Benny Bloss, Carlin Gardner believe the rider has found a home at Beta Motorcycles
For the past eight years, Benny Bloss has been searching for a home so when Beta Motorcycles looked to add to their family to expand their presence into the Monster Energy Supercross series, he was the comfortable pick.
“I got that [family] vibe from them the whole time we were talking before we agreed to a deal and that’s huge to me,” Bloss told NBC Sports. “I grew up racing, surrounded with my family. That was what we did. We went on the weekends to the races. I’ve stayed really close with my whole family throughout my whole career, and they’re a very big part of all the decisions that I make. So for me, knowing that [Beta is] so family-oriented and it’s really like everyone works together really well there. That was huge for me.
“Being able to go out to the Beta headquarters and meet everybody and see everyone and see how they work together, it was a really big help in my decision of signing this deal. Having the team based like that will be very good for our success in the future. And I would love to be able to continue working with them beyond the two years that we have currently and hope that we can make it happen.”
Last week, Beta announced they will become the ninth different brand to compete in SuperMotocross with a debut in the Supercross season opener at Anaheim in January. For now, they will compete in the 450 class only.
Finding someone who integrated with the family was important for both the rider and manufacturer. Beta Motorcycles is a family business based in Italy that has a rich history in off-road and enduro style racing. The demands are different, but the corporate philosophy remains the same.
“With Beta being a family-owned company, and it has been a family-owned company since 1905, it’s important to us to find someone who wants a home,” Team manager Carlin Gardner told NBC Sports. “We don’t play the corporate games or anything. We definitely run things based off of family and trust.
“So after talking with some guys here and there and after talking with Benny, I knew it was going to be a good fit for us and for him. The few conversations I had with Benny, we just kind of hit it. Not even talking about racing or dirt bikes or anything. We just kind of joked around and that’s what we want. We want that family environment to where someone has a home, they feel comfortable, there’s no tension. That’s what we’re based on, we’ve been based on forever and still will be when we come to Supercross.”
Bloss made 11 Main events in the 2023 Supercross season with a best finish of eighth in New Jersey. An accident in his heat race in Nashville sidelined Bloss and his most productive season in the points was 15th in 2008. But the attraction of Beta for Bloss lies in his potential, not his past.
Racing is about more than everyone getting along. And the transition from off-road to stadium racing requires a new way of doing things. This is one of the places Bloss expects to make the greatest impact.
For a nomadic rider like Bloss, a two-year contract, the first of his career, is a blessing. In eight seasons, he has ridden for six different teams and four manufacturers. But it is precisely that experience of moving from brand to brand, team to team, that makes Bloss the right fit for Beta.
“Having rode so many different brands, being able to tell the differences of all of them, and try to make the Beta become the best that we possibly can get it, and knowing where the other brands are I definitely think is an advantage,” Bloss said. “In the talks that I had with them, I could tell they were very serious about making everything good and making it where if we do have maybe some issues with something, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we get them solved and that we have the bike the best we can going into the season.
“The family atmosphere was really appealing to me and that was pretty much icing on the cake. Through talking with them and the contract stuff was just really smooth, and they made me believe in them and knew that even if maybe we did have some issues with riding the bike the first time, we have plenty of time and they have the resources that we can get it figured out.
“Thankfully, I was able to ride the bike and it was very good. So we’ll start our Supercross testing late summer. I think it’ll be awesome.”
The Eyes Have It
For Beta to be successful in their first year of Supercross competition, they need to retool their existing four-stroke bikes.
The engine needs to rev up quicker to explode out of the tight corners in the 450 class. The suspension requirements are different for stadium racing and the ergonomics for a tall rider like Bloss are critical. In some ways, it might have been easier to move into the outdoor Pro Motocross series, but Gardner believes there is greater marketing potential in Supercross.
“It’s where you want to be,” Gardner said. “It’s something that has to be very well thought out if you want to do it long term.
“It takes a little bit of time just to prepare yourself to do Supercross because it is so big. It’s the top level of dirt bike racing you can do. And that’s why we decided to do the supercross side before we got into the motocross. And now that it’s combined, it’s going to be even bigger with the supercross rolled into motocross. But supercross just brings more eyes and that’s where we want to be in the beginning until we can make sure we have everything dialed in and we don’t overstep.
“We can get into the motocross and then maybe compete into the playoff stuff as well at the end of . But right now, Supercross is the show. That’s where you get all the people. That’s where you get all the eyes and where you can get most of the fans to engage with your product and sell everything.”