Notoriously, racing is a selfish sport. When a racer finds him or herself on the highest level, it becomes about them. The team supports them but at the end of the day, the racer is responsible for the outcome of the race.
The lines between racer and a personal life can often times get muddy and the duality of the two balancing can be tricky.
For Tyler Enticknap, he is living this duality in one of the most rare occurrences in Supercross racing, to be an active rider on the injured list but at the same time mechanic and brother to older sibling Adam.
That drive to continue racing and achieve lifelong goals however is what fuels Enticknap each day whether he is racing, wrenching or being a brother.
“For as long as I can remember, racing and racing on the highest level in the sport is a dream I have had and the path that I have chosen to follow,” said Enticknap. “Motocross and Supercross bring me so much happiness and joy into my life that I don’t ever want to stop doing it. On top of that, in the past few years as I have grown a strong fan base and the family support group around me lifts me to a new level and I want to continue to push myself to be the absolute best I can be. Until I cannot physically do this anymore, you can expect me to be on the track competing.”
This season is without question a season that was not in the plans for Enticknap. After battling through injuries, Enticknap was progressing towards the ultimate goal of main events every week. A few races into the season, he suffered yet another injury, this time, season ending.
“When you begin the pre-season program to prepare for the upcoming Supercross season, every rider sets their goals,” said Enticknap. “For me I set two different goal structures, the realistic ones and then the ultimate ones. The ones that really drive you to success. When curveballs come and throws you off the marks for the goals, the more mentally strong you are the better you can navigate the ups and downs. I have been through adversity before. The results of any situation are determined by your outlook and how you attack adversity. I know that bumps are going to happen along the way. It is all about preparation and enjoying the process or learning.”
For a privateer in racing, the amount of work to succeed every single week is amplified more than a factory rider, and that is where that strong support staff comes into play. However, at the end of the day as a privateer, you are still the Chief Everything Officer and if you want to have a season of racing available to you, you have to make it happen. To balance life as the CEO of your race career and to also be the athlete can be difficult. For Enticknap, he wore that role and now steps into the role of mechanic for older brother Adam. To be the care taker of the bike and to be brother, puts Enticknap in a unique place with a vastly different approach to race day as he pulls from all of the experience he has as a rider and as a brother. But for Enticknap, these experiences will provide him with insights that as he states ‘help further my career.”
“Putting the injury aside and being down about not racing this season after putting in so much off season work, there is a renewed level of excitement that I have being in this position to help my brother. There was a low point in his season where things just were not clicking. I told him that he should fly me to the race and let me help you out for the weekend and see how it goes. We think and prepare for race day almost the same so I can predict what he needs so he doesn’t have to stress about that. I know how his program works plus knowing him on a personal level helps me to be a strong mental coach for him. The goal was to get him back into the main event. That first weekend working together like this in Saint Louis brought the same pressure that you experience as a racer to strive for success but on the mechanic side. I knew what he needed because I know what I need as a rider, so to put all that together and it was a strong combination which brought about a main event qualification and a successful day.”
Looking forward, Enticknap sees this experience as an eye opening one in how he views where he is in his career.
“A few weeks back, I was looking at the time for Adam and in places where he was struggling. You see things from a broad scope as the mechanic rather than the tight vision you see things as a racer. At times, as a racer you see things are farther away than they really are. Stepping away from that and seeing it from the other side of things you notice that goals are closer than they appear. For Adam he was in a place where if he dropped a second or two he is a top 12 rider at the highest level. It easier to see it from the more broad view of where you can polish things up. For me, the biggest eye opener is knowing how close I am to Adam in my racing so to see that if Adam only needed to drop a second or two, then I only need to drop four to five seconds and I am in the mix for a top 12 rider in the world in the premier 450 class of Supercross racing. It makes the next step even more realistic.”
The Enticknap brothers are everything good about privateer racing. They are the standard by which up and coming racers can learn how to act and approach racing.
If you are ever at a Supercross race you should find the 722 and 723, you won’t regret it.