunity with KTM and Andy White, with some outside support through Toys For Big Boys, to ride a 250 for the team. Good bikes, good people and, to be honest, I didn’t have anything else.
Winter went excellent with AX and I ended up winning the Future West Moto championship. Spring went well with testing and I liked being based out of Montreal since there were cool tracks to ride and get to ride with my teammates: Eric Nye, Jeff Northrop, and Mason Phillips.
I felt like I was riding really well but two days before round one in St Julie I was out doing my last day of riding before race day and I caught my toes on a sand edge and just destroyed my ankle. No, it wasn’t broken but it was really sprained. I struggled through St Julie with like 5-6 motos or something. I crashed first turn both motos at Gopher Dunes and came from last to 5 in the first moto and 4th in second moto, so that was good. The west coast sucked as I always struggled at Nanaimo etc.. I mean, not terrible but like around 5-8 per round.
The series came back east and I was trying to light the fire again. I showed some decent speed Riverglade in Moncton and had some good momentum going into Sand Del Lee.
One of my best friends/teammates Norcal (Jeff Northrop) got hurt in Moncton with a broken hand but had already planned to stay for SDL before going home to Cali. Needless to say, Jeff was a motivator for me. We liked to party together as well, but that’s a whole different story.
Jeff worked with me all week, helping me with riding and prep. He was like my man-friend. I showed up at SDL and the conditions were exactly like a preseason race I did there, deep and wet. The track got super rutty so I was confident, since the conditions were so close to that race earlier in the year. Northy came to the line with me, prepped my goggles, prepped food… everything.
The gate dropped first moto and I thought I had the start but the 100 LBS Beats (Kyle Beaton) dives to the inside and gets me. I’m like, “OK, no problem.” Yes, he’s faster than me but Beaton’s season wasn’t going the greatest for him either. He was either crashing, blowing up bikes or winning. The first two things were happening more than winning.
The first few laps I was right there and I was like, “just relax, he’s going to toss it away…..” Well, he was pulling away, not tossing it away, and I’m not kidding you, he had like a half-dozen close calls throughout the moto and I could see all them.
Nope, the guy wins the moto by 15 seconds, me all alone in second, Teddy Maier in 3rd and eventual champ Nye in 4th. I remember Nye being pissed because I was pretty cocky after the moto and told him that I was mathematically not eliminated from the championship. Lol.
In moto 2 I got another good start and ended up 4th, behind those 3 guys. They straight-up beat me which gave me 4th overall. Lol….. come on… Beats pulls together his best day ever and goes 1-1.
The running joke is after a few beers with Beats: “Buddy, you could have given me that moto…. I was at the end of my career and you were in your prime!”
It was my last podium and last full season of racing the nations as I got hurt that winter in Cali and ended up not riding for a few years. Beats was the Best Man in my wedding in 2018 and this story got brought up lots as Nye and Northrop were also my groomsmen.
Good times, good friends, better memories. I drank so much red wine at the restaurant after that day I had to extend my stay at the hotel to Tuesday…