To call Andy DiBrino a race junky would be an understatement.
Like a lot of riders, DiBrino started out young, at just 3 ½ years old on a dirt bike. Before turning 5, DiBrino was riding the whoops with his dad on Motocross tracks. But the need for speed quickly caught on with this Oregon native as racing sportbikes on private tracks was under his belt by the age of 12. Whether it's Motocross, flat track or Supermoto, DiBrino has done it all.
Today, the MotoSport sponsored rider isn't old enough to legally drink but he'll be suiting up in April for the 600 Superstock class of the newly formed MotoAmerica series which features nine rounds of racing over five months. These bikes bring serious speed with riders using with 4-cylinder engines ranging in size from 401 to 636cc or 3-cylinder 401 to 675cc sized engines.
DiBrino is busy training for the season riding at the Portland International Raceway and incorporating, of all things, flat track and Motocross days. MotoSport got a chance to talk with him before his life gets pretty busy next month.
Oh one more thing, when he's not racing bikes you just might find him competing in remote control car events where he was once a "factory driver."
Years Riding Pro: 3
What age did you start riding and on what: 3½ years old, Yamaha PW50
What do you ride now? Mainly Yamaha YZF-R6s
Hometown: Tualatin, Oregon
- 15 Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association class championships
- 10th overall in 2013 AMA Pro Road Racing Supersport West Standings
- First person ever to turn a 1:05 lap time at Portland International Raceway on a motorcycle
Other sports participated in: Motocross, flat track, and Supermoto.
Other hobbies/interests: Golf, cycling, skateboarding, snowboarding, painting, playing guitar, and r/c car racing.
1. You ride pretty much anything on two wheels, how did you get started on motorcycles?
My Dad bought me a PW50 before I was even 4 years old. I learned how to ride in my neighborhood and on a private airstrip. About a year later I was hitting the motocross track with my Dad!
2. What led to your switch from dirt bikes to sportbikes?
In 2007, I had already tried Supermoto at a local track, and that's where I got a taste of asphalt for the first time. My Dad and I went to the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca later that summer, and I found out about the Red Bull U.S. Rookies Cup tryouts that were being held in the fall, where kids 12-16 years old could get a ride racing a 125cc spec class that traveled with the AMA Pro Road Racing series. I submitted an application for the tryouts, got picked to attend, but didn't make the 25 rider cut out of the 100 or so kids that tried out. Needless to say though, I was hooked after riding a road racer for the first time! So I began road racing my local track, Portland International Raceway in 2008.
3. You've competed in motocross, flat track, Supermoto, and road racing. How do they stack up against each other?
Motocross is definitely the most brutal of the disciplines, flat track racing feels the most intense because of how tight the racing is, Supermoto is probably the most fun because you get both dirt and asphalt in one experience, and road racing is flat out fast! Surprisingly, what I take out of each discipline of racing helps me in another somehow. At the end of the day, it all involves two wheels, and it's all great fun. I'd recommend any racer get out and try a new type of racing, you'll never know what you're missing if you don't try!
4. For 2015, you're racing in the Superstock 600 in the MotoAmerica series, what have you been doing to prepare and why did you choose this class?
I've been racing flat track and riding motocross weekly. I also joined a new sport conditioning facility where I have multiple trainers, and I've been cycling a bit. I chose the 600 Superstock class because this is the closest spec 600cc class to the 600s I've been racing the last 3 years. This is also the new version of the old AMA Supersport class I competed in during the 2013 season. I feel like I have great shot at making it on the podium in this class, and even winning!
5. MotoAmerica is a brand new series, formerly the AMA Superbike series, can you tell us how it's different and what fans can expect for the season?
What is different about the series in 2015 is that is the start of a new era in American road racing. It's a transition year for the series, and ultimately the goal is for MotoAmerica to be structured like the FIM in Europe and the rest of the world. This will make it easier for Americans to transition into World Superbike and MotoGP. I think fans will enjoy seeing the series run in conjunction with MotoGP at Circuit of the America's in Austin, TX, as well some of the new class formats that should make for great racing.
6. What's it going to take for you to compete and reach the podium?
It'll be a combination of things. Almost all the tracks on the schedule I've never rode at, so I'm going to have to learn them and get up to speed immediately. I'm confident I can do this, as I have before. It'll also require a top notch race bike, which I have, and I'll have the people who can help me dial it in at each track. I feel like fitness and experience kept me from the podium during my rookie season in 2013, and I feel like I'm a whole new guy with both of those attributes going into 2015.
7. Last year, you set the lap record at Portland International Raceway. Tell us about that ride and mostly importantly your top speed that day.
At a prior round of am Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association event, the track record was broken by another rider, who happens to be one of my best friends. My bike 1000 seized that weekend, so I never had the chance to take it myself. I wanted redemption, and I had a lot of motivation to make it happen considering the lap record at the time was a 1:06.0, and not a 1:05 yet. So when the next opportunity came, I was at the top of my game, I had new tires on, and I went for it. The conditions weren't perfect, it was really windy. But the wind died down for a single lap, which I took full advantage of and broke the track record, turning a 1:05.9 lap time. A month later at PIR, I was leading Formula Ultra turning 1:05.7 lap times every lap, but my same friend snagged the record from me on the last lap. I plan on taking it back this year!
8. You're 20 years old and you race powerful, fast and expensive street bikes. How does one enter this sport and compete professionally at such a young age?
It really requires the support from parents. I couldn't do this without my Mom and Dad. They've funded this whole journey the day I began riding.
9. Off the bike, you have another racing hobby - remote control cars. How did you get into R/C?
I got into racing electric r/c cars when I was laid up for a few months after injuring myself racing motocross back in 2009. The off road r/c tracks are just scaled down Motocross and Supercross tracks essentially. I couldn't ride when I was injured, so this was how I got my racing "fix" in.
10. Are there actual sanctioned races with a champion and money on the line?
Oh yeah, totally. Like any type of racing, it can be taken to the absolute extreme. I just do it when I can for fun now, but for a few years I was a factory driver getting flown all over the country, with all expenses paid, racing r/c cars for Kyosho. And if I did well enough, I got paid. There are a handful of guys making over $100K doing this for a career. I could've gone down that path, but winning just isn't the same as it is on a motorcycle. Motorcycle racing has been my life for so long, I just never imagined doing anything else really! The time I had to race r/c cars has been devoted to training for my motorcycle racing.
11. You have to be pretty nimble racing remote control cars and racing motorcycles, are the skills at all complementary?There's no physical skills I'd say, but mental, yes. When you race r/c cars, you can't burn off your adrenaline since you're standing the whole time on a drivers stand overlooking the track. So it really intensifies your emotions if you crash, or have someone pressuring you for example. And it requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. So I think that along with mental strength could be benefits I could take into racing motorcycles.