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Where And How It All Started: Ashton Yates

A young Ashton Yates leads Josh Herrin on mini Supermoto bikes at the Herrin Compound, circa 2010. Photos courtesy of Yates family.

Where: Herrin Compound, Dublin, Georgia

How: Son Of A Champion Goes Fast

If you follow Ashton Yates on social media, then you know that it appears as though he spends more time on a motorcycle than he does off it. That’s because he does. Well, almost. And most of that riding is done on a Supermoto bike at the Herrin Compound (yes, Herrin as in Josh and family) in Georgia as he trains for his job as a professional road racer in the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship.

Once Yates started dragging his knee, he was hooked and he stayed on the pavement except for a brief foray in American Flat Track racing in 2015.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you also know that Ashton is the son of four-time AMA road racing champion Aaron Yates (750 Supersport in 1986, 600 Supersport in 2002 and Superstock 1000 in 2005 and 2008). This apple definitely didn’t fall far from the tree.

Young Yates started riding motorcycles at the age of three on a Suzuki JR50. Although he had his first taste of Supermoto when he was 10, his early years were spent mostly on a motocross track. Then Yates discovered the Herrin Compound and got his knee on the pavement for the first time. He was hooked. When he was 13, Ashton, his dad and his grandad, Lucky, started venturing to road races on the weekends armed with a Yamaha TZ125. The trio have been a fixture in the paddock ever since.

The three Yates – Ashton, Lucky and Aaron.

“My dad was injured when I started racing on asphalt in 2010-2011 at the Herrin Compound so I rode and learned a lot from Josh Herrin during those years,” Yates recalls.

Yates started real road racing on a Yamaha TZ125 when he was 13.

In 2015, MotoAmerica got rolling, and Ashton got started in the KTM RC 390 Cup Series. His results were nothing to write home about until it was discovered that Yates had vision issues. A pair of glasses later and he could suddenly see. Just as suddenly, his career took off and he’s since become the first MotoAmerica rider to race in six different classes: KTM RC Cup, Junior Cup, Superstock 600, Supersport, Stock 1000 and Superbike. He also became the first rider to stand on the podium in two classes on the same day and he did so at his home race at Road Atlanta.

In 2022, Yates finished 10th in his rookie season in the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship on his Scheibe BMW S 1000 RR.

Ashton Yates is all smiles after beating Brandon Paasch and Anthony Mazziotto to win the MotoAmerica KTM RC390 Cup race at Laguna Seca in 2016.

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