Dayne Kinnaird

“Dayne Kinnaird Electrifies Selland Arena”

By Eddie Graveline

             Dayne Kinnaird entered this weekend’s freestyle motocross competition at Selland Arena as a complete unknown. The Fresno round of the International Freestyle Motocross Association’s (IFMA) series was Kinnaird’s debut with the organization. None of his fellow competitors had ridden with him prior to the event and the Fresno fans were in the dark as well. But in a matter of two minutes, Kinnaird put together a final run that elevated him from obscurity to the winner’s circle.

            A rider of such skill would never be able to remain anonymous under normal circumstances, but Kinnaird’s path to Selland Arena was a little different and quite a bit longer than the rest of his competition. The 20-year-old hails from Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and didn’t set foot in the United States until April of this year.

            Like most freestyle riders, Kinnaird’s roots are in motocross racing. The folks back home, however, observed in him a flair for aerial acrobatics at an early age. “I’ve been doing tricks since I was on mini bikes”, Kinnaird remembers. “People would stop on the road next to my practice track back home and just watch me jump. I guess I was a freestyler before freestyle existed.”

            Until recently, Kinnaird didn’t consider motorcycles to be a career choice. The son of an electrician, he passed all of the courses necessary to become a licensed apprentice and settled in for a normal life. The popularity of freestyle motocross grew quickly, though, and Kinnaird was soon riding professionally in Australia. From there he began to compete in New Zealand and Europe before finally coming to America for his shot at the big time.

            Kinnaird’s winning performance Friday at Selland demonstrated the kind of work ethic and desire that are necessary for success in any sport. His “trick list” is as diverse as it is extensive and he puts an intense level of energy into each run on the course. “I think I have a different style than some of the other riders”, he explains. “I try to ride hard through the corners and show the fans that there’s more to it than just hitting the ramps and doing tricks.”

            Kinnaird’s approach obviously made an impression. The judges scored his final run Friday higher than the very respectable efforts from Darin Connet, Matt Buyten and Jake Windham. It appears that the series promoters see a gem in the young Aussie as well. “Friday night was the first time that I saw Dayne ride”, commented IFMA PR Manager Jason Huggler. “He surprised a lot of people including myself. He’s going to be a regular on the IFMA circuit next year and we couldn’t be happier to have him.”

            IFMA contests are scored by a panel of judges. Riders are evaluated on the number of tricks that they complete, execution, level of difficulty and use of the entire course. The floor of Selland Arena featured three different jumps. Two of them were steel takeoff ramps set 80 feet from dirt landings. The third was a 50-foot dirt-to-dirt jump. If a rider fails to do a trick even once during his run, it affects the score negatively.

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