B’ville native to compete in local motocross event
By Ashley M. Casey
While a number of Baldwinsville’s own athletes have made it to the pros, it’s not too often that you can catch one of their competitions close to home. This weekend, however, professional motocross racer Dave Costa will compete in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Unadilla MX in New Berlin — less than two hours away from his hometown.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship tour makes a stop on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Unadilla MX in New Berlin. This marks exactly 50 years since Unadilla MX opened in 1969. Nearly 200 races, featuring more than 94,000 riders, have taken place on this track.
The Unadilla stop is the 10th of 12 events on the Pro Motocross tour, known as the world’s most prestigious off-road motorcycle series. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the tour has more races left this season in Mechanicsville, Maryland, on Aug. 17 and Crawfordsville, Indiana, on Aug. 24.
Costa will be competing in the 450 class alongside the nation’s top pro dirt-bikers.
“It’s basically the best riders that there is,” he said.
In order to compete in the 450, racers must have their professional license, which Costa acquired in 2009.
“When you’re at one of these things, you’ve got to qualify into the main. If you make that top 40, you’ve got to be on your game because everyone there is amazing,” he said.
Costa, 30, fell in love with motocross at age 3 and has been racing since age 5.
“I’ve raced every single year since then and I’m 30 now,” he said.
Both the physical and mental challenges of the sport appeal to Costa.
“It’s one of the top athletic sports that there is,” he said. “It’s a big mental challenge. Sometimes you don’t do as well as you would like — it’s the worst thing. … Any time I win, it feels great.”
Costa’s favorite part of motocross is his ability to inspire others.
“When the kids look up to you or ask for a signature or ask you to teach them … passing on experience, that’s the best part about it. No matter what you do, I think it’s always that,” he said.
Now that he is a father with a full-time job — Costa works for Tessy Plastics in Van Buren — he has more to focus on than just racing, but he still makes time for his passion.
Costa’s son is 3 years old, the same age as Dave was when his father bought him his first 50CC dirt bike.
“He’s obsessed with it. He comes to the races with me a lot. He has a little 50 he’ll ride around already,” Costa said of his son. “It’ll never be something I try to push on him, but if he does it’d be great because I can teach him.”
The championship will be broadcast on MAVTV and NBC Sports Gold. To learn more about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship or to purchase tickets, visit promotocross.com.
To get to Unadilla MX from Syracuse, take the New York State Thruway to Exit 32, turn left at the light after the toll booth, then go three miles before turning right on Judd Road. From there, Judd Road becomes Route 480 and then Route 8 South, with the track on the right.
Phil Blackwell contributed to this story.