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Five Questions: Jesse Dobson

News 4 Aug 2020

Five Questions: Jesse Dobson

Why, when, what, how and who with the new Serco Yamaha pilot.


After recently transferring to Serco Yamaha and debuting his new YZ250F in Queensland’s Sunshine State MX Series at Gympie, MotoOnline got in contact with 23-year-old Jesse Dobson to ask him Five Questions about his year to date.

Image: iKapture.

Why have you decided to jump back down to the MX2 class after six years in MX1?

I felt I’d raced in the MX1 for a long time – I moved straight into that field when I turned pro in 2014. As a privateer I couldn’t afford to race a 250 four-stroke as they’re too expensive and it was a lot cheaper to get on a 450. Last year was tough, though. I was still a privateer racing on a shoestring budget and, while I showed some flashes, I didn’t really pull it together. This year I felt I had a good opportunity with a great team to go back and rebuild my racecraft and make a bit of money at the same time. In MX1 I feel like I’ve always been the fifth-placed guy and never cracked the podium, so thought I’d recreate myself. I’m still young and have plenty of time left in the sport.

When did you make the switch from the Recover8 KTM team to Serco Yamaha?

It was announced at the start of July. KTM and Husqvarna were hit quite hard with the COVID stuff and they’d pulled a lot of budget from racing. When a ride opened up at Serco Yamaha, Yamaha and Gavin Eales approached me with a good offer. I talked to KTM and with the budget changes and the MX Nationals up in the air, we came to a mutual agreement to be let out of my contract, which I’m really grateful for. The Recover8 team is awesome and I’m thankful for all the opportunities they gave me at the start of the year. There’s no bad blood or anything there, but I’m now excited for the chance I have to prove myself at Serco.

What do you think of the Yamaha now that you’ve spent a bit of time on it?

It’s a really good package, but different to the KTM I rode for the first six months of the year. Everyone will tell you it’s a big change moving from a European bike to a Japanese bike, but it hasn’t taken all that long to get comfortable on it. The team has made the adjustment easy and their support has been massive. I really like the torque of the Yamaha motor and I just need some more races to be able to show how much I’m enjoying the change.

Image: iKapture.

How did it feel to be back racing on the weekend?

It was exciting to be out there, that’s for sure. Even with everything that’s happening I haven’t slowed down my training and I’ve been working closely with Kirk Gibbs, who lives nearby and has the same trainer as me. The MX Farm track on the weekend was good, but I made a couple of bad gate picks and I found the track hard to pass on. I improved as the weekend went on and finished fifth overall, which I’m not super-pumped on, but there were a lot of positives and I’m happy that I now have a good idea on the areas I need to work on. The field was pretty stacked with Jay [Wilson], Aaron [Tanti], Luke Styke was back racing motocross, and Todd [Waters] rode both classes. It was just good being back out racing those guys and putting in some hard laps.

Who’s going to be the Australian with the best results overseas this year?

That’s a tough question! In the MXGP I don’t think you can go past Jed Beaton. I talk to him a bit and he’s working hard, is riding solid and has a good team around him. With his experience over there he’ll be the top Aussie. In the US, it’s hard to choose between Hunter and Jett Lawrence. I’ll probably go Hunter as he’s a hard worker and Jett isn’t proven yet, but it’s going to be interesting to watch how those boys go in a couple of weeks time. They grew up just down the road from me, so I’m stoked to see them doing well.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

USA Today’s Front Page Editor Quit Her Job To Work With Motorcycles

Andria Yu, the former Front Page Editor at USA Today, traded one dream job for another when she left her prestigious post at the widest-circulated daily paper in the country in order to become the director of communications at the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC).

Yu worked for The Baltimore Sun as copy editor and then make-up page editor before joining the staff of USA Today, ultimately working with other editors, reporters, and designers to lay out the front page and decide which stories to run in the news section.

“In my 18-year career as a journalist, I mostly worked nights and weekends,” Yu says. “Oh, and holidays too. But really that didn’t bother me too much. Journalists do what they do because of their passion for journalism.”

But journalism wasn’t Yu’s only passion.

One summer during high school, Yu’s parents sent her to Taiwan to learn more about her Chinese heritage. She ended up on the back of a scooter, falling in love with the feeling of being on two wheels. It was a feeling she’d never forget.

“I [learned to ride] when I was 23 and working at The Baltimore Sun. I didn’t know anyone who rode. No one in my family rides, and I didn’t have friends who rode, so when I finally had the time and money to learn, I thought the prudent thing to do would be to take the ‘official’ class provided by the state of Maryland. Back then, I didn’t even know about the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF).”

During her time at USA Today, Yu commuted on her motorcycle everyday—50 miles each way. Her colleagues all knew of her love for two wheels, so in 2012, when the MotoGP circus came to Indianapolis, the motorsports editor sent her on assignment. It was the first time she had the chance to combine her vocation and her avocation.

“Although I was writing the story for USA Today, it wasn’t what I was paid to do. So I had to do everything on my own time. I came in before my shift started to make calls and do interviews, and used vacation days to ride my BMW F800ST to the race. I even paid my own way!”

The same year, she was invited to the International Motorcycle Show in Washington, D.C. by Ty van Hooydonk, vice president of communications at the MIC.

“He talked to me about motorcycles.org, the MIC, and gave me a real insider’s tour of the motorcycles. I remember thinking then, ‘Dang, what a cool job this guy has!’ ”

Four years later, van Hooydonk offered her a job. Although she initially struggled to trade journalism for public relations, ultimately the MIC’s mission won her over.

“The messages the MIC puts out were messages that I personally believed: ‘Riding motorcycles is fun! Get proper training! Wear proper gear for every ride.’ And in many ways, I had always been telling this to my friends and neighbors anyway. Now I get paid to do it!

“The great thing about this job is that each day is different,” Yu says. “One day I’ll pitch cool stories to writers and editors, another day I’ll be leading an MSF Basic RiderCourse or working with media at the MSF DirtBike School. Some weeks I host rides to Death Valley, and others I’m working with our government relations team on ways to promote access to trails and public lands.

“The most rewarding thing is seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they get into motorcycling—it’s fun, it’s transportation, it’s bonding with friends and family. I know it sounds hokey, but it’s true.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the MIC’s work, visit motorcycles.org, and be sure to subscribe to RideReport, a weekly email newsletter. Yu says: “It’s free and available to everyone! And, yes, I help put that together so I still get to put my editing skills to use!”

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com