GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Ryder Lafferty

Tuesday Toolbox: Ryder Lafferty

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 | 5:45 PM
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 | 5:45 PM

This week for the Wiseco Tuesday Toolbox we caught up with Coastal GASGAS Factory Racing’s Ryder Lafferty.

When did you start riding & when and where did you first start racing & how’d you do?

I started riding at around 3 years old. I don’t think I could even balance on a bicycle yet so I had training wheels on my dirt bike to get started. I didn’t race my first race until I was 7 years old at a local race in Delaware it was super muddy. I believe I was dead last like 14th place or something haha.

Lafferty earned the first two wins of the season.
Lafferty earned the first two wins of the season. Ken Hill

You’re off to an incredible start this year, two for two. What’s clicking for you? 

Honestly I’m not really sure everything has just been building up to this point. I have a really awesome group of people around me that help me juggle everything and keep me on the right track.

The goal seems pretty obvious, win the XC2 National Championship. You had some incredible rides last season. What did training look like for you in the off-season? Did you change anything up or focus on any one thing over another? 

Yes this off-season was a little bit different I started training under the tutelage of Kailub Russell and Jacob Fetty so I’ve been down here at Ranch Russell in Florida since the end of December. I’ve been really enjoying it there’s myself and 5 other pros and a handful of fast amateur kids that I’ve been training with it’s been good to compare and learn from the guys that race in the XC1 class. Having Kailub and Jacob has really taken all the guesswork out of it for me since in years past I’ve mostly just trained on my own or done my own thing. Now all I have to do is just do what they tell me and I know I’ll be ready and fit for the races.

The Coastal Racing Factory GasGas team has a genuine family atmosphere. What’s it like riding for them under the guidance of Barry Hawk?

It’s been awesome the Coastal team is one big family and I got super lucky to get together with the team when I did. They took me in and made me feel at home right away. Having Barry there has been great he has so much knowledge with racing especially GNCC. He helps all of the riders on the team with just how much experience he has and how to handle any situation that we get dealt with.

You’ve got DK turning wrenches for you this season. He is one of a kind! How’s that partnership going? 

DK is awesome ,it’s been super fun this year working with him. He’s definitely a character and keeps the mood lite but when it’s time to get serious and go to work he does just that. I trust him already and I know he’s got my back all the time. I’m not the most social guy, I’m usually quiet and shy but having DK he’s my hype man  he does all the talking for me! Haha

Lafferty atop the XC2 250 Pro class podium.
Lafferty atop the XC2 250 Pro class podium. Ken Hill

We’ve touched on the hot start to the year. We know what one win does for a rider’s confidence, what does two in a row do for you moving forward?

It’s definitely really good for my confidence moving forward but my main focus for this season is to just take it race by race and not let myself get carried away it’s a long season still and a lot can happen. I just want to see every checkered flag and give it everything I have out on the track for those 3 hours!

We typically have at least a weekend in between rounds. We don’t have that luxury between Florida and Georgia. And the Florida round is known for taking its physical and mental toll on riders. What does this week look like compared to your normal schedule between two rounds?

This week is pretty tame compared to normal. Florida is one of the toughest races physically all season and with it only being a week until Georgia it’s super important to rest and get recovered so we’ll still bicycle, ride, go to gym but its not as long and grueling as it usually is.

Let’s talk life outside of racing. When you’re not training, what do you like to do for fun? 

For sure Fishing mostly bass fishing here lately since there’s a lot of good spots to go here in Florida or Bow fishing with my buddy Stu Baylor whenever I can I try to go as much as I can when I have time. It’s just helps me get my mind off everything and reset

Lafferty and his mechanic, DK, at the Wild Boar.
Lafferty and his mechanic, DK, at the Wild Boar. Mack Faint

You’re all business and focus on a race weekend. Competing and winning are motivating enough, but what outside of that of that keeps you fixed on your goals?

There’s a lot I find motivation in but the biggest one I think is working a regular job. I worked at a glass factory in my hometown as a mechanic/welder for 4 years right out of high school while still trying to race. It was really tough and I learned a lot through it. I know that what I get to do now and call a job (racing a dirt bike professionally) won’t last forever but it’s always been my dream ever since I was a kid and it motivates me to

Who are the sponsors and people you’d like to thank?

The whole Coastal racing factory GASGAS team, Bi-con, Denny Patterson, Barry Hawk, Donny Kelley, Antti Kallonen, Geoff Aaron, Uncle Mike and Aunt Brandi, Cody Lore, Whitmer family, Remington family, Moose racing, Alpinestars boots, shoei helmets, helmet house, Scott goggles, FMF, Renthal, Dunlop tires, Acerbis, WP suspension, IMS tanks, Seat concepts, Motorex, Hinson, DP  brakes, HBD graphics, Super B batteries, Bulletproof designs, TM design works, DID chain and rims.