EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Since he was 10 years old, Supercross racer Theodore “Bubba” Pauli has been kicking up dirt on his motorbike and grabbing big air in his backyard.
“We’re racing in Indianapolis, so we’re able to get some training in before the race and get some training in Edwardsville and get ready for the race this weekend,” Pauli said
His persistence turning dirt hills into even bigger jumps so he can scrub his way to the finish line has paid off for the Edwardsville native.
“It was a little over a year ago we were approached by the promoter of the series,” Pauli said. “They were putting together the video game. This is actually their second video game and next year will be the third year of it and I’ll be in it as well. It’s pretty exciting and how lifelike the characters are. It’s unreal how similar it is to what we actually do.”
Pauli appears in the virtual world in the video game “Monster Energy Supercross 2,” currently on all consoles.
“It’s different because in the video game you can crash a couple of times and nothing happens,” said Goan Cros, Spanish Supercross racer. “So it’s more fun if you crash. It’s different. It’s not the same riding a real bike out there. Always as a kid, you play the video game and hope as a big boy racing in real. It’s nice.”
While you might not be able to walk a mile in Pauli’s shoes, you can try on his virtual boots and see what a jump feels like that’s 30-feet high and 80-feet long but without any real-world bumps and bruises.
“'You train and prepare for the race and go to the race and compete for the championship just like we do and compete through the 17 tracks that we do on the same bikes we do,” Pauli said. “It’s really cool how interactive it is compared to what we do in real life, so it’s pretty next level.”