By: Justin Felisko
December 17, 2016
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Luciano de Castro didn’t even make it to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour locker room on Saturday night before he went directly to three-time World Champion Silvano Alves and 2016 Rookie of the Year Kaique Pacheco.
Castro had just ridden Dirt Devil for 85.5 points, but he wanted to receive further coaching and advice on how he performed in Southaven, Mississippi.
“This is a little different,” Castro said with the help of Alves translating. “Brazilian bulls and here. I need to keep adapting because I rode over there for a long time. Brazilian bulls kick more and are not too fast like American bulls. Right now, these American bulls are kicking faster and the front is harder. They turn back fast and change direction.”
Castro talked with Alves and Pacheco for 3 minutes. The trio talked about Dirt Devil’s speed, power, agility, as well as Castro’s arm position.
Saturday night was very similar to when Alves pulled Pacheco aside for a coaching session in Anaheim, California, at the 2015 Built Ford Tough Series event. A week later, Pacheco won his first career event.
“Luciano asked Kaique and I, ‘When that bull changed direction, what did he do?’” Alves explained. “I told him the Brazilian bulls are sometimes different. When Brazilian bulls change direction, they kick hard. They jump and kick. Right now, American bulls are more high in the front and don’t kick too much. These are little things. He just needs to keep trying to ride bulls normal.”
Castro took the advice to heart, but it wouldn’t matter in the championship round as The Don absolutely crushed Castro in 3.66 seconds.
The Don didn’t turn back, he just simply outmuscled him and knocked all of the air out of his chest.
The 2015 PBR Brazil champion wound up finishing tied for fifth in the event after all 10 riders in the championship round bucked off.
Jacob O’Mara won the event thanks to his 88.5-point Round 1 ride on Boomer.
Castro heads into the Christmas break second in the Velocity Tour in qualified rides (7). He is 7-for-12 (58.33 percent) with four Top-10 finishes in five events.
Fabiano Vieira leads the Velocity Tour with eight qualified rides. Vieira finished seventh in Southaven.
Castro has yet to win an event and will begin 2017 outside of the Built Ford Tough Series.
“Right now, I am very happy,” Castro said. “All the time I am growing up and fixing things. I have been riding very good these last couple of weeks.”
Castro will return home to Brazil for the holidays before coming back to Alves’ ranch, where he is living, when the Velocity Tour resumes on Jan. 7 in Oakland, California.
The aspiring World Champion is able to poke the brain of Alves on a daily basis.
“I am interested in the little things,” Castro said. “I am trying to work hard to fix these things. I want to get better when bulls turn into my hand and go different directions. I am very happy with my position.”
Alves, who was bucked off by Bam Bam Bigelo in 2.64 seconds, said he has seen tremendous growth in Castro in one month of competition.
“I am watching him. From his first bull here to now, he is getting better and better,” Alves said. “He just has to fix little things, like changing direction and where his (free) arm is. He wants to fix those little things, but right now he is getting better and better. Little things like changing direction and where his (free) arm is.”
Castro said it is important for him to pick the brain of veterans such as Alves and Pacheco, as well as the other Brazilian bull riders that made the 8-hour drive to Southaven from Decatur, Texas, for this weekend’s event.
He hopes that in due time he will be with them on the BFTS in 2017.
“It helps a lot because I want to be like them,” Castro said. “Silvano and Kaique have been riding here at the top. I have confidence in Silvano and Kaique. I know I can ask them questions.
“I am growing up and riding well. I hope I will start better next year.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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