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Riponite now represents Team USA in Czech Republic
Aiden Tijero, 11, of Ripon poses on the podium after taking first place in the 65cc 10-11 limited division at the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship last weekend in Tennessee. - photo by Photo courtesy of SUNSHINE TIJERO

Aiden Tijero is a local rarity in amateur motocross.

The 11-year-old Ripon resident won the Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championship in the 65cc 10-11 limited division on Saturday.

With the victory, Tijero also qualified for the 2013 FIM Junior Motocross World Championships in Jinin, Czech Republic which concludes on Sunday.

Tijero was one of two U.S. motocross riders officially selected to compete in the 65cc division overseas.

He received a personal invite from the American Motorcyclists Association through the mail.

“We’re riding for Team USA,” said Aiden’s mother, Sunshine Tijero. “There are 11 riders and only two 65cc riders will represent the U.S.  You have to be chosen to represent our country, you can’t just apply.

“It just depends on your results, and then they invite you to be a part of the team. You have to earn it.”

The invitation was well-deserved.

He followed his victory at the Ponca City MX Championships with the victory at Loretta’s. He has now won three national titles this year, not to mention a second-place finish at the Mammoth National and another gold-medal finish at the Oakhill National.

He also placed at the Freestone National and won both the Vurb Classic and Hangtown Amateur. In Ponca City, Oklahoma, Tijero won nine out of nine motos and also took home a pair of titles in the 65 open and 65 limited divisions.

“Going to Loretta’s is huge,” Tijero explained. “Kids just dream to go there, and for to me to win it, I feel phenomenal. It feels awesome.

“To go overseas and ride, I am honored to represent the United States. I’m going in with a full head of confidence.”

Tijero took fourth place in the first moto of the division that he eventually won gold in. In moto No. 2 and 3, he finished first both times, including a dramatic finish in the final heat.

Tijero fell off his bike three times during the finale and still made up a significant deficit to take first and pass his competition – Ty Masterpool (third place) of Texas and Jace Kessler (second place) of Michigan.

“That was pretty epic,” he said. “The last lap I came back on (Masterpool and Kessler), the two fastest kids there. I actually passed them both in the same section. After that the announcer started going crazy. After the white flag, I knew I had to push it no matter what.

“If I didn’t get first place I didn’t get the win (overall). I just really wanted the race. First place is always my goal. I always want to win.”

Tijero’s plan heading into the Junior Worlds isn’t much different.

“We (flew) out Sunday,” said his mother. “The competition is like the Olympics for amateur motocross. We do everything like the Olympics does.”

There will be an opening ceremony, followed by two days of practice on the track. There will be one day of qualifying before the actual race day this Sunday, according to the older Tijero.