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Gigi Interview

Originally published
on the Honda site: www.powersports.honda.com

Photo: Dito Milian Got Blue Milk


"Thank you Reg and Gigi for a great couple of days at VIR. The CLASS exceeded my expectations. I have about 150 days on tracks using the standard “school” or wide line (between cars and bikes) so this was a paradigm shift for me to always strive for tight, economical lines.

Some more feedback: the two of you are some of the warmest, genuine, caring, enthusiastic people that I have ever met. The classroom lectures (discussions) clearly came from the heart. Humility is a valuable quality in everyone and your own humility set the example for all of us. “There is always someone faster than you, and always someone slower than you.” That is a profound thought to keep in mind.

I was also impressed with how clean the A group riding was, especially day two. Most of these folks really know how to ride. I gave up open track days because the clientele is too crazy and their attitudes were infecting me. I felt very safe out there in CLASS.

I will be back, and I will bring my friends."



Reg and Gigi,

I just got home from your two-day CLASS motorcycle training at VIR. This was the first time I have been involved in any racetrack training sessions and I must say I was impressed beyond measure. I spent 35 years of my life managing hundreds of individuals in a field that required exceptional planning, relentless attention to detail, and flawless execution without fail….because lives and livelihoods were at stake every day. I know a thing or two about doing things right without fail. You and your team were impressive right from the start and you delivered on all your promises.

The planning and execution were flawless. From the first contact with Gigi almost 9 months ago, right up to Reg’s closing comments, you and your team executed every aspect of the CLASS as efficiently and effectively as it could have been done. Very impressive. And…it was that level of efficiency in all the details that made me feel confident and made me feel safe on the track. Right from the start, I knew that your team knew exactly what it was doing and that you did things right…. I felt confident that I was in good hands.

The level of kindness and welcoming attitude of you and your team was appreciated more than you can know. I was a first-timer. It was my first time on a track. I didn’t know anyone. I wasn’t nearly as skilled as most of my colleagues. But man did you and your staff make me feel welcome. Wow. I can’t tell you how important that is or how grateful I am for the attention and kindness I received. Your staff was supportive and caring in a way that simply can’t be taught. They seemed like genuinely good people. So, my hat’s off to whoever interviews and selects your staff. That person must have some extraordinary people instincts.

Finally, it was clear from your opening remarks that everyone involved in CLASS would put safety first from start to finish. And you sure delivered on that promise. I am not a racer. I am a father and husband and grandfather, and coming home safely to those people I love was my number one priority. After taking your course, I now know that returning me home to my family safely was your team’s top priority as well. Thank you for that. You and Gigi and your team made me feel confident that I was as safe as I could be in that environment.

And I guess I should also mention that I am a much better and much safer rider than I was just two days ago! You and your team are pretty good at that too. :)

I hope you will pass on my thanks to every person on your staff who was at VIR, and to anyone else who helps you make this CLASS possible.
I will sing your praises and be back for sure.

Cheers mates!
Jim H.

The CLASS Team

...is a group of fun loving, experienced riders who began as students. Each is steeped in the Pridmore knowledge of what it takes to be smooth and in control on a motorcycle and have an unusual ability to impart their knowledge to you. Almost every one of them has been riding since they were kids, and together, they have hundreds of years of motorcycling experience (no kidding). Some of them race or have raced in the past, but all of them, having been students, know where you're coming from and how to make your experience better. We think you'll also find there's a chemistry here that makes learning easy and a whole lotta fun...

