We spoke to rising star Kaleb De Keyrel about his career and future aspirations.
There are many young riders who catch the racing/riding bug at an early age. For Kaleb De Keyrel he was ready to go before he was even born. Born into a motocross family, Kaleb spent most of his early days riding in the dirt. It wasn’t until age 11 that he transitioned to road racing. Finishing second in 2020 with 3 wins and 9 podium appearances, De Keyrel will be competing again in the MotoAmerica Twins Cup series for 2021 and will be one of the first to pilot the new Aprilia RS660 around American tracks.
When did you start riding motorcycles?
I started riding Dirt bikes when I was 3 years old!
What was the first bike you learned to ride on?
I learned to ride on a Yamaha PW50.
What was the bike you first raced on?
I did my first Motocross race on a PW50 as well, the same bike I learned to ride on!
Where was your first race?
Millville, MN, I did my first ever Motocross race at Millville on their 50 track, it was great growing up near such an amazing track!
What was it about racing that appealed to you?
I had a bike before I was even born! My dad raced Motocross and Snocross. I guess you could say I was just born into racing it has been my way of life from the very beginning! I think what I love most about racing is traveling the country with family and my girlfriend in recent years.
Which series did you race in over the past few years before MotoAmerica?
I have a unique racing background racing BMX when I was little then moved into motocross from when I was 4 till age 11 that’s when I completely switched to road racing full time. I turned pro when I was 16, we did 2 full seasons in MotoAmerica having some success. I was left without a ride after the 2015 season so being in my late teens, I didn’t have a lot of money to run my own road racing program. So, from 2015 to 2019 I went back to racing motocross, racing Loretta Lynn’s multiple years and getting my license to race pro motocross. I did a couple of outdoor Nationals and had a lot of fun during those years, but I knew I was just meant to be in road racing. I got the chance to race one MotoAmerica race in 2019 and I won at Laguna Seca now I have been racing MotoAmerica ever since!
List your accomplishments in those series’ (podium, winner, etc.)
2013 CRA Champion and multiple Race wins in CCS WERA CRA.
What class will you be riding in 2021?
MotoAmerica Twins Cup
What bike will you be riding this year?
1-833-CJKnows Accident & Injury Law/Robem Engineering/The Center for Plastic Surgery 2021 Aprilia RS660
Goals for this season?
Biggest challenges for this 2021 season?
I think the biggest challenge will be the bike, getting it set up is going to be interesting. There is almost zero development of this motorcycle so we will be doing a lot of development testing with Robem Engineering all season long and I think you will see dramatic improvement as we go through the season.
Ultimate goals in the sport? MotoGP? WSBK?
I absolutely love racing in MotoAmerica! I think it’s an awesome series and they’re doing great things for the sport and helping American riders develop into champions and move on to world stages. My goal is to climb the classes in MotoAmerica then hopefully move on to WSBK or MotoGP. I have put a lot of work in, and I still have a lot of work to do but I am hungry to win races and championships for many years to come.
Any racing heroes growing up?
I would have to say the biggest one would be Ryan Dungey being he was from Minnesota and seeing his determination to make his dreams come true was truly inspiring!
Who is the biggest influence on your career?
I would have to say my Dad, he was the one teaching me from an early age all the way until now and he has worked his butt off for me to go racing for an extremely long time. A lot of early mornings to fund my racing and a lot of late nights in the shopkeeping my bikes running throughout the years. Not to mention the long hours on the road getting me from race to race! There’s no way I would possibly be in the situation I am now without him.
Any advice for young riders wanting to get into racing?
Work extremely hard to reach your goals but make sure to keep it fun. The higher up the rankings you get it gets easier to lose sight of the reason you love to ride, and why you even started riding in the first place, because it’s fun!
If you want to see more of Kaleb follow his social media below:
Featured images – https://brianjnelson.com/