The year 1999 was not pretty for Shae Bentley. Team SplitFire/Pro Circuit Kawasaki was hoping that it would be Shae?s breakout year, but he broke his wrist just days before the supercross series was set to begin and was out three months. Following the injury, Bentley shifted his focus to the 125cc Motocross National Championship. However, fate dealt another harsh blow to Bentley when he re-injured his wrist during practice.

One year later, Bentley was on top of the 125 supercross world.   After battling more injuries and the stomach flu, Shae won the 2000 125cc West Coast championship. Dirt Bike caught up with Shae at his home in Ellenwood, GA to find out what makes the Kawasaki star shine.

Bentley began racing at the tender age of nine when he finished second in his very first race in the 60cc (7-11) class. However, the thrill of near victory was enough to hook young Shae. “When I first began racing I always looked up to David Bailey. He had a great riding style, and was so smooth and precise.” Four years later he would take his first AMA Amateur Motorcycle Championship, winning the 85cc (14-15 yr. Old) class in 1993. His greatest amateur achievement came in 1995 when he beat a guy by the name of Ricky Carmichael in the Supermini class at the GNC Finals. Bentley went on to win the 250cc A/Pro Sport Championship and finished second in the 125cc A/Pro Sport class at the 1998 AMA Amateur Motocross Championships.

We asked Shae what keeps him busy in his free time and he told us he likes to keep a pretty low profile. “I like hanging out with my family and friends, and spending time at the beach or by the pool. Lately, I?ve been training really hard, trying to stay focused and get ready for next year. For a while I couldn?t even shift (as a result of a foot injury), but now I can run with no pain.”

We also wanted to find out what advice Bentley would have for up-and-coming racers. “Have fun!” Shae said. “Work hard and follow your dreams?because God is the only one who knows what?s planned for you.”

As for the future of motocross and his own future after racing, Shae had this to say: “I think motocross is headed towards NASCAR in popularity. With all the sponsor support and a growing fan base, the possibilities are endless. If I don?t remain in the sport (after racing) I would like to buy a convenience store or open up a motorcycle shop with my mechanic, Todd Dunn.”

“Team SplitFire/Pro Circuit Kawasaki has given me lots of support and all the tools I need to handle the pressure, allowing me to go into every race with confidence.”
For the year 2001 Shae is hoping that the injuries are behind him, and that he will finish the season with the same plate he started it with: number one.


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