reg Reg Pridmore - Santa Paula, CA is the originator and headmaster of CLASS. Reg won the first 3 AMA Superbike Championships in 1976, 1977 and 1978 and a few years back, was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame. He taught his first school in his race leathers in Denver in 1972. An affable English expatriate with a quick wit, he has an uncompromising desire to teach you what he's learned over the years. Don't let the collar and tie fool you: even after many years out of competition, he still loves to go in deep and come out hard. Challenge him, and his response will still be: "Wheel it out, mate".
gigi Gigi Pridmore - Santa Paula, CA
CLASS Instructor: 22 years
Gigi and Reg have been together since the mid 90's and Reg taught her to ride from scratch, zip zero. Though she still calls herself very much a student, she enjoys sharing the knowledge she has gleaned over the years with CLASS. When she's not in the office or on the race track, chances are you'll find her on her bicycle or dirt bike!
stuart Stuart Beatson - Beaver Dam, VA
CLASS Instructor: 34 years
Stu is affectionately known as Reg's "oldest" instructor having been with Reg since he first took on helpers in '83. A racer back in the day, Stuart won the AMA Battle of Twins Championship on his BMW Boxer in 1983. But he still enjoys ripping around on big twins! These days, you'll find Stu working as the service manager at Morton's BMW motorcycle dealership in Fredericksburg, VA.
phil Phil Smith - Ojai, CA
CLASS Instructor: 32 years
Originally from England, Phil grew up around the old Triumph factory.  Motorcycles are in his blood. One of Reg's original instructors, Phil used to race in those days and even now, in his spare time he likes to ride motorcycles, very fast. His enthusiasm is contagious and he's a great helper on the track and in the classroom. Phil's one of the best.
gary Gary Crandall - Merced, CA
CLASS Instructor: 26 years
Gary is always smiling! Keeps us wondering what he's thinking about. Gary is fast and smooth and has a great eye for helping riders get faster and smoother themselves. His day job involves wrenching on bikes but when it's time for school, Gary is there, all smiles and ready to help.
Ted Holman - Grants Pass, OR
CLASS Instructor: 29 years
Ted could very well be the Missing Link. But he's a gifted and talented rider and has the ability to teach as well, so Reg keeps him around. He first came to school back in the late 80's and Reg tells stories of how he would crash, and get up smiling, and crash again. But, his riding came along very well and he's since become a very good instructor. Yes, Ted gets more than his share of teasing, because he's one of those characters that *asks for it*. Got any stickers?
Jeff German - Angel's Camp, CA
CLASS Instructor: 17 years
Don't mistake this soft talker for a softie on the track. He's also the best when it comes it practical jokes and we have seen he and Ted turn up to the riders meeting in swim goggles and flippers! Jeff's been coming to CLASS since the early 90's. He was always helping friends learn to ride better and bringing them to CLASS so it was a natural fit to have Jeff join the Team many years back. We haven't seen enough of him lately so when Jeff's at the track, be sure to grab him and get some great personalized instruction.

