Seth Hammaker signed a second contract with Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green to continue his path towards a professional motocross career.
Hammaker, a 17-year-old resident of Bainbridge, said that he got his first riding experience when he would sit on his father’s bike as a kid. As time went by, his father, Jason, bought him his first bike, which was a PW50. Seth Hammaker described the PW50 as “pretty much the smallest bike you can get for a rider.”
To put the PW50 in scale, the 2016 Yamaha brochure listed 15 bikes and the PW50 had the shortest seat height at 19.1 inches.
As he hopped on the PW50 and similar bikes at a young age, Hammaker said that he did it primarily for fun and would compete in local races, but it was never something he took overly seriously. Becoming a professional and making a career out of it wasn’t something that he or his family was thinking about at the time. Two years ago, however, those thoughts began to change for him and his family.
“I started gaining more sponsorships and last year was my first year on a factory team. I’m still on the same team, but it’s pretty much my job now. They bring my bike to the races and I get paid for what I do,” Hammaker said.
The races that Hammaker competes in are spread through the United States, ranging from California to Florida and states in between like Nevada, Texas and Michigan (which is home to his favorite track).
In order to fulfill both his school and travel responsibilities, Hammaker is currently homeschooled and that is a key factor in turning his dream into a reality.
“It’s pretty cool to get out and see different parts of the world. I work ahead before the races and when I come back I try to maintain it. I keep the schedule ahead of me so that I can ride,” Hammaker said.
He does not always have to travel far, however, when it comes to training for the races. Hammaker and his family have a track in their backyard, which he said he trains on five days out of the week. A typical training day consists of riding for four hours, Hammaker said.
Hammaker added that his training isn’t simply limited to riding a bike with an engine attached to it, however. He often rides a regular bicycle and will mix in some road biking and mountain biking as well.
“I’m still using handlebars and mountain bikes have a suspension. I make sure that I relate everything back to motocross,” Hammaker said.
Hammaker’s training paid off in a big way during a 2016 Super Mini I race at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. He won the event and added a second-place finish in the Super Mini II race. Hammaker said that his first-place finish in the Super Mini I race is what earned him the Team Green Sponsorship.
In addition to the Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green sponsorship, Hammaker is sponsored by Fly, Bell and 100%.
“When they [Monster] first contacted me it was pretty cool. I looked up to a lot of riders on that team, but I proved myself to the team and it was pretty cool to get a sponsorship from the,” Hammaker said.
The full-time sponsor made his way to Las Vegas for his most recent race in the Monster Energy Cup. In his most recent race, Hammaker won the Amateur All-Stars event on Saturday, Oct. 14.
“It’s one of the few races that we get to ride supercross. There are only a select few that get to go. You know that these riders are the best out there and it was pretty crazy to win,” Hammaker said.
Perhaps fueled by his All-Star victory, Hammaker said that he plans to continue his professional development into next year, which will be his last as an amateur. If everything goes according to plan, the next step after that is to make is a full-time career.
“It’s like a job now; it’s all I do. You have to love it and make it your life to do well. There will be more races as a professional, but training now will help us with that,” Hammaker said.