Record setting U.S. observed Trials champion, Pat Smage, returns to FactoryONE Motorsports, in what will be his 20th year riding a Sherco motorcycle. The 30-year-old Smage, from Elkhorn, WI, won his first professional title back in 2007. From there, he would win three consecutive titles. In 2010, he would have to settle for a 2nd place, behind current Sherco Enduro rider Cody Webb. Smage would then string together five championships from 2011 to 2015. In 2016, he fell to the runner position once again, but regained the title in 2017, and would hold it for three consecutive years. The 2019 Championship was a record setting year for Smage. That title would be his 11th, which surpassed Geoff Aaron’s previous record of 10.
“I started riding Sherco back in 2001 and have had every model year since then,” said Smage. “It has been awesome to see the evolution of the motorcycles over the past 20 years, and I am happy to be riding the best one yet now. I feel very lucky and thankful to still be able to focus on riding with the support of FactoryONE/Sherco USA after all these years. I plan to give it my all, as long as I can, to try to keep the dream going and hope to be a part of this team for a very long time. I can’t wait to get back in the sections at Nationals! Oh yeah, I would also like to mention that I’ll be giving Hard Enduro another shot in select races! Riding both bikes has been a lot fun and has helped keep me motivated, so I’m looking forward to using them both to continue to build my skills.”
The entire 2020 NATC calendar was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, but Smage was able to compete in the Trial Indoor in Bordeaux and Montpellier France at the end of January 2020. The competition slated five of the top riders in the world on some of the biggest obstacles set indoors.
“We are so fortunate to have the greatest American rider in history back with us for a few more years,” said team president Ron Sallman. “We are happy to have Pat be able to start and finish his professional career with Sherco. That is rare, in this day and age. Like others, I look forward to watching his jaw dropping talent on two wheels, and that includes Trials, Enduro, and even bicycles. He is amazing to watch!”
The 2021 NATC season schedule has been announced. Smage will look to defend his title beginning in June.
- June 19-20: Farrandsville, PA
- June 26-27: Little Hocking, Ohio
- July 31-August 1: Kingman, Arizona
- Oct. 2-3 (FIM North America): Tillamook, Oregon
In 2021, Smage will be focused on winning his 12th Trials championship, but you will see him riding a Sherco Enduro bike, as he will also ride in select SEER and AMA Extreme Off-Road races.