Royal Enfield’s Build Train Race program may only have been around for a few years, but from the start, it’s been something special. Created and nurtured in large part by women and for women in motorsports, it’s been a welcome breath of fresh air in an industry that’s historically been very male dominated. While the series clearly has great promotional value for Royal Enfield as a manufacturer, it’s about so much more than that.   

It’s now June 26, 2023, as I’m writing and I’m just going to say it: If you’re a motorcycle racing fan and you’re not watching the 2023 Build Train Race Road Racing series (held as part of select MotoAmerica race weekends), you’re missing out. That goes double if you’re the kind of motorcycle racing fan who loves seeing how talented riders evolve throughout their careers, hone their skills, and keep refining their craft over time.  

The 2023 Build Train Race Road Racing series kicked off over the weekend of June 2 through 4, 2023 at Road America in beautiful Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. It continued over the weekend of June 23 and 24, 2023 at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington. Each race weekend sees two BTR races take place, so the field has contested four races so far. With two race weekends remaining in the 2023 BTR season, it’s now the halfway point—there are two race weekends and four more races to go.  

For the first four races that have run so far in the 2023 BTR season, one extremely talented racer has dominated the field. Her name is Mikayla Moore. At just 19 years of age, Moore has been racing since she was seven, after starting to ride dirt bikes when she was six. As with most young racers, it’s been a family affair right from the start. BTR viewers in 2023 have no doubt seen Moore’s proud mom cheering her on during the first half of the season, and her dad is the one who first taught her and her brother how to ride—which the whole family also likes to do together when they’re not racing. 

If you watch racing for long enough (and probably other sports, I’d imagine), you begin to familiarize yourself with its rhythms, ebbs, and flows. It may not happen often, but you also begin to develop a sense for when you’re seeing a future great of a given sport develop their talent right in front of your eyes. You can’t help but feel honored and excited to get to see it, because you just know this is a racer whose amazing career you’ll be talking about for years to come.  

Unless I’m very much mistaken, Mikayla Moore is one of those racers. After taking the first two wins of the 2023 BTR season at Road America in Wisconsin, it was clear that she was on her A-game. However, if you really want to see someone just keep extending their lead and keep extending their lead over the course of a race, watch Race Two from the Ridge, which Moore won with an over 18 second lead over second-place podium finisher and 2022 BTR Road Race champion Kayleigh Buyck. (According to the commentators, Buyck and Moore have been friends for some time, and Buyck was the one who talked Moore into trying her hand at BTR this year.)  

In a 2020 interview with Black Girls Ride, Moore talked about some of her biggest racing heroes, and how seeing racers like Elena Myers and SJ Harris made a huge impact on her from an early age. Here were women—and in Harris’ case, women of color—getting out on track, using their skills, and doing the thing.  

While I didn’t grow up watching racing as a kid, I did pay attention to other forms of media—and as a young Asian American girl, it felt both incredible and indescribable on those occasions when I felt like I and other girls like me were seen in whatever I was a fan of at that moment. Of course, not every young girl who watches BTR will grow up to be a racer—but they’ll know that it’s possible, and that makes all the difference in the world. 

The 2023 Royal Enfield Build Train Race season continues the weekend of July 28 through 30 at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota. The season finale will take place on the weekend of August 18 through 20, 2023 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania. If you can’t make it to either race, don’t worry—all the Royal Enfield Build Train Race 2023 Road Racing races (as well as past BTR Road Racing seasons) are regularly posted on the official MotoAmerica YouTube channel, so you can watch them any time you like. 

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