Local motocross racer tears up the track in Spokane

Youngster Tanner Watson hauls home some impressive hardware in final races of the season.

Local motocross racer Tanner Watson is all smiles while posing with his weekend haul. From left to right: 4th place—50 cc Open

Local motocross racer Tanner Watson is all smiles while posing with his weekend haul. From left to right: 4th place—50 cc Open

Tanner Watson’s got some skills.

Just ask his competitors at the Airway Motocross Park in Spokane, as the young racer brought home a collection of seven trophies during a season-ending event last weekend.

Watson, 8, has been heading down to the track for races throughout the spring and summer, and his results were good enough to earn some pretty impressive hardware.

“For him, its quite a feat because you go down there and race against these kids, about 20 to 25 of them, and it’s on their home track, so they have a pretty big advantage, but he does pretty well,” said Brant Watson, Tanner’s father.

Tanner raced the season on a KTM 50 cc in his first full season of racing, as he got hooked on the sport last year when he tried out the track for the first time.

“I started out riding a dirt bike and I just got more into it and then I started asking to race and I kept asking until I started my first race,” said Tanner. “After that, I kind of liked it and I wanted to keep doing it.”

Brant and his wife, Allison, had no idea their son was interested in pursuing motocross even after getting him a dirt bike for his birthday when he turned 4 years old.

Brant grew up playing hockey and even dabbled in a bit of junior, and figured Tanner would follow in his footsteps.

“He kind of took this all on his own and it’s kind of neat, because I’m learning with him, too,” said Brant.

When the spring and summer hits, the two are out at a user-maintained track near Elko one day of the weekend, or out at a couple tracks that family friends have have built on their property.

The Watsons are also friends with Clayton Vogt, a local pro rider who is an inspiration for Tanner.

Heading down to Spokane is more convenient than heading to Lethbridge or Calgary for races and the trips are a family event, even though it’s focused on Tanner’s racing, said Brant.

“We’re there as a family and the whole family is cheering him on,” said Brant. “Mom’s out on the track, making sure he’s okay if he falls down and I’m in the pits, working on the bikes or making sure he gets a good start.”

The youngster even has a few sponsors as Kootenay Valley Petroleum—the company that Brant works for—helps out with some of the costs, while Mainjet Motorsports out of Nelson aids with bike maintenance. Gibson’s Welding in Cranbrook also lends a hand for any welding that needs to be done with the machine.

Though Tanner is sponsored, any modifications or upgrades done to the bike, considering his age, are more about improving safety rather than increasing speed.

“All that little stuff sure helps,” said Brant.

Tanner’s having so much fun out on the track, he’s got his younger sister, Mya, 5, interested in getting into dirt biking.

But the off-season is approaching, and Tanner will soon trade his dirt bike for hockey skates, but Brant hopes to get down to another American indoor track a few times over the winter.

“I honestly think if he had the opportunity to pick between motocross and hockey, I don’t even think it’d be a hard decision for him,” said Brant. “It would be dirt bikes all the way.”

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read