By: Derek Blais | September 18th, 2019
Anson “Mojo” Maloney is a special person that you never forget once you meet him. His calm and friendly manner and easy smile make you feel comfortable around him right away. If anybody needs anything, Anson is always eager to help out, and his enthusiasm for racing motorcycles is contagious. But underneath this friendly, outgoing man is a competitor, a guy who knows what it takes to win and is willing to put in the many hours of work required to be the best.
In order to reach his goal of qualifying for the ISDE, Anson went to great lengths, racing both the East and West coast qualifying series. We asked him about his experience making the ISDE team:
“The qualifier series went pretty good for me, as I competed in both the East and West Coast series. The first West qualifier in Red Hill was actually the worst for me, as I got lost on day one causing me to lose a lot of time and I was not able to get it back together on day two, placing 17th and a 13th for round 1. After that disappointing first West coast round, we loaded up the van and drove to Michigan the very next weekend to participate in the second round of the East Coast ISDE qualifier series. In Michigan, things went much better and I ended both days with 3rd place, putting me in a good spot to qualify from the East. The next 2 qualifiers were both on the West coast. I was unsure about how I would do in the West coast series based the very stacked field of riders trying to qualify this year compounded by my terrible performance at round 1 not putting me in a good spot to qualify. Fortunately, at West coast round 2 in Idaho, I was able to pick up the pace and had a great ride, ending both days in 4th place. Two 4th place finishes put me in a much better spot and I was actually back in the running to qualify from the West coast, meaning it would all come down to my performance at the final West Coast round. Coming into the last West qualifier in Mesquite, Nevada I was ready to give 100% but unfortunately my race bike had blown up the weekend before and was not rebuilt yet, and there was a lot of fast guys showing up as this event was a co-sanctioned Sprint Hero event, so it was going to make it even tougher to stay in qualifying position. I put in a great effort both days on my practice bike, a KTM 300 xcw TPI, and came away with a 6th and a 7th place finish giving me just enough points to get the last qualifying spot on the west coast team! Even though I had just qualified out of the west coast series, the plan was to still go race in West Virginia for the last East coast qualifier where I had another great performance finishing with a 5th and 6th place, also giving me a qualifying spot on the East coast team and therefore solidifying my spot at the 2019 ISDE in Portugal!”
What makes this massive qualifying effort even more impressive is the adversity that Anson had to go through during the second half of last year. A severe injury had him questioning his racing future, and a heroic comeback was about to begin:
“At this time last year, my season and upcoming remainder of the 2018 season was kind of unknown to me, which was a very scary time. After sustaining a severe break in my leg in Japan at the JNCC, I was told I may not walk at all in 2018 and would be lucky to ride again in 2019. For me this timeline was a not an option, since I had my sights set on winning the Overall in the 2018 AMA District 36 Cross Country Championship and had many goals for the 2019 season that I was already training for. With a combination of a great medical team getting me in for surgery the same day I landed back in the U.S., followed by lots of great physical therapy, training and dedication, I was back riding my dirt bike in 2 months and was able to clinch the 2018 AMA D36 Overall Cross Country Championship 2 rounds early. I was extremely determined to not let this unfortunate event change my 2018 racing plans and it was really important for me to keep a positive mental state, to keep telling myself with daily hard work, I can beat the odds and get back to riding and racing sooner than the doctors first told me. After winning the championship, I set my sights on a new goal for 2019, getting a gold medal at the ISDE. While my leg was not back to 100% at the beginning of the year, creating some uncertainty coming into the 2019 season, I still decided to go for it and with a lot of support and hard work, my team and I were able to achieve the goal of getting to the ISDE this year. Now after a long summer of fundraising and training, we are getting ready to head to Portugal and see what we can do!
For me, racing in the ISDE and representing the USA in such a prestigious race, is truly a lifelong dream of mine. It has been something I have been aspiring to do since I was a young kid, and there is so much that goes into this event that just makes it that much more of an exciting experience!”
A class act through and through, Anson is stoked to be a member of the MojoMotoSport ISDE Club Team, and he’s ready to bring home the Gold!
GO TEAM U.S.A.!!
Support Anson & his ISDE efforts by purchasing a "Mojo Maloney" T-Shirt HERE!