By Bob Aguilar
During the 2008 season, Next Moto Champion President, Jon Boucher, raced a 2008 Thumpstar 125 TDX in the SCminiGP Thumpstar GP class. Wanting to focus more on his son, Brad Boucher, Jon arranged a trade with Jason Aguilar. Jon agreed to let Jason start riding his Thumpstar, and Jason would give Brad his Blata 6.2 Pocketbike for the 2009 season at the end of the 2008 season. The trade worked out perfectly. After winning the 2008 SCminiGP Semi-Pro Junior Championship, Jason gave his pocketbike to Brad Boucher. Jason told Brad, “If I give you this bike, you have to win the Championship next year”. Brad responded by winning the 2009 SCminiGP Semi-Pro Junior Championship. Jason adapted quickly to the Thumpstar by finishing second in Thumpstar GP the first time he ever rode the bike, and then reeling off 11 straight wins to finish the 2008 season and take the 2009 Thumpstar GP title.
After that, the Thumpstar became Jason’s pitbike for WERA, AFM, CVMA, Track Daz, and Fastrack Riders track days, where it has been ridden countless hours by virtually all the young racers at those events. The bike has been extremely reliable and still has all the same engine parts from when Jon Boucher raced it.
For Jason’s 15th birthday, he asked if he could go to the M1GP Race at Grange Motor Circuit. M1GP specializes in NSR50 racing and has other classes as well. Jason tried to line up a NSR50 to race but could not find one to borrow. He decided to race his Thumpstar instead. “I know I will probably finish last, but I think it would be fun to race the Thumpstar”, Jason explained. We replaced Jason’s 2009 race tires with fresh tires and added a set of Galfer front brake pads, safety wired the bike, and went to the track. In 2009, Jason was 3-4 seconds slower on his Thumpstar than he was on his NSR50s. He expected to be a back marker. Jason changed his style and was now riding the Thumpstar supermoto style instead of road race style as he had in 2009. The change came from attending Colin Edwards’ Texas Tornado Boot Camp earlier this year as a prize for winning the Next Moto Champion award. After learning to ride a dirt bike for the first time at the Boot Camp, Jason was now more comfortable riding a supermoto style where his foot is out and forward going through the turns instead of on the footpeg. In the early practice sessions, Jason was able to hang with the fast guys. After some suspension adjustments, Jason was lapping faster than the NSR50s. When qualifying was over, Jason was the top qualifying small bike with a time of 1:10.14. This was over 2 seconds faster than his 2009 race times at Grange.
Jason knew he would still have a challenge from Gabriel Hernandez III once the races started. Gabe was one of Jason’s toughest competitors from SCminiGP Blata Cup and MiniGP classes back in 2007 and 2008. Gabe is now the runaway points leader in M1GP, with a history of really stepping up his performance on race day.
Jason entered the 65 GP Expert class and Formula 100 class. He was also entered in the Open GP/Open Motard class race even though he had nowhere near the power of the 150cc Honda CRF150R powered competitors. In Open GP/Open Motard, Jason was pushing hard to maintain contact with Alan Mortenson when he pushed a little too hard and tucked the front sliding off the track. After getting restarted, and pounding the clutch lever back into place with his fist as he rode up the main straightaway, Jason settled for 3rd place in the Open class.
In 65 GP Expert, Jason battled Gabe Hernandez III to the first corner and then gradually extended his lead to take his first mini win since taking the SCminiGP Pro GP Championship last year. In the Formula 100 class, Gabe stuck with Jason for the first 2 laps. In the process, Gabe ran a personal best on his NSR50. But, Jason put the hammer down with a series of 1:10 laps to create some space between him and Gabe. Jason then eased up in the final lap to take his second unexpected victory of the day. “It was really fun to come back and see a lot of my old friends and race on a mini track again. I did a lot better than I expected.” Jason stated after the race.