Oregon Rider Takes on MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica is here in the Pacific Northwest. On Friday, riders and teams spent the day in practice and qualifying rounds. Riders from around the world have come to the Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, WA for round 6 of the MotoAmerica 2022 series.

Kevin Pinkstaff is one of those riders looking to make his own mark on the event. Based out of the Portland, OR area, Pinkstaff, a local racer in Oregon and Washington, was gracious enough to chat with us about his experience.

Why are you here at MotoAmerica?

Pinkstaff: Well, it’s the only PNW stop on the circuit. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m fast enough to qualify, and it’s a cool opportunity to race with the best around and see how you stack up. Getting to see the racers you see on TV, and get a chance to compete against them is a really cool thing. It’s open my eyes to how fast they are at this level. I’m used to being at the front of the pack, and now I’m working my way from that back. This is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and just one of those experiences in life that you just don’t know how many opportunities you have left.

Outside of MotoAmerica, where else are you racing?

Pinkstaff: I run the Oregon (OMRRA) and Washington (WMRRA) Club series and have been doing that the past couple of years. I’ve done Laguna in the past and that’s a really fun race, but the reality of racing, anything close to me is an opportunity and I’m going to do what I can to race those events. Otherwise, the logistical and financial challenges restrict some of that.

Outside of racing, what else are you doing?

Pinkstaff: I’m a high school science teacher. I coach cross country and track. I’ve got two kids and wife who support me. I do wonder if I could be better if I was able to focus full-time on racing. The reality is that I feel I’m a more rounded person. I can have a bad weekend and the only bummed out is me. The reality of making racing my full-time just isn’t realistic. It’s a passion of mine, but it’s something that I’m fortunate to compete at the local level, and qualify at National level. I can really enjoy those experience and have fun doing what I love.

Photo: Matt Staples

How were races today (Friday) for qualifying?

Pinkstaff: It went excellent today. In my first practice session I was able to hit my all-time best. The tires are different, so just adapting to those tires, and making minor changes. In qualifying I was able to set a personal best by a half second. Going into Saturday’s races I’m not looking to push the envelope. The goal there is to get laps in and feel how the bike is. I think we’re in a good spot to be competitive.

Photo: Matt Staples

What does success look like for you at MotoAmerica?

Pinkstaff: I think success look like continuing the trend that we’ve been on running good times for us. Hopefully my race laps can be in the 46 second range would be really good. Results wise, we’ll see where that puts us. We’ve got some guys ahead of us that are within a second or two. My goal will be to latch onto that group to get a little bit faster. The competition is really high. It’s a different environment here and you always push a bit harder from yourself.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, and good luck going into Saturday’s races, and hopefully we’ll be seeing you on Sunday.


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