For 9-year-old Damian Buccieri, a bump in the road is a good thing. In fact, the more bumps — and the bigger they are, within reason, for that matter — the merrier. That’s because the Newtown resident is a motocross racer who loves to catch air.
Buccieri has been an off-road motorcycle enthusiast during the past four years, and has come a long way on the tracks since he first started tearing up his lawn on a little Yamaha PW50, the first bike his dad brought home for him.
The racing enthusiast, who finished second in the Metropolitan Sports Committee Family Motocross championship last year, is the series points leader in his 6–9-year-old age division this season. Buccieri, now racing a 60cc KTM bike at about 45 miles per hour, made it ten straight races with a win this past weekend at the Twister Valley MX in Fort Plain, N.Y. In addition to leading his age division, Buccieri is near the top of the pack for the 7–11-year-old Junior Mini Division.
He’s been going all out with practices, going on the track three or four times per week at the Milford Riders Club and Connecticut River Motocross in Rocky Hill, in hopes of securing the first-place trophy at the end of the campaign. The season, which features about two dozen races, goes all the way into October. Buccieri will squeeze in races with other series during off weekends, competing in 25–30 races before all is said and done for the wintertime off from the course.
His family goes to tracks in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey for competitions when time allows. A friendly atmosphere among motocross families at the tracks make this really enjoyable, says Chris Buccieri, Damian’s dad. “They’re the nicest people I’ve met in my lifetime,” he said.
The 9-year-old says what he likes best about motocross is getting “big air” off those course jumps. “It can be a little scary at times,” he admits. “The hardest part is getting through the ruts because you could break your ankle or twist it.”
Buccieri’s been hurt on the track before, but never anything serious. He’s equipped with a helmet, and also hooked up with a camera and his dad puts footage of the competitions on YouTube for people to get a from-the-track perspective of the races.
The up-and-coming off-road racer attributes his riding style and ability to watching professional motocross/supercross competitor AJ Catanzaro.
This year, Buccieri is honoring the Sandy Hook community with the green and white Sandy Hook Elementary School colors on his bike, as well as an “N” on the front fender.
The motocross enthusiast looks forward to continuing to ride competitively, and is practicing on a bigger and faster 85cc Kawasaki.
“I’m just so proud of him and what he’s accomplished,” his dad said.