Over the years in Canada, we’ve rarely witnessed a rider with as much heart and determination as Bobby Kiniry. It would take a week to talk about all of the times that Kiniry either came from behind in a race or rode through some type of injury. Kiniry was an amazing rider to watch, but he was one of the toughest guys to race against. He never gave up and all of his fans seemed to really appreciate his efforts. These days, Kiniry is retired from racing and lives in his home state of New York with his family. To celebrate his incredible career, we decided to look at some of the great photos of Kiniry and have him tell us what he remembers about these special, captured moments.
Looking back at this photo what I can recall is me trying to help Shawn with his racing. It was always nice being able to talk to someone that just wants to succeed and has no problem with constructive criticism. That’s a hard thing to find especially with arrogant dirt bike racers, but Shawn is someone who will let his guard down and not get hurt or down about what someone is telling him. In some way I feel like I saw some of myself in Shawn. I would always seek out constructive criticism because I feel all it does is make you more aware of some of your weak points, and all people are trying to do around you is help. Shawn is a great person and I wish him all the best in 2019.
This photo really brings back some great memories for me. I can recall what a great feeling it was with all the pieces of the puzzle coming together after a long, hard week of training, riding and testing. It was such a gratifying feeling seeing results from hard work, and to be standing up on the podium in front of people that appreciate a skill that you have is a pretty awesome feeling. As a racer, you can never have too many of these moments, for sure.
This is one of my favourite photos of my time in Canada. I can kind of laugh when I look at this because to me it just shows one of the routines I had. Sometimes after long, hard days at the track, getting pressure washed in between motos was one thing that seemed to help me recover and cool down. I think this was taken after yet another frustrating moto in Nanaimo. In this case, I was letting the water wash away my bad mood.
Looking back at photo number four, I remember being up at Moncton and taking a pretty aggressive crash and suffering a concussion. I also ended up splitting my chin open, breaking a couple ribs, breaking my foot and dislocating my jaw. All this happened in Moto 1 so I probably should’ve called it a day. Upon going back to the truck I do remember arguing with my team manager, who was a very close friend, and he was trying to talk me out of racing Moto 2. I do remember getting in a little argument with him about it. He even told me he’d pay me as if I finished the second moto. But, I ended up getting my way after convincing him to let me race Moto 2. I also recall going home, being so stubborn the week after, suiting up and trying to ride on Tuesday with Shawn, but I ended up crashing hard again. I just didn’t want to quit or give into any pain. I really had no business racing Moto 2 that day, but looking back now, I’m glad I did.
While I was definitely not known for my whips, it was easy to be stylish off this jump. I remember what a cool feeling it was growing up with guys such as Matt Goerke, Kyle Chisholm, Mike Alessi and Teddy Maier. We raced together almost our entire lives and it was incredible. We didn’t always see eye to eye on the race track, but I feel like we always raced each other fairly. You learn to know every rider’s tendencies, habits and weak points over that many years of racing. One of the things I miss about racing is hanging out with these guys. We definitely were the best looking riders on the track that day.
This was a tough day of racing for me in a season that really didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I really put myself in a position to win that day after having a fairly sizable lead. Unfortunately, on the last lap, my bike locked up and that was it. One thing that was tough for me about this was on the first lap of practice that day I pulled in and complained about a noise in my motor and expressed my concerns that the engine was not going to last. But at that point of the season Matt Goerke was leading the championship and he was a priority for the day. Thankfully, I didn’t crash here as my bike just locked up mid-air. As you can see, I was in no hurry to push my bike back to the pits.
Photo number seven, I just remember some of my stubbornness shining through again. That was at Round 1 where a muddy, sloppy weekend almost cost me my vision. I remember it being a very wet race track with standing water all over the place and rivers running down the track. I remember getting a good start but getting splashed a lot and using all of my tear-offs. So I took them off and rode 35 minutes with no goggles in a mud race, simply because I was in a podium position. I did not want to pull off and get new goggles. I wanted to start the season out on the right foot with a podium position, putting myself in championship contention right off the bat. In doing this I ended up scratching my eye balls very badly. I remember not being able to see going to staging for Moto 2 so that was a bit of a problem. It was so bad that I had trouble seeing well enough to get dressed for Moto 2. I’m not exaggerating at all, it was intense. During the first few laps of Moto 2, the same thing happened. I got a good start, got splashed and pulled my goggles off again! Looking back it was probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but I did finish on the podium again starting my season out on the right foot. I remember going to the optometrist the following week. He couldn’t believe how badly my eyes were scratched, told me not to be so stubborn and to look out for my own health more than my racing,but that’s not who am!
This photo was taken at Sand Del Lee while I was trying to get a good lap time in practice. Maybe I was going a little too fast around the sweeper because I hit a big, round hay bale and moved it in about 10 feet into the middle of the track. It was a massive impact and I ended up breaking my collarbone. That’s always a frustrating feeling when you know that you broke a bone and the rest of your season is done. All the hard work and all the testing, just thrown right out the window. I guess in racing you have good days and bad days. This was most definitely a bad day for me.
This photo puts a smile on my face and I really like looking at it. Just knowing what I did in my career and to end up with the King of Walton sword was very memorable. That’s always such a prestigious race and there’s only a handful of people that have ever won it. I’m glad to be in that category and I still have the sword hanging in my house. I remember the time I wanted it really badly, and I had to bulldog through because Dusty Klatt was on his game that year. He did not make that day very easy for me to come out on top. The one other interesting fact is I had the championship more or less won the week prior with a 40 point lead going into the last round, but before that day of racing was over, mechanical issues forced me to DNS both motos, giving up my 40 point lead, and ultimately my championship.
This awesome photo was again taken at Round 1 in Nanaimo. There was a lot of hype surrounding Mike Alessi coming to our series and being one of the championship contenders. I guess I wanted to let him know it wasn’t going to be an easy year for him. So coming into the first turn in Moto 1 of the season, I decided to be a little aggressive. I remember everyone saying he was the holeshot king, but I felt like I was pretty good at starting too. These are the types of moments that racers live for, two riders going for the same real estate and not wanting to shut off. For record, I ended up with the holeshot!