A Nanaimo motocross racer is back up to speed after his sport challenged him in new ways.
Sebastian (Seby) Sulyok, 12, made it back onto the podium this summer after a serious crash last winter sidelined him several months.
Sulyok was competing at an arenacross event in Chilliwack last December when another rider crossed into his line on one of the track’s biggest doubles. Sulyok was forced to bail and while he landed OK, his bike landed on top of him and he broke his arm in multiple places, dislocated his knee and also sustained hip and wrist injuries.
The injury never dampened Sulyok’s enthusiasm, and instead brought the family new perspective.
“We didn’t want to put any pressure. Actually, no pressure,” said Steve Sulyok, Seby’s father. “It was just, let’s go out and have fun.”
By April, the former Canadian arenacross champion was back on the smaller motocross circuits, and revved up from there.
“He roared back,” Steve said. “It didn’t come instantaneously … Spiritually, psychologically, physically, it took a while.”
It helps that Seby’s style has always been to ride smart, calculated races, not to be reckless.
“You kind of have to shelve that fear component a little bit, but as we’ve all told Sebastian, trust your abilities, trust your bike, trust your equipment, trust your coaches, believe in yourself,” Steve said. “That’s the foundation of our game plan.”
It was an emotional moment, Steve said, when Seby scored his biggest win of the season, first place in the Portland Invitational Raceway Red Bull Supercross event’s 12-16 85cc division in July.
He ended the summer second overall in the Future West B.C. motocross series and recently wrapped up third in Future West’s fall series. As part of the KTM-Canada Spunky’s factory race travel team, the Cedar Secondary School student will train in southern California at the end of this month before arenacross starts back up in mid to late November.