After six months of hard training, the dreams of 12-year-old Ivan Aldama Jr., known in the world of motocross as “The Cuban Missile,” were abruptly shattered when thieves made off with the three dirt bikes he was going to use in races this weekend.
The professional racer and his family, who live in Marathon in the Keys, were on their way to Daytona Beach for its famous annual races when they stopped Friday at the Miami Motocross Park in Hialeah for a final practice.
The family slept Friday night in their motor home and on Saturday discovered the motorcycles had been stolen from their trailer.
The motorcycles were not your run-of-the-mill dirt bikes.
“Whoever stole them doesn't know what he has, and will not be able to use them on the streets,” said the racer's father, Ivan Aldama, who added that the motorcycles were modified specifically for his son's size and weight.
Each of the bikes is worth at least $15,000, he said.
“We are shattered,” the father added, because the family had to return to their home in the Florida Keys and the boy could not compete in Daytona Beach, where he had hoped to perform well for potential sponsors.
“You can't imagine the sacrifices we made to get here, to keep him riding and to be able to make those bikes, and the huge effort this 12-year-old kid made,” the father added.
Aldama said that with the help of other racers and trainers a $5,000 reward has been offered for anyone who returns the motorcycles or provides information on their where they are.
“I don't care about the police, or where they got them. There will be no questions. I only want the motorcycles,” Ivan Adama said.
Ivan Aldama Jr. has motocross racing in his blood. His father raced for more than a decade in Cuba as a member of the City of Havana team.
The boy's page on Hookit, a social network for athletes, said he started in motocross as a hobby. “When I was 7 years old I asked my dad for a dirt bike because my friend had one,” the page says.
He started out on a KTM 50cc, riding in local tracks, and his father later got him a Cobra 50. He was hooked.
He now has more than 1,000 trophies, and his father said the boy ranks among the 10 best in the world and five best in the United States in the 12-to-14 year old category.
He won the 2016 Florida Gold Cup Series in the 65cc category, and the Florida Winter race in Newberry in January. He was going to race for the second time in Daytona Beach, where he took a fourth place last year.
If you have any information about the motorcycles, call 305-481-5159