ST. STEPHEN – Gallagher (Gally) Chute may be a motocross prodigy in the making.
The boy from St. Stephen completed his first motocross season finishing in ninth place in his age class, which is for riders from four to six years old. He was the top-performing four-year-old in all of Atlantic Canada, said his father Seth Chute, and most of the riders were older than Gally.
Gally races in the Atlantic Motocross series sanctioned by Motorsport Racing Canada. Races are held on weekends throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Riders in Gally’s age class complete three races, called motos, in a weekend. Each moto is timed for seven minutes plus one lap.
Gally said he got interested in motocross when he saw another youth rider named Dustin Burbidge compete and got hooked.
The boy’s mother, Brittany Chute, says his “dad and dad’s friends are into dirt biking so that sparked an interest.
“After he watched his first race he was really hooked,” said his mother.
Gally got his first battery-powered bike just after he turned three and his first gas-powered bike when he was about three and a half.
Riders in his age class are restricted to a bike with a 50cc engine. His current bike, a 2019 KTM 50 Mini, is capable of a top speed of 96 km/h, “and he’s not scared to use the power,” said his father.
Gally did have to overcome some nerves at the start of the season.
Said his mother, “he was a little nervous to be out there in front of the crowds and on the track with other racers.”
Gally’s best race finish for a weekend was ninth and his best single race result was seventh.
He will use the same bike for at least one more year, said Seth, and then graduate to what is known as a 50 senior bike, which has the same engine but on a frame that sits a bit taller.
In motocross, the start is crucial to a good result. The first corner typically is only a short distance from the start line and getting into that first corner as one of the leading riders is called a hole shot. To get the hole shot, riders have to have good reflexes off the start line.
Asked if he practices his starts, Gally said, “I do!”
The weekend of Sept. 24, Gally rode in his first night race, a non-points race, in Hanwell.
Gally may have had some nerves at the start of the season but parents can get nervous watching their kids compete, too.
“Not as nervous as I thought I would be because of the support of the other parents,” said Brittany. She noted, “That could change when he gets a little faster and a little higher in the air.”