John Francis John Francis - Novato, CA
CLASS Instructor: 9 years
John has been coming to CLASS for 20 years and would have been helping us out a lot longer - if our schedules had meshed better. But they work now and he's been a great addition to our west coast schools. In his spare time John loves to race hare scrambles, chasing after his teenage son and daughter- all on dirt bikes!
clark Clark Attebury - Detroit, MI
CLASS Instructor: 14 years
Beginning as a student in 1998, Clark has been soaking in as much as we can give. Now he's giving back to you as a CLASS instructor. He has a lot of skill and a fantastic ability to express what he's learned to help others on their journey up the skill ladder. A soft spoken gent, you might not ever guess that by day he's a TV producer...
aaron Aaron White- Grand Rapids, MI
CLASS Instructor: 16 years
Aaron raced Hare Scrambles and MX for years and then decided he wanted to ride street bikes - really fast! He began coming to CLASS and as his skill grew and we got to know him, he was a natural fit for the CLASS program.  Fast yes, but he's also a very patient teacher and helpful to riders at every end of the spectrum.
craig Craig Hansen - Medford, OR
CLASS Instructor: 24 years
Craig, along with son Mason and wife Connie, owns and runs Hansen's BMW Motorcycles in Medford Oregon. As you might imagine, Craig generally takes a lot of heat for having to deal with warranty issues... Another long time CLASS student who did a little club racing, Craig has a truly uncanny ability to help riders get the most out of themselves and move on up the ladder.
Marcus DeLuco - Pasadena, CA
CLASS Instructor: 5 years
Marcus started coming to CLASS in 2010 and it soon became apparent that his learning curve was steep and his ability to analyze and make corrections was strong. He was Force 5 and was attending every CLASS - it was time to get him on this side. He and wife Leslie travel to all of our west coast dates and have become a huge and helpful part of the CLASS family. Get Marcus for some one on one and you will ride away, better, safer and faster.
andy Andy Kettle- County Cork, Ireland
CLASS Instructor: 19 years
Andy is our resident wilde Irishman and helps keep the humor flowing - like with his morning award ceremonies - you most likely don't want to receive one of his awards....  His enthusiasm is contagious and Andy's got the skill and the time to help you become a better rider.
allan Allan Eastbourn - Latrobe, PA
CLASS Instructor: 13 years
A student from 1998 to about 2004, Allan became a regular fixture with us in the paddock. As his skills ratcheted up, we could see he was one of those genuine good riders that would be a great match for the CLASS family. A jet jock (pilot) for a day job, he generally is only able to make it to Virginia these days. But if Allan is there, take time to ride and work with him. He brings a lot of skill, talent and knowledge to the CLASS table.
gery Gery Torok - New Jersey exit 46
CLASS Instructor: 27 years
Gery is a hard core enthusiastic street rider and sport tourer who often times just packs a couple of things in a tank bag and heads off cross country.  With a very good sense of what it is about his CLASS experience that has made him so much better, Gery enjoys sharing this knowledge with students. 
Brett Nusz Brett Nusz - Bakersfield, CA
CLASS Instructor: 7 years
All the way from Bakersfield, Brett has been coming to CLASS for many years. Racing his Honda Hawk took him aside for awhile but now he's back and now does an awesome job of passing on what his experience and Pridmore education has taught him.
Kenny Suffern - Camarillo, CA
CLASS Instructor: 4 years
One of the nicest guys you'll meet at the track, Kenny started as a student about 2011, doing our Streets of Willow schools. He had the desire and climbed the skill ladder quickly. But Kenny is a helper and soon he was helping us with everything. As his knowledge and experience grew, he was a natural fit into the role of CLASS instructor. Now he wants to help you become a really good rider too. His day job is a motorcycle mechanic, but what you would never guess is that by night, Kenny's also a barber! He keeps Reg and the guys looking neat and tidy :)
Scott Eastbourn - Tehachapi, CA
CLASS Instructor: 4 years
Originally from Ohio, Scott's first school experience was at age 16 coming along with his uncle Allan, a CLASS instructor, to Mid Ohio. A dirtbike rider since he was a kid, Scott was immediately sold and next time he came to CLASS, it was as a student. Now Scott's a Cali transplant having taken a rocket scientist job out in Mojave. His skills have rocketed too (sorry) and his Pridmore education from such a young age shines through. He's still a super smart student and has a lot of great things to pass onto you.
Christian Hardin - Santa Paula, CA
CLASS Instructor: 3 years
Another great addition to the CLASS Team also used to come with his dad John, another CLASS instructor back in the day. Chris first started riding with us at age 14 and traveled the country with the CLASS Crew. He sat in the front of every classroom, rode every session and soaked in as much as he could. After a few years off the bike and moving on to a great career as a welder, Chris is back to riding well and anxious to help you learn all those things he soaked in just a few years ago.

Fast Fred Willink (FredEx) leaves a legacy at CLASS that is timeless. He began teaching with Reg in 1996 and went on to become a very successful and respected AHRMA Thruxton Cup Champ, while still making most every CLASS school nationwide. He put up an amazing fight but in the end his battle with cancer ended on Dec 12, 2014. Godspeed mate.