Interview: Danny Lailvaux
4 March 2014

Published with Permission
by Katherine Otty.

With the high level of MX riding in South Africa, it is no surprise that local stars like Tyla Rattray, Marcus Phelps, Calvin Vlaanderen and Gareth Swanepoel are out on the world stage making us look good. One such progeny is Gauteng rider Danny Lailvaux who is currently being coached at the prestigious Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia USA.
Danny, who started on a 65 Kawasaki with a few lessons went on to be mostly self-taught. Until Laren van de Westhuizen started coaching him from 125's onwards.
“Laren made a huge positive change to his riding,” Danny’s mother, Michelle, told MX SA “He is an amazing coach. John Wakefield from Pelotrain worked out Dan's training program and ensured he was in the best physical condition.”

All this and natural talent contributed to Danny’s South African Motocross achievements which include a MX2B Northern Regional Championship and a runner up 125 Championship in 2011. He also achieve a 9th place in the highly competitive MX2 Nationals in 2013.
But has always been Danny’s dream to ride in America and Millsaps is a great place to start. The facility was opened by nine time Loretta Lynn’s amateur champion Davi Millsaps’s trainer/mother in 2003 and is currently working with many of the top young talents including Enrico Narbonese and Hannah Hodges (AMA amateur Female Rider of the Year for 2013).

MXSA recently caught up with Danny about his experience at MTF so far.

MXSA: When did you first hear about MTF and decide to go?
I first heard of it in 2010 when I found out Enrico was planning on going there in 2011, and basically wanted to go there ever since.

MXSA: What are the facilities like?
The facilities are really good. They have multiple bunks and cabins, a kitchen, entertainment room and gym along with the workshop. All of them are world class.

MXSA: How are you getting on with the people?
Really good. The people here are awesome and really helpful; if you ever need anything from help with a hard rhythm section to just going to the corner store to get petrol.

MXSA: Are your fellow riders predominantly American?
Not at all, half the people are non-American. There are people from Australia, New Zealand, England, Brazil and Mexico to name a few.

MXSA: How do you find the general skill level of riders who started with you at MTF?
Not bad, there were a couple fast guys from the 7 week camp but I'm the fastest out of the new full time riders.

MXSA: Do you feel your riding has been improving?
Yeah definitely, the riding training here is insane. The coaches are really amazing and really know what they're talking about.

MXSA: Can you name one thing they have taught you that has made a big difference to your riding.
There are so many things but I'd have to say riding on the balls of your feet around the corners is a big one.

MXSA: Tell us a bit about your first race, how did you do?
I did okay. I mean it wasn't bad but it wasn't what I wanted either. The track was different and the races are so short and intense. It's just completely different to anything in South Africa. 11th in 250 open and 13th in 250B

MXSA: How long will you be training there?
As of now I'm here till August but we'll see what happens when we get there...

MXSA: What’s next when you finish at MTF?
I'm not sure but I'm hoping to be able to have my pro license and try qualify for supercross and outdoors.

See Danny in action on his 2012 Suzuki RMZ250 on the Millsaps facebook group where they regularly post updates and clips of the riders at their facility.
You can also take a tour of MTF itself via its YouTube channel.

Or take a ride around the Lailvaux family’s home track: Maniax MX Park in Tarlton, Gauteng.
The Lailvaux family are extremely proud of Danny as he pursues his dream in the US and say that he is working hard to achieve his goals. MXSA wishes him the best of luck here forward.

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