Placing motorbike racing on the radar

Angelena Iglesia
Placing motorbike racing on the radarAbove: South Surrey’s Jack Roach, 19, racing on the Oulton Park observe in England in 2022. (Bonnie Lane/courtesy British Superbike) Far left: Roach with simply a number of the many trophies and awards he’s gained racing. (Tricia Weel picture) Left: Roach with two of the younger riders he trains by his junior academy, Sebastian Ochi, 7, and Martina Cardenas, 8. (contributed picture)
South Surrey’s Jack Roach, 19, was all smiles after winning the HEL Performance British Junior Supersport Race Two at Thruxton Raceway in the U.K., making him the first Canadian to win a BSB support race. (Bonnie Lane/courtesy British Superbike)South Surrey’s Jack Roach, 19, was all smiles after successful the HEL Efficiency British Junior Supersport Race Two at Thruxton Raceway within the U.Ok., making him the primary Canadian to win a BSB assist race. (Bonnie Lane/courtesy British Superbike)
South Surrey’s Jack Roach, 19, burns rubber at Thruxton Raceway in England in 2022. (Bonnie Lane/courtesy British Superbike)South Surrey’s Jack Roach, 19, burns rubber at Thruxton Raceway in England in 2022. (Bonnie Lane/courtesy British Superbike)
Jack Roach with just some of his many trophies, medals, plaques and awards in his South Surrey home. (Tricia Weel photo)Jack Roach with simply a few of his many trophies, medals, plaques and awards in his South Surrey dwelling. (Tricia Weel picture)
The leathers, or protective outfits previously worn by Jack Roach in motorcycle racing competitions, hang in the garage of his South Surrey home. (Tricia Weel photo)The leathers, or protecting outfits beforehand worn by Jack Roach in motorbike racing competitions, dangle within the storage of his South Surrey dwelling. (Tricia Weel picture)
South Surrey motorcycle racer Jack Roach with two of the young riders he trains through his junior academy, Sebastian Ochi, 7, and Martina Cardenas, 8. (contributed photo)South Surrey motorbike racer Jack Roach with two of the younger riders he trains by his junior academy, Sebastian Ochi, 7, and Martina Cardenas, 8. (contributed picture)

When individuals consider Canada, sports activities that come to thoughts normally embrace hockey and lacrosse.

Soccer? Possibly. Basketball? Not a lot. Soccer? Typically.

However motorbike racing?

A fiercely aggressive sport that’s hardly ever on the radar in Western Canada, the world of racing bikes is way more entrenched in the UK, the USA, Europe and different components of North America.

When South Surrey’s Jack Roach, 19, grew to become the primary Canadian to win a British Superbike Championship (BSB) assist race final August within the U.Ok., it made headlines within the racing world on the opposite facet of the pond.

Right here? Not even a whisper.

But it surely’s not one thing Jack, who spends most of his free Sundays educating youthful riders the right way to race safely, does for accolades from media shops.

His ardour for bikes and using began when he was about 11 years outdated travelling in Austria, and he might hear bikes “ripping up and down” an enormous valley.

His father, John, is a additionally former skilled racer in the UK.

“For my thirteenth birthday there was a motorcycle sitting within the storage,” Jack remembered with a smile.

It was his first-ever highway bike, a 125 Kayo.

Competing on mini bikes for the primary two years, he graduated from racing miniature bikes to full-size bikes at 15, with the Chuckwalla Valley Bike Affiliation (CVMA).

Competing in MotoAmerica’s Junior Cup class, Jack was usually conducting his college research whereas on the highway travelling all through the USA for the game he loves a lot, accumulating numerous trophies, medals and plaques alongside the best way.

After the 2021 Moto America season on a Yamaha YZF-R3, the place Jack got here near the rostrum on a number of events, the teenager was invited to race in England by former British Superbike champion Leon Haslam – the Haslam household is described as “racing royalty within the U.Ok.” by these acquainted with the game.

Becoming a member of the Haslam’s Affinity Sports activities Academy crew led to his large win in August 2022, when he grew to become the primary Canadian to win a BSB assist race, on a Kawasaki Ninja 400.

“We couldn’t have achieved it with out (supervisor) Jason Moody,” Jack stated.

Affinity has direct hyperlinks to Kawasaki, and Jack plans to return to the U.Ok. and the Affinity Sports activities Academy this 12 months, with a purpose to transfer as much as the Junior Superstock sequence on a ZX6R (600 sequence).

“Testing (the bikes) is in February in Spain,” he stated.

Junior superstock bikes can have much more modifications than the bikes he’s beforehand ridden, Jack stated, and he’s wanting ahead to attempting out the brand new bike and hopefully, racing within the 2023 season on it.

However he’s involved about having the ability to afford it.

Whereas he’s on the crew, competing in motorbike racing at Jack’s degree is usually a problem for somebody dwelling in South Surrey.

Not solely as a result of the game itself – the gear, gas, upkeep, gear and journey required – will be extraordinarily costly, however the sport is under-appreciated and easily, not as well-liked on TV in Western Canada as it’s within the U.Ok.

“Fundraising has been actually arduous to do in Canada – nobody right here actually is aware of the game,” Jack stated.

“In England, you’ll see superbike advertisements throughout soccer. You’ll get 50,000 to 70,000 individuals at these occasions within the U.Ok and Eurosport will likely be there to cowl it. Right here, it’s simply not that well-liked.”

The superbike is Jack’s eventual purpose, as Affinity has plans to compete within the Superbike sequence.

Whereas Jack has a helmet sponsor (LS2) and a leathers sponsor (Antham Racing), he and his father are hoping Canadian sponsors is likely to be inquisitive about serving to him attain his targets.

“We’re hoping for some homegrown assist and sponsorship,” John stated.

“We’re on the cusp of Jack not having the ability to journey, with out (sponsors) getting on board.”

Though it’s a high-risk sport with racers travelling at excessive speeds shut collectively, Jack says his focus is just on using when he’s competing.

“While you’re on the observe, you’re simply enthusiastic about racing and nothing else,” he stated.

He has began his personal coaching academy, JR 12 – JR for Jack Roach, and the quantity 12 is the quantity he wears when competing, and a quantity John additionally wore throughout his racing days.

“He’s making a pathway, or frequent floor, for youthful motorbike riders to succeed,” John stated.

Coaching younger motorbike riders to race safely is vital, Jack stated, particularly due to the excessive speeds and threat concerned.

Having damaged seven bones and skilled a number of accidents due to racing helps make it all of the sweeter when there’s a visit to the rostrum after a profitable race.

“It’s good whenever you win,” he stated with a smile.

Anybody inquisitive about sponsoring can name John at 778-385-1710.


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