Agustin Barreneche is a motocross racer on the rise as he works his way through the amateur ranks towards the goal of becoming a professional. As a member of the Team EBR Performance squad and hailing from Medellin, Columbia, Barreneche and his family decided a few years back to live and train in the United States based out of the Millsaps Training Facility (MTF) in Cairo, Georgia, where he now lives and trains the majority of the year under the tutelage of MTF Owner Colleen Millsaps.
After a fifth-place finish in the Mini Senior 12-14 class at the 2020 Loretta Lynn's Amateur National Championship, Barreneche was on a shortlist of riders to watch coming into the 2021 running of Loretta Lynn's. Unfortunately, a crash in early July resulted in a broken femur that took him out only a few short weeks before the event.
"I was really working hard," explained Barreneche. "That's probably why I crashed and broke my leg. It was on a jump that threw you really high, and you had to seat bounce it, and I overjumped it in an endo. When I opened my eyes, I saw that my leg was a little sideways, and I was like, 'oh no!' At first, I thought it was my knee because my knee was the one that was hurting, but it was actually my femur."
Now on the mend, Barreneche has set his sights on recovery and having fun on the motorcycle by putting less pressure on himself as he continues to get back to 100%. In fact, his recovery has gone so well that he got back on the bike near the end of September.
"Everyone was telling me, 'how are you riding right now,'" explains Barreneche. "But every day of my injury, I did 1-2 hours of therapy, so I recovered very fast."
And recover fast he certainly has, because even more surprising, is that Barreneche felt well enough to line up and race at the Motoplayground National at Ponca City in October after a trial run at a local Florida race.
"I didn't want to worry about results, Barreneche went on to explain. "I wanted to have a good race and actually have fun. I did have a few bike problems and ran out of gas one moto because we had to test my bike a lot before we got to the gate, and I almost missed the gate drop. I ended up running out of gas on the last lap… and I was like, 'why?!' [laughs]."
Despite the mishaps at Ponca, Barreneche is looking forward to continuing his recovery and working towards the upcoming amateur nationals such as the Mini Olympics over Thanksgiving, before moving on to the big Spring Nationals in 2022. When asked about his goals going forward, he clarified that fun needs to be a factor no matter where and when he races in 2022 and beyond.
"[Next year] I'm turning to 125. I'm not going to take it really seriously because I crash a lot when I take it really seriously. I'm going to try to have fun at the Spring National on the 125. I feel it's going to be really hard with all the guys in that class, but I'll try to make good things and be smart and make smart decisions."
Sounds like a solid plan to us. With his down-to-earth demeanor and dedicated work ethic, look for great things from Agustin Barreneche in the future.
Interview by Dale Spangler